“Intelligence, hardwork and commitment are three key ingredients of my success mantra” – Jayesh Surisetti – 1st year MBA topper at IIM Raipur

A brief profile

The one word to describe Jayesh would be a “Philomath”. After completing his Bachelor’s in Business Administration from Symbiosis Pune, he is currently a second year student, pursuing his PGP from Indian Institute of Management Raipur. He has been associated with various consultancy firms, news agencies, publishing houses and educational institutions in capacities varying from an intern to a faculty. Apart from being an active member of a student club, he writes research papers and speaks in public forums. Being a voracious reader, his favourite genres are alternative history and espionage fiction. Passionate about music, he plays guitar and congo as well.



What were your expectations while joining a B-School like IIM Raipur?

Cracking CAT was an achievement of sorts, but being in an IIM is an entirely different ball game. I had heard about the tales of the struggles of an IIM entrant – the late night study groups, the impromptu examinations, the humongous course loads – and in a way I was looking forward to this challenge. My expectations essentially were to understand how the business world works from an academic perspective in a much more structured manner, along with some exposure to management disciplines.

Being a fresher, how difficult is your life in an IIM?

Life in an IIM is actually neither easy nor difficult for a fresher; it’s just different. When experienced people come into a rigorous programme like the one at an IIM, they look for making sense of what they have learnt during their tenure. For freshers, such programmes provide an opportunity to develop professional aptitude. Come to think of it, being a fresher might have certain pitfalls, but it adds a different dimension to the way you approach things.

What would be your success mantra?

Lofty question with a lofty answer, but here goes.

There are three ingredients – intelligence, hardwork and commitment. Intelligence means relatively greater knowledge about the respective domain; if a normal person knows x, you know x+2 by default. Then there is hardwork, meaning the ability to put in extraordinary effort; setting a target to study for 10 hours when the normal is 7-8 hours. Finally, there is commitment, to persevere upto completion of a target; somewhat like ek baar jo maine commitment kar diya, uske baad…

While pursuing a target or preparing for something, if a student or an individual can have even two of these three ingredients, the job is done.

When you were preparing for your exams, did you go in thinking you’re going to top, and plan your studying strategy accordingly, or are you from the ‘let the chips fall where they may’ category? Which approach do you think is better?

I’m actually a very bad person to answer this question, but let me try. In all modesty, I never have a goal in mind when it comes to grades or marks. In fact, the exam time is the time period where I have a lot of commitment-free time to devote to myself. I guess I conform more to the latter category. In fact, I enjoy letting the chips fall where they may.

In the context of a B-school, I think the objective is rarely academic supremacy. Majority of the people come into a B-school for placements etc. For the minority which does care about being top in academics, there is no single strategy. However, worrying too much about marks or grades never helps. I think one should study well and then let one’s academic career take its own course.

What were your ways of de-stressing? Any shortcuts or hacks to refresh and recharge the brain quickly for the next study session?

I am an ardent follower of TV serials and movies. I multitask almost whenever I can, so there is no de-stressing involved. I study and watch serials/movies simultaneously. But when the routine starts getting to me, I read a novel or a classic.

Your area major is HR. What interests you in the field of HR?

The pragmatist in me told me that HR is a field which is relatively unexplored and therefore, has enormous scope to prosper. The behaviourist in me saw a great chance to see human behaviour in action closely. Essentially speaking, everything in a company is done by people, be it Marketing, Finance or otherwise. If one can learn to understand and manage the underlying motivations of these people, there is no limit to the impact on the bottomline of any organisation.

What are your plans for the future?

As far as my corporate career is concerned, I just want to make it into the corner office of a reputed company as an HR guy. I also want to contribute to the management body of knowledge academically.

Finally, any message that could potentially benefit the readers?

Many people say that academic aptitude is the most important thing in an educational institution. Many people also say that academics do not matter in a B-school as long as you fulfill the other important things and many shenanigans. Do not listen to either of them blindly. Develop yourself personally and professionally first, conform to the system and either you will end up taking care of academics by default or make that fight unnecessary. There are constraints involved, especially that of time, in a B-school or any other tough setting. The importance of prioritizing cannot be stated enough in such contexts. Other than that, it is upto you what and how you want to achieve. Have clarity in your mind and go for it.


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