MBA To Build Your Life, Not Your Resume

“What will you do once you enter the gates of your dream b-school?”

“I’ll attend classes, study, score marks and build CGPA, participate and win competitions, excel in extracurricular…”

‘So, all in all, you wish to build an exquisite CV?”

“Umm.. yeah, that’s what MBA is all about no?  Build a CV and hence get a high paying job?”

We’re in the month of March, a time when the hustle and bustle at India’s b-schools have just stabled down a bit, with the dreaded GD-PI processes entering their final stage. Taking part in the admission process at IMT Ghaziabad as a student volunteer, I tended to strike conversations with few aspirants, an extract of which, is reflected in the opening lines of this story.

Not surprisingly, I could perfectly match my thoughts with the supposedly new brigade, which is going to foray into b-school life, full of aspirations and expectations, of sailing through the two years of their MBA, as the shining stars of their batch, and coming out wearing the Numero Uno crown. And what is the foremost thing which comes to mind when we think of a fruitful b-school life? Apparently, a great job.

Don’t take me wrong here. I am not at all discounting the relevance of securing your dream job. That’s an integral part of your reasoning to pursue MBA, but, it isn’t, or I shall say, shouldn’t be the sole part. After spending almost a year with the “MBAing” tag, I feel I possess the right to opine about defining a fulfilling time at a b-school.

And yes, when I say opine, it’s just an opinion. I am no expert, and these are just some of my thoughts, articulated into words. Let me introduce you to two contrasting characters here – Harishchandra, and Tej Pratap. Having gone through 23-24 years of their respective lives, both Harish and Tej decided to tread through a novel path and picked MBA as their choice of post-graduation. CAT came, and they cleared it with flying colours. Talented as they were, the further hindrances towards their favourite b-school vanished in a short span. And, as soon as they entered this dream school of theirs, both set their common aim on securing a job, with a company, called Froogle. Two people, two years and one BIG company!

Harish, guided by his mentors, brick by brick, laid the foundation towards his entry in Froogle. Carefully manoeuvring through multiple subjects, he mastered the art of scoring marks, and thus was declared the batch topper. Not only this, Harish took an active part in the b-school contests, gathering accolades in many of them. On the other hand, Tej, took a slightly varied path. He indulged himself in the multiple committees of the b-school, and worked hard to hone his soft skills, given his knowledge, that Froogle supposedly weighed the factors such as “excellent communication skills” high during the selection of fresh employees. Tej, like Harish, also gained appreciation and commendation, and not to forget, “valuable” CV points.

Time flew by, and the final placements approached. Harish and Tej were confident, that they had done enough to achieve their goal. An identical scene flashed in front of their eyes. HRs from Froogle handling them their offer letters, and they are accepting the same gleefully. Woohoo!!  Picture perfect ending. Or was it?

As a customary process, Froogle floated a form for interested students to sign up for the job. On an obvious note, Harish and Tej gave their affirmation. The shortlist came out..and…agonisingly, neither Harish nor Tej could find their respective names in the list.. They were shattered. The hope on which their confidence rode, the X-factor which was supposed to be their major weapon, their CV, couldn’t even get them an opportunity to stake their claim on the job at Froogle, let alone get it.

But, why did it happen? Why won’t a company shortlist two of the seemingly unparalleled CV’s? Well, this answer, no-one has. Those who have been in the unfortunate situation of Harish and Tej would verily agree, that company shortlists, are very much unpredictable. No one can tell what goes into the minds of HR’s when they are on course of choosing the names of the shortlists.

I am again stating here, that don’t perceive my message as the one, which is directing you towards the MBA-life filled with just enjoyment. I’ll collate my expressions, through the final lines of this piece-

“You’re at that juncture of life, where MBA’s gonna summon,

In the forthcoming two years, listen to the call of your heart, whatever may happen…

There would be crests, and there’ll be troughs, you would need to master,

You’ll embrace new adventures, and relationships would foster…

Do set a goal, and give your best to achieve the same,

Prove your mettle, and history books may etch your name..

But, don’t forget, you aren’t, on the CV building strife,

Would you allow, a piece of paper to define your life?”


All the best!!