"What have I put myself into now?!!!" I thought to myself, slapping my forehead repeatedly. This was my state of mind as I pondered over the fact that I had to hand in my first MBA assignment in less than 3 weeks whilst working full time and leading my team of students into the next WorldMUN conference, being held in Brussels, half way across the world. Not only was it very far away from the land down under and I was experiencing terrible jet lag, but I had not written an academic paper for about ten years and so to say the least. I was a bit rusty. It was clear; I was officially in panic mode!
About a year ago I had decided that it was time to take the leap (a big one) to go back to school in Europe! I was going to undertake an MBA and France was the obvious choice being a French speaker and also an avid fan of everything French. I quickly settled on ISM Paris as a unique combination of a school with a global curriculum as well as a progressive, advanced system. With highly internationalized cohorts of students and a program that puts them first and gives them the opportunity to travel and study outside France, I knew that that was the institution I wanted to be a part of and study at.
I hence embarked on this journey and submitted my application keeping my fingers crossed. It all happened swiftly with great support from ISM staff and before I knew it, I was holding my offer letter! The dream was becoming more and more tangible and the excitement was building and then.... BAM! I found out that I had to submit my first assignment in a few weeks. I was totally unprepared and I had to act fast. Gathering the last few calm neurons that I had left I started working on my plan of action. I set up a daily timetable wherein I could devote a few hours to specific tasks such as research, reading, data collection and cross referencing which would help me in preparing for and writing up the dreaded assignment.
I found myself staying up late into the night, reading and writing most evenings after work and soon enough my weekends became a blur of books, library resources and notes. It was a race against the clock and I had to make the most of the time that I had available in order to submit my paper by the deadline. But to my surprise, I actually realized that I was starting to appreciate the topic I was researching. I had opened a door on this astounding amount of knowledge which had triggered a thirst for even more! The more I read, the more I wanted to know, and it all started to fall into place and the feeling was truly exhilarating! What had started off as a stressful task was turning into a fulfilling, invigorating experience. I completed my research and data gathering and soon after my paper was ready. After multiple edits and proofreading sessions, I decided that it was time to submit it (being dangerously close to remembering each and every word that I had written). I emailed the assignment through (hands shaking slightly) and did not think about it again (well that was the plan). I was still on the roller coaster, but this time it had stopped at the highest point of the ride and I was in it, looking down.