Why I’m Here

Vijay Dukkipati - Ecuador


July 14, 2013

It felt odd. Sitting in English class on the last day of school, I hear my classmates talk about their dorm assignments and what they’ll major in at college. While they use the summer to relax and get ready for their college journey, I am fully immersed in studying Spanish to prepare for my Gap Year in Ecuador, hoping that it will change my life.

But before I can talk about this journey, I have to talk about how I got here.

As I neared the end of high school and turned eighteen, I realized I had made the first step into adulthood. I was solely responsible for myself, and it’s only out of the kind grace of my parents that I’m able to depend on them. But as an adult, I had to answer a very difficult question: what do I want to do with my time? Pondering upon it, I understood that I wanted to mature as a person. Yes, I was thrilled at the prospect of attending college to emerge more intelligent and knowledgeable, but I wanted to be challenged in a way that completely built a new set of skills, while forcing me out of my comfort zone. That’s why I chose a bridge year between high school and college. I wanted some time to evolve myself, so when I came to business school, I would have no doubts of who I was, and why I was there.

And then serendipity struck. Raghu Uncle sent me the website for Global Citizen Year. It fulfilled all of my goals, paving a way to accomplish my ambitions. It combined all the aspects of most bridge year programs into one, long-running program. I would do community service, learn a language, be a community leader in a foreign country, and have an apprenticeship at a non-profit organization. It was a program that challenged me with hands-on learning that would hone my ability to communicate, connect, and lead.

That is why I am here.

Vijay Dukkipati