ISM insight: Life as an ISM student

The ISM Student Blog provides insight into life at ISM. Bloggers are current students and recent alumni who are excited about sharing their diverse learning experiences in ISM’s programs. Explore this blog to learn more about life at ISM, and how the program benefits students in the long run. You may also want to follow ISM on Facebook or join the conversation on Twitter.

It was very hard in the beginning to come up with a topic for my thesis. I had numerous topics in mind that I wanted to write about. I was torn on which topic and direction that I should go in. I chose my topic, and my thesis adviser, Mark Esposito, approved it. This means that I could then move forward with the research and writing component.

It’s been over 10 years since the last time I lived in my home country. I lived in the United States and now, I live in Belgium. When I am asked today where my home is, I am not able to answer. Is it the town where I grew up, Prague, Denver or Brussels? People say your home is where your heart is. My heart seems to be spread across all the places I have lived in.This leads me to believe that in today’s globalized world, when many of us often move to new places for work, school or any other reason, we become citizens of the world.

Petra Zlota

The ISM seminars in Paris are conducted over three consecutive days with eight hours of lectures per day. It's basically 24 hours in total (including breaks), which are spent on one subject. Every student needs to stay focused to absorb as much information as possible. This can be straining not only for the students, but also for the professor. The overall experience of the seminar very much depends on professor's approach and the level of preparation. They need to take into consideration not only the delivery of the required information, but also activities to engage the students and make the seminars dynamic.

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.

Moving back to Paris didn't even feel like an option for me. I knew after studying here in 2013 that I wasn't done with this city.

I decided to take a French course during my undergraduate studies. To be honest, I found it very challenging. The class met four days per week and required me to memorize a copious amount of material in a short amount of time. The semester ended, and I received a 'B' in the course, which was a big deal for me at the time. I decided I would not enroll the following semester.

Before sitting down to write this month's blog post, I did an extensive Google search for "well-known proverbs and quotes about time management". Why you ask? Because Father Time has essentially picked me up by my very thin and boring bootstraps, smacked me in the face, and shaken me up whether I was ready or not and has left me wondering to myself everyday how I'm going to pull my life off.

When I decided to go back for my MBA I had been out of college for a little over three years and my once young and lively energy has been drowned out by my overall acceptance of a mundane and routine lifestyle. I realized quickly that I was not prepared and I might add that I'm still not prepared to be a student again.

Petra Zlota

Being a student in the IEMBA program, I have some flexibility to create my own schedule so that I can study while working full time. However, it is essential for me to plan ahead. For that reason, I devoted the first month at ISM to planning. I signed up for classes for the next 7 months, familiarized myself with the schools' online platform and all the tools we have available to us, as well as working on my first assignment.

Very soon after I was accepted to the program, I received all the necessary information and had my first advising session with Matthew Andrews, the Executive Academic Advisor, which was very helpful and set me on the right path for the upcoming year. In addition, the school's librarian, Judy Knight, welcomed me to the school and introduced me to the services the library and she offer. Soon after, I had the opportunity to try the services first hand and they were helpful!

Petra Zlota

After getting to know more about my study program and the school itself, I must say there is truly a reason why the school has the word "international" in the name.

In one of my previous blogs, I already mentioned the possibility of studying in 6 different countries (including France) during the program, which was one of the major factors why I decided to study at this school.

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