Whatever the effectiveness of textbook teaching, as one of our teachers said, learning in a MBA course is to a large extent, experiential. The teachers sharing their experiences and the students assimilating it and expressing their own makes interactions lively, engaging and brings a lot of perspective to every class. To me, this is the beauty of the course, the value lies in the journey and not in the destination which is just a byproduct.
Having taken this view, there is something that every student should remember. This post is like a checklist to me and countless other students all over the country who undertake this journey.
- "To start with a conclusion puts a stop to all thinking" - J Krishnamurti, eminent thinker and philosopher. Imagine if we try to judge every fellow student from day one. We not only commits the mistake of foreclosing acquaintances and friendships, but also forget the fact that it is not for us to judge others. (On a less serious note, Oscar Wilde says, "It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious."!)
- One of our teachers put it beautifully in the last class she took - "Connect with others honestly". Networking, she said, sounds like a transaction and a deal. Though it is the buzzword in the industry for career advancement, it doesn't leave a pleasant taste in the mouth if one thinks hard. So, "connecting honestly with others" is the key; as long as people are able to see honesty and sincerity in us, unless we can fake it really well, they tend to warm up to us. Superficiality and duplicity can only take us so far. It is hard to wear a mask 24/7.
- It is easy to lose our originality and identity in a new environment brimming with tension and competition in a ruthless manner. Whenever anything seemingly insurmountable looms near, connect with your core identity. All of us have one, our identities are our anchors. Connect to them and draw energy from them. This word, ' identity' is a unique one. It encompasses everything we are - our strengths, our friends, our tastes, our dislikes, our passions, our weaknesses...the list is large. Very often, redefining it to ourselves makes its roots stronger.
- Monitor the Ego - Ego is the biggest impediment to success and from my experience, a potentially explosive one for relationships. Constantly monitor it, never feed it.
- Application - A very senior manager told me as I left the company to pursue this course, "Siva, take this from me. Always think of application. Learning is just alphabets without application". How very true! Whether it is applying oneself honestly everyday and every moment to the task at hand or thinking of applications to the concepts we learn, it encompasses a lot!
- Appreciate beauty - Never lose the eye for beauty in little things in the midst of the rat races. This can be a succor anytime; it costs nothing and has extraordinary power.
- Maintain a record - Experiences like this can't be relived. Have a record of the good and the bad, the beautiful and the ugly, the boring and the interesting elements. Memories, especially the good ones are precious.
P.S: I would try my best to update this blog on a regular basis. After all, it is hard to keep one's passions under check!