Everything you need to know before joining
“Singapore, France, Dubai, Sydney”, I routinely say. “”That’s great!” or “I’m so jealous!” are the subsequent replies I get most of the time. It’s funny how everyone I meet has the same reaction, and I immediately know what runs through their minds. Like a 36 inch TV, the immediate Marina Bay Sands, Eiffel Tower, Burj Khalifa, and Sydney Opera house radiate from their tantalized eyes. I know because I was once there. Yet, I know, that was not all.
You see SP Jain gives you the opportunity to study in at least three countries for months in different countries. Such an opportunity we know usually happens after academic life and not during. Yes, learning business around the world gives you a competitive advantage in your resume. But oh, how the pamphlets and advertising this school markets are all understatements, I tell you.
On a frigid Berlin morning, I was on a city tour packed with friends, guts, and warm coffee. My exchange to France had, in fact, allowed me to explore nearby European countries. And so, there I was, fronting the remains of the once Berlin Wall. Like an echo coming from the structure, a sudden call in my empty mind resonated. My grandmother once told me that the mole near my ankle would take me many places. The 10-year old me just shrugged, “Heck, I’m just gonna stay in the Philippines forever.” In retrospect, I think it was the greatest gift my grandmother gave me. This blessing. This sort of hint of clairvoyance which so casually slipped out of her tongue. Then I realized I was not travelling for the façade. I was a travelling scholar. An insatiable erudite, if you will.
The Berlin Wall spoke to me stories of separated families, endless torture, and of brave souls that brought it down. The graffiti was immensely striking. Though I was born in a different era, and in a different country, somehow, I was in the midst of the uprising. I was shouting “democracy!” I was crying out for love. I was praying for peace. Imagine that…
No amount of history courses could ever transfer the vicarious experience of “being in the moment”. This is why I have grown to love the world and its wonders. Yes, look at the tourist attractions, take pictures and study hard. But as you submerge yourself in the midst of the sights and relics, breathe the air of the present which was once the past. Gaze into the concrete walls of the city or even the dull grass of its parking lots. Listen to the unpatterned footsteps in the metro stations. Each city is layered with stimuli, waiting to at least tingle your soul. And to be honest, it is a sensation that is priceless in many ways.
Find this in your travels. Get to the deep core of what its people and history have to share. This is why SP Jain is unique; you will be overwhelmed by the secrets of metropolitan Singapore, Dubai, Sydney, and maybe another city for exchange. With your academic studies comes a greater learning, learning which feeds the soul.
[Professor Alesa, now I fully understand “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.”]