My first year of MBA was over in a flash, and I am going to talk about some of my experiences at Penn State. I reached Happy Valley with a lot of aspirations and dreams, and, of course, also with some uncertainty lingering in the back of my mind. Every aspect of the experience, including people, weather, food and language, was different from what I was used to. Surprisingly, I did not struggle much to adapt to the new world around me. The Smeal MBA community and the pleasant culture of Happy Valley helped me to make an easy transition. The MBA program started with 2 weeks of orientation during which I met a lot of extraordinary people who have had a big influence in my life thus far. It was packed with activities and also focused on career development.
Then, Mod 1 began, and the pace started picking up. Soon I was immersed in assignments, quizzes and teamwork. There were so many things to do that I do not even remember all of them! One of the aspects which I like about the program is the teamwork involved in it. I had the opportunity to work with a very diverse team. It was interesting to get different perspectives on the same problem from people with diverse backgrounds.
Career fairs started almost as soon as classes did. The career services team gave us enough opportunities to sharpen our skills so we were able to shine in interviews. Being an international student, the career fairs were a great way to learn about companies and to practice my interview skills.
At Smeal, there are a lot of student run organizations and students get to hone their leadership skills by being a part of clubs. Penn State is so diverse and full of opportunities that at any point in time, there will be many events happening simultaneously. It is important for one to stay focused on his or her goals or they can be easily carried away by all the wonderful things happening on campus.
Since I am interested in dancing, I cherished the the Diwali celebration which was filled with cultural entertainment and festivities. Tailgates at football games were new to me, and they were such joyous events which brought the people together and showed the spirit of Penn State. I sailed through Mod 1 and Mod 2, and I was also able to secure an internship which made life so much easier. I should definitely take a moment to thank not only my career services team and my peers, but also the second years who were instrumental in helping me get my internship. It’s yet another example of the collaborative culture at Smeal.
I visited Prague for my Global Immersion experience. It was refreshing to learn about a different culture, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. My first year of MBA was over in so quickly, and I am now gearing up for my internship. The past nine months have been challenging, and the learning has been tremendous. After finishing my internship successfully, I look forward to continuing my MBA journey to see what the next year holds for me!
-Srimaan Gurusamy, Penn State Smeal MBA ’17