The life of a PhD student is indeed a journey that molds one’s character through perseverance, time management, restraint, and patience. It is now summer in New York, which means it is time to begin my scheduled courses at St. John’s University. This will be my very first set of face-to-face classes, and I’m quite excited to meet and learn from my fellow classmates and professors.

One great aspect of the PhD program I’ve encountered is its rich diversity of students, alumni, and professors. What is also impressive is the camaraderie among fellow students. I had recently completed a three-credit online course and was surprised when I received an email from a student who is now taking the same course. She was seeking information on the textbook and decided to reach out to me for help. I provided the information she requested and wished her good luck, to which she responded that we have to meet up in Paris soon so she can personally thank me for my help. I really felt it was a minor deed, but later came to the realization that we are all in this journey together, and as the saying goes, “it takes a village” to get to where we want to be.

Moreover, ISM has exceeded my expectations in terms of the high caliber of professors in its employ. The professors I’ve encountered thus far are experts in their respective fields, and it is encouraging to know that these very same experts are now part of my network of mentors and successful leaders.

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