Babson Partners’ Program Taking Giant Strides – Megha Pandit
“Change is hard at first, messy in the middle and gorgeous at the end.” We couldn’t agree more with Robin Sharma! Change came to me first when I, hailing from the south of India, got married to a Kashmiri (Kashmir is the northern tip of India) and then moved to the west of India. I had what I thought was the biggest culture shock of my life until my husband, Ashutosh Pandit, got accepted to the two-year MBA program at here Babson. I was moving to the other side of the planet! A change in culture, language, lifestyle, food, traffic rules, and people – I wasn’t half sure if I would be able to face it! It was pretty unsettling at the time.
Apart from being here on a dependent Visa, and on a first time visit to the United States, I was an introvert. I arrived on campus a month after my husband’s MBA classes had begun. I was informed about the Partners’ Club meet that was to be held three days later. After much hesitation, and my husband buoying me up to meet people on campus, I attended the meet. Candidly, that meeting changed my perspective of being an ‘otherwise-helpless-dependent-Visa holder’! I was surprised by the warmth and encouragement I received from each one of the partners and students at the meet. I learnt about the numerous opportunities I had on campus, to invest my time in.
The beauty of the campus is motivation enough to step out of the house and take a refreshing walk; not to forget the safety assurance from the police cars that patrol throughout the day. Being an artist, I was particularly awestruck by the spectacular hues of the fall foliage littered throughout the campus, and to my pleasant surprise despite the limited choices for vegetarians in restaurants in Boston, my husband and I have always enjoyed our short trips to the city.
As partners, apart from access to a plethora of facilities such as the library, gym, arts and sporting facilities, and health and public safety services, we also have a choice to participate and volunteer for clubs and events that are held all year round. I had participated in the Rapid Holiday Prototyping event that included making gingerbread houses, holiday ornaments and colouring line art pieces from colouring books. I relived my childhood while I coloured the artwork. The cookies and hot chocolate at the event can never go unmentioned!
First year at grad school can be overwhelming for the students, with demanding coursework and largely diverse study groups that call for quick adjustment. While the first year students were stressing themselves out working on their respective group dynamics for their final Strategy exam, the second year students secretly made arrangements to distribute bags of goodies to break the monotony and stress. I helped them shop and pack the goodies and also accompanied them to distribute the bags. It gave me immense satisfaction in seeing those stressful faces curve into smiles on receiving the goodies.
I could acclimate to life at Babson as a Partner surprisingly quickly, courtesy The Babson Partners’ Club and the Graduate Student Council. The clubs work tirelessly in ensuring that the students and their partners get nothing but the best. The clubs are great platforms to build relationships, share ideas, develop skills and have a lot of fun together! My husband is a part of the Graduate Student Council (GSC) and I was surprised when the GSC invited me too to attend the meetings. Now, I too am a part of the student body and look forward to the weekly meetings. I am glad to be able to contribute, in a small way, to various activities at Babson. Being associated with the Partners’ Club has given me many opportunities to learn and improve my skills and express my thoughts on enhancing the Babson Partner experience. While the resume workshops and seminars strengthened my professional side, events such as Salsa Night and apple picking kept me entertained and connected to the other Babson partners.
As a partner, I am now part of a one-of-a-kind community of entrepreneurs making a mark around the globe. Although we moved here for my husband to do his MBA, I confidently say that I have gained as much from this experience, thus far, as he has. After six months at Babson, I look back only to realize that my transition into becoming a “Babson Partner” has been gorgeous all the way – in the beginning, in the middle, and I’m sure will remain beautiful through to the end!