Settling first-time jitters to feel the exciting journey ahead

26 October 2022

Kaitlin Ha explores how she found the first few weeks of the Full-time MBA programme, living in a new country, making new friends and starting lectures. 

There was a huge knot in my stomach, and I felt the dryness of my mouth as I walked onto campus, luggage bags in tow, and my sister giving me reinforcing words of encouragement. Where one door closes another one opens, and this must be the biggest door I’ve ever stepped into. Looking back one last time, I said goodbye to what was and said hello to what is now.

I left behind family, pets, and quiet life to pursue something that I felt was completely out of my reach. I dreamt of going to graduate school in another country, learning a new culture, and progressing as a person. With rejection after rejection, COVID-19 struck, and I had to re-evaluate my situation. Having a job where I had peaked and a life where I felt stuck, I felt it was time to do something different and out of my safety bubble. Making a long list of business schools, I found Warwick Business School (WBS) at the top. Its core values resonated with me, and I knew this is where I wanted to be. If was going to leave my life behind to pursue higher education, I wanted to do it on my own terms. WBS not only made me feel like I stood a chance, but it also gave me a sense of belonging.

On my first day, standing at the entrance to induction, I was terrified and filled with wonder. Taking a deep breath, I walked in, and felt this overwhelming presence from all the people in the room. So many nationalities were being represented, and I had no idea where to start. Filled with anxiety and feeling shy, I found myself walking up to someone at my table and, without hesitation, we started talking as if we were long-time friends. I knew that I was not the only person there feeling the same and with that, I bonded with others quickly as we headed to our intensive journey. Hearing from my professors about the long road ahead brought excitement and curiosity to the forefront of my mind.

Starting the first week, I was given a lot of reading and the lectures were not merely sit down and listen, but more interaction with my peers. Each week is filled with something different from learning about theories, framing, and leadership to industry festivals, networking, and career engagement activities. If I wasn’t spending half of my time reading, I was spending the rest working with my group, learning from their perspectives and engaging with the professors on case studies. Combining this all with people from investment banking, writers, and consulting, to philosophers and so many different backgrounds lead to a colourful learning experience.

The next eleven months are going to be a wild adventure; I haven’t the slightest idea where I may end up and that excites me. What I do know is that I will be busy with modules, travelling, and writing my dissertation, but I have a vast number of resources to get me through it all. With guidance from the careers team, fantastic professors, and encouragement from the WBS staff, I will make the most of this programme.

With this being my first time out of the country, starting anew, I have made a new family and found inspiration from everyone going through the MBA programme at WBS. I couldn’t ask for more.

Find out more about the Full-time MBA programme.

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