On having come so far and the cliche “but it was only yesterday!!!”
A while back I wrote about my very first day at MBA here.
After 8 months of half-online, half-offline MBA, how do I feel?
I’m torn amidst questions like “How will this help me make the world a better place?!”, thoughts on “I should be out making the world a better place” and realizations such as “this is world- where FOMO can either distract you or strengthen your ideals even more”
Love it, hate it or just tolerating it, an MBA really does get to your head and changes you! Here’s a succinct summary of how it has affected me so far and my expectations for the next year —
Our MIS professor after evaluating our answer sheets chided us and said, “While writing answers, don’t apply common sense for your common sense, in-spite of the signalling your IIM tag gives you, is just not evolved enough. Use Frameworks!”
Well, kinda true. What Jon Kolko says in his article ‘Design is a Mess’ is this:
A framework or model is an excellent way to explore a new idea because it’s purposefully reductive. It removes excess, emphasizing only a small part of the whole, creating clear focus on what remains. Consider a world map — it removes most details about the planet, leaving only relative masses, names of countries and cities, and overall proximity. It doesn’t show people and emotions, weather and its impact, soil and dirt, animals, and so-on. Because of its abstraction, it’s a great way to learn a little about what’s left behind: the masses and proximity of the physical world in isolation of the experiences of people.
Frameworks by reducing a problem to parts, helps us think more clearly. However, frameworks are just guiding lights, not the path in itself. Just like the world is made up of many more lived experiences which cannot be put on a map, frameworks help you visualize a big, otherwise incomprehensible problem, it gives you a starting point. The actual thinking ofcourse needs to be regularly nurtured by failing, iterating and persisting in that order :)
With multiple team-projects and assignments doing the rounds, its important to learn the art of managing teams.
I’ve always been an individual contributor who likes to be accountable for her own work and gets it done quick! And I realized, had it been only upto me, maybe group projects wouldn’t take a lot of time. But ofcourse, its never only upto me.
In projects and in life, there are multiple stakeholders, with different motivations, that we need to liaise with.
My first year taught me the importance of choosing the right team and also to be able to work in not so great ones and most importantly getting people to work with you using honest confrontation or even threats to kick people out of project credits ;) !
3Letting go of FOMO
In MBA and in life, there are multiple distractions. Especially when you want to do tough work like finishing a Corporate Finance assignment in one sitting. At those times, something will invariably come up — college social events, parties, a friend who wants to catch up or a new film! How do you then deal with all the short-term gratifying temptations?
By looking inwards and not outwards for happiness. :)
The gratification from external sources will stop making sense once we realize that a lot of FOMO driven things do not give us a meaning. Crunching numbers on the fin assignment might just help you feel more confident as a student!
My expectations from the part 2 of MBA-
- Totally acing my Summer Internship at Mastercard! Not in the hopes of a PPO but to prove myself through hardwork.
- Paying more attention in class, not because I have very important things to take away from MBA curriculum or maybe not just because of that — I want to be able to concentrate hard even in the most boring lectures to callous my mind and therefore be better at concentrating when I’m working on my own.
- Work