Having just returned to my hectic course schedule in Cambridge, I already feel nostalgic about the water study tour. I can’t believe the two weeks of travel in Turkey and the UAE came and went so fast. The trip truly counts as my best experience so far at Sloan. We learned a huge amount about the water industry – from pre-treatment, to wastewater treatment, to desalination, and beyond. We also gained a greater understanding of the business culture in each country, both from formal talks by local professors, and from interactions with public and private sector organizations.
Perhaps more importantly, we also learned a lot about each other. On Sloan’s campus, especially during the exhausting core semester, it can be difficult to take the time to casually chat with people. Conversations tend to be brief as we hurry from one class or assignment to another. The study tour was entirely different. Whether having a drink at the top of a hotel in Dubai, cruising the Bosphorus in Istanbul, or commiserating during many long bus rides, I tremendously enjoyed the opportunity to get to know my classmates better.
When a few classmates and I formed the organizing team for this study tour back in September, I don’t think we realized the full extent of the commitment we were making. In spite of the fact that last year’s organizers, as well as Paul Buckley from the Student Life Office, thoroughly warned us about the amount of work to expect, I was still taken aback by how consuming creating a course and tour turned out to be. Many emails, phone calls, and meetings later, it’s been amazing to see this all come together. I feel lucky to have had this opportunity to contribute to the Sloan community, and to build relationships with MIT faculty and staff.
Since I got involved in planning the study tour so early in my Sloan experience, it feels a little strange to have finished with this major commitment. While I look forward to having more time to study and socialize, I also feel inspired to continue studying issues of water quality and supply. I hope to apply my experience from this tour to search for and develop entrepreneurial solutions to today’s water crises.