Often, an MBA from a top notch business school in India is seen to be the gateway to success. In the quest of making it to top schools, aspirants work hard every day and write multiple exams like CAT, XAT, TISSNET, NMAT, IIFT etc.
“Success”, here in a B-school, is often depicted as a function of lucrative CTCs that the placement committee of such institutions releases or the job role that one gets. Just to give a perspective into how outside world reacts to “your life through you job role/ remuneration”
“So, you are an Investment Banker? Wow! You will lead a comfortable life. Moolah would be huge.”
“Oh! Consulting job? In a big 4? Amazing, you are sorted. It’s a dream to be in your position.”
“HR Manager? Consulting, FMCG or Technology? Sounds great, you have arrived.”
To the outside world, such statements depict achievement. But is it all that a B-school is all about? The answer to this is Yes as well as No.
Yes, because in a campus, maybe it’s the competitive spirit you are driven with. If one assesses objectively and fairly, there is nothing wrong in that. If one has certain dreams, then one must work towards it.
No, because the real test is after your journey ends in college. You may be great in your subjects, but you may not be good on the job (ouch! Sounds harsh), or may be in the process of being a successful professional you lost out on your personal life – your friends on campus- who were once an integral part of life.
This story is not going to focus on the ‘Yes’, but rather will focus on the ‘No’ mentioned above because aspirants need to understand what life really looks after a B-school, as most of us say that going to B-school is a life change experience and it helps you to mature in more than one way. However, I won’t talk about the academics or the hectic life that college has to offer; this piece will offer you something more than the traditional “gyaan” on business schools.
So, lets jump to the P-Day (Placement Day). There are two scenarios that may occur: you may be placed in your dream company or you may not be placed in your dream company. Let’s take a rosy scenario (read rarely happens) that you are placed in your dream company.
Some companies roll out their joining immediately, however most of the organziations give a joining date post one or two months post your last lecture day on campus. You may find people cribbing (hold on; next section brings in the contradiction) that they want an early joining or they are “getting bored” of the usual routine at home.
Sense of Contradictions
Here comes the interesting part. You were waiting to join. The competitive spree on campus makes you feel you have to over achieve in every sense. You have to be the best employee in a month or quarter or year, or get that extra moolah back home in the form of performance appraisal. All this is good for a year or so, but the same person burns out after a point in time and craves for that family time that the person used to diss earlier. There are some people on campus (who may be amongst the few) who find faults about academics/ the college routine, but these are the same set of people who burn out after a point of time and crave for coming back on campus. The reason is that after a point in time all these so called hard numbers in the form of appraisals or salary become a part and parcel of your corporate life, what matters are those three – four people whom you were close to on campus, perhaps with whom you shared your emotions, experiences, joys, sorrows.
No matter how pragmatic you are, you will always miss your life on campus. Be it the chai that was served by that aunty in canteen or the man selling vada pav outside campus to the long walks in campus to your love on campus, you will always miss that. There is an emotion attached to it. I have no qualms in saying that I haven’t really moved on from my B-school life because I love my campus and I am indebted to it for giving me the two best years of my life with some of the best people and the “best partner” I could have asked for.
I have made memories in these two years which I am going to cherish for life. When you are stuck in that regular 9 to 6 job, there will come a time, while gazing outside that cubicle window:
“Oh man! I miss my campus, I wish I could go back there.”
Some people may say this directly, others prefer to put up a more practical face by citing:
“Guess you should move on. So what if campus life was great; change is the only constant. Look beyond it.”
People on Campus
You may leave the campus, but understand that you had your friends in the batch. Some of us tend to forget those who stuck to us in our difficult times (read people who don the cap of practicality). Well, yes, there is WhatsApp and Facebook, but aren’t we those who just check notification, read the messages and exit. Anyway, the point is keep in touch with people. They were the ones who stood with you when chips were down. May be they were the ones whom you a lot for your successes. Don’t forget to thank those people. It’s always good to call up people and meet them. Unfortunately, we become so busy that we tend to lose touch.
As I write this article, there is a surge of emotions: I miss my girlfriend with whom I shared the best moments on campus, whom I loved throughout and to whom I gave the tightest hug possible after convocation because I feared how it will be post campus life ends. I miss my close friends with whom I would go out for a frequent beer and butter chicken near to campus. I miss all the batch parties for various significant ‘milestones’. I miss it!
MBA Student, Batch: 2017-19