Scary news is you are on your own now, but the cool news is you are on your own now!
Moving abroad all by yourself and adapting to a new chapter in your life can be quite daunting, yet fun at the same time. As an introvert, initiating conversations with strangers has always been a challenge for me. Hence, on my first day at LBS, stepping into a classroom with 96 students from around the world, where I knew no one but myself, was undeniably a daunting experience.
Who would have thought that it would take only 10 minutes to strike up a friendship with the person sitting next to me? Not me! In fact, it was extremely reassuring to eventually realize that it’s okay to take your time and gradually step out of your comfort zone.
One of my favorite memories at LBS is the Away day, where we got to participate in group activities! From solving puzzles to taking a leap on the trapeze, the vibrant and fun-packed experience exceeded my expectations! What made it truly special was the opportunity to connect more deeply with my study group members, which became a cornerstone, fostering effective collaboration and initiating lifelong friendships.
I really loved how LBS encouraged us to get to know each other at a deeper level by organizing group consultation sessions as part of one of the Masters in Management’s core courses. This helped us break down barriers, allowing us to open up and gain insights into each group member’s strengths and weaknesses, ultimately creating a well-balanced and cohesive group dynamic.
Events such as Sundowners and the Fall Festival were instrumental in broadening my network and connecting with students from other programs at LBS. After enduring numerous 8 am classes and countless deadlines, attending Sundowners on Thursdays became more than just an event – it became a vital necessity!
Also, at LBS you can join a variety of clubs as well as sign up for events that align with your interests. Just because you’re here for studying doesn’t mean you’re limited to attending information sessions or geopolitical talks. You can sign up for activities like a tour around Tate Modern or a soothing music session. It’s entirely up to you.
At LBS you never walk alone
When I talk about the community at LBS, a common phrase I use is, You never have to navigate the journey alone; there’s always support whenever you seek it.
During the first term, it wasn’t always smooth sailing for me. Nobody warned me about the challenges I would face in understanding the basic concepts of finance and accounting due to coming from a non-business background. Struggling despite putting in significant effort can fuel imposter syndrome, making you question if you truly belong here.
In an environment as competitive as LBS, filled with exceptionally diligent and bright individuals, it’s natural to fear judgment. However, to my surprise, after mustering the courage to seek help from friends and classmates in the first month, I was met with an overwhelming amount of support and no judgment whatsoever. I recall one friend expressing, “I truly admire your efforts in stepping out of your comfort zone and working hard, especially coming from a completely different background.” While a simple statement, it significantly boosted my confidence and motivated me to push myself even further.
From this community, I have learned a crucial lesson: true success involves not just prioritizing personal growth but also contributing to the development of those around you. Healthy competition, in essence, means pushing one another to become better versions of themselves.
Additionally, LBS provides free consultation services for students. This can be especially valuable for those dealing with the stresses of relocating to a new country or simply coping with the pressures of academic life. Like I mentioned earlier – there’s always support whenever you seek it.
Navigating your career
I remember a career coach emphasizing how students’ career trajectories tend to evolve throughout the program, often diverging from the plans they initially outlined in their applications. It wasn’t until the end of the first term that I realized the truth of this statement.
It’s quite common for students to enter the program with a fixed idea of their career path. However, surprisingly, I’ve seen many of my classmates undergo a transformation in their career plans over time. One significant factor contributing to this shift is the transition from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset.
Before joining LBS, many students tend to narrow their focus to one or two popular industries, assuming that’s the right path. However, as you embark on your journey at LBS, you gradually become aware of untapped potential within yourself. This newfound confidence becomes instrumental in deciding on a career path that brings genuine enjoyment.
For me, the sessions organized by the LBS Career Centre played a crucial role in enhancing my understanding of my capabilities. They also emphasized the importance of embracing change as a component of personal growth, allowing me to strategically plan my career with this perspective in mind.
Attending networking sessions with alumni across diverse industries and employer presentations hosted by various companies significantly contributed to expanding my professional network. Furthermore, one of the privileges of being a part of this community is that you can always reach out to alumni for career advice, and they are always ready to help!
Falling in Love with London
What came as a surprise to me was falling in love with London within just two months! Of course, London has a reputation for its gloomy weather! But once you move to London, you realize, this city has so much to offer!
Living in a global city means experiencing cultures from around the world, providing an expanding experience. It’s fascinating to observe how people from different corners of the globe share similarities while also maintaining their uniqueness!
London ensures you are never short of options, catering to a wide range of preferences. The plethora of experiences available can be overwhelming when deciding what to explore next. As an introvert, I naturally gravitate towards serene spaces and nature. Weekend walks in parks and visits to bookshops are one of my favorite things to do! After a bustling week, a leisurely coffee walk serves as the perfect remedy to refresh my mind.
One thing about LBS is its insistence on pushing individuals, even those like myself who find it challenging, to step outside their comfort zones. This process, while initially daunting, leads to remarkable changes in one’s personality. From feeling intimidated in crowded rooms to gaining the confidence to initiate conversations with anyone, the extent of this transformation within just three months is something I never anticipated.
Looking back now, I realize how crucial it was all along. As I am writing this blog, the second term has already started, and I can notice how lessons and experiences from the first term have contributed to my improved performance in the courses of the second term.
But for me, the most rewarding part is that walking into the class is no longer entering a room full of strangers; it has transformed into a room filled with familiar and friendly faces, which will be a part of the best memories of my life.
Written by Tithi Chowdhury MiM2024