A Sternie has been born
It's been some time since my last post. A couple of weeks indeed. I would have loved writing something before my the last couple of weeks have been pretty hectic.
I arrived in NYC on August 14th. I stayed at a friend's place for a few days since I couldn't move into my new place until a few days later. Those days were pretty good though, since I made good use of them to get rid of some boring stuff such as Stern administrative requirements, getting a cell phone or opening a bank account. It's amazing how important is in the US to have a social security number, you can hardly do anything without it: signing a cell phone contract (in the end I had to pay a 500 bucks deposit as security), renting an apartment (that`s why I'm living on campus) or opening a bank account (no credit card offered, for sure). It's a non-sense. I have had to demonstrate financial resources to get my student visa to get into the US but such documents mean nothing in terms of purposes like the ones above....
On August 21 the program started. It may be more accurate to say that what is called the pre-term started. Two weeks of different activities with one main purpose: get to know your MBA colleagues. Now that I'm about to finish this pre-term (tomorrow is the last day), I have to say that I'm still amazed and even happier than expected about my Stern choice. One of the main motives upon which I took my decision to come to Stern over some other top schools was the great sensations that the people that I met transmitted me when I came for the interview. Now that I have become a Sternie, I can say that the people I have met in these two weeks are great. I couldn't feel happier. And this aspect is key to me.
The first day of the pre-term was only for international students (around 130 or so). As of the second day, it was for the whole intake of around 400 people. It was kind of a shock to meet so many people all of a sudden....and a big mess. I'm pretty bad with names and faces, so just imagine what it is like to meet dozens of new people from very diverse backgrounds every single day. The day after you harly remember not just the name but also if you had talked to a soecific guy.
As I said before, the pre-term esentially is about getting to know the people and getting used to what is going on in the school. And everything is incredibly well organized. Maybe for those of you who have studied in the US it won't make a difference but I can assure that it jhas little to do with my home country. If I had known about it maybe I would have come to the US for my undergrad!!
The activities of the pre-term have been diverse. Every single day has been sponsored by a big company, ranging from Citigroup to L'oreal or Unilever, to mention a few. Every single day there has been a speaker (i.e. and Stern alum) from the sponsoring company giving us some pieces of advise. We have also had lots of cocktails and lunches to get to know each other. Alumni and MBA2's have shared their views with us. The Office of Career Development has given a good bunch of presentations and workshops to start thinking about our job search. And, of course, there's been a lot of socializing, including tickets for a Mets game or the tennis US Open (cancelled due to the rain, unfortunately), a scavenger hunt around the Village and, above all, lots of subsidized drinks in different bars every single day after the daily sessions. I'm so tired now!!! But it feels great, though!
In terms of academics, the 400 of us have been divided into six blocks of around 65 people each. Then, each block is divided in study groups of 5 or 6 students. I can say that I'm extremely happy about my buddies. It's the 6 of us, two international and 4 americans, all with different backgrouns and cultures. And really friendly!! If I think about it, I am still amazed by how well we get along and by how much time we're spending together. For instance, today we have been doing some rehersal for tomorrow's talent show and then we've gone to a thai restaurant for dinner and I just arrived home a few minutes ago. In the end, it's gonna be true what is said about one's longlife friendships from an MBA.
Tomorrow the pre-term will finish with what is called the "Booze Cruise" around the Hudson river. Needless to explain, I guess. And then, all of a sudden, we will have to start working hard on Tuesday (Monday is bank holiday). We have not even started our classes and we have already received emails from professors with assignments...let's see if we first get the books!
I think this is enough to draw the lines of my new life as an Sternie. I'll keep trying to tell what this amazing experience is going to be like.