I am sure most of you have landed in one premium B-school or other. Of course, a few of you are thrilled and a few are a little disappointed. Nevertheless, the future is in front of you. I have time and again seen many of those who go to so called not-so-top-notch B-schools outperforming those who have been to, in their journey of careers and life. So just look ahead and give your best.
This is the time, friends and family are as excited as you are and you ended up throwing a party for all well wishers and then-on wait for the D-day to board your train or flight to reach the campus. Yes, you do go out shopping to buttress your wardrobe as much as for essentials for the next two years at the hostel.
We will soon meet for the PARTY. Apart from shaking your legs, you will meet your seniors as well as your co-travelers and may wish to get an insight into what happens at the B-School you are heading to and how to put your best foot forward. Not a bad idea, for sure.
“The ill-prepared are in for a SHOCKER at the end of the first term! And most of them will never recover in the next two years! Sigh!!
One question that should spring into your head is that – “Can I do a few things from now till the date of my journey that can have a positive impact at least on my first term, if not the next two years!!” Is this an important question to address? Yes, indeed.
You should be very keen that you gain maximum from your two years at B-School. Having been a facilitator to B-School aspirants over the last two decades and also as an alumnus of an IIM myself, I have a few things to ask you to work upon –
Working on your General Awareness, writing and presentation skills
It is very important that you work on your ability to think, organize and articulate your thoughts. Whether you are already good at it or you feel challenged, you need to work on it. I am sure you gained a lot during the last three months of PDP and interview process. No doubt, you can be even better. It needs a constant endeavour from each one of us every day.
Make reading your best friend. Kindly read a good newspaper – The Hindu / Indian Express / A Business daily every day, especially the features and editorial pages. Listen to 9pm news on DD and Day’s round up on one of the business channels every evening. Study the graphs and data to understand the situation depicted.
Work on your ability to express
The moment you enter, you need to study, prepare and present on a variety of topics, participate in case discussions etc. Better work on it right away.
Make sure you write an article every day – If you have not created a blog already, kindly do, to express yourself (you can check my website http://www.sreeni.org for any ideas). Alternatively, take a topic and speak in front of the mirror while recording it using your mobile. Play it to listen and introspect – where you got stuck and why? How can you overcome the shortcomings? Take action to be better.
Watch the best speakers on Youtube, TED and see how they work on their ideas and present crisply in front of the public.
Build your fundamentals before you reach the campus
Three subjects that would form the core for any business education and thereby your performance during the MBA programme are – quanititative ability (statistics), economics and accounting; I strongly urge you to pick a basic book on these to familiarize yourself even before you reach your campus for the pre-term / first term. The best place to start is CBSE Class XI and XII books.
Disruptions galore, future shall throw surprises – Are you ready?
During the PDP process, I always shared with you to look at the future. The next ten years disruptive technologies will impact every industry. Automation can lay off over 50% of the employed. Industries may metamorphose; else they may be on the verge of vanishing. I am sure quite a few of you have worked on it to respond to the question, “Why MBA?” If you have, then keep reading more and more that shall help you to refine or adapt to the shifts. Those who have not, quickly start reading. Go to twitter and follow the accounts of bets of newspapers, periodical, journals, thinkers, world leaders, technologists, CEOs etc. Follow religiously, read the write ups, articles; So much to gain from doing so.
A couple of short predictive, disruptive timelines…. just indicative!
First figure out what you really want to do in life. I suggest you spend some time to introspect about this question ‘What I would be remembered for when I leave this world?’
Kindly read the article that I wrote on IKIGAI – purpose and meaning of life!
A few questions to help you start off –
- What do you really enjoy doing? What are you good at? Which industry or company will benefit maximum from your passion.
- Once you short list the company / industry, start reading about them through various available data and feature sources
- Are there any personalities you admire and why? Is there and values they espouse or abilities that they have that you want to inculcate? Work on them consciously.
Once you are able to write this note for yourself, I am sure you will get to know what you need to do from now on to achieve your ultimate goals, and how you would like to make maximum of your next two years at the B-School of your choice. Put all these in a note for yourself. I hope this will be a great exercise for your journey.
What more can I do in the next two months?
I sincerely advise everyone to take time off before you head to the business school. A few of the working kind rush to the business school the very next week after their last day at the office. You will be lacking energy to take off! You should have done a lot of things in a relaxed way in the previous four to six weeks that you should be fresh and eager on the first day of the business school.
A few ideas…..
- Travel. Travel….. Travel is the best enabler. Add adventure trails, even better. Get hold of a few of your friends from the past, or even those who are heading to the same business school with you and plan the trip. Do it now!!
- When I am asking you to travel, why not travel to countries of cutting-edge technology and developments – ISRAEL, TAIWAN etc… You will be surprised how a couple of weeks in these countries and visits to their universities can impact your vision for life
- Contribute to any cause close to your heart. I have been hearing from many of you that there are causes very dear to you. Why not associate with an organization or a movement that espouses a cause very close to your heart for a few weeks and contribute there. This will help you understand a whole lot about yourself, working of an organization and also can give ideas about what all you could do during your two years of B-School and after.
- Start learning something that you have been longing for – playing a guitar, tap-dance, salsa….why not a start learning a language that could be of value in your B-School life (Exchange programs with other universities world wide) and beyond (placements)
- Once you identified your area of interests (you must have realized during your PDP), why not undertake a course or two on UDEMY or Coursera that could add value to you in your career and life.
- Get yourself physically fit – get going on your bicycle, hit the gym… etc.
- A few movements that I have been involved actively are as follows and in the next two months there are amazing opportunities to explore, if you are really interested in. Click on the links and discover–
- NIF and its Shodhyatras at www.sristi.org – Kindly check this site for the next shodhyatra 39th in Odisha scheduled this MAY, that will open your eyes to grassroot-innovation
- SPICMACAY’s (http://www.spicmacay.com) promotion of culture and art forms among youth etc – Kindly do a quick registration for the international convention scheduled for June 05-11 at IIT Delhi. Last date for registration is April 15th.
- ITIHAAS – a movement to acquaint children and youth with the heritage of India.(http://www.itihaas.net)
- Working with a few young entrepreneurs and their start ups
- Of course mentoring or doing workshops for teachers and students.
I am sure you too can identify a cause and contribute during your free time to gain something that can be significant for your journey of life.
Before winding up, I would like to just say that, at the B-school –
- Kindly be hungry for learning, devour magazines, journals and books;
- Do not hesitate to interact with professors beyond your class requirements,
- Plunge into all activities that are happening around you,
- Take additional responsibilities on the campus that can build your personality.
- Create great bonds and thought alignments. Who knows, you may find your co-founders for a killer business happening there. We did for CL Educate !
I am sure you would have got enough ideas to build upon whatever I have stated here that can be invaluable for your journey ahead.
Wishing you the very best. Enjoy your B-school life.