As my classmates and I neared the end of our MBA program, we marched swiftly, yet reluctantly, toward the finish line. We wanted to be done with the exams, the case studies, the team meetings, and the long nights of studying. But, at the same time, we were also scared and uncertain of what the post-MBA real-world had in store for us.
In light of this, and in the spirit of postponing my own studying for a few moments (by the time you read this I will be about to graduate), I would like to pause and reflect on the incredible experience of the past year. It is truly amazing to think about how much I’ve learned, how much I’ve laughed, and how much I’ve grown.
When people ask me what makes Hult special, the answer is simple: the people.
When you bring a hundred nationalities together, of course you expect there to be differences. You expect different styles, different foods, skin tones, and dialects. You expect different religions, backgrounds, and perspectives. What you don’t expect are the similarities. Hult people share a common set of characteristics that make them special and creates a unique bond. Below I’ll explore the three most significant similarities that I’ve observed.
Hult people are curious.
When I arrived in London 11 months ago, I felt alone. I knew that being a small-town girl from Michigan I may have more to learn than most. I assumed everyone else was already so worldly and knowledgeable. Pretty quickly, though, I realized that I was just like most everyone else. No matter how much familiarity people had with other cultures, there were those who had lived or worked in other countries, no previous experience could quite prepare any of us for this experience. During the program, we lived and worked side-by-side every day, and were challenged unlike ever before. And yet everyone was excited, not just to learn, but to truly understand other people and cultures. We asked questions, and listened intently to the answers.
Hult people are resilient risk-takers.
The vast majority of us uprooted from the comfort of our lives back home, and whatever that may have entailed, to explore a new world. We packed the bare necessities into two suitcases and a carry-on. We left behind good jobs, loving friends and family, and our homes. We left our dogs, our cars, our favorite pair of shoes, and every bit of predictability and normalcy.
Of course I miss these things. We all do. So, why did we do it?
At some point, each of us on our own journey, and for our own reasons, decided the risk was worth it. We went “all in” and bet it all on the unknown. It takes a special kind of person to make this bold move.
Many of us repeated this courageous effort as we rotated to other campuses, where we were forced to leave the comforts that we had finally established.
We are strong, and we have kept pressing on, even in the face of adversity. There was something inside of us that kept us going. We we won’t give up; we have taken a great risk and now we’ll fight until we collect our great reward, whatever that may be. Each of us has had our own motivations and goals for the program, but whatever it has meant for us, we have been resilient in achieving them.
Hult people are leaders.
As a group of MBA candidates, this one may not come as much of a surprise. But it has been so refreshing to have the privilege of working with driven, intelligent, compassionate business-minded people on a daily basis. My classmates “get it.”
Even though we haven’t always agreed (oh boy, the stories I could tell…), we have had a mutual respect for one another that allowed for positive, rewarding conversations, even amidst disagreement. Though many of us possess a competitive spirit, our relationships with each other, and the ability to grow personally, have mattered more than “winning.” We have trusted each other to get things done, because as leaders this is what we do. It’s incredible to think of the potential that this group has, as individuals, to emerge as future business and world leaders.
I found that these three similarities helped foster a shared connection with one another. This foundation allowed us to be even more open to each other’s differences—and this was where the true learning, laughing, and growing happened.
The uncertainty we are all feeling now is familiar; it was with us 11 months ago. Since then we have built a life and a family far from home, so it makes sense that we are afraid to disrupt this once again. But we are curious, resilient, risk-taking leaders, remember? We are all in; we got this!
Kickstart your career in Europe’s biggest startup cluster by studying at Hult’s London business school. To find out more, take a look at our blog My Masters in International Business: Looking back on a life-changing year. Download a brochure or get in touch today to find out how Hult can help you to learn about the business world, the future, and yourself.