By Tanushree Mitra, MBA’23
Sometimes I wake up and my first thought is “I didn’t get enough sleep.” Then, I look at my to-do list and realize I don’t have enough time to get halfway through it. I go to the bus stop and discover that I missed the bus. Later, I come home to realize that I had missed an assignment submission.
You get the picture: It’s easy to go through days feeling like you’re never wealthy enough, thin enough, or successful enough. When we compare what we have with what everyone else has, it becomes a draining cycle that always ends in the same conclusion: “Wish I did something more.”
For the moments when this self-doubting mentality crops up, I’ve found one simple tool to be helpful: The gratitude jar. A gratitude jar is a fun way to create reminders of all the blessings in our lives. Essentially, it’s a place to record and store everything you’re thankful for.
Over the last 27 years, I have had a lot of moments in my life that I have felt thankful for, but the Kelley MBA journey is easily the top 3. Not only will I leave with a degree from one of the most well-known schools in the country but also with a sense of belonging, lifelong friends, a strong community, and just a feeling of settlement. So, here is a list of my Kelley gratitude jar!
I am thankful for gaining such a rich holistic experience that made me grow in all spheres of life. The Kelley program not only has academic advancement opportunities but also opportunities to just have fun. Coming from India, I had never experienced a Tailgate. Frankly, I didn’t even know what it was. Only to find out that in American football you actually don’t use your foot, I was ecstatic to experience a big part of the American culture. Tailgates are my favorite as you get to giggle and mingle with all your classmates in a fun open space. Even though I thought I knew what I was expecting out of an MBA program, I never thought the people and the events would become a significant part of my memory.
I am thankful for the success that I was able to achieve because of the Kelley MBA. I had a great summer internship at Amazon in Seattle, and I am grateful to get the opportunity to go back there full-time. This gives me a sense of security and a feeling of settlement. The Amazon experience was something that would cherish for a lifetime. Due to COVID, it had been a while since I had physically been to work and experienced the complete corporate life. Yes, ZOOM meetings are fine, but nothing beats the experience of getting ready in the morning to leave for work, packing your lunch, working in your assigned office space, chit-chatting with your colleagues, turning around, and knowing you have your manager to answer your questions, going out on team outings, taking coffee/lunch breaks and coming back feeling content and fulfilled. The cherry on the top of the cake was having my Kelley family with me in Seattle. I didn’t even once feel alone in a new city. We explored Seattle together, went out on lunches/dinners, heard everyone’s internship stories, and just had fun together.
I am thankful for the achievements that make my parents, family, and friends proud of me. Born and brought up in India, it was never easy for me to leave my people and move to another part of the world. I miss them every day, all day. But what makes me sleep peacefully at night is knowing that they are proud of me. They have seen me grow, they have seen my challenges and successes and they are the most important part of my journey. I would have not been the person I am without their love, support, and trust. The Kelley journey would have been incomplete without them being by my side always. The structure of the MBA program is such that you find time to go and meet your family during summer, spring, or winter break. I grabbed all possible chances and took a 16-hour flight back to India only to see my people. Spending 2-3 weeks at home, helped me recharge and get back to the grind with newfound energy.
I am thankful to the Kelley network that helped me advance professionally. I have been part of the Cornell case competition, where we secured 3rd position. It was a dream come true as Kelley sponsored our teams’ trip to New York, where we could present in person to the judges, who were renowned professionals from big companies. We also competed against top universities from across the country. Further through my Business Marketing Academy, I was part of the MBA consulting team for Ecolab. We created a Go-to-market strategy for their hand care division. I felt the value of our insights when leaders from Ecolab came personally to Bloomington to listen to our recommendations for their business. The professors, the alumni, the MBA office, and of course your classmates are the biggest asset that comes with the Kelley MBA program. I am grateful and thankful for the journey I have embarked upon. It’s a lifetime of beautiful memories.