Transforming Difficult Times into Great Opportunities

Renata Santos

A few months ago, it would have been difficult to imagine that a pandemic would come our way, causing the whole world to stop.

I imagine that this outbreak wasn’t in anyone’s plans.

My first thought was to abandon all my objectives for the year, due to the uncertainty about the future.

The quarantine has restricted our freedom of movement, however it could not prevent us from achieving our dreams or learning new things. So, upon further reflection, I decided to move forward with my application to the TIEMBA programme.

Since I heard about the TIEMBA programme for the first time, I had no doubts that this would be the next step in my career. After visiting the campus and feeling the atmosphere, I was completely sure that I would like to be part of this multidisciplinary and multinational student body.

It took about five months from submitting my application to being admitted to the programme. I might confess that the pride of being admitted, especially considering the stringent admission requirements, erased from my memory the fear and anxiety that I faced during this process.

All of us in the TIEMBA'22 class should be proud of ourselves for this great achievement in quite an exceptional year.

Even though, at the time of this writing, classes have not yet begun, I have already shared many memorable moments with my classmates. There are many differences in culture, language and academic and professional backgrounds, but our thirst for knowledge is what unites us in this exciting journey.  

By the end of the online TIEMBA kick-off meeting, which happened some weeks after the completion of the admission process, the whole class had already been connected through various social media channels. Since then, we have shared thousands of messages expressing expectations, doubts, opinions, and perhaps most importantly, support.   

From being connected to the arrangement of the first TIEMBA'22 event was a matter of seconds! Of course, international travel restrictions precluded the entire cohort from being together, but I am sure it is only a matter of time before we are united. 

I already feel like I have known my classmates for years, and I think I can safely say that they felt the same.

Have you ever been invited to a birthday party without ever meeting the host in person? I can bet you haven’t. But I did.

Furthermore, the party was an amazing masquerade ball. In case you are in doubts, I have the photos to prove it!


The second event I attended was a dinner where I met more classmates and discussed the arrangements for our travel to Beijing for the TIEMBA opening ceremony. Our discussion continued well past dinner, out of the restaurant, and into a nearby bar, as we wanted to make sure our experience would go off without a hitch. From that evening came more pictures which will definitely be part of our TIEMBA'22 album.  

If someone asked me how I am feeling right now as the classes are about to start, I would say that “I am living TIEMBA”. If you are not a TIEMBA student or alum, you may not understand what this expression means. But I have no doubts that for my classmates, and others in the TIEMBA family, the meaning will immediately be clear.

I look forward to what is coming next!