A Letter To The Incoming Batch Of MBAs From An MBA Student
Congratulations on making it to your dream b-school and a warm welcome to the world of MBAs. A year ago, I was exactly in your position. After having spent more than a year preparing for MBA exams and those dreaded interviews, getting a final call from IIM Lucknow was indeed like winning a war. Let the feeling sink in. Bask in its glory. Spend time with your friends and family back home, for the ride ahead will be anything but smooth.
Your first year in college will be extremely challenging. It’s meant to test and push your limits. But as I look back on the year that went by, I learned a lot in it. The rigorous academics, the fight for placements, the internship at TAS and the friends I made, I cherish each moment of it. While I am sure you too will experience all of these, I have penned down a few things that I learned in the first year of MBA. Do give it a read, I sincerely hope it helps.
1) Create bonds, not just network
A lot of people out there will tell you that MBA is the place to network and I agree with them. Your current batchmates will someday be heading companies and be in a position to help you in many ways. But go beyond those shallow networks and make some real friends. The friendships you forge here will last much longer than all your networks.
2) Read, read and read
Read anything you can get your hands on. Be it a novel, a newspaper or a random answer on Quora. It will help in ways you can’t imagine. George R R Martin puts it so right – “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen. The man who never reads lives only one.” So squeeze some time from your busy schedule and read.
3) Things won’t be fair all the time. Deal with it
At various points during your MBA, you may feel that things weren’t fair. But that’s how life is. At times you get the upper hand, other times you don’t. Deal with it. Cribbing about it will only distract you and make things worse.
4) Stay humble, stay foolish
One of my marketing professors once said and I quote, “Knowledge should only make you humble. Don’t let it get into your head and make you arrogant.” Sooner or later you will realise that MBA is just a fancy degree. Be humble and open to the ideas of others. Be it your batchmates or the people you encounter at a workplace. You’ll realise that people without an MBA degree or a fancy college on their resume have a lot to offer.
5) It’s ok to fail
Things may not always work out. Someone else will get more marks than you; someone else will land a better job. Don’t let it dishearten you. These two years are just a phase in your life. Give your best shot at it and work towards achieving your goal. Anurag Kashyap puts it damn right in one of his talks, “The world doesn’t owe it to you, you owe it to yourself.” Go get what you think you deserve!
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