01 June 2022

Sometimes all that is needed is just to take the first step

Author: Marina Egizaryan - International Part Time MBA student

We know your father is a pilot and that he has been following his dream since he was a child, and in so doing he is an example for you. Can you comment on the importance of being true to oneself and to the desire to accomplish one’s goals (in your case also through the challenge of an _International MBA)?

I really do not want to sound like Richard Branson in his motivational speeches but somehow it turns out that he has a point.

In 2021 I started my MBA program at POLIMI GSoM. Considering that I am from Russia, and we are in the middle of the pandemic with all sorts of travel restrictions, it was a crazy idea to choose an MBA program in Italy. And each step was a new quest to go on (visa, green pass, flights, etc). But despite all that, here I am studying at POLIMI Graduate School of Management.

In my opinion one of the toughest things in life is not only to achieve the result but to make the decision, to start moving. And being honest is the most powerful skill or ability on Earth for pursuing your dream. I know where it comes from and I am lucky that throughout my life, I have had the best possible example ever right in front of me.

My father had wanted to be a pilot for as long as he can remember. However, it was not that easy; all his family was against it, and he failed to enter the pilot school on his first attempt. But that never stopped him  ̶  he tried again the next year and was one of the best students. And all my life I can remember him being the best at what he does. He is talented, he is hardworking but also, he knows what he wants. Even when training for a new type of aircraft he keeps getting the best scores in class, gaining respect and even winning prizes.

One more example must be mentioned. My grandpa was born in a small mountain village in Armenia and ended up building towns in the middle of Siberia and having streets named after him. He hardly finished middle school and yet ended up managing a huge construction company. So yes, my family always set me the example of being stubborn.

That is why making the decision to get an MBA, especially an MBA at POLIMI GSoM, did not sound impossible for me from the very beginning.

But I must admit that for me, the biggest challenge was to start the process. To convince everybody (my current employer, my family) and myself that I could at least try to do it. Being overwhelmed with everyday issues, I had totally forgotten about the big dreams I had. I would say that we tend to get lost in our routine. For me, it was the great breakthrough that sometimes it is enough just to put your head up and realize how many opportunities there are around and all you need is the courage to grab them.

When you are in your 20s having just finished a Master and being only career-driven it is easier to change jobs, you are more ready to take risks, to relocate or choose another career path. The older you get, the more effort it takes to make a change. Now I am pretty convinced that most of the barriers can be overcome when your mind is made up.

I sincerely believe that even now, when it has only just started, the MBA is already a life-changing experience for me. Apart for the obvious knowledge and skills improvement it has brought amazing people into my life, it has changed some patterns and made me think out of the box. What is also worth mentioning is the fact that by making one step, you feel excitement and the potential for further ones.

So like one of my classmates said – dive in no matter what!

01 June 2022

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