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I remember entering a manufacturing plant three years ago, starry-eyed, not fully comprehending that the image of myself I had as a kid was finally coming true. The initial enthusiasm paved the way for highly interesting projects, and before I knew it, I had my team of new hires. I realized that this was my calling when I was working towards making the environment feel more welcoming to women on the operations floor for the first time, and came across indifference, mockery and in an extreme case, even cat-calling. 

Focused on grasping the entirety of manufacturing and inventory management on the production floor, I found myself gravitated towards the MIT Supply Chain Management Master’s Program, to learn above and beyond. On November 22nd, I was dancing away at my friend’s big fat North Indian wedding when I saw the email that began with “Congratulations!” 

I don’t remember reading beyond this; I was frantically trying to reach my parents holidaying in the extreme south, and struggling to find words to break the news to my friends at the wedding. It’s happening. I was finally going to MIT. 

For a long time, it felt like a dream that I would soon wake up from. Only when the Telegram and WhatsApp groups for the class were created and started flooding with people did it finally sink in that I was going to be surrounded by some of the best minds from all around the world. Sure, Covid disrupted the world, but what better time to bring together a team of talented supply chain professionals? 

Our 38-person class is a wonderful mix from 15 different countries from 5 different continents.

Alongside the rich cultural mix, the class is also enriched with a variety of educational and professional backgrounds.

With an average work experience of 4.8 years, the class is filled with stories across industries ranging from the military, non-profit to retail and aerospace. 

In an extremely interesting turn of events, Covid-19 forced our entire orientation to go fully online. Here’s introducing the Supply Chain Management Residential Cohort, Class of 2021, taking the orientation from the comfort of their homes!

MIT SCM Class of 2021 Zoom Selfies

While we missed out on the on-campus experience for a few weeks, it definitely didn’t deter us from working together as a team (even if it was to build boats!)

MIT SCM students participated in hybrid remote teamwork exercises with Thompson Island Outward Bound Professional programs during 2020 Orientation

We’re learning our way through this unusual year. We are managing our class schedules while getting tested for Covid twice a week; we are learning to master the art of making the best first impressions on Zoom; and most importantly, we are learning to have fun in the safest ways possible (read: socially distanced yoga sessions by the river!) 

A month into classes, and I’m still in awe of my amazing classmates. I’m looking forward to bringing to light their varied experiences and stories. 

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