In just a few weeks we will meet the SOM Class of 2014 and if their Chatter group is any indication, there are a lot of nontraditional backgrounds. In fact, based on 2013's palette of internship choices and 2012's range in full-time placements, nontraditional appears to be the norm at SOM. To be clear, consulting and financial services still boast the highest absolute number of interns, but the spread of industry and function interests is truly amazing.
In keeping with keeping it real my big realization over the last few months was the importance of soft skills. Yes, I did attend the networking workshop, went to coffee chats and wrote “thank you” emails. I am talking about the Business-school type soft skills – the common interests that lead to interactions outside the office and build rapport. Worry not, SOM clubs pick up where the curriculum leaves off.
After a brief break during which I visited 3 more countries I am back with the long-awaited recap on our Vietnam experience. As I mentioned in my previous blog, Vietnam felt like a different world after Bangladesh. A country so close, with similar natural resources was decades ahead in terms of development. One reason may be that there are half as many people living on double the land mass as compared to Bangladesh, but as we soon came to learn - centralized ruling may also have something to do with it.
This year's Economic development-focused IE is, sadly, halfway through. We just completed our first full day in Vietnam after spending almost a week in Bangladesh and the difference in level of development is striking even at first glance.Our Bangladesh visits spanned the entire spectrum of key organizations in the development world - from luxury office buildings in Dhaka to factories in the export district and communities in remote rural villages.
Writing this from an authentic Bangkok hostel with 8 minutes of coin-prepaid internet remaining on the dial I wanted to introduce myself and lead into the series of International Experience (IE) posts we will all be contributing over the next 3 weeks from different corners of the world. My official IE trip begins on Monday the 6th in Dhaka and will continue through rural Bangladesh and into Vietnam. Our professor and TAs have put together an amazing schedule of diverse visits and a Bonsai River cruise for treat.