Hello, Hallo, Hola, Namaste, Oi, Ni Hao, Marhabaan, Ciao, Kamusta, Zdravstvuy, Xin chao, An Nyung Ha Se Yo! This is how diverse the Supply Chain Management Blended class of 2020 is. We have students from over 19 countries coming from varied fields of study right from engineering to accounting and even academia. The cohort has work experience ranging from 3 years to 20+ years. Just imagine, your classmate could be your next partner in crime or your next colleague or maybe your next employer!
It was a long wait of 6 months after receiving the exciting acceptance letter from MIT until we arrived on campus. Luckily, we didn’t feel the time pass by due to the numerous activities that were to be checked off the list. There were plenty of webinars to help us get started and chalk out our plan. We started with THE python 6.001x, a required pre-arrival class to help sail through the courses we’d take later on campus. In addition, we had to submit our thesis and capstone proposals and later bid during September to secure the one we were interested in. It is only natural we had to start working on them immediately after the allocation of capstones/confirmation of thesis with our partners, whom we never saw in person until a good 3 months! So yes, we do not study only for 5 months 😊.
The administrative preparations before arriving on campus – visa, medical insurance, housing allocation and many more – were tedious but, taken care of with ease due to the 24×7 help available. From whom you may ask? From the amazing MIT staff and our diverse class spread out in different time zones very well connected on various social media platforms.
We felt a roller coaster of emotions once on campus – nervous, excited, curious and overwhelmed – but the first smile on a friendly classmate’s face is heartening. You know that you are not alone in this journey and everyone around you is feeling just the same. The first day of orientation was a breeze with tons of team building activities led by Thompson Island Outward Bound staff, which made sure we connected well with our classmates and almost get to know everyone’s names by the end of the day. A key takeaway was the emphasis on how it is the time now to collaborate and not compete with fellow classmates. We have striven so far to get here and now we need to help each other get an A+! Coming from different cultures, backgrounds and work styles, this is a definite mind shift for a few people but after 3 weeks of course work we see the change already.
At the end of orientation week, we had the much awaited SCMb elections. Every year, students nominate themselves or others for the roles of President, Ambassador, Career champion, Social events lead, Academic events lead, Research expo lead and Editor for blogs. Having spent only one week with each other, it was eerie that we knew who could fit the bill for each role. That was the effect of orientation week on us.
Having 4 more months to go:
We feel more confident than ever that we belong here.
We will challenge ourselves better and face our fears.
We will put in all our heart in everything we do.
We will try with no regrets.
Written by: Sindhu Srinath (SCMb Class Student Editor) & Analiz Cabrera (SCMb Class President)