As an international student from China, I was amazed by the level of inclusiveness and diversity in Wharton community.
I was so scared at the start of this journey two years ago when I was about to start living in a new country for the first time in my life. I remembered the countless time during preterm, while I was holding drinks in my hands standing in parties awkwardly, thinking how am I able to thrive here if I don’t even understand what my classmates are talking about, how can I get As if I can hardly follow the jargons mentioned in class, and how can I contribute my unique experiences to this community if I have trouble sharing my stories in a second language. Indeed, I saw a wide gap between me and the glories MBA social life, with me trying to reach to the other side but feeling intimidated with too much self-doubt and hesitation.
The transformative journey of building my confidence and friendship in US and Wharton began from my learning team experience. Some might say that the six of us almost have nothing in common, yet we do share the common spirit of openness and empathy. Within the team, we had dinner with parents, attended weddings, helped each other with projects, coursework and recruiting. I know there is always a bond between us and they will always be there if I need a helping hand.
Some of my favorite small group experiences had the similar impact on me – they made me feel more welcomed and comfortable in this community with each deep and meaningful conversation. The small group processes course convinced me that no matter where we come from, we are all faced with similar emotions, struggles, and lifelong uncertainties. It brought out our deepest insecurity, fragility, and anxiety, mercilessly placing them in front of us to accept, absorb and reflect. Deep conversations brought me closer to the people I did not know, some of whom were previously misjudged by me based on stereotypes. P3 revealed a different side of my classmates and convinced me that life is never easy, yet we have to pick up a positive spirit to fight against any obstacles and enjoy this turbulent journey. In class, including marketing simulation, I began to take more active presenting roles in group projects as a stretch experience, and all my teammates are super supportive and helpful.
Treks including leadership venture, GMC, and global trips also enabled me to discover the wonderfulness of my fellow classmates. While sightseeing counts as important part of these trips, the number of things I learned from interaction with local people, external organizers as well as classmates traveling together weighed much more. They opened a window for me to observe and be a part of communities living tens of thousands of kilometers from me.
Throughout the two years, I began getting comfortable in group projects, coffee chats, drinks and diverse social events, thanks to the incredible people I met every day. Looking back two years ago at welcome weekend, I have grown much stronger and are more confident of my long-term career goal of establishing my own global business. Wharton made me believe that there’s no limit in human potential, and if one wants to do something, he can do it. We are never alone.
To all the friends and my classmates graduating today, you have been my family for the past two years and family members never separate apart. 朋友们有缘再会！