Thursday, September 3, 2009

Journey's End!

It is indeed hard to believe that I am making this final entry with a sudden tinge of sadness as my S3 Asia MBA journey is soon coming to an end this December. At one moment we were having regular get-togethers and traveling to nearby countries and the next moment all our priorities have now shifted to securing jobs since this is the last semester in our unique MBA journey. I miss the lengthy and tiring journeys on bicycle from our Fudan School of Management Campus back to our dormitories and the beautiful campus of Korea University. The experience of winter in Seoul and Shanghai was really cold and yet amazing compared to Singapore, where we are blessed with eternal summer all year round.

I must say that life has changed for me since I started this unique MBA program. It created an opportunity for me to meet people from all over the globe and also to study in three different universities: Fudan (Shanghai), KUBS (Seoul) and NUS (Singapore). Moreover, I have made an immense number of friends through various inter-school activities and outings. I've had the opportunity to study, work and play with the most extraordinary group of diverse, talented, intelligent, humorous and most importantly well-rounded individuals. The relationships that I have formed are the most valuable thing I will take away from this S3 Asia MBA program which I consider more important than any other academic pursuit.

The culture at each of these three different universities was unique and gave me an insight into how nations behave, think and work. We overcame differences in language and cultural norms in order to interact and form deep relationships. The numerous intercultural exchanges enabled me to gain a deep insight into the workings of businesses and people in the cities of Shanghai and Seoul. I also had the amazing opportunity to do my internship with SK Energy in Ulsan, South Korea. All these opportunities enabled me to grow, understand people better and gain a valuable perspective of life out of Singapore.

For the last one year, I have had the opportunity to meet and network with business leaders during our MBA field trips and have had the opportunity to travel to cities such as Beijing, Guangzhou, Hong Kong and Macau while I was studying in Shanghai, China. From Seoul in South Korea, I traveled to the cities of Busan, Daegu and Ulsan. In Singapore, I also got to do things that I never expected to do such as participating in Outward Bound School as part of our orientation at NUS Business School and which I thoroughly enjoyed very much.

I was right from the start. S3 Asia MBA has given me the edge, experiences and knowledge that I really needed in order to sharpen my skills, personality and business acumen. From the moment, I first set foot on the Fudan campus in August 2008 during the inaugural launch of this program, I was changed for the better. I have learnt more during the past one year than I could have in a decade. I genuinely and completely miss the people and the universities where I studied. On this journey, I have forged a number of genuine friendships and had the company of a group of people dedicated to enjoying all of life in a well-rounded manner. This journey has been long and arduous and yet meaningful and memorable. These experiences will remain in my memory forever.

Contributed by Thiruvarsu Damodharan, Class of 2010.

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