My classes will start on Monday. This is my third week in France.
So far, I have nothing but wonderful things to say about my experience studying abroad. This is my second blog post on this wonderful topic.
Here’s the link to my first article – My Journey to France for my Master’s in Global Innovation Management (MGIM) Program.
Happy Schools had been a big proponent for people studying abroad. We have shared hundreds of experiences from readers. It feels wonderful to be sharing my experience. Thanks to the MGIM program from NC State.
I have lived in the U.S. for over 7 years, and traveled to 25 States across America. But there’s really something different about studying overseas.
So why did I chose to study MGIM?
I’ve always wanted to study something that appeals to my core values and beliefs, which MGIM offers. It’s a program that would give me exposure to social entrepreneurship as well as provides an option to learn about product management and project management.
When I started studying for my bachelor’s degree in information technology, I didn’t have much choice, just like the thousands of students who study engineering back in India.
I was asked to study Information Technology and so I did.
But now, I wanted to do something I’m passionate about. I questioned myself and had a discussion with Raghu. Here’s some questions we discussed:
- What should I study?
- What sort of career do I want to have?
- What sort of social impact would I like to create through this blog?
- What is my personality?
Before I decided on which degree program to take, we did an analysis of my personality, learning style, and strengths and weakness. It took well over a few months to decide what I really wanted to do with my life and career.
Once we are able to figure out some key factors and equations at play in my life, it was easy to find out the graduate program that fits my needs.
I’ve always aspired to earn a management degree. At the same time, I’m inspired by what we have done here in HSB so far.
Specifically, to create social awareness about the value of higher education and key information about studying abroad.
When I started my research into graduate programs, I came across the master’s in global innovation management (MGIM) program at NCSU.
Why Master’s in Global Innovation Management?
I loved the way MGIM program was structured and designed. It involves:
- The opportunity to study in two countries (U.S.A and France).
- Work with company sponsored projects.
- Attend workshops on design thinking, creativity and innovation.
- Above all, earning two degrees in 1 Year.
- A curriculum designed to give engineering, science and other technology/non-technology- oriented students a strong exposure to core business management skills while providing in-depth exposure to a host of global innovation management issues.
- A best fit program that matched my career needs and wants.
If you live in or near NCSU, you should attend the information session, where you can meet with the Director and the Assistant Director of the program.
They were wonderful in answering all the questions I had about this program. Plus, you get to meet and mingle with the current students.
They shared their experiences in France (in the first semester) and how things were working out for them in the second semester. I got good reviews from the students under the MGIM.
If we get a chance, either Raghu or I can record a video interview with the directors about the program.
My experience with the admission process.
- Applicants from North/South/Central America apply at NCSU
- Applicants from Europe/Asia/Middle East should apply at IAE
I applied through NCSU in Round 3.
I took TOEFL and submitted my TOEFL Scores. After living in America for over 7 years, TOEFL was an easy test to take. I scored 105/120.
Read Raghu’s IELTS Experience and he took it as a challenge to outscore me: IELTS Test Experience: Panic Attack at a Test Center. Bad Day.
GMAT or GRE scores are not required for the MGIM program, but I took GRE when applying for the master’s in engineering management program at Duke University. So I also submitted my GRE scores for the MGIM program for good measure.
Two weeks after submitting my application documents, I got an email reply from the Assistant Director of the program to schedule an in-person interview.
I had an interview date with the Director, Leigh Shamblin, and the Assistant Director, Derek Keller.
The interview was pretty cool, both of them had interesting sets of behavioral questions. The other questions were mostly from my SOP. They were trying to determine if I was a good fit for the program.
It took another week or two for me to get my acceptance letter. Once I got my full admission, it was like a roller coaster ride, which I would write in detail in the next blog post.
Student Life in France
I have never been in a classroom and a college setting since I graduated from my undergraduate degree in India.
A graduate degree from any U.S. university would have an everlasting impact in my life and career. However, I just didn’t want yet another master’s degree in computer science degree.
I wanted a new experience: a life-changing and enriching experience.
I wanted to have an experience that would help me change my life, your lives, our families’ and the lives of everyone around us (especially those of HSB readers).
Can you imagine what it would be like if you leave your country, your son and husband? This captures everything that I’ve been through.
I’m in my early 30s, a wife and a mother of a 4-year-old boy. I can’t imagine going back to school in India at this stage in my life.
You wouldn’t believe the questions I was asked when I decided that I’m going to France to study for a semester. I had wide range of emotions and questions, like:
- France? Really?
- Why France? You are already in the U.S.A.
- What will Raghu and your son do?
- Wow. That’s awesome. Have fun in France.
There’s a difference between having a dream and speaking about it when your time has come and gone. And having a dream and doing what it takes to make your dream come true.
[content_band style=”color: #333;” bg_color=”#ffddea” border=”all”]I wanted to have a career. I wanted to influence people with my experience. I wanted to solve problems. I wanted to be part of the solution.[/content_band]
For those moms, dads and everyone else, if you have a dream and if you think are too old to follow your dream, then think again. It’s never too late for anything your life.
You only need the desire and motivation to do it. I have to spend 1 semester in France. When, I asked Raghu, should I apply to this program?
He answered, “Yes, even before I blinked my eyes.”
Here’s What I believe in:
When I looked at my dream from a distance, all I could see were obstacles. But I knew deep down inside me, if I set my mind to it, I will find a way to go around, on the sides, under or even above those obstacles.
Despite all those seemingly insurmountable obstacles, I have made it to France.
It was a one hell of a crazy journey until this point — from the visa interview to shopping to packing to booking flight tickets, finding roommates and up to renting a place to stay.
So now you know why I chose to study the MGIM program. This craziness is good. It would help me to become a better person.
This is my story and it’s just like how we have been sharing all the students’ experiences here in the blog. I have all the support from Raghu and my family while I pursue my education here in France.
Here’s the second video by my roommate Alexis:
I want all HSB readers to be part of my journey and I hope this would help you make progress with your own life’s journey as well.
- MGIM : Application and Admission
- 6 reasons why I decided to study MGIM at NCSU
- How to apply for France Student Visa?
- How to Find a place to rent and Where to Stay in Aix-en-Provence?
- What to buy and pack for your trip to France?
- Traveling to Aix-en-Provence – Flights, Train, Taxi and Bus
- Getting around Aix en Provence in Bus
- FAQ’s about Living in Aix-en-Provence
- Which SIM card and data plan to Buy?