As a first year MBA student, you will find yourself limited on time. Between getting adjusted to the work load, team obligations and internship search there often seems to be not enough hours in the day. It is an understatement to say that it is hard to find time for yourself, let alone time to give back to surrounding communities. Having a designated community service project ingrained into our class of 2020 orientation was the most meaningful experience so far in my MBA journey. Having the opportunity to spend the weekend in Detroit and do a 36-hour immersion with BuildOn at Osborn High School was eye-opening, rewarding and humbling. As part of the immersion, we were each paired up with one student from three different schools in the Detroit area and those students took us under their wing for 36-hours. We took a tour of their school, had conversations about their everyday life and obstacles and had an opportunity to get into their community to give back.

I was partnered with Layla, a sophomore at Osborn High School. I learned a lot from spending 36 hours with her. Not only did we end up having similarly interests and hobbies; she was also able to open up and tell me things about herself and I was able to do the same. We talked about her life, her dreams, and her passion for basketball. We also had the opportunity to go into her community and do some service. Going into this experience many of us did not know what to expect. Leading to the event we kept hearing about how this experience would be one that would touch us to the core, and that we would bond with these kids tremendously over such a small period of time. Many of us however; including myself, were reluctant. Looking back at it now, I understand what the BuildOn staff was talking about. Although it is a short amount of time, the bond that I shared with Layla was spectacular. I lived in her world for 36 hours. Layla, I thank you for opening up to me, letting me see your school, your community, and your world.