Babson India Trip 2017 – Melissa Altarejos MBA ’17
As part of my two-year MBA experience, my classmates and I went on what seems to be now, a traditional, annual India trip for the second-year students at Babson. This is the second year running that Babson students have done an India trip. Seventy people (that’s right 7-0) and seventeen days full of laughter, bellies full of Indian food, and cell phones full of memories of what was a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. Between the temple in Bangalore, the boathouse in Cochin, the sunset in Mumbai, the architecture of Jaipur, the bus ride to Pushkar, the border ceremony near Amritsar, the Taj Mahal in Agra, and the shopping in Delhi, we learned a lot about each city’s historical sites, observed the unique environment all around us, and absorbed the customs and traditions we learned along the way. Our itinerary was packed, our schedule tight, yet we were barely scratching the surface of this amazing country. We spent time with friends in their native cities, dared to eat street food while constantly praying that this wasn’t the day you got sick, and ended the evenings in exhaustion (and celebration) from the affairs of the day.
While there is no denying the intellectual benefits of the travel experience—it broadens your view of the world, allows you to appreciate what we normally take for granted, and provides you with the potential to strengthen your sense of self—there is just something special about traveling with the same group of people who have gone through with you the rigorous experience of not being able to breathe the first year of grad school. The initial bond we had conceivably formed over those breathless moments strengthened the experiences we had abroad in dealing with what would be stressful situations. As we encountered those moments of never-ending bus rides, not-so-sanitary toilets, questionable meals, and grumpy tummies, we found ourselves readied for battle, prescribing to the irony and preparing for our next endeavor.
Babson teaches you to embrace ambiguity. I believe that there is no better teacher of the ambiguity we will face after graduation than embracing the adventures of travel.