From the rumours that give life to scattered spots on campus to realities behind the closed doors where all the work and competition brews, life at a school never leave your grey cells unattended. As I was just getting accustomed to life at a b-school during my first few days the curiosity in me had my neurons pacing with what seemed like a time machine to the end of the next two years. The stories about competition, friendship, and everything in between start to make you doubt everything you might have expected, with their validity limited to the source. As you are settling into something you have worked so hard to achieve and are preparing yourself for all that is going to come your way, how do you make sure that you continue on the same path that you had set for yourself?
The very first of the many decisions that will put you into a series of contemplative poses as you stare out of your dorm room window dramatically is which club and/or committee to be a part of, or at least which ones to apply for. Before you set out to judge any committee or club based on the gossip associated with it on campus, it’s important for you to know that all of the work, perks, and challenges are seldom let out by any member of a student body to even their closest friends. Professionalism and integrity is something that comes naturally as you work in a competitive environment with a group of people who are equally motivated and as capable. So, instead invest your time in understanding the key responsibilities of each club or committee, which can be easily found on the college website in most cases, and map that to what are genuine interests, passion, and competency. Lastly, do not make your decision based on the glamorous image a committee might have on campus or the possible strength of the associated POR that comes along with it. You will be putting in possibly the two most important years of your life, so invest yourself in an opportunity that can elevate you and your skills in the long term.
Just as you get done with your committee/club dinners to celebrate the newly inducted team in the middle of a tight routine filled with submissions and tests, the surge of corporate competitions and a sudden urge to participate in them should hit you and hit you hard. The temptation to register for each and every competition with the best imaginable team on campus is understandable, but not at all advisable. A lot of your learning at a b-school will happen outside the classroom, and these competitions can prove to be your greatest learnings. All these makes it even more important for you to practice restraint and choose your battles wisely. In order to have a shot at winning and to make the most of any of these competitions requires one to put in a lot of effort with logic, backed by research and elevated by innovation. It becomes possible for a b-school participant to invest themselves meaningfully to any competition only if they show focus and commitment for it, without adding more to their plate than they can manage. So, plan ahead and know your commitments and time constraints before you jump into something big.
These two decisions to be made in the first semester define and set the path for the next two years of your MBA life to a great extent by being the best modes of learning about the theories you study and about your own capabilities and limitations. Make the most through them and remember to start this phase of your life with great ambition, but balance it with setting a goal and being 100% committed to it.