January 26, 2011

My Winter Break: A Trip to Sri Lanka

(A pic of Ajay from his trip - making friends with an elephant!)

Post by:
Ajay Mehta
MBA 2011

As I’m sure you’ve heard from every school you’re applying to, or every MBA graduate you may have spoken to, much of getting an MBA is about networking and meeting your classmates and other professionals. Part of that experience encompasses learning from the extremely diverse group of students that attend SMG from abroad, as well as the opportunities you have to travel with the school and with your peers. I saw this first hand this past winter break as second years seemed to disperse all over the world. From classmates hiking the Inca Trail, skiing in Argentina, or attending the Indian Field Seminar, you could see the how students were utilizing one of the last times in their professional careers that they will have a winter break.

For my winter break, I visited Sri Lanka with one of my classmates staying with his parents and touring around the country, taking in the sites and culture. It was a beautiful country but as we both took in the sites we realized that business school had a tremendous impact on how we viewed the world and ways of life. We noticed industries which we were were interested in, or companies which had headquarters in Colombo where he was interested working. We also found ourselves analyzing the daily way of life and how people prioritized their budgets. In many ways we tried to understand what made their economy move forward and how the kegs of beer we purchased were helping support Sri Lankans.

Business school allowed me to really look at different situations from a angles I might have ignored before. Going through classes and working on teams with people from all over the world helped me strategize and understand why certain aspects of business were more or less important to them. Visiting a country like Sri Lanka reinforced this fact and allowed me to experience a different culture and world with one of my classmates and good friends.

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January 18, 2011

Spring Semester Equals…Snow?

Post by:
Lauren Abrahams
MS-MBA 2011
Public & Nonprofit Management
MBA Council, PNP Club, Net Impact

Spring Semester Equals…Snow?

As I write this, snowflakes the size of golf balls are falling on Boston. 3,012 miles away (but who’s counting?) at home in Los Angeles, my sister is enjoying 81-degree weather. While I’m a bit jealous of her January beach weather, I have to admit that the snow is pretty cool. In fact, I’ve added “lived in a real, live, snow globe” to my list of Boston accomplishments. I’m also proud to announce that I successfully accomplished my first car-digging-out over the weekend. (Sort of…with help…and it wasn’t that snowed in. But us Southern California kids have to start somewhere.)

In other news, school has started! And as of Thursday, I’ll have two classes under my belt thanks to BU’s week-long intensive classes. Last week was five days of Clean Energy Services during which I worked on a project with a solar services start-up looking to take their business overseas. Each team member researched solar energy and incentives in different countries to determine the feasibility of investing there. I chose to look at Kenya and learned a lot—not just about formal solar energy policies, but also about all of the cool guerilla home solar systems that people build off-grid.

This week brings five days of Negotiations, one of the most popular classes here at the School of Management. After three days, I can tell you that while I’ve overcome some of my negotiation fears, I’ll still happily pay someone to do it for me. Definitely not one of my core competencies.

The rest of the semester will bring Financial Statement Analysis (another must-take at BU), Public Policy Analysis, and Modeling in Excel. Of course this is in addition to putting the job search into full-swing, staying involved in various groups at school, and putting in quality time with friends at the local pub before we all fan out across the country—maybe across the world—after graduation in May. If the past three semesters are any indication, it will be over before we know it!

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January 11, 2011

Moving From One City to Another

Post by Elissa Seto
MBA 2012
Public and Non-Profit Management
Cohort Cup, PNP Club

About a year ago this time, I remember receiving my acceptance letter from BU. I was feeling elated, relieved and about fifty other emotions. After being on cloud 9 for a few days, reality set in and decisions had to be made. Though signing away $1000 to reserve my spot in the class of 2012 was tough, one of my older sisters wisely reminded me that $1000 was less than 1% of what I was going to be paying over the next two years, so I had better get over sticker shock now.

However, even though I submitted my deposit, I still was not entirely sold on moving to Boston. New York had become my home after graduating from college and doing Teach For America. I loved my job at an educational video game company. I had a great network of friends and professionals in the city. Additionally, moving to Boston not only required relocating me, but also my partner as well.

What solidified my decision to attend BU was coming up for the Admitted Student Open House. My partner and I came up to Boston together for the weekend where I was able to meet current and admitted students and he was able to explore the city. After a day of talking to students and professors, I realized that going to business school at BU was going to be the best decision for me. Though my current job offered a lot of growth, an MBA from BU would be a much stronger investment in my future.

I was going to miss many things about New York, such as 24-hour subways, Central Park and amazing restaurants. However, I have learned that Boston definitely has plenty to offer as well. The T provides more than enough adequate public transit options. If there is something that is not accessible by the T, I have a Zipcar membership for that. The Boston area has tons of great running and bike paths that offer even more variety than Central Park. Even though my discretionary budget has been dramatically reduced since becoming a full-time student, I have still been able to discover many great culinary gems throughout the city.

Overall, I am happy with living in Boston. However, as a first-year MBA student, I definitely don’t get to see as much of it as I would like!

About the Author:

Elissa Seto is a first-year, full-time MBA student with a concentration in Public and Non-Profit Management. After graduating from Bryn Mawr College in 2005, she did Teach For America in New York. Most recently, she was the Manager of School Engagement for Tabula Digita, the producer of interactive educational video games.

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