As we finished our holiday in South of France and Croatia (both highly recommended btw!), we were greeted by a strange bittersweet sensation. On one hand there was the excitement leading to the orientation week and on the other hand, it was time to bid farewell. The farewell itself couldn’t have been scripted better – rainy day, teary eyed, standing at a signal waiting for the light to turn green, reluctant to let go and head in separate directions – very melodramatic!

The Internal Change: While Adya began her orientation week at INSEAD, I took my long flight home to Delhi, unpacked, repacked and was off to China to start my new assignment. In spite of all our preparations, our world had changed in a very short span of time. New people to meet, new cultures to accept, time differences, packed schedules, out of our comfort zones, residing in two different parts of the world – a nagging question at the back of our minds, how will it all come together?

The External Change: Walking the streets of Croatia the news ticker on our phones kept beeping. Within weeks the Indian Rupee had plunged close to 20% against the US Dollar, Pound and Euro.  Policy delays had led investors to steer away from India, our fiscal deficit was increasing by the day, high inflation lurking in the background – “India exits the Trillion Dollar club”. Since both of us plan to be in India after Adya’s MBA, a realisation that in a matter of weeks our student loans had gone up by 20%. Our world had changed!

Change is inevitable, so how do we deal with it? The internal change was the easier part. This is where the INSEAD community is incredible. Partners – near and far are an integral part of the experience, and are always kept engaged. The school itself fosters a warm culture which makes it so much easier for students to ‘blend in’. In terms of keeping in touch, after some adjustments to align the time difference and our packed schedules, we are completely up to date on each other’s lives. The quality of time and not the quantity of time spent becomes important.

The external change is the tougher part since it is out of our control. So we wait and hope that the market stabilises soon. Come P3/P4 it will be decision time as we plan the next step post Adya’s MBA. For now however, we count days till the end of P1, when we see each other again!