Spanning the Americas—the people you meet

By: Lavan Kalaichelvam, EMBA Americas ’18
Spanning the Americas—the people you meet

Reflecting back on my time at grad school, I almost can’t believe the amount of knowledge I have acquired, the numerous projects that have been completed, the countless hours spent reading, and the various in-class sessions attended. With one more weekend boardroom class to go, and one more Residential Session to attend, I’m nearing the homestretch of my MBA program.

Fall has come in full force, and I still remember the first weeks of my MBA journey. With the weather cooling down, the leaves changing, and the blissful autumn air filling my lungs, I know that even though the seasons have changed, one thing has been constant: the growing friendships among my MBA classmates. One irrefutable fact is that pursuing an MBA in the Executive MBA Americas program has brought me some of the most important friendships I’ve developed in my life.

Pursuing your MBA as part of the Americas program immerses you in an eclectic environment designed to foster amazing friendships that will be with you for life.

You will meet passionate people

Classes are designed to help you work as a team and hone in on your leadership skills. Seeing my teammates every other weekend allowed me to really get to know them. During project work we took turns leading different aspects and really combined our efforts to strengthen teamwork. We also arranged to meet every other week for school-related work and usually got together for dinner afterward. This allowed us to get to know each other on a personal level. From finance to technology, I learned a lot about my classmates’ careers and their different industries. Being in close contact with your team allows you to foster local relationships and build ties to a network of various industries in your community.

You will meet an eclectic group of people

Diversity in our class is unmatchable. I’ve met interesting people from different backgrounds and remarkable paths. Learning the stories of my classmates has inspired me to reach my full potential. Meeting people from all walks of life and careers has broadened my scope of networks and has helped me understand how to work with an eclectic array of friends.

Cornell Campus during a Residential Session
Cornell Campus during a Residential Session

You will meet humble people

Meeting military personnel in my class has taught me about discipline and service. Hearing the stories of my hardworking colleagues made me realize the sacrifices they have made and the balance they have attained in attending school and being veterans. Being around such loyal people has encouraged some of my most motivating friendships.

You will create an MBA family

Through my MBA program, I’ve met people from all over North America and Mexico—and the classmates I’ve met, coming from different cultures and experiences, have really enriched my journey at school. Meeting up at the Residential Sessions have led to memorable dinners, social nights out, and impromptu excursions that we still reminisce about. In the process of studying for exams, preparing essays, and attending lectures with my diverse class, I feel like I developed an MBA family composed of friends I communicate with on a daily basis.

I hope to reach new heights through the friendships I’ve developed. Our careers and pursuits are strengthening by learning diverse viewpoints, and I want to use these newfound views to reach unprecedented goals with my MBA. Our next step is planning our Global Business Trip that I’m sure will be a memorable learning experience with my team.

Pursuing my MBA has cultivated great relationships and friendships that I envision will continue long after graduation. I’m so fortunate to be immersed in a class with the brightest and bravest minds. Being a part of Johnson and the Smith School in this dual degree program has made me so proud to be a representative of the diverse and amazing group of students that comprise the Americas Class of 2018.

Learn more about the Executive MBA Americas Program