I was thinking about the real benefit of being in an MBA school and then I remembered about my initial intention of joining the MBA program. My original intent was to get exposed to brilliant talent, team up and satiate my entrepreneurial self by doing out of the box stuff. Stuff, successful or unsuccessful, after graduation could make me not feel I have wasted my 2 years of grad school. In addition, I wanted to build on my tech savvy and take it to the next higher level. I feel the whole concept of switching careers somehow doesn’t work for me. I am just not built for something like that. Take for example, my initial urge to experiment with operations and marketing. After facing a few setbacks, I finally realized I can’t fit in to an area totally unrelated to my past experience. What I will do in future has to have some commonality with what I have done so far and most importantly should be an enjoyable experience. Each day at work has to be gratifying or kind of an orgasmic experience. Too many times I see my peers having come thus far still unsure of what they want from the program. They either are confused by the choices they have or have suffered so many disappointments in their job search that they have now become desperate and are trying to fit in wherever they can by choosing whatever concentration they could. I personally feel it is the lack of direction that is responsible for their fate. I am not saying I have been successful in my job search but at the least I have a set goal in my mind of what I want to do and where I want to be. This then means I have to sacrifice a lot of times. For example, Amazon a heavy recruiter at Krannert, is one of the companies I want to work for. However, the company, with its handsome compensation, has traditionally not recruited Krannert students from concentrations other than operations. As a result, students like me have to sacrifice simply because of misalignment of their goal with available opportunities. Just because they want to get into Amazon does not mean they should get through any route possible. Few would argue with me saying that there’s nothing wrong with that strategy. After all, one only has to work for a certain amount of time in the area they don’t like before they can move to an area of their liking. Point well taken. However, the initial period is what concerns me the most. Like the baby that has just started to take first few steps, you, when you get out of the MBA school are learning to walk (again). This is the most crucial and vulnerable moment in one’s career. If I don’t have a liking for what I do I would not be able to walk properly. Importantly, after those few years, when I finally switch over to what I like doing, I would have to go through the walking cycle again. And what if I am not allowed to switch? Then I am stuck. This whole idea, therefore, simply does not appeal to me. At this point, I should make it clear that I am in no way saying I am not flexible. Flexibility to me is the willingness to do subpar work but in the area of liking. For example, if I want become an IT Manager but do not get many job opportunities, I am willing to step down a little and take up the role of an IT developer. A typical case is a tech/e-commerce startup where a project manager is also a programmer and a business development manager. Such type of setting is what actually excites me; having ability to take the organization to where I want. Flexibility also means the willingness to move anywhere on the globe. I personally love travelling, and in my opinion any person who wants to grow quickly in a company should have an openness towards relocating nationally or internationally. One of the reasons I joined TATA Consultancy Services Limited was because of its reputation to send its associates on long term international assignments. Sure enough, within 3 years of my service I was sent to US to work for Eli Lilly at their headquarters in Indianapolis and it was a memorable experience to me. The point I am making through this post to all B school students is to pursue their passion while they are in the B school because really that is what you should be doing and trust me if you don’t, sometime in your life you will… but why wait? Why not now?
About KGSA (taken from krannertlife.com): KGSA is the governing body of Krannert’s student clubs and is responsible for representing the interests of the entire student body with a simple mission: Enhance the Krannert Experience. KGSA directly oversees the planning and implementation of student activities, programs, and processes designed to add value to your experience as a student at Krannert. This governing body provides an excellent leadership opportunity as it is a comprehensive organization that initiates institutional change, manages resource allocation, and addresses the needs of hundreds of students.
Life is getting really busy, days are getting longer and hectic, nights are getting shorter and sleepless, and survival on (ahem) soups has become quite common. With the rain of cases, mid-terms, other course stuff, outside course stuff, club activities, global projects, social gatherings, etc. and etc., pouring over your head, would you really have time to cook?! Of course not. But do not worry. That is why such great inventions as soups exist. Easy and faster to make, easy and faster to eat. 2 mins in the Microwave, 2mins for the eating. Simple. Plain. No hassle at all! …and do you even know the variety of soups available? Yeah, you heard me right! O boy, Chicken Noodle, Chicken & Wild Rice, Hearty Chicken Pot Pie Style, Creamy Roasted Chicken with Wild Rice, Beef & Vegetable, Beef Pot Roast with Country Vegetables, Traditional, Light, Rich & Hearty, High Fiber, Reduced Sodium, Vegetable Classics, what not you have! ..and when you’re done with all those just switch to a different brand! Life is short and fast, and time is the cash. Soup Survival is the need of the hour.
Disclaimer: This post is not an advertisement or endorsement of any kind.
