At the beginning of January, I attended the first of the many seminars I have planned to take this year in Paris. Although this wasn't my first trip to Paris, it was the first time I went to the International School of Management.
About two months in advance of every seminar, all the necessary documents, including the syllabus, required reading, pre-seminar assignments and other needed documents are posted on the school's learning management system for students called "MyISM". This gives students enough time to be well prepared for seminars.
All the thoughts and imaginations I had about my first seminar in Paris were primarily about the school and classroom setting, as well as the interactions with my new MBA colleagues and the professor. It reminded me of the feelings of excitement I used to have at the beginning of every semester of my undergraduate degree studies in the United States. I must admit that the actual experience of the first seminar in Paris far exceeded my imaginations and expectations.
Paris is only a short train ride for me so I took a train in the morning of the first day of the seminar. After arriving in Paris, I transferred to the metro line to get to the school. When I walked out of the metro station, I looked for signs with street names on the buildings to help me get oriented in the area. Standing in a small square, I looked up at buildings ahead of me and then I saw the Eiffel Tower majestically standing in the distance behind the buildings.
Since I had some time before the seminar, I decided to have a small breakfast at a café just by the square. It seemed to be a place where locals go to have their morning coffee and croissant just before starting their day. It was fun to immerse myself a bit in the life of a Parisian.
I arrived at the school still a little early so I had a chance to meet a few of my colleagues. Everyone was nice and friendly, which provided for a great start of the 3-day seminar. The seminar was very interesting and together with the pre-seminar assignment and readings, I gained a good knowledge and understanding of the subject and learned how to apply it to practical examples. I was so happy to be back in school and learning.
Over the three days, I also met all my classmates, learned about their background and created friendships. In addition, I found some time to see more of Paris. The overall experience was great and I can't wait to go back for another seminar in February, study and interact with my MBA colleagues and experience more of what Paris has to offer.
Overall, my first month at ISM has been positive. I have also signed up for the international marketing class that is taught online as well as the international business law class that will be taught in the classroom in Paris at the beginning of January. I look forward to those experiences and will share some of them in my next blog posts.