By Marià Elisabete Rodrigues
“What are we feeling, guys?” she asked while scrolling through the options. “Tired, emotional, hungry…” My group had just walked out of the Bank of England, having successfully delivered our final capstone presentation after a week of late nights, Co-Op dinners and making friends with Sardinia House security guards. We were in the process of posting a celebratory photo on Facebook, and having a hard time settling on a mood to accompany the post. “Accomplished?” We all looked at each other, smiling and nodding. “That’s it! Accomplished.” Six months of grueling research, countless phone calls and interviews, hours-long debates and end-less meetings had just culminated in a killer presentation and Q&A session. I’d say that yes, we were feeling pretty darn accomplished. And maybe a little hungry.
But one of the other options had struck a chord with me as well: nostalgic. While it felt great to have reached such an important milestone, it made me realize just how close we are to being done. And it felt like just the other day that I was fighting to get two suitcases into my shoe-box of a room at Sidney Webb, nervously shaking the hands of people with whom I’d come to cry over sequential games in a multidimensional policy space, receiving what I initially thought was my first ever failing mark but being told that, no it’s okay, in the British system that’s a Merit grade.
This got me thinking about the past 18 months and how they have been some of the most challenging of my life – academically, emotionally, spiritually… But they have also been the most special and rewarding. What is it about the LSE MPA program that could have such an impact? Looking back, I’d say it has something to do with a few of my favorite things:
“Okay. I post it now.” The very public announcement of our accomplishment, and the pings from friends “liking” that accomplishment and sharing their congratulations, brought me back from my reverie. I looked at each of my group members in turn, heart full of love and pride for them, and sighed heavily. “Oh guys…” They all looked back at me with the same expression, and time seemed to stand still for a few moments. “Drinks?” we all asked in unison. “Let’s go!”