Determination can get you anywhere they say. It holds especially true for Arush Sharma. He slogged himself for 3 years in the IT sector and then a tech-based startup. However, he knew he was meant for better things. He decided to pursue higher education and do an MBA. His obstacles were financial dependences and a 13 hours/day job. However, he didn't give up. He Arush burnt the midnight oil and studied hard to pursue his MBA dream, and finally got placed to MDI Gurgaon. His story is similar but inspiring nevertheless. This person's "never give up" attitude placed him amongst India's Best-50 Most Employable MBA Graduates!
The following is Arush Sharma's set of responses to a questionnaire floated amongst MBA graduates to determine the top-50 most employable MBA graduates of the Class of 2020. Amongst the massive number of entries and responses being evaluated by the Founder of InsideIIM-Kampus Konversations, Arush’s story and profile stood out. Here's a little about him, in his own words.
"I am Arush Sharma from the beautiful city – Chandigarh. I’ve recently graduated from MDI Gurgaon where I specialized in International Business. Previously, I have worked with BNY Mellon in Pune as an applications developer for around 2 years where I worked on key projects for US Govt. and one year with a tech-based start-up Click Labs, leading agile software development team. Throughout college, I made sure that I grew as a whole rounded individual for which I participated & won multiple national-level case competitions by corporates such GOOGLE, UHG, Xiaomi etc and other B-schools such as IIFT, FMS, IIM Lucknow. To keep my grey cells engaged & to gain exposure about how things actually work on the ground I did a decent number of live projects with firms like Swiggy etc. In my free time, I like to Read, Read & Read. I love playing snooker which I’ve played at state level representing Chandigarh. Also, I like trading derivatives in the stock market. I believe in exploring life and making an impact in whichever professional field I am associated with."
Name an instance where you wanted something and went out of your comfort zone to achieve it OR Tell us the biggest risk you have taken so far in your life.
"I worked in the IT sector as a software developer for almost 3 years but I constantly felt that I was made for better things in life. I wake up every single morning, knowing that I can do a better job than my boss. That I’m constantly underachieving. If only I was equipped with the right tools, I could put other high fliers in the company to shame. That’s when I decided to pursue an MBA. I wanted to study and shape businesses, I wanted to crack the CAT but it was appearing to be a distant dream. My job in a startup was hectic stretching up to 13 hours/day, due to financial obligations back at home I couldn’t leave my job and prepare either, I had to do both side-by-side. To pursue my burning desire, I would pull all-nighters every alternate damn day and devote that complete night to studies, and still give my best at my work. My comfort zone had vanished, but it all paid, when I scored 98.9% in CAT, got into one of the best b-schools in the country."
When was the last time someone relied on you? OR What did you do which was purely for someone else - a truly selfless act.
"I was always inspired by a friend, she worked towards the education of kids who are underprivileged & cannot afford quality education. So, I started accompanying her in this humane venture. This work became a part of my life, in my holidays, I would teach my maid’s kids and sometimes collect old books from children in my colony and distribute in the slum areas where most of the kids went to their nearby government schools. Earlier I thought this was a truly selfless act that I do but soon realized, it’s not entirely selfless, it provided satisfaction to my inner being. It made me a better person, gave me a broader perspective and enhanced my emotional quotient. I was a more empathetic, more confident and was helping to bring about a change for good."
Tell us about a time when you disagreed with an opinion/idea/decision. What did you do about it?
"My best friend from childhood asked me to help him financially multiple times in a few months. My dilemma was that I helped him with similar problems faced by him on previous occasions. The root cause was that he was addicted to gambling on cricket matches, IPL in particular and he even took huge credit from people. I helped him twice financially so that his parents don’t get involved and the matter would settle down soon, but he still was in debt, the money was also never returned. This time, I refused to help him, I was being honest to him by telling that I couldn't help him this time, he is running in circles and not confronting the reality, facing the same problem (in which we did try hard to end his gambling addiction) and also, I was short of money. And I did feel bad about it because he was always there to help me whenever I needed it. He is now still in the same situation, in big debts. I'm still helping him, not financially, but trying to boost his motivation to be able to come back, helping him learn programming languages online so that he can build a profile around it and apply for a decent job."
What is the one thing you can claim to have some level of expertise or depth of knowledge in - it could be anything - a subject, a sport, a hobby, a venture, an initiative which has led you to do deep work in that field?
"I feel in today’s ever-changing business environment jobs or activities demand versatility. I prefer to do multiple different things & have always been a polymath. Elon Musk has been my life’s inspiration, he's very good at is processing complex information for a wide variety of fields very well ranging from automotive, aerospace to energy.
But If I had to select one thing, I think I'm good at driving. I think it is one thing that just personifies me! Anytime, to any place, in any state of mind, given a chance to drive, I'd always drive well whether it be driving 18 hours a day across the desert or on India’s most dangerous Kishtwar Road. It's something I learnt without a training school and had a great passion for all my childhood so the day I turned 18 (the legal age), I went and took my test and applied for my license. It was delivered home and from the next vacation onward, I haven't stopped. For me it is more than just a mode of transportation, it is key to my freedom.
Going to a serene place, snow-laden peaks, driving alongside a beach thinking about various philosophies about love & life. Often realizing the beauty of absolutely amazing marvel of engineering under me. Driving makes me forget stuff and in short, it breaks the monotonous life to fill it with unlimited exposure."
If 10 Million Dollars (approximately INR 75 Crores) is given to you to use it any way you deem fit what would you do with this corpus?
"It would be indeed a big sum of money but I think everyone has thought about this kind of scenario some times in their lives in the form of ‘Three wishes from a Genie’. So, I am very confident about how I will put this money to use and is an MBA I can devise an efficient and balanced plan. I would like to use a part of this money for my own adventurous endeavour or so-called dreams. Few of them being at everyone’s dream list, travelling the world, owning a ravishing sports bike and the list goes on. But using the money diligently is also important so I will keep a part of it for future savings, and here is where finally my ‘Personal Finance’ classes will come into play. Then, there comes another venture that I have been planning for a few years now.
Back in college, I was inspired by a friend who used to work for the education of kids in the poverty-ridden areas. Since then, I kept joining her in this humane purpose. Our team of 7 conducted free classes for poor kids to help them with their studies. This was the time we realized how important it is to give these kids quality education which is not being met just by going to school for them. Most of the kids had to work part-time labour jobs after school. We had to convince few parents to see the long-term benefits of their education rather than just short-term wages that kids got from their part-time work which not only was ruining their education but also their care-free childhood.
Then, we also started preparing kids for Navodya admission exam, the ultimate destination for these kid’s future. But I think alone we were never enough, a lot needs to be don, a number of lives are waiting to be transformed. So, I always wondered if someday I will be self-sufficient to open actively support education and personality development of these kids not only in my city but trying to reach villages, towns across India. With this money, I think I can make this dream happen. I will be able to hire teachers, get material and infrastructure for free education help along with conducting drills in these areas for kid’s enrollment in schools and then ‘home-work’ classes with us. To sum up, I would devise a plan to use this money for my personal interests, security and some work to satisfy my soul too."
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