Now comes the time to prioritize, prioritize, prioritize!
There are multiple things one can do with their time in the B-school, but having a firm eye on the goal you set for yourself will help you choose the right places to invest your time and energy into.
Acads, and accompanying grades, are important. Their relative importance also depends on your goal. If consulting and investment banking are your goals, you better get ready to be amongst the top 10% of your batch because most firms in these sectors mandate high grades. If you have selected the industry sector of your choice, then keeping above average grades may suffice provided you bolster your profile with the right internship, projects, papers, elective courses, etc. Do people who do not get good grades still make it big in the world of business? Yes, there are a few. Have you entered the b-school to do more than just slog it out on the grades, then read on.
Unless you have decided to pursue academia, mere understanding of concepts may not prepare you for the corporate world. Acquiring, exercising, honing organizational skills while at b-school will make you better prepared to navigate the real challenges. And no better avenues to get this experience than by getting into one of many clubs or student body activities. Ranging from placement committee, sports club, industry interaction club, tech club, cultural club, marketing/finance/consulting clubs, etc. to elected student bodies, there are usually many options for you to choose depending on your areas of interest. From organizing and marketing events/activities, raising funds, recruiting and managing members, juggling priorities (acads and club activities), even understanding organizational politics to some extent, a club’s membership brings multiple benefits. You can even test your leadership qualities as many clubs elect their office bearers to run the show.
The relationships you build in b-school will endure and enrich you in multiple ways throughout life. With your batch mates, seniors, juniors as well as academic staff. Beyond your class/section and hostel block, you are in company of a diverse and talented bunch of people whom you can tap into for advice on subject matters, industry nuances, their networks, references, etc. Make sure to invest time in building a few meaningful relationships – be sure to add value to the relationship yourself. Merely knowing a hundred names is less useful than knowing ten people in depth.
Beyond the pressures of academics, skill-gathering and placements, b-school can also be a place for some serious fun. Engaging chat sessions at late night canteens, the dance parties, inter b-school sports and cultural meets, all come together to string memories that will stay with you for ever!
Good luck with your B-school adventure!
About the Author:
Vineet Taneja is an alumnus of IIM Bangalore and a Corporate Leader in the internet & mobile technology industry.