Two Amazing Years in New Orleans

I set foot in New Orleans on a warm summer evening 22 months ago. Although I was in the U.S. many times before, it was my first time in the world famous city of New Orleans (or Nola as many like to call it). The culture shock was immediate. It was unlike any other major city I visited in the U.S., and I was not quite sure if I was going to enjoy my time here. Secretly, I was hoping that the curriculum of the Tulane MBA wouldn’t leave much time for me to be forced into exploring the city often. It was only some months later that I realized I was wrong, but it was also one of the few times I was happy about being proven wrong!

The program itself started off with a much needed one week of orientation which was instrumental in bringing the cohort together and helping me form long lasting friendships before diving into two years of exciting (and exhausting) coursework. We were fortunate to have some star professors along the way in whose classes we learned more than we learned in any other class before, but we also had professors who were only average. But then that’s the reality of life- you don’t always get the best. The silver lining was that even in courses where the classroom experience left us wanting for more, the genuinely good textbooks and articles prescribed by the faculty meant that there was a lot to take away from these classes. Any account of the academic experience at Tulane is incomplete without a mention of the three mandatory international trips we did- to Italy, Argentina, and China. These trips and the related classes were a great way for us to hone our skills working on real world business problems for real businesses spread around the globe. The travel was also a great means for us to bond with peers and faculty over long sessions of fun activities abroad; after all, these trips were as much about exploring local food, culture, networking and more as much as they were about getting work done. Did I forget to mention that this consulting experience also proved crucial in shaping my career path?

Coming back to talking about the city itself, there is so much going on all around the year that it is imperative that I warn you to be mindful of your academic commitments lest you forget all about studies and spend your time enjoying the city’s many festivals and events. Jazz Fest, Christmas, Mardi Gras, Wednesdays at the square, where do I even start? In addition, there is some amazing local talent playing great music on all weekends at various bars on the always beautiful Frenchmen street and other areas. I guess you know by now that New Orleanians don’t need many reasons to celebrate. So, if you’re thinking hard about getting a MBA in general or about whether or not coming to Tulane is going to be the right decision, I say jump in with all your enthusiasm and surely all your doubts will be proven wrong.

It feels like only yesterday that I came here with a bundle of hope and nervousness about what lies ahead, and I can’t believe I’m now only days away from graduation and leaving this truly great city behind to explore the future.  From Audubon park right by Tulane’s campus to the Reily recreation center where I regularly played a range of games with friends coming from all parts of the world to bar hopping with classmates to numerous group study sessions at school running past midnight, there are innumerable things I am going to miss about these past two years. They say time flies, and yes it does….at the speed of light.   

Bhargava Srivari

MBA Candidate 2016