With great honor, should come great humility in MBA grads
As I stood on the balcony of my flat my gaze fell upon these three girls in the distance. These three girls looked like any other three girls I might have seen anywhere in Delhi. They were carrying notebooks- all of them and two of them held books that looked familiar- books I might have purchased whilst starting my preparation for IITJEE in 11th standard. I never actually read anything beyond the preface in either of them because that was sadly, the most interesting thing about them. You see the sad part about preparing for IIT was that none of the theory told a story- the prefaces did, which is why I will have read only the prefaces of most of the prep books. But don’t tell my mom I did that or hid Archies Comics in my Resnick & Halladay – she would be heartbroken.
Before I allow myself to digress any further, let’s get back to the story of the three girls (which isn’t much of a story, actually). Thing is seeing them carry these books, no doubt to the nearest tuition center, made me sick to the pit of my stomach. It reminded me that here I was- the ultimate fraud- no good at anything, having lived- having achieved what these girls were carrying Resnicks & Morrisons & worry laden expressions to achieve and having never gone beyond the preface of any serious theory book- having hardly studied for any of my exams at all. And this was metaphorical; me- undeserving with no books- no worries, standing above looking down upon those with both, yet those who had nothing. One of nature’s truest cruelties.
Thus, I pity those I met who pride in themselves for having cracked the best company on campus or CAT or for being a Stephanian or a DPSite. As a certain Prof. Singla (Dean, FMS Delhi) and before him, an even more certain Prof. Anand (FMS Delhi) said, “You are here only because somebody somewhere somehow made a mistake.” I wish people didn’t wear pride on their sleeves but carried it deep underneath- a weapon to be used at the last resort. I cracked two of the tougher exams in this country- but if I used that and largely that to define myself, I will have lived a hollow life, won’t I?
Vaibhav Anand is a 2008 passout from Delhi College of Engineering and a 2010 MBA passout from FMS, Delhi. He is currently working for a Multinational Bank in Delhi. Vaibhav is also the author of the bestselling “If God Went To B-School”. You can reach out to him through Twitter at his handle @vaibrainmaker.
You may also want to read Ankit Doshi’s post on humility that kicked up quite a storm on InsideIIM last year.