Today officially ends the 2013 work year. It's also officially my last day as a management trainee (at least on paper I think). :)
When I joined the Management Development Program (and was labeled as an MDP), it was never a secret that I was having second thoughts. I wasn't sure if I wanted to be doing this for a couple of years. I had different plans. My parents supported whatever I wanted to do though, saying a couple of years would just fly by and that I'm still young. If I didn't like it, I could always quit. In retrospect, I think they're right. 18 months have passed and I still can't believe that I'm not considered a fresh graduate anymore.
To be honest, I don't know what to say about the program. Reflecting about it now renders me speechless. It's different when you lived it and when you try to put everything into words. Let me encapsulate the whole experience then by expressing my thanks.
I am grateful for being able to go around different departments - 5 to be exact. Being able to do so is a rare opportunity and it has given me an avenue to explore my interests, learn new things, dabble in different areas of the business, and discover my personal strengths and weaknesses. To be honest though, this part of the process was both a blessing and a curse. It has definitely opened new doors for me; however, with it comes confusion, second thoughts, and a lot of personal doubts. The experience forced me to reconsider everything I thought I knew about myself and what I wanted to do with my life, or at least what I wanted to do for the next few years.
I am grateful for all the people I've met while going through the program. I believe every single person I've crossed paths with was there for a reason and has influenced me in one way or another. I am grateful for the support we got from HR. I am grateful for the people I've observed in meetings and along the office corridors and elevators, whether they know it or not. I'm grateful for the people I've directly worked with, even though a lot of them probably don't/won't remember me. I'm grateful for my fellow MDPs who made the experience a lot more fun and bearable when the circumstances were tough. These guys kept me sane when I was feeling a little bit stressed and crazy. I'm grateful for the teams/groups who adopted me for a few months and trusted me with projects to own. I'm especially thankful for teammates & bosses who became friends and mentors. (I really hope you know who you all are and how much impact your presence made in my life for the past 18 months - Thank you!) Personally, whether I liked what I was doing or not didn't matter as much as the people who made everything more worthwhile. These people made Globe feel like a home away from home. :)
I am grateful for family and friends outside of work who became my sounding board amidst my own confusion and personal struggles. Know that every advice and small talk were incorporated in a lot of decisions made thereafter.
I'm pretty sure these thanks and words of gratitude are not enough to paint a complete picture of my training experience; nevertheless, I'm hoping they provide some insight on how I'm feeling about the closing of this chapter in my life.
I know I sound extremely hopeful for a person who's been out of school for almost 2 years now. And maybe I'll eventually get disillusioned in this sphere we call the corporate world. However, I'd like to think that the next year will be the start of a new journey, accompanied with new learnings, new experiences, and further self-discovery.
If you asked me now if I'm still having doubts, I'd say 'of course I am!' But I think the decision I made some 18 months ago was exactly what I needed and this, right now, is where I need to be. :)