Next Tuesday is my first final for this mod. That is followed by two more finals, one on Wednesday, and the other on Thursday. At the end of Thursday, I would be a free man… well at least for some time. I have plans to utilize the long holidays. First 10 days I am going to work on my career strategy and hunt for some internships. GBP’s result comes out on the 10th. So, if I am shortlisted I have to chalk out a plan to learn Portuguese, Chinese or Thai depending upon which country I get. If you’re confused, let me tell you about GBP. It is a wonderful program that tests your knowledge and skills against real world situations. Basically, you’re put in a team of MBA students from different schools. As a team, you work on a project from a client who is in a country outside of the US. The work starts in Spring and you’re given 10 weeks to complete the project. First 8 weeks you spend in US, working on the task remotely and collaborating on the internet. Last 2 weeks you spend in the country where the client is located to finish off the project before your summer break. Though you pay for it, GBP is an excellent opportunity to apply classroom concepts to practical situations and at the same time gain exposure to working with global organizations. To get in, one must follow a competitive online application process where you answer a lot behavioral questions and also give your preference for the country you want to work in. This year GBP has selected Brazil, China, India and Thailand, and my preference is Brazil followed by China, India and Thailand. Needless to say, one must learn the foreign language if they were to go to a foreign country, and this aspect of the program adds another level of complexity to the overall challenge. You might want to ask, why I chose India if I am an Indian. Well, another significant part of the overall challenge is to become a person who is fluent with the foreign language and who can act as a guide for the team during the in-country stay; a great leadership opportunity. I am very excited about GBP and anxiously waiting for the results. Hopefully, I would not be disappointed. *Fingers Crossed*
Second part of the holidays I am planning to spend in Florida. This is going to be a road trip from West Lafayette, IN all the way to Key West, FL and back covering over 3000 miles. I haven’t finalized the trip yet but it is going to be very exciting!
More about GBP:
It has been over 3 months since the start of the school and now just under 6 months are left for the start of the summer break when most of us are supposed to do our internships. 6 months seem to be long time, however, trust me as I have heard from every one over here, those 6 months pass by quickly. As I think about that, I realize that coming months are going to be very crucial as I continue to search for internships for myself. So far, I admit, things have progressed really slowly for me and for which I have myself to blame and no one else. Honestly, during last 3 months, I have seesawed with my decisions. When you’re at a great place such as Purdue with such a talented faculty and the student body, you get really influenced and start dreaming about stuff you can do that previously you never had thought about. For example, interacting with people out here and from my own research, I realized that Krannert is regarded as phenomenal on Ops side and so soon I joined the Ops bandwagon planning to major in Ops. What first sounded like a logical idea to capitalize on the school’s strength soon turned into a major dissatisfaction for me as I couldn’t justify my decision to my tech savvy and entrepreneurial inner self. After few rounds of self-introspection, I finally swung back to the starting point, that is, what I had in mind before I came to Purdue. Hopefully, the plan will work though it will take a lot of patience from my side. However, I know somewhere in far future I won’t regret this decision because I know this decision is what my heart wants and I will succeed no matter what.
Concluding with a quote from Bhagwad Gita …
“On action alone be thy interest,
Never on its fruits. Let not the fruits of action be thy motive, Nor be thy attachment to inaction.”
Heard Bob McDonald speak today at Purdue. It was an honor to be present over there and learn his experiences of how he landed up at P&G from the military academy, and how his life’s expectations always matched to what he did during the course of his career progression. Among the 10 things he talked about related to leadership, and of course citing stories from P&G and his life, the one thing that really fascinated me was how it is evident that good leaders portray the quality of character, being personally responsible for things you do and leaving your mark, of course in a positive way, when you leave the organization, something I personally believe in doing too. I think good leaders are not about “me” but about “you”, that is, what “I” can do for “my” organization and “my” people. When I think about that, I think about the time I spent at TCS and how I handled my project and my team. I worked selfishly for myself but I worked on building a system, laying a foundation for better service, for my successor or subordinates. Honestly, for all those years I thought I am a badass when it comes to leading the team, a ruthless leader but trust me internally I broke down on my last day of work when I heard my team speak up about me. That made me feel proud.
Been a while since I blogged. A lot has happened. First let me start with my MBA pursuit. Feels proud to say I am finally committed to Purdue University’s Krannert School of Management. It is an awesome school and to be accepted with a 1/4 GA (Graduate Assistantship) is an accomplishment for me. “1/4 GA?”, you said. That’s right. It basically means I work 10hrs a week for the School and get paid a little stipend. What is amazing is that it takes around 80% of my tuition expenses off. So I am really paying only about 20%. Sweet isn’t it! The School invited me for the Krannert Weekend which is basically an opportunity to meet Krannert Students, Faculty, Alumni and Staff. Also, for GAs, this is a time to interview with various departments of Krannert to get placed somewhere. So, I went with my sweetheart in the weekend of Apr 7. We both took an off on Friday Apr 7. Needless to say it was a one of a kind experience. Krannert hospitality was excellent. We both enjoyed the event a lot. For the first time in my life I witnessed what it is like to meet so many people and each one from a different background. So this is what is called Networking!
I am organizing March for Babies Walk in TCS. Tomorrow more than 50 TCS Associates and their partners are going to walk together for 3.1 miles at the White River State Park. The walk is a fund raiser organized by the March of Dimes an organization that works for healthy babies. It is going to be an exciting event.
Lastly, I have resigned! 🙂 22nd Jul is going to be my last day in TCS. How long will I be here in USA before I go back to India is a mystery as of now. I have also been relieved of my oncall duties as the day to day support is now handled by my replacement. I am now out of operational support and am working on Informatica 9 release. As days pass by the desperation to go back and see India increases as well especially now that I know not many days are left. Flipside, it will be difficult for both Abby and me to stay away from each other for the time I would spend in India and beyond at Krannert.