You may be in your final year of undergraduate study, slog in office, want to earn big money, want to get into entrepreneurship to build the next revolutionary startup, aspire to get out of the rat race and make it big in life. If you are reading this article, my hearty congratulations on aspiring to make a mark for yourself in the society. Many see an MBA from the reputed IIMs as a panacea to all these problems. In addition to the above-mentioned reasons, the less often mentioned but a major benefit of doing an MBA is that it teaches you to handle life and the numerous bouncers it throws at you. After the torturous preparation for CAT, cracking the WAT-PI process, you reach the gates of a mighty IIM. It is foolhardy to think that your journey is over and you are all set for a rockstar life. Be forewarned! CAT is just a portal to make it to a place where you are surrounded by toppers from the famed IITs, NITs, BITS(s), SRCC, CAs, CFAs and people who have worked with Fortune 500 companies. From the first week, you will be bombarded with business jargon, balance sheets and at the same time, you will be asked to analyse the supply and demand curves. In the blink of an eye, the first quiz will be conducted where many will be pondering whether they have made it above the class average. While you get used to the routine of quizzes and exams, the first thing you will learn is that weekend relaxation is just a construct of the mind. You learn to prioritise academic work, club work at the same time make new friends.
Come the second term, companies start coming in for summer placements. With this comes the pressure of featuring in shortlists and hotlists. While some of you may see, your names published in numerous shortlists, some may have to wait longer. With this, you learn humility and patience. You learn to tone down your celebratory mood and some who have been achievers all through your life will be humbled by the awesome people around you. You also learn to work in groups as you go through the numerous mock case and GD preparations. It is during summers; you learn to show camaraderie standing with each other until the entire batch gets places. Throughout the subsequent terms, you will be facing numerous project submissions where you will learn to deal with ‘free riding’ (Teammates not doing their portion of allotted work and relying on others). During the intense and fast-paced life at the IIMs, you will introspect deeply and will be surprised at the things that you will learn about yourself. It will be a journey of some major ups and downs which will make you realise that life is not fair. But at the same time, it will harden your resolve to face any challenge that life may throw at you. In the end, though you may not remember much what you studied in these two years, what you get at the IIMs is a once in a lifetime experience to strengthen yourself mentally to handle reality and take challenges head on both professionally and personally.
About the author:
The writer of this post is currently a student at IIM Bangalore. After completing a Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering, he worked for two years in General Motors. He is passionate about automobiles and is also a rookie fitness enthusiast. He wants to pursue a career in Operations Management and is currently going to intern with Accenture Strategy for summers.