Enjoying the Spin@MIT

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What is the ROI of your decision? a colleague asked, and I said infinite!
If you want to eventually return to Pakistan, why not just change your job, why spend a fortune at MIT? a friend suggested, and I smiled….”you won’t understand’.
You should be thinking about the future of your son at this stage, some older family members admonished, and I replied, hmmmm maybe this will teach him how to build it for himself.
Yes, my reason for coming to MIT was difficult to quantify. Having worked for 20 years in the telco industry in Pakistan, the last 16 years at one organization, living a very comfortable life with my parents and my son in the house of my dreams I just got constructed, enjoying the opportunities and perks that come with a senior role at one of the prestigious organizations in the country, I was grateful for all that I had, but not at peace with myself. I wanted to do so much more, professionally/personally/socially, I knew I could……but ‘how’. That’s what has brought me to MIT, to figure out the ‘how’.
Three months into the program, I could not have asked for a better place. I am figuring out the ‘how’, one presentation of my business ideas with my study group members, one chat at a networking event with an architect who rediscovered his passion for biology and returned to biotech, one impromptu meeting at a friends place to discuss interest in fintech, one ‘beer game’ with Prof. Sterman, one planned and one unplanned meeting or reflection….at a time.

These last three months have passed by in a flash, and yet the pre MIT days seem like a distant past.

I won’t be exaggerating if I say that at MIT, the time expands to accommodate all that you want to do. Just when you think you have stretched yourself enough, something exciting pops up and you manage to make room. That’s exactly what all of us have been doing, slurping up all that the fabled MIT firehose has to offer. And then some more.

Even in these first few months, each one of us 110 people have managed to craft a path that is uniquely their own. Since I already have an MBA degree, which I completed in 1996 with no practical experience at that time barring a few internships, the core courses in the Summer feel like a value added refresher, and have piqued my interest for a very exciting set of core and elective subjects in fall. The bidding process that we went through a few weeks back, yielded mixed results. For me, I only got one of the three subjects and lo and behold I found stuff that was more interesting than my first choices in the add/drop round. As my area of interest is around the evolution of the digital economy and an entrepreneurial bend of leadership, I am actually spoilt for choice in terms of courses I can take, action learning labs I can be a part of, and exposure from the larger ecosystem in terms of clubs and conferences.

And as if this were not enough, I have the good fortune to be inspired by a highly motivated and courageous set of 110 friends from all over the world every day. I probably would have had to live many lives if I wanted to get this kind of exposure otherwise.

I could go on and on and on, and would do so keep watching this space; coming up…Being a Mom @ MIT.

Sadia Khuram

I have spent the last 20 years of my professional life on the commercial side (Brands, Media, CSR, Business Development, Customer Experience & Customer Care) of the telecom industry in Pakistan. I have come to MIT Sloan to plan for and shape the next 20 years of my life.

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