Santa Clara University. These three words mean a LOT to me. They mean more the three letters they gave me in my resume – MBA.
Born and raised in a very small town in southern India, I come from a culture and a community that is nowhere similar to the culture and community I currently live in the Bay Area of California.
In my first quarter at MBA at Santa Clara University in Fall 2006, there wasn’t a single day that I did not think that I was making a mistake. I felt that I did not (and maybe, could not) “fit in”. If you know me or have met me in the past couple of years, you will not believe even a single ounce of what I’ve said here so far.
So what changed? I did.
I opened up my mind to fight the challenges I faced throughout this transition. I fought those stereotypes that many people used in order to identify me. I got out of my comfort zone. I did things that I wouldn’t have normally done, such as – ask a Product Manager or a Product Marketing Manager out for a coffee or lunch, so I could learn what a day in their life looks like. I learned to ask questions, and a lot of them. I became less afraid of asking questions, even if I thought they were stupid questions. One of the industry experts that spoke at an event told me there were NO stupid questions. I always remembered that – no one will help unless you ask!
So, today, why do I revisit this stage from my past? Santa Clara University. Those three words. And few more: Women in Business Conference.
SCU hosts the Annual Women in Business Conference and I am very honored to be a panelist in one of the workshops this year where we get to share our experiences with the attendees.
If you are in the Bay Area this weekend and can spend your precious Saturday with us on-campus at SCU, I cordially invite you to register and come by to share your experiences with us and the current MBA students at SCU.