On Finance And Networking
This is my fifth year at b-school (I am in the Integrated Programme at IIM Indore) so I would like to think that I have learnt many management lessons here.
Speaking objectively, I have gained knowledge on many subjects here. The history of Indian politics, linear programming, basic French, investment analysis, psychology and organisational behaviour are a few that I can name right now.
You would think the greatest application of management theory into one’s personal life would come from a subject like organisation behaviour or consumer psychology. I beg to differ. It would surprise you to know that the one lesson that has helped me most in life comes from Finance.
So, what is this lesson? It is an adage that is well known to management students- diversify your risks. I can think of many ways in this lesson can this be helpful. E.g. if I had two children I probably would not want them to work in the same industry.
I can give a reference much closer to home. Remember 2 States, the love story of Krish and Ananya set against the backdrop of PGP studies at IIM Ahmedabad? In the whole movie, I saw Alia and Arjun (who played the protagonists) interact with a few people in their college. You can argue that the entire point of the movie was the romance but for now let us assume that what we saw was all there was and they didn’t have a lot of friends.
It might (or might not) surprise you to know how many people at any b-school behave the same way. It is odd to see that so many people refuse to leverage their connections in a b-school. I have nothing against dating or socialising. In fact, the point I am making is the exact opposite. I would tell anyone to find a ton of friends from different backgrounds. Use the b-school platform to make those early networking mistakes and learn from them. Don’t let your emotional stability depend on one person or a small group of people.
People feel that they would not find friends in a competitive, professional environment. They could not be more wrong. A b-school is a great place to meet new people of varied interests, cultures, and fields.
So, make sure you find a lot of people to interact with and hence diversify your emotional risks. It has helped me in my professional and personal life over the years and I am sure it will help you too.