I've officially made it halfway through the MBA Program with ISM. It couldn't have come at a better time as I make my way back to my US hometown of Akron, Ohio. Ohio in the summertime is a magical place to be, boasting sunny skies, beautiful lakes surrounded by serene forests and an abundance of lively summer festivals. Not only is it truly picturesque, there is also always something fun to do. Not to mention the most important thing: that I get to wind down and relax with my family and friends....

... Which is exactly what I needed. These past six months have been quite difficult, and they culminated in the two particularly challenging past weeks which I spent in NYC. There, we had two weeks of intensive classes held at The Baruch College, right downtown in Manhattan. In addition to getting taught by some truly inspirational professors, the trip gave us the opportunity to discover the culture and way of life of one of the world's most unique cities. As I've said in my previous posts, I've visited NYC before but was not too fond of it. This time around, however, I got to do a little bit more exploration of the city and what it has to offer: I took the subway, walked around the 9/11 memorial, saw the statue of liberty, but also tried to experience the life of a daily New Yorker by going out to restaurants and local bars, or catching some sun in the parks on the weekend.

Stepping outside of the tourist's perspective of the city, I was able to see just how different life in New York and life in Paris really are. I have to give it to those living in NYC: compared to the generally relaxed and leisurely atmosphere of Paris, the hustle and bustle of NYC – not to mention the cost of living – can be quite hard to manage. They really are two different worlds; while each city presents its own pros and cons, they are both, in their own way, exciting and fulfilling places to be. I wish I could have stayed for another weekend longer, to give me time to explore a bit more of NYC. I didn't get to visit any of the great museums the city has to offer and, even though Paris has The Louvre, I would have loved to have seen The Met. This time around though, I definitely saw NYC in a different way- as somewhere a little bit more spectacular - and I really came to feel at home there as I lived out my big, new adventure in the heart of the city.

At this time, I'm finishing out the break in Ohio before returning to Paris to begin the last part of my MBA. This small break is just what I needed to recharge my batteries before starting another intense round of courses and developing my thesis. Although the bulk of the courses were in the beginning of the year, it's time for me to get to work on my summer assignments, finding an internship and writing and researching my thesis proposal. Until then, though, you'll find me on the beach!

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