15 Things I Learnt During My MBA – Arunish Paul – XSRM
I just completed my two years of MBA(RM) from Xavier School of Rural Management (XSRM), Xavier University, Bhubaneswar (XUB), and as I reflect upon my time, I compiled a list of 15 things I have learnt personally from my experience. I am no expert but I believe my experience might help future aspirants taking their plunge in management studies. Without further ado, here we go..
1) Long term approach – Do what you can to the best of your ability. Have a long-range approach instead of a short-range result oriented mindset. Results will follow soon after. These 2 years are not the end; rather they are just a beginning to know the various frameworks which will help you in the long run.
2) “Yes”– Say a resounding “Yes” to opportunities or leadership positions. You are there to make yourself a change agent and as a change agent, you will need to work for the people and not for the people working for you.
3) Love yourself the most – You are your own soldier and the battle is with yourself, especially since you are struggling it out in unfamiliar territory.
4) Rationality – Always think rationally before believing in any rumour or hatemongering rhetoric. Do double check before believing anything. Fake news/information is as rampant in B-schools as in social media.
5) Study deeply – You will be inundated by students wanting you to take a hike and be called names because of it. Let me tell you, deep studying and academics do matter. In these two years, soak in the essentials of management. It will give you a framework to work upon later on in life.
6) It will pass – Whatever and however hard maybe the situation, it will pass. Grit and determination and an attitude of “never giving up” is needed the most.
7) Question everything – Ask anything. Maybe it is understood as DCP (Desperate class participation) by the majority but your queries and understanding matter. These two years are special because you have the best of professors with years of experience at your service, answering your queries patiently, which may not be the case after you leave the institute.
8) Unfamiliarity – Unfamiliar people and/or subjects should not deter you at all. Explore uncharted territories for future success. Be curious all the time. Every subject, irrespective of the difficulty level, teaches something new which you can apply later on. Be on the lookout for the practical aspects of it.
9) Seniors – Seniors are the proficient portal for the juniors into the dynamic world of management but sometimes seniors give all the bad advice in the world. Take their advice with a pinch of salt(or a bag full of it) if the advice shakes your moral foundation or your values. Otherwise, chill out with them and extract their best qualities and experiences.
10) Assignments – Make different partners for every assignment. Remember, the assignments are not only for marks but to learn the art of management with people coming from different educational backgrounds, experiences and even with freeloaders or deadline breakers. These are exactly the type of people you will meet across your life. Better to have practice matches with every type.
11) Relax! – You don’t have to attend every party or social event. This FOMO (fear of missing out) is ruining the peace of our millennial generation. Be social whenever you feel like it or not when others force you to be. Sometimes JOMO (Joy of Missing Out) works wonders for your mental health.
12) Connect with the mess workers, the staff and the guards – They are the foot soldiers who maintain the entire system and keep you happy. Be grateful to them, give a smile and be genuinely interested in them. You never know what their struggles are. Maybe you will get inspired or just become more empathetic, which is needed a lot in this world.
13) Connect with the outside and nature – Go for solo trips and walks. These 2 years, apart from making yourself a manager, you need to take a look into yourself and ask the following queries – Why am I doing this? What is my purpose? Who am I? Who do I want to be? We study about vision, mission, goal (VMG) of companies. It is time to formulate a VMG for yourself too.
14) Channelize your creativity – Express yourself, whether in words or the spoken word or in any other activity. Your personality should be well expressed. It will probably be the only time where you are given so many platforms to actually know yourself. Take those opportunities with open arms and just take it.
15) Keep faith in God or in the Universe (if you are an atheist) – He has a plan for you.
I assure you that the ride would be treacherous as well as quite fun. I believe that a critical part of success is to accept the changes within you. Apart from these 15 on the list, there would be many other bittersweet learnings along the way which would definitely answer the befuddling query – Why MBA?
– Arunish Paul
XSRM (Xavier School of Rural Management)
Class of 2017-2019