It’s 9 am on a busy Monday morning. As you slowly open your eyes to the chaotic din of footsteps racing through the corridor ,doors slamming shut, and locks clicking frantically, you are struck by a sudden thought – your end term exams begin in fifteen minutes! You spring up from bed and hurriedly wake up your roommate, with whom you spent all night preparing for the exam. You’ll still managed to clock in 3 hours of sleep, which is quite impressive considering the fact that you had three projects, two presentations and two class tests to attend to in the last two days. Your roommate wakes up with a jolt. Then begins a series of coordinated actions is clockwork precision that would surely put the best group ballerinas to shame. In 10 minutes, you both have brushed your teeth, washed your faces, and dressed up ready to go. The exam hall is 2.5 minutes away from your hostel (by bike/car of course), so that gives you another 2 minutes to enjoy (gulp down) that Nescafe drink that comes in tetra packs. Luckily, the cafeteria is on the way to the exam hall, so no time wasted there. You have it all calculated in your mind. After each of you has gulped his drink, you’ll rush for the stairs. Two storeys to climb, and 30 seconds to go. Easy peazy. While climbing the flight of stairs, you manage to revisit some key concepts and formulae for the test (the tricky ones). You arrive at the second floor and flash a smile to some known faces, who like you, are running through the corridor in search of their classroom. As you enter the exam hall and make your way towards your allocated seat, the exam coordinator hands you the question paper. A quick glance at the questions tells you that you are in luck; three of the five questions are based on the same concept that you discussed while climbing the stairs. You turn to look at your roommate at the other end of the exam hall and find him smiling at you gleefully; It’s the language of telepathy – a rare connection that you develop with someone who has been in the same dire situation as you. The exam coordinator motions for you to start writing… and the rest is history.
My two years at B-school were along the same lines. It has been a vastly enriching experience that has enabled me to enhance my skill sets and feed my ambitions. The two most valuable lessons I learnt from my MBA experience are as follows –
1. Peer-to peer learning: – Since every single project and assignment is to be done in groups, you are forced to work closely with your fellow peers and evenly distribute the tasks among yourselves. The team member with a work-experience background in Finance works on the accounting project, while the one who has worked at the leading consultancy firm agrees to take up the marketing project. At the end of it all, you’ll sit together and brainstorm before submitting each project and naturally end up getting exposed to one another’s work ethic, experience, and ambitions. You adopt the work ethics that resonate with your style; learn from the valuable experiences that your peers had in their prior jobs; and derive motivation from their unique ambitions. All in all, peer to peer learning is a pretty neat way of learning from others’ experiences.
2. Multi-tasking: – Since you have to submit a dozen different assignments and projects by the same due date, you are naturally forced to improve your efficiency and make the most out of your time, by hook or by crook. This teaches you how to systematically follow through on multiple commitments simultaneously and thus become an expert in time management. You learn how to make use of every minute of every hour.
In conclusion, an MBA (PGDM) program is only as good as the value that you are able to derive out of it. The experience is comparable to the famous mobile game, Subway Surfers – a game in which you are chased by a police inspector and his dog for spraying graffiti on a train. While escaping from the duo, you come across many gold coins, collecting which gives you points. While it is not possible to collect each and every coin on your path, it is certainly possible to maximize the number of coins that you collect by efficiently moving (left or right) and jumping over obstacles. The same applies for an MBA program. You are presented with a host of opportunities to develop yourself; from being a part of student-run committees and clubs, to taking part in national level B-school competitions hosted by prestigious companies, the opportunities for growth are limitless. Nonetheless, it is not possible to be a part of every committee and club and take part in every single competition; rather, the objective is to take part in as many events as possible (collect as many coins as possible), and watch in amazement as your personal growth-curve sky-rockets.
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