The first time I heard about SP Jain was five days before the deadline to apply for the BBA program. I was at home in Algeria, and saw the program on Facebook on the advertisement section found on the right of the homepage. I was just scrolling up and down and suddenly, I came across their exciting tri-city BBA program.
At that time, I was looking for any opportunity for international experience by attending a training or internship program abroad. And, on that advertisement tab, it was written “SP Jain BBA Program”. I didn’t know what “SP Jain” would stand for, neither “BBA” because I was studying engineering. Being as curious as I always am, I clicked on the ad and found their last post saying that five days were left for the application deadline.
That experience of how I found S P Jain, how I went through the admission process and how I accepted the challenge, taught me to never give up striving for my goals and to keep on trying new things that I have never done before. Sometimes, when I remember those moments, I get really self-inspired because coming from a small village from a very difficult country like Algeria, it is hard to believe that you will ever get the opportunity to fly to Singapore, especially the first time you’re boarding a plane. In fact, if any Algerian wants to study abroad, his/her first choice will be France, some other European countries or North America.
What I’ve learnt in S P Jain is not solely academic but, also about the interaction with my schoolmates coming from more than 26 countries. It was an opportunity to know about their culture and to share mine. I feel sad when people tell me they don’t know Algeria. But, at the same time, I feel so happy because I’ve just informed someone about Algeria.
Moreover, S P Jain’s global professors and faculty make it an even more exceptional place. The best thing about the professors is that they are very friendly with all the students-there is mutual respect and understanding. Maybe you have seen this before, but in my country, you are not supposed to talk with a professor, except in class. Sometimes, you greet him “good morning” outside the class and you don’t even get a response. I believe the relationship between SP Jain’ students and professors helped a lot in creating a special atmosphere in the college.
As S P Jain’s goal is to expose students to different business models, I remember we had that Regional Research Project (RRP) where we had to conduct interviews with business leaders from some top-notch companies in a selected industry (mine was IT). It was really challenging to find those people and contact them. I had a chance to get interviews with Microsoft executives, Head of Google research in Asia, and an ex-executive at Hewlett-Packard. It happened that one of the Microsoft executives was Algerian, and he was the only Algerian I met in Singapore during my stay there.
I also couldn’t miss the opportunity to create a network outside my university. Singapore is a small country and travelling there was very convenient. I had the chance to attend events, conferences, talks and even participating in competitions. Before leaving Algeria, I starting working on an entrepreneurial idea for blind people with two other friends. When I arrived to Singapore, we participated in a competition for South Eastern Asian countries, and we won the “Best Idea Stage”.
Besides, Singapore was the place to learn how to become independent. I used to stay off-campus, which gave me a chance to embrace the rich culture of local people. Also, I understood that I had to work to cover my expenses. So, I started my first working career as a Salesperson for an Apple Reseller. I believe stepping out of my comfort zone, defeating my fears and making risks for learning’s sake, helped me a lot in gaining self-confidence when talking with people and also it’s something that will help me in the future.
S P Jain’s Tri-City BBA program can actually be extended to a fourth city by attending an exchange program. I was one among the very few who were selected for going on exchange. I went to Paris at IESEG School of Management. Coming from Algeria, I know a lot about France because we were an ex-colony of France. But, I had never been there before my exchange program and I didn’t know about their business models. This one semester helped me unravel all these mysteries about France that have always been in my mind.
Being half-way through my BBA course, the S P Jain experience has become a never-ending passion to improve myself, learn and grow up as a global citizen. I trust myself. I’m making a lot of mistakes but, my positive attitude always keeps me think that in a way, I’m learning. My wishes are to get the most out of this experience and go back to my country and apply the necessary things I have learned in an attempt to bring a positive change. I feel so blessed and proud for being a part of this college.
~Lounis Boukhezzar (Algeria) BBA12