Juan J Estrada
International MBA 2011
The academic year flew by and it has finally come to an end. There is a confusing bitter sweet taste in completing this program. The sweetness of the victory of completing a demanding program in one year and of joining the ranks of people trained to take decisions, manage resources and make things move forward. At the same time the bitterness of moving on from a group of people you have come to appreciate and hold dearly close, an environment of learning and camaraderie and the advantage of being a student in a student in a city of students.
In this entry I will pick what made each of my three semesters in this program bitter and what made it sweet.
Bitter: the intensity of the work in China was harsh. Classes six days a week, three to six hours a day, a parallel project running all summer long made it challenging.
Sweet: China is an amazing country, so different in terms of culture, ideology, business practices and ways of interacting- yet so similar in its hunger for growth, for the luxurious comforts and trends coming from the west- totally worth experiencing.
Bitter: Feeling lost in my job search. As an example, I attended NSHMBA, big job conference in Chicago and the first day was rough, feeling one more of the bunch of job seekers, struggling to differentiate myself and to overcome the limitations from being an international student.
Sweet: life sciences strategy and commercialization courses. It took my best courses in the program this semester. I did a real new technology commercialization feasibility assessment and also climbed the steepest part of the business learning curve both for general business.
Bitter: The academic load + the job search. The spring is stressful. Graduation is approaching and all you hope for is a job. But you still got your last six courses stinging you the whole time, dragging you away from that one objective.
Sweet: the weather gets warmer and life gets more fun. To make things even busier, it’s in the spring that your social life will be most demanding- and rewarding. You know each other already and you will want to hang out as much as possible before it ends.