Ambition And Passion: Navigating The B-School Life At TISS Mumbai

If ambition and passion were two Venn diagrams, a popular notion is that in a B-School, the two never intersect. So when you convert a call, you hear a myriad of “Congratulations!”, albeit with a clause. This clause hints at you having to put aside your hobbies; your passion, and dedicate all of your existence to your B-School in the most celibate fashion.

Life at a B-school is demanding for sure but it is, at the end of the day, a life that you will most certainly cherish. It is said that the first year at the B-school is considerably tougher than the second year, but a lot of it is also because the students are gradually settling into the hectic schedule that comes with the tag of being a management student. No prizes for guessing: you are being taught management. Over time, you learn how to manage and prioritise tasks, academics, committee activities and your social and personal life!

Life in a B-school is one of considerable metamorphosis, there is a continuous flux of activities that require not just participation, but also performance. It requires constant dedication, sincerity and commitment; and it is a defining time considering that the students are laying a foundation of their careers, their ambitions and aspirations. But in the initial days of the B-school life, often the schedule tends to get a tad bit overwhelming, students find themselves giving up on their hobbies and passions, putting aside their interests and grappling with the demands of their management course.

While balancing is easier said than done, a lot of it is also, fundamentally, an issue of time management. The main aim of life in a B-School is not just to become efficient Management professionals; it is also to learn the art of management such that it can be applied to one’s personal life as well.

Life at a B-School is nothing but a micro-cosmic reflection of the real world. So in such a case, is it prudent to let go of one’s passions and hobbies in the quest for one’s ambition? Absolutely not.

So if you are a writer, a reader, a dancer, a poet, a singer, a sportsperson, a movie buff, a traveller, or a history buff: it is crucial to let go of the notion that “I will have to give up my passions for my ambition.” Your passion is what makes you who you are, and more often than not, your passion is what paves way for your ambition, even in your B-School.

So while you are busy chasing deadlines, make sure that you have a non-negotiable ‘me-time’ for you, everyday. That time can range from anywhere between ten minutes to one hour, but you must make sure to spend it doing something you are passionate about. Sure, you may not be able to binge read, binge watch or finish that painting in one day, but the most important take away from a B-School is the knack of learning how to ‘manage’.

Life in as an HRM & LR student in a university as diverse as TISS allows you that scope to integrate your passion with your ambition: through constant interactions with students from a range of courses apart from your own, inter and intra school fests, fieldwork and freedom to do your master’s research/dissertation on any topic under the sun.

So what can you do if you feel you’re not able to find time to pursue your hobbies?

1. Start with a small step: Take time out at the end of the day/when the day begins (may be just ten minutes initially) to read at least one page of the book you haven’t picked up from the table in days.

2. Remind yourself that your continued interest in your hobbies is as much an asset to your personality as your dedication to the course you are pursuing.

3. Actively discuss your hobbies with each other, and build a space for discourse and encouragement so that many others finding it difficult to manage time can find their comfort corner too.

4. Find innovative ways in which you can link your hobbies to your course. What is the unique aspect of your hobby that can make you a better Management Professional? How can you make your hobby your competitive advantage?

The key is to understand that your professional journey requires for your passion and ambition to intersect. The two cannot and must not be mutually exclusive, and once that is understood, you can add a whole new flavour to your B-school journey!

Ishma Raina

Ishma Raina is a first year masters student in Human Resources Management and Labour Relations at TISS Mumbai. A member of the Aspirants Relations Committee, she loves talking to new people and writing about anything and everything.