Tuesday 24th November 2015

9:20: After hitting the snooze button on multiple alarms, I wake up and groggily check my phone. I see that my dad responded to my hand-written letter with a novel-length email. Of course, the email includes updates on my mini dachshund, Benny, as well as general encouragement to devote my time and energy to the present, rather than worrying about post-Imperial pursuits. I think that my dad will be happy to know that I am following his advise, and that later today, I have the final round in the Global Action on Poverty (GAP) competition to eradicate poverty.

9:30: I check the GAP group chat and get out of bed. I grab a cup of coffee and make final edits to our business plan for this evening’s competition. I recall the quote, ‘Do one thing every day that scares you,’ and realise that today is such a day. I am equally nervous and excited for the GAP competition.

10:50: I receive a text from my Lebanese classmate who tells me that she has a ‘pb’ and will not be able to attend lecture. I immediately type, ‘artichoke,’ which has become our code word for when we do not understand one another. I explain how ‘pb’ means peanut butter to me, and I further enquire about her situation. We sort the situation out, and I learn that when ‘pb’ is not an abbreviation for peanut butter, then it is most likely an abbreviation for ‘problem.’ I wish my classmate good luck with taking care of the ‘pb’ with her bank account.  

GAP

Team Raahat

11:17: On my walk to Imperial, I stop at what has become my favourite bakery, Gail’s, right by the South Kensington tube station. I am really proud of my Raahat teammates in the GAP competition and buy them chocolate chip cookies to surprise and encourage them. I also get a cookie for myself…

11:45: Our Organisational Behaviour and Human Resources Management class begins. My classmates and I are told that we will be acting out various scenarios regarding managers and employees. My group and I laugh and joke throughout class trying to play all of these roles. By participating in this exercise, we learn that there are more complex layers to employee problems than might initially appear and that is important to see how everyone involved in the situation actually perceives the situation. We end class with increased confidence in our abilities to deal with ‘difficult employees.’

13:45: We have one of the last practises for our GAP competition. I feel like a director as I am giving my team members advise on presenting (i.e. tips on body language, eye contact, gestures, etc.). I am reassured that everything has come together nicely for our presentation.

14:45: I attend a mandatory course on plagiarism. I learn that Jay Z was accused of plagiarism for his song ‘Big Pimpin.’ I am impressed that the librarian who is conducting the session knows this fact. I am reminded of how many resources there are on the library’s website to help us properly cite our coursework.

16:45: After adding a blazer to my outfit to make it look ‘more professional,’ I go to the lecture theatre where we will be presenting our idea to eradicate poverty. We are told that our team is presenting first out of the six teams. I realise that this means that I will be the first person to speak at tonight’s competition. I look at this as an opportunity to set the stage for tonight’s presentations and am determined to be enthusiastic, professional, and confident, despite being one of the youngest people in the room. I am encouraged by the fact that I see a member of my syndicate group in the audience and another classmate, who both came to support us tonight.

17:30: Our team is finished with our presentation and handled the questions well. I can finally breathe. Even if we do not win, I am very proud of all of us and what we have accomplished together. Next to present is a team of Global MBAs and computer scientists…

20:00: All of the teams have presented and are now at a reception. We are all mingling and meeting the other teams while simultaneously anxiously waiting the results. We are told that four out of the six teams will be chosen as winners and will get to send at least one team member to the GAP Summit in India in February 2016.

20:02: Three out of the four teams have been announced. I have yet to hear our team’s name. Just when I think we were not selected, one of the judges stumbles over the word, ‘Raahat,’ our team name. I am ecstatic and hug one of my team members. All of the hard work and effort we have devoted to this competition is starting to pay off. Our idea to eradicate poverty can become a reality!

Covent Garden Lights

Covent Garden Lights

20:30: After many pictures, we take the tube to Covent Garden to celebrate as a team. I am amazed by all of the Christmas lights and take a photo to remember this moment. We decide on an Italian restaurant, and we all have a really fun time celebrating our success at dinner.

23:15: After a very eventful day, I take the tube back to South Kensington and message my friends and family members to update them on the outcome of the day’s events. I also update my Instagram and Facebook so everyone back home in Texas and my college friends in Philly can be properly informed. I briefly read over some material for my Global Business Strategy module but decide that sleep is more important right now. After all, I want to be well-rested for another incredible day at Imperial College Business School.