Monday, July 12, 2010

What is the MBA application process teaching me?

Preface-  Nothing in this post is intended to be self-congratulatory or boastful. its an honest account of what journey to a b-school has done to me so far. So much so that even if I don't get it, I will not have anything to lose.

I think this is going to be one of the longest post on my blog ever. I wanted to write down today how much the journey itself to a B-school has been inspiring for me. Eight months back I was still figuring out why I should do an MBA and decided that I was not completely ready. I actually left my apps at the altar!

When I started my professional career three years back, I was inspired to work hard and be smart. When I moved to Bangalore, i decided to stay alone. These things have actually molded me well in last two years. At first, I became domesticated. I learnt cooking, sweeping and wiping  the floor (yes I didn't hire a maid!) and running! I used to run upto one hour. I was having congenial heart disease and as a kid I was a declared weak! But like Forrest Gump, when I started running, I kept on running! So on  a typical week day I would wake up at 6AM go to jog, clean the house, cook breakfast and lunch and then get ready to go to office; Work around 14 hours a day, come back and cook dinner. and sleep. It used to be perfect. Then there were attractions. I got attracted to Namaste Yoga and I started practicing that instead of jogging. After reading an article in The Hindu about why education should be returned back to community, my love for teaching got enticed and I started teaching the daughter of the lady running the parlor. That girl has a great respect for me today and I think that's one of the most selfless job that I ever did. This continued at my workplace as well when I assumed responsibilities of three people who left our team. I vividly remember the expression on my manager's face when he said that I am one of the most efficient individual he has worked with in his 10-year career. I think I tasted success that day. Has it ever happened to you that when you returning from work at 10PM in the night but you are smiling about something. This used to happen with me everyday. I was not sure what I did, that made me feel that way, but in hindsight I think it was the hard work that I was putting in. Nothing was pre-defined or disciplined, I just somehow was able to do it. This was the life I lived for almost six months after I moved to Bangalore, until the day I decided that I will give GMAT (and not MBA). I had too little idea about what are the other parts of the application process and why I should do an MBA. When GMAT prep began, I left every other responsibility that I had taken - hired a maid, ate food at workplace, discontinued jogging, seldom practiced surya namaskar. But I still slept properly and still worked immensely. In fact, GMAT helped me to be more analytical and had improved my reasoning skills and that was always shown at my office. I think continuing education always does that to you! I felt this more stronger with my CFA prep days.

When GMAT got over, I talked to few people. They told me that having a faint idea on what you want from an MBA is sufficient. You just have to get in, you will figure out more things on your own. When I attended my first admission information session in October, I heard a booth alum of 87 batch talking that he had followed the same career path as he wrote in his apps. At that very moment, I realized that I will not be justifying myself if I apply. But I still continued exploration and thought may be in a month I will figure out whatever I was thinking I need an MBA for, is actually the reason I need an MBA for. But MBA apps are no Archimedes' eureka moment. They require constant underpinning. They require you to be crystal clear and AdCom doesn't need to tell you that. You will realize this yourself when you are writing your essays. I discontinued my applications and I didn't apply at all. That is I think is one of the wisest decision that I made because I listened to my heart and my brain. It was an informed decision and I have not regretted it till date.

So what should I have done next then? When I have got more time to evaluate myself I realized that I need to do some work in that area I was intending to be in. But that industry wouldn't take me today because I am not qualified for the job. I spared my mind for some time and joined bollywood dancing classes at Lourd Vijay Dance Studio for three months. But my mind was not meant to be spared. I kept on exploring options that could make me qualified. I talked to few friends who were in that industry already and learned that enrolling in  CFA Program will be the best step that I can take.CFA exam preparation has made me wiser and clearer that whatever I  intended my goal to be , it is the goal meant to be.

Shall I tell you how this entire process has made me better? I am more confident than ever. i know today more than ever in my life how things work and especially how I can make them work. I inspired few more girls to take GMAT. I never said anything directly . They say they just loved the way I have grown in front of them. I joined CRY and developed so much love for the village that I know that I have been contributing really well. I still cook many times, still dance sometimes and tomorrow after a long time, i will be going for a a jog. When you reach a situation in your life that says "Been there, done that" then you know what exactly you want out of life!

Why I am telling you this today? Because this Saturday when I was supposed to take an off, I went to office to meet director of finance in my organization. (It was not that I knew him from before. i wrote him an email on Friday that I want to meet to know about finance more and he responded that Saturday is an easy working day for him). For the first time in my life, somebody told me that whatever I will decide to do out of my life, i will have no problem in achieving it because I have that drive and talent. And he said I cannot plan everything, I can just set my direction. The way he listened to me and reflected my thoughts back on me, has boosted my confidence enormously.

I don't know what is in store for me on MBA front but I think it has been a while that I have any fear of losing anything from that store! good day! stay healthy and stay focused!

12 comments:

  1. whoa! this is such an amazing and positive read... I'm sure that this if not actually boost anyone's confidence as yours, it wud def give a kick to reflect back and do something positive :)

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  2. Wow...thats inspirational. Your life seems to be heading towards that 'ideal' path.

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  3. Thanks A and Arun. Glad that you liked it.

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  4. this post does exude that honest confidence and even if you think you don't know whats in store :) you are getting closer to your goal step by step..keep the focus going :)

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  5. Thanks Sh00nya! Its really encouraging to hear someone else's perspective and to get two smiles along. :-)

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  6. EXCELLENT post!!!
    Loved the quick ride throught the last couple of years of your journey towards MBA!!
    Could even identify with a few things you listed!! Great post...

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  7. Hey Anagha...you always make my day...great to know you could identify with few things...

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  8. Hey Mukaam.. Very Impressive !!!...

    Hardwork + Confidence will lead you to reach your goal successfully. Perfect step-by-step process. Glad that you came up with this post.

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  9. Thanks S-AK! Yes you are right....That's what it is

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  10. don't try to predict where you will land up - the interesting thing about life is to explore it as it unfolds

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  11. Well, that was really beautiful post. Lot of introspection has gone into it and it was reflected in words.

    Keep writing such posts...I also love writing after deep thinking...Well you believe after reading some of my posts...

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  12. very inspiring dear!!! Gud luck!!

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