From Fighting Cancer To Living It Up At SIBM Bengaluru – Miral Shah’s Story
Tough Times Never Last, Tough People Do
3rd June 2014, was the day when my world turned upside down. With full enthusiasm and zeal, I was about to start my career in management, but there I stood numb and still, with a piece of paper saying “Hodgkin Lymphoma Diagnosed”, a subtype of Cancer. I couldn’t fathom that a small swelling on my neck would manifest itself into this dreadful disease – Cancer. At the age of 24, it was a truth hard to swallow for me and my family. Initially scared, and in denial, it took me a while to accept the reality. Situation was tough and race of time was against me. I went through a harrowing period. My body initially refused to listen. At times, I wanted to give up but self-belief, positive attitude, motivational stories of Lance Armstrong and Yuvraj Singh and support of my family helped me stay strong and determined to beat the odds.
I never gave up and I took this as a second chance to fulfil my dream of being in a reputed B-School. It was an arduous journey I must admit. Attending early morning mock tests became my struggle, sometimes due to high fever and sometimes due to worried parents. Keeping myself busy with MBA preparations made me forget about my treatment. There were days when I used to have my mock exams on the day of my Chemo. Nothing changed my zest to work hard and I continued to march ahead. Counting my WBC’s and mock tests score with an expectation to perform better in next exams, became my daily routine for those 7 months. Finally, CAT was just on the next day of my last radiation session, it did not go well but my journey didn’t end there. I had one month in hand for SNAP. I started working hard as it I wanted to leave no stone unturned. Finally I cleared SNAP with a decent score and got into SIBM Bengaluru. I consider it a miracle that I will be able to pursue my dreams. It’s rightly said that your experiences and your struggles define you as a person.
Our life at SIBMB started with outbound learning program comprising lot of team building fun-activities followed by a 2-day corporate induction programme addressed by industry stalwarts followed by a casual interactive session with Alumni. The 1st year was very hectic with lot of assignments, projects, tests, and extra-curricular activities. The pedagogy at SIBM Bengaluru is a balanced mix of lectures, case studies, assignments, group exercise and live projects which enables us to realize our full potential and not just become excellent managers but passionate leaders with analytical skills. There are different committees and clubs for overseeing different functions of the college and its events. One such committee – Alumni committee is instrumental in engaging students with the alumni. Being a part of that committee I had a chance to interact with many alumni and it feels very good to know that a bright future awaits after our life at SIBMB. I start my day at 7:00 by doing yoga, followed by breakfast after which I rush to the 9:00 am class, with an Economic Times in my hand. Classes usually end around 5:00 pm and just when I think of relaxing after a tiresome day, I will have to rush for committee meetings followed by meetings with group-mates for next day’s case-studies and presentations. Finally, while working on presentations late night, we shell out some time to chill and gossip with friends in cafeteria. Peer learning happens when we meet people from culturally and regionally diverse backgrounds. In spite of a very hectic schedule with just 4-5 hours of sleep, I enjoy each moment at SIBMB. Multi-tasking, respecting short deadlines and crisis handling are some of the things which I have learned to excel at.
One year, just this one year has transformed me into a new and improved version of myself, with a positive but pragmatic outlook towards life. With the new learnings, each moment makes more sense to me and I try to get the best out of it. I can proudly say “I’ve learned how to take out my own stitches: all you need is a pair of fingernail, clippers and a strong stomach.”
About the Author:
I am a strong-willed person, always ready to take on challenges. I hail from well-educated family based out of Ahmedabad and have done my Bachelors in Chemical Engineering from Dharamsinh Desai University (DDU), Gujarat. I have a strong inclination towards managerial aspects of learning which eventually has driven me to opt for sales and marketing as my career. I have worked as a Product Manager for 24 months, at DrM Filter Technology Pvt. Ltd., a Switzerland based firm dealing with Industrial Filtration Systems. I am a trained classical dancer, and strongly believe in giving back to society. Hence I volunteered for MAD (Make A Difference), an NGO for which I organized various events to raise funds for orphan children. I learnt a lot by working in teams for various committees and events, during my schooling and graduation. All this honed my leadership and team skills which led me to become the Joint Coordinator of Alumni Committee and a member of Student Leadership Council 2016-17, SIBM Bengaluru. I believe my perseverance will help me fulfil my ambitions and dreams. I look forward to engage with an organization which will enhance my skills and experience in Marketing. Signing off, Miral Shah.
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