August 29, 2012

Transition to MIT Sloan

Hilary Fischer-Groban is an incoming student to the MBA program at MIT Sloan. Most recently, she was a Communications Associate at ICICI Foundation for Inclusive Growth. Check back often to follow her experience and the experiences of her classmates.

When I was taking the GMAT in Mumbai, interviewing with Sloan admissions in Hyderabad, and meeting up with future classmates in Delhi, MIT was literally and figuratively a world away.  I grew up only a few blocks from MIT in Cambridge, but for the past two years I’ve been living in Mumbai, India, working in communications for a corporate foundation.  I knew I needed to give myself a long summer break before starting Sloan to transition back to America, and get into back-to-school mode.

For everyone starting Sloan, there are certain common ways of getting prepared: rounds of email introductions, setting up an account, securing housing, and plotting out clubs and extracurricular activities to get carried away with.  But for me, there were a number of unexpected adjustments, from relearning how to use crosswalks, to using English as my default language.  I even needed to revive my professional wardrobe – unless recruiters want to see me in a suit with monsoon mold stains or a silk kurta.

Two of the more significant processes that I embarked on this summer were choosing my first semester elective and deciding whether or not to pursue a track.  A major draw for me about Sloan is its sustainability certificate, a program I was even more determined to be involved with after the sustainability session at the admitted students weekend in May.

This week I’m taking some pre-term classes in preparation for the core, and next week I’ll officially begin orientation.  Whenever I expressed anxiety about transitioning to business school from the workplace, and from living abroad, every Sloanie told me the same thing: the most important preparation is to relax and have a great summer.  I’ve taken their advice, so hopefully I’ll be able to look back fondly on these restorative months when the core starts heating up!