Failure not an option

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Orientation week was somewhat of a blur of 9am-5pm events, social gatherings, and campus tours for me. There was however, one presentation in particular that remains crystal clear in my mind. One of the first things Associate Dean Diane Morgan said to us was that nobody here wants us to fail. She explained that the programme wouldn’t necessarily be a breeze, but that we would all be given whatever help needed to ensure each and every member of our class could stand together on graduation day, proudly receiving our diplomas. Beginning a Master’s programme can be incredibly daunting, so having this reassurance amidst a somewhat chaotic, busy week of settling in, was more than comforting.

More importantly, I knew at that moment, that I had made the right choice to come to Imperial. Many universities offer smart professors, an international student body, and a wide array of resources. Few though, or at least so I have found, offer this something extra, being an attention to every student’s biggest fear—the fear of failing. Ironically enough, once this fear is acknowledged, I believe it becomes near impossible to actually fail. In other words, knowing that Imperial is aware of this mental obstacle of failure many students face, is enough in itself for me to have the confidence, drive, and reassurance to look at this year as an opportunity, not as a struggle.

There’s also one other aspect that I truly believe has already set Imperial apart in my eyes from any other academic institution at which I have ever studied. The students. Not because they’re simply smart, or very international, or have been endowed with countless awards and accolades. Those things are all impressive and wonderful, but what is even more incredible is their personal experiences and what they bring to the table as multifaceted, highly motivated individuals. After receiving my offer to the MSc Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Management programme, I was invited to join the programme’s Facebook Group. I expected to stumble upon a bunch of members and perhaps some semi-awkward introductory posts at best. What I found though, was quite different. As soon as I loaded the page after having my request to join accepted, I was greeted by a never-ending feed of fascinating stories and experiences. My eyes excitedly jumped from post to post reading about one fellow classmate who started his own restaurant chain to another who had designed flying leggos to another who had lived in four different countries over the span of a few years.

I guess I would describe my experience so far with the Master’s programme, as just that, an experience. It is not just a degree to me, or something I need to have on my CV to get a well paid job. In fact, it is quite the opposite. Of course, I partially elected to join the MSc Innovation; Entrepreneurship and Management programme because I believed it would help me reach my career aspirations. However, more of the reason I so strongly wanted to come to Imperial and study as part of this programme, was due to my desire to be surrounded by incredible students and professors who are in collaboration, not competition, to succeed. In this respect, my wishes (and then some) have certainly been granted!

Lauren is studying for our MSc Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Management programme.

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