[The biggest challenge faced during the MBA program] Okay, I would begin working in team projects because my class was really diversified, we had people from China, Taiwan, Saudi, Sudan, India, it was very diversified. And for our projects, or our teams were chosen by our professors; they made sure that the teams were very diversified, and that sometimes created issues, you know? Because different people from different cultures think different. So, working with them was a very big challenge. But is has really helped me a lot because today, when I go into the business world, I can work with anyone, I can interact with anyone, I can understand what people think , how they would react in a situation. So, I think that was one of the biggest challenges.
The second challenge would be [that] we had a module system, like a tri-semester. Were you had seven weeks to finish one course. That was very, very hectic. It kept you on your toes. You know, you always made sure you had read the assignments every week or every class, rather. It kept you on your toes, so you were well prepared for your classes; you knew everything at the back of your head. So those were the two major challenges for me, but I think I did pretty well in them.
[What was the biggest challenge you faced during your internship] I did my internship at Volvo Parts in supply chain. I had never worked in supply chain before; my background in engineering with work experience in IT and marketing. So, I had never worked in supply chain before. I took a couple of classes in operations, but I never knew what supply chain is. The first step was for me to understand what supply chain is, how it works in Volvo, what are the different things, how it was implemented. And they were moving from system to system. So, that was a major hurdle for me. But it was good because I interacted with people there, like sending supply chain specialists; they made me understand how it works. I just had a very short period there, like 10 weeks, to work there, but I think it came out good, yeah.
Well, again, like I say, I took classes in operations, so I knew the theory, knowledge, everything. I knew what happens in lean systems, manufacturing, everything, but didn’t really know “does this work in the practical world?” I went there, I implemented it, I understood how it works, and realized what everything you learned in the classroom is not actually in the business world. There are a lot of differences: you have cases that you’ve studied in your classes, but actual scenarios are different. You don’t have a second chance; you have one chance to do it right at that time. So I would say it has really complimented my studies; so I have both the practical experience and the theoretical knowledge to be successful in tomorrow’s business world, yeah.
The first one would be, MBA is not easy. Make sure; make sure, you are well prepared. You’re always on your toes. Don’t slack. If you slack once, and you’ll fall behind, and it is difficult to come back. I’ve experienced that. So, make sure you’re on top of your game. Second, is start networking from day one. Networking is very important for you to get an internship or a job. Networking plays a very important role. And third would be, start your internship search from day one. So make sure you go over to career services, talk to Darlene. She is very helpful; she’ll make sure your resume is modified; she’ll help write your cover letter, everything. So, start these things quite early because a lot of companies look for interns starting from September itself, early fall, whatever, yeah.
I mean, as I mentioned earlier, Career Services has been very valuable. They organized spotlight sessions once or twice a month, they organized networking dinners with prospective employees who would come and meet us and talk to us. One other thing was the mock interviews, which happen, I think, once in a semester where you could interview with real-time employers for five or six interview slots—these things have been very helpful. Whatever editing your resume, your cover letter, or editing a cover letter for a specific position, these things have been very helpful. I mean, Darlene is there for you every time. I mean, you send her an e-mail and she will reply instantaneously. They’ve been very helpful.