During perhaps the most insightful of his lectures this semester, Professor Scott Galloway highlighted the importance of finding the characteristics that make us unique, and using them to our advantage.
Rephrasing his words, once we have found the reasons that differentiate us, we must cultivate them, find our “niche” and build our own brand. Now that my first semester of graduate school is coming to an end, I believe I have found one of Stern’s main sources of uniqueness.
Having grown up in a foreign country, I spent my younger years trying to do exactly the opposite of what the Professor suggested. I anguished over adjusting to norms and customs different from mine, in an effort to be just like everyone else around me. But the more I tried to blend in, the more I stood out.
I eventually gave up and decided to embrace the traits that made me different, even though my behavior, my beliefs and even my appearance made me an easy target for bullying, to which I grew accustomed.
But I never expected to find a place where I felt that I belonged, without sacrificing my uniqueness. However from the first time I visited Stern, I noticed the positive and welcoming attitude of the entire community towards diversity.
The students I had the opportunity to meet on that first occasion made me realize that at NYU, things such as coming from diverse backgrounds or having a different ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation, are not seen as disadvantages. Rather they are welcomed and embraced.
My experiences here have reinforced that notion. Getting to know the amazingly talented people that make up my class and attending an array of extracurricular activities has shown me that one of Stern’s strongest traits is this openness to diversity and desire for inclusion.
The academics and student life at Stern are not just about learning to see the world from different perspectives, but about enriching everyone’s overall MBA experience.