It would be extremely unlikely for anyone to say that they have an abundance of free time during their first year at Rotman. And as Q1 exams draw near (the first one is in about 40 hours from now), free time is something of a myth! Even so, sometimes you have to make the time, to take a step back from the hectic pace, and refocus on what's really important. That's not to say that my Academics aren't; wouldn't be at Rotman for my MBA if it wasn't important to me. But that's really only one slice of the pie. Health, Faith, Family, Friends, as well as a little bit of Fun, are really important, to stay sane, strong, grounded & focused, and so I'm determined to try my best, to make time for these different aspects. But sometimes you lose sight of what's really important amidst all the maddening chaos, and sometimes focusing on something other than your needs & wants helps to put things into perspective.
Volunteer Work has been a very active part of my life, especially in the last five years or so, with some incredible experiences working with some really amazing people. Although I'm really enjoying my time here in Toronto, I do miss the volunteer opportunities in Dubai. So when two amazing opportunities came up, I knew I had to make the time for them. This September, I completed my 11th consecutive Terry Fox Run, with 10K in 1:42:57! After 10 years of raising awareness & funds for cancer research in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, it was really great to do the Terry Fox Run in the country that sparked the annual Marathon of Hope, to honor Terry Fox, and his tireless efforts for cancer awareness and research. This October, through the Rotman Management Consulting Association, about twenty of us (First-Years) volunteered for the 2011 Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure in Toronto. It was windy, cold & wet, and I wished I was wearing more than my four layers (Dubai is not this silly cold in October!), but it was so great to spend some time working on setting up the venue, and preparing for the 30,000 supporters who were running to raise funds for breast cancer.
The Terry Fox Run and the Run for the Cure were amazing, inspiring experiences, and I was reminded of why volunteer work holds so much meaning for me. No matter how crazy or insane or overwhelming your world may be, there are more critical issues that the world is experiencing. So, make the time for a selfless cause, because even if your efforts are just a drop in the ocean, maybe, just maybe, you might be able to make a real difference in the world.