Summer is now in its last few weeks, and I’m reflecting on my accomplishments thus far. I recently attended three face-to-face courses this past July at St. John’s University in New York City. I was very surprised at the level of expertise each professor had in their field, and the intensity of the content they each delivered. 

The professors in all three courses successfully covered all the material they initially intended to. At the end of each course, I had expected to be bored and overwhelmed, but instead I was excited to return each consecutive session. I especially commend them for this as the seminars were only two or three days. Given that, I am now 3.5 credits closer to finishing my PhD.

I recently connected with Dr. Russell Zwanka, an ISM alum, on LinkedIn. I messaged him for advice on my journey. He encouraged me to take advantage of all face-to-face courses. He went on to explain the make-up of the sessions includes many industry leaders, but more importantly, I’ll be exposed to a great, diverse student body.

This advice couldn’t be any more valid, as I met students from all walks of life. The diverse backgrounds of my classmates were so wide-ranging that it enhanced my learning experience in ways that would have never occurred outside of this ISM program. It is truly fascinating to know that in just two weeks, I made so many connections that I am planning to soon meet with friends in Zimbabwe, London, Paris, Nigeria, and more. 

I’ve also collaborated with Dr. Khaled Zayed, another ISM alum, to create a business plan for ISM’s Pitch in Paris 2018. Dr. Zayed was auditing one of the summer courses I was attending, and we happened to be in the same group for discussions. One thing led to another, and we now hope that our business plan gets chosen so we can present our idea to the panel of judges in Paris!

But nonetheless, I will be in Paris in November for my next face-to-face course with Professor Jack Hampton. If New York is any indication of what Paris will be like, I can’t wait!

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