By Bhaskar Mishra, MBA’23
The Kelley full-time MBA has been one of the best experiences in my life. It was a dream come true for me as I had a long-time wish to formally learn business in the company of talented and humble people. I was blown away by the talent as well as the humility of people around me at Kelley. Being an engineer by education and profession, I wanted to learn business, holistically, to grow in my career. I decided to study in the US, away from my home country, India, to gain international experience to build a global perspective of doing business.
India to Indiana: When I arrived in Bloomington, Indiana, in the summer of 2021, the transition wasn’t easy. The way of life in the US is very different from that in India. There is no auto-rickshaw in every street to take me to faraway places for a couple of dollars. There is no grocery shop in front of my house that can home deliver at a phone call. There is no affordable domestic help that can take care of my household chores. But, I was surprised by the frequent Indian faces on the campus of Indiana University and in general, in Bloomington. I often joke that before applying to IU, Indians probably didn’t read the address of the University close enough to effectively distinguish between Indiana and India. There is a common experience among international students coming to Bloomington – we get extraordinary support from the 2nd years, MBA staff and faculty, and alumni. They are available to help in any way they can. Obviously, they cannot do the household chores for me 😊. So, I learned to do them on my own to become a self-dependent person. Gradually, I figured out the way of life here. Bloomington is a lovely global college town where I feel perfectly at home now. I am yet to try the wide array of global cuisines available in the restaurants of Bloomington. As a vegetarian, I feel proud of the restaurants that often have lacto-vegetarian, ovo-vegetarian and vegan options.
Intimidating Yet Irresistible: While the change of location was challenging, the academics at Kelley are rigorous, especially The Core Semester (the first semester in MBA). You will hear several anecdotes of core semester from current students and alumni. There are many things that students try to achieve simultaneously – mandatory courses, career development, networking events, club events, and much more. For several weeks, I felt that I was always on the run and felt down for not being able to be perfect at anything. But, the support of peers, faculty and staff was amazing. I never felt alone in the journey. My Core Team members were always there to help me be successful. The quality of the academic experience is extraordinary at Kelley. Even when I am tired and have many other things to do, I make it a point to attend classes as they energize me and hence, I learn a lot from them. The professors are amazing at facilitating discussions on complex cases and theoretical topics. Peers from around the world and with diverse professional backgrounds enrich the experience of every activity. I am always awed by the talent and enthusiasm of anyone I come across at Kelley. As a part of our final Core Semester consulting project, everyone came up with innovative recommendations for Sacred Serve, a plant-based gelato brand created by a Kelley MBA alum, Kailey Donewald.
If you are someone like me who is constantly on the search for more varied experiences, there are organizations and departments in IU, outside Kelley, that you can get involved with. In the beginning of fall semester, when everyone arrives on the campus, IU-wide organizations come together at Student Involvement Fair to create awareness about opportunities to get involved in activities. Clubs and organizations in all dimensions of activities – arts, sciences, culture, activism, athletics, recreation, and many more – set up kiosks at the fair to help us decide whether to join them. Subsequently, I found that The Media School allows students from any school at IU to be a part of animation work done by the animation students as a part of their coursework. I applied for this opportunity and was fortunate to assist animation students as an actor for Facial Capture and Motion Capture. I acted even though I am not a trained actor because experiences like these help me be comfortable in the uncomfortable and ambiguous situations in life. I met with new people and heard their interesting stories that I may have never heard otherwise. Also, they help me broaden my perception of this world, invoking a sense of respect for everyone’s unique qualities and work.
Since, the time I have arrived in Bloomington, I am in love with the beauty of this place. Whatever time is left after doing everything I explained above (which means, almost no spare time), I try to slow down to observe the natural and architectural beauty of the campus and other places in B-town (another name for Bloomington). The views are breathtakingly beautiful during rain, fall, and snow. I have yet to experience spring in Bloomington. But, I have been told that the flower blooms on the campus look lovely. And yes, no one can miss the iconic Sample Gates, the adjacent Dunn Woods, Eskenazi Museum, and Showalter Fountain.
Life at Kelley and in Bloomington is full of learnings, fun, and invaluable connections. Do reach out to a Hoosier Host to know more about the Kelley MBA program and life in Bloomington. Go Hoosiers!