What Did Year 1 of MBA at IIM Teach Me Afterall

After almost a year, I decided to pen down my experience. MBA at IIM did keep me super busy. Now when I’m home and meeting my own people, this one question comes running after me “What have you learnt in this one year?” I feel like reciting each day to them and the loads of stress that went by with each passing day, but I fail to utter much. That silence following my interrupted monologue says a lot to me if not to the person posing rhetoric before me.

“Overwhelming” is an understatement for how the first year seemed to me. Transitioning from a relaxed final year of bachelor’s degree to nerve wrecking and extremely fast paced first year of MBA was scary.

Several e-mails pouring in inbox, hefty assignments, crazy deadlines,  mad run for Position of Responsibility, case study, the pressure of resume building , competitions, desperate class participations, incessant tests, midterms and end terms,  innumerable ppts and spreadsheets, the difficult and daunting task of decision making, everything follows. It almost seems like you’re being put at hunger games except the bloodsheds and killings.  MBA is like an artificially simulated environment where you have no option but to compete, face the mounting pressure lest you fail after having paid a hefty fee.

But isn’t this hunger game meant to teach you a lot while you run and at the same time throw expletives at every roadblock that makes your journey exceedingly difficult.

Yes, it does teach you a lot. I fear I might just state obvious things like patience, grit, determination etc. So I’d rather dig deeper and be more specific with my version of teachings.

  1. It taught me to value relations. In this mad rush, there comes a point where you might just want to slow down a bit, confide in your closest friend or family. It makes you strong and run faster at pace. It happened often to me and the relationships that I have earned so far in life kept me going and I could brave all storms.
  2. It helped me to accept myself as I am. I had a distorted vision of myself being able to handle everything (projects, several subjects, extra –curriculars, several other engagements) that came my way and overestimated myself to quite an extent. And I failed badly at all of them except in few that I genuinely enjoyed doing. Prioritizing was what became important and taught its value. It also taught me to accept myself with all my weaknesses too (we often tend to focus only on our strengths, while we ignore our weaknesses).
  3. It made me realize that nothing is as bad/good as it seems and there is no point whining over things that are not in your control. When later in time you look at those instances where you had spent your time crying over things, you then realize it wasn’t worth the time and energy you had actually spent on it. It reinstilled my belief over the age-old adage “Jo hota hai acche ke liye hi hota hai”. Once you develop this thought you become more accepting of your surroundings.

So, next time when any of my uncleji visits and throws high-on-IIM-experience content questions at me, I should better be prepared to dodge by answering what all I have learnt and how I love this learning experience that is continuous and has a depth to it.

I now hope to enter my summers and Year-2 at MBA with reinvigorated energy and wider vista.