Experience of a lifetime

Jun 30, 2016 | Posted by admin in Student's Speak   No Comments »

Experience of a lifetime

Aishwarya Nambiar- PGDM Business Design 2015-17  Bangalore Campus,shares her experience of the Linnaeus Palme Exchange Scholarship at Malardalen University,Sweden

I am Aishwarya Nambiar and I am currently pursuing my PGDM- Business Design at WeSchool Bangalore. My parents always pushed me towards doing my masters degree abroad but, destiny had different plans and I landed in one of India’s top institutes of management- “WeSchool”.

WeSchool offers various study abroad and exchange programs.  One of their programs is the “Linnaeus Palme Scholarship Program” for exchange students to study in Sweden at Malardalen University, Vasteras for duration of 3 months. This scholarship program really appealed to me and I knew getting through this program was not going to be a cake –walk . Along with me there were many other focused aspirants, we had to go through a set of few interviews and assessments to finally get through.  When I was informed that from the Bangalore campus it was me who got selected, my happiness knew no bounds.

Finally the day dawned upon us, wherein I had to leave for Sweden. I was extremely nostalgic while leaving home but, that thrill to stay independently in a foreign country gave my morale a boost. As my partners, I had two student s from WeSchool, Mumbai.

We were already warned about the freezing temperatures in Sweden. The weather department didn’t let us down and it was actually freezing and snowing.  This was my first experience with living in snow and I must admit that I loved every bit of it. The pristine white and serene snow made me feel so calm within. The days were shorter and it used to be pitch dark by 3.30 pm but, we got used to it and also got accustomed to the cold.

We were told that our lives in Sweden would mean doing all our chores by ourselves and honestly we were more than happy to do them because we had such a great experience at stake, couldn’t miss it for anything in this world.

The University is magnificent with a mesmerising building and a huge library. Studying in Sweden was a great experience as we could handpick our own subjects of interest. Our mentor in Sweden was Prof. Christer Nygren, who was extremely accommodating; his support  made life extremely simple there. Sweden is ranked as one of the top most innovative countries in the world, so as a part of our curriculum we chose to study Innovation and Creativity Management. In Welingkar, we have a “Global Citizen Leadership Program”, which involves us working with a company on a particular project. So, this was the best exposure I could get, as I was going global and getting hands-on experience. As I belong to the Business Design course, my mentor gave me my GCL project on the aspect of learning how Sweden works on Innovation and Creativity. Also, to assess how the government of the country assists innovation there. One of the faculty members at MDH had closely worked with some municipalities there. She told me how they used open unused public spaces to start some training programs for the municipal employees. The Swedish government has a central authority that works on the innovation projects in Sweden named “Vinnova”. So she gave me exponentially good insights regarding the same and helped me with my project. We also studied Swedish, as it gives us an added advantage and moreover it is always good to learn a new language.

I would like to share one of my personal experiences here, within 10 days of arriving in Sweden, it was my birthday. This was the very first time I was away from my family on my birthday, but at the stroke of midnight someone knocked my door and I was amazed to find my friends outside with a cake and balloons. I was deeply touched by the gesture. There were times when we cooked  our own authentic and traditional meals and shared them  with each other. To have so many different cuisines on one table felt amazing.

I stayed in Sweden for 3 months and travelled  around a bit as well . Our first trip was to  Finland and again it was extremely chilly out there. Later, we planned a small Europe trip that took us to Paris, Barcelona and Geneva. Without any iota of doubt , this was the greatest trip of my life. We also travelled in and around Sweden. I say this with no exaggeration at all that given a chance I would take the next flight and fly back to Sweden to peruse higher studies and research options!

After our three months stay in Sweden, my perspective towards life has completely transformed. I have become more independent and matured as an individual. These 3 months in Sweden would not be possible without the guidance of WeSchool faculty as  Prof Dr Madhavi Lokhande and Prof Mohan Chandra supported me right from the first step. Prof. Indu Mehta was in constant contact with us and regularly answered all our queries. Prof Dr Anil Rao Paila Dean, WeSchool,( Bangalore) motivated me immensely. Prof Dr. Uday Salunkhe, encouraged us tremendously and without his sheer belief and support we wouldn’t have got through this program . This opportunity has gratified my outlook towards business and life.



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