As I began to board my 28 hour flight from New Delhi to Atlanta, I knew little about the fate that awaited me. Despite 4 months of planning for this trip, and researching extensively about the experience ahead; it was difficult for me not to feel nervous once again, one last time, before leaving my family and the well-known territory of my own country. I had butterflies in my stomach as I pondered whether I would be able to fit in, and settle into a new culture, a new environment. But wait-not just settle in, also perform in a demanding program with a class full of bright minds. But I had long decided to take the leap of faith in myself, my own abilities, and Goizueta.

Low and behold, 9 weeks have passed in the blink of an eye, and here I am writing for the Goizueta student blog. Summer 2015 seems to be passing by at a breathtaking speed. I can assure you almost everyone who knows about, or has participated in the One-Year MBA program would agree that the most frequently used adjectives for this program are (in no ranking order:) hectic, rigorous, challenging, demanding, crazy, intense, AND rewarding, awesome, incredible, and terrific. While I agree with the above list, for me, the most apt and exhaustive words to describe summer 2015 will be exceptional, humbling, absorbing, inspirational and once-in-a-lifetime. Exceptional because the program has pushed me out of comfort zone like no other previous challenge in my life has done so far. Humbling because I fail, and learn, every single day here. Absorbing because being a part of the program this summer has made me think deeply by challenging all the assumptions and preconceived notions I have had up until this point in my life. Inspirational because seeing my classmates, who confidently and successfully balance multiple responsibilities of family life along with business-school motivates me every single day to follow my goals with a renewed passion. Once-in-a-lifetime because it is a first and last experience for me to learn and thrive in a sharp, diverse and yet, tight-knit class of 61 people.

Goizueta alumna - Rhonda Fischer, Class of 2013, in action sharing her experiences as a student with the One Year MBA Class of 2015-16

Goizueta alumna – Rhonda Fischer, Class of 2013, in action sharing her experiences as a student with the One Year MBA Class of 2015-16

Listening and engaging has become crucial to my learning experience here at Goizueta.Whether it is listening to the life-changing experiences of your team members (from your study team, also known as a core team;) discussing the economic impact of the imposition of trade embargoes made by one country on another (future) classmate’s native country (yes, One Year MBA class merges with Two Year MBA class in August so we have future fellow classmates as well;) or discussing a myriad of real-life business stories with our professors (an average of 7 hours a day, 5 days a week;) attempting to understand the different perspectives of my classmates; listening to the insightful experiences of alumni; or hearing reassuring supportive phrases from my classmates such as: “We are in this together” and “We will get through it”; listening to JK Rowling’s moving speech delivered at Harvard’s commencement address while learning to understand the nuances of story-telling in the Management Practice class; or discussing completely different yet valid views about books we read during Dean Brian’s book reading sessions, every day I learn something new.

It’s been a  little over 2 months in a totally new country with my new family consisting of my classmates and members from the Goizueta fraternity. I’m still settling in; but I find my learning curve steepening by the day, bringing me closer one step at a time to the personal goals that I set out to achieve for myself and my career. With the kick start of Block 2 of the summer semester, and recruiting season looming ahead, I am excited to see how the next coming months will unfold. As I wrap this piece up, I can’t help but think of Dean Brian’s statement in his first address to our batch. He said, “The year will be short, but the days will be long.” He is right indeed, I cannot think of any other way this year will proceed.

Dean Brian Mitchell delivering his first address to One Year MBA Class of 2015-16

Dean Brian Mitchell delivering his first address to One Year MBA Class of 2015-16