Sunday, June 21, 2009

Why I'm studying at Harvard

Harvard UniversityImage via Wikipedia

I once read somewhere that 'when purpose is not ascertained, abuse is inevitable'. This is true even for things that seems so obvious - just like my decision to spend the next 7 weeks studying at Harvard University. Now this has come at a great cost and sacrifice which I will talk about in subsequent posts but I just want to use this post to try and express my thought pattern when I decided to come here for graduate credits.

The learnings and experiences I have accumulated (especially) in the last 10 years has made it very clear to me that thoughts / dreams of significant contribution to society will remain a mirage until you commit to focused preparation and delibrate practise.

I remember writing down my career goal on my first CV 9 years ago and it read 'To contribute to socio-economic development in Africa through corporate activities'. At that time it didnt really mean so much - just words..but 10 years later I'm excited I'm on the right path, albeit at a snail's pace (which is not bad). On our British Airways flight to Boston (flew with 2 friends, Kunle & Tomi - also studying at Harvard) we had lots of discussions about our motives for working so hard, we each tried to define where our passion lies (even though not very successful I think), we bounced off a few ideas and at the end of the 7 hours trip, we felt we've made the right decision to briefly 'pause' our life for some intensive studies and soul searching!

So I will be taking 2 graduate courses this summer: Project Financing and Investments & Portfolio Analysis. The first course is directly linked to development projects I'm thinking of helping to structure in Nigeria and the second just to understand some fundamentals in investments.

Taking time off work and business for this long will also afford me the opportunity to reflect and re-calibrate myself. Another reason I'm attending the summer school at Harvard is to boost my chance for admission into a top 5 MBA programme. Doing well at Harvard plus an outstanding essay should make up for my low undergraduate GPA (as far as I know, I might be terribly wrong!).

Now I'm going to miss my wife and daughter so much, even though they will be with me in Cambridge for most of the period, I know I'll be so busy, so I've decided to clear my weekend off for them!

Hopefully this will be a worthwhile experience.....

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