MBA, thoughts, etc.

I was thinking about the real benefit of being in an MBA school and then I remembered about my initial intention of joining the MBA program. My original intent was to get exposed to brilliant talent, team up and satiate my entrepreneurial self by doing out of the box stuff. Stuff, successful or unsuccessful, after graduation could make me not feel I have wasted my 2 years of grad school. In addition, I wanted to build on my tech savvy and take it to the next higher level. I feel the whole concept of switching careers somehow doesn’t work for me. I am just not built for something like that. Take for example, my initial urge to experiment with operations and marketing. After facing a few setbacks, I finally realized I can’t fit in to an area totally unrelated to my past experience. What I will do in future has to have some commonality with what I have done so far and most importantly should be an enjoyable experience. Each day at work has to be gratifying or kind of an orgasmic experience. Too many times I see my peers having come thus far still unsure of what they want from the program. They either are confused by the choices they have or have suffered so many disappointments in their job search that they have now become desperate and are trying to fit in wherever they can by choosing whatever concentration they could. I personally feel it is the lack of direction that is responsible for their fate. I am not saying I have been successful in my job search but at the least I have a set goal in my mind of what I want to do and where I want to be. This then means I have to sacrifice a lot of times. For example, Amazon a heavy recruiter at Krannert, is one of the companies I want to work for. However, the company, with its handsome compensation, has traditionally not recruited Krannert students from concentrations other than operations. As a result, students like me have to sacrifice simply because of misalignment of their goal with available opportunities. Just because they want to get into Amazon does not mean they should get through any route possible. Few would argue with me saying that there’s nothing wrong with that strategy. After all, one only has to work for a certain amount of time in the area they don’t like before they can move to an area of their liking. Point well taken. However, the initial period is what concerns me the most. Like the baby that has just started to take first few steps, you, when you get out of the MBA school are learning to walk (again). This is the most crucial and vulnerable moment in one’s career. If I don’t have a liking for what I do I would not be able to walk properly. Importantly, after those few years, when I finally switch over to what I like doing, I would have to go through the walking cycle again. And what if I am not allowed to switch? Then I am stuck. This whole idea, therefore, simply does not appeal to me. At this point, I should make it clear that I am in no way saying I am not flexible. Flexibility to me is the willingness to do subpar work but in the area of liking. For example, if I want become an IT Manager but do not get many job opportunities, I am willing to step down a little and take up the role of an IT developer. A typical case is a tech/e-commerce startup where a project manager is also a programmer and a business development manager. Such type of setting is what actually excites me; having ability to take the organization to where I want. Flexibility also means the willingness to move anywhere on the globe. I personally love travelling, and in my opinion any person who wants to grow quickly in a company should have an openness towards relocating nationally or internationally. One of the reasons I joined TATA Consultancy Services Limited was because of its reputation to send its associates on long term international assignments. Sure enough, within 3 years of my service I was sent to US to work for Eli Lilly at their headquarters in Indianapolis and it was a memorable experience for me. The point I am making through this post to all B school students is to pursue their passion while they are in the B school because really that is what you should be doing and trust me if you don’t, sometime in your life you will… but why wait? Why not now?

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