Sunday, September 16, 2007

Starting my 2nd Year at the GSB. Am I any different??

One week and I'll be back in the US. One week and I start my second year at the GSB. I wonder how different a person i am from the person i was a year ago.

I started school last year one month after getting married. A marriage that went through very rough labour and burdened me for the few months that followed.

I came with no working or academic experience other than the one i had in Egypt. I had never did any social or non-for-profit work. My academic experience was lecture based focused on hard sciences. I didn't know much about the silicon valley or the bay area, except that its' where things like Microsfot start - i wasn't aware that it was based in Seattle, and I had never met a venture capitalist in my life.

Almost all my friends and most of my aquaintences were Egyptians. I had never discussed or listened to someone disucss faith issues, whether they are cristians, jewes, or athiests, and I had never dicussed the middleast conflicts with Israelis. Also, I had never dealt with a person that I knew was gay.

Ironically, i start school this year one month after getting divorced. This experience is closed, nevertheless, its effects on how i experience future relations is still unknown to me.

My work experience was enriched with a 2 month internship in the US at one of the biggest interent companies and a shorter program at a non-profit startup in Kenya. I had a chance to listen to founders of famous startups speak as well as prominent VC's and in somecases had a chance to talk with them. I sat on so many case based classes and had my first economics classes. Now i can speak knowledgabley about strategy, positioning, and organizational culture.

I made a few friends from different places, like Lebanon, Greece, France, Mexicao, and the US, and I made acquaintences from almost every where else in the world. I listened to Christians explain trinity, talked with a chinese about them being athiests, and I attended talks that critisized and brutely attacked Islam. And I had a couple of chats with Israelis about the Arab-Israeli conflict and the last Lebanon war. I started loving outdoor activities; hikes, sailing, and Safari! I am looking forward to experiencing skying and water rafting!! I also started learning how to play Golf.

Did i change? How different I am today from the person who came to the US one year ago?

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