Friday, February 11, 2011

Reaching my Mukaam –Part 2

Lets continue to talk about my thought process during the Yatra and how I finally reached to the decision of Teach for India.

I always heard Rochester Dean Mark Zupan is very responsive. After letting Simon know that I have decided to join Teach for India, I received an email from Mark wishing me good luck for my future. I received few emails from Admission Director as well if I wish to set up some time with them to discuss about Simon. I never encouraged having a meeting. I have already decided and I knew these kind of conversations will not go anywhere. However, receiving a personal email from Mark startled me. I replied him back with the following response:

Hello Mark,

Its great to see your email. Its really an honor to be accepted at Simon School of Business.

Honestly, I would have loved to come to Rochester. One of my close friend, XXX is in his first year and I know what a transformational experience it has been for him. Personally, it was a difficult decision for me to choose Teach for India over Simon. My family is still trying to accept my decision.

What I have figured about myself is that in the end, I want to return to India in the not-for-profit sector. My decision for Teach for India is derived out of that. I also considered that I will not have any debt to pay after two years at Teach for India. I wanted a platform that can help me transition into a non-profit sector. Simon MBA would have been an excellent choice for this and so is Teach for India. The dilemma was to choose between the two. In the end, Teach for India has turned out to be more practical choice. It is where I will execute and not just learn. My decisions will impact lives of 40-children and their families right away. There will be no time to experiment with my leadership skills and I will be in the sector immediately.

I wanted to share this with you because I hope that you will let me know your thoughts on my thought process. Your stupendous experience may see what I am seeing/not seeing.
Thanks for you email. Its really an honor to get in touch with you.


He gave me an amazing response. He said that in big decisions like these he goes with his gut feeling and that’s what he thinks I have done! He added that I can choose to join Simon later!

Lot of people at my workplace tells me that it’s a very brave decision. It requires lot of courage to do something like this. My answer is right above. I think it’s a very practical decision. I wanted to end up where I am ending now. It’s just that I was taking an MBA route earlier! I needed a career transition through an MBA, needed to build on my leadership skills and that’s what I am going to do through Teach for India. I wanted network through MBA. After Yatra, I am definite I can build an amazing network at Teach for India.

What do you say guys? I think I have reached my Mukaam!


  1. I like your practical and realistic approach.
    Yes you have reached your Mukaam at TFI.

    I wish you all the very best for you to scale many more MUKAAMs in future.

  2. Thank you guys! You really make me feel good about it!

  3. Great decision. Needs a lot of heart for that.
    Am a fellow too, btw. But, I will eventually move back to Management. That's where my long term aspirations lie. How many years of work ex do you have?

  4. Thanks VIK, i have 3 years and 7 months of experience

  5. you are unlike most people i know!

  6. Hey Saloni,

    Very well explained. All the best for the journey :)

    TFI 2011 Fellow :)

  7. Very good blogs. I love the way you are frank in your discussions. Congrats on TFI, a friend of mine is a fellow this year too. Keep it up!

    So you wanted to go to Bschool for finance clearly evident from here

    And now you are gonna do TFI coz you "wanna transition to the non-profit" !?

    From what I've learned of my experience, I think as long as one is honest, first with oneself, and then with your applications, you are good to go.

    Pls do not misunderstand my comment. I'm straightforward (thanks to anonymous, im scared of internet traces anyway). In no way am I indicating dishonesty from your side, all i'm saying is that for a person reading your blogs, it ain't too hard to see these discrepancies.

    Good luck going ahead!

    PS: see the comparison of it's versus its ;-)

  8. Thanks for your comments and since I like being frank myself I like you being frank too!!! yes I wanted to MBA in finance mainly because I was interested in microfinance since the beginning i.e. not-for-profit again! And Tuck has been my top choice since they have a fellowship program in Microfinance! So I actually didnt apply to Columbia or Chicago Booth but applied to tuck,Yale, Ross and Kellogg! having said that, I agree that you could find discrepancies in few things and thats because I am a human and I accept myself as an imperfect being!!! Take care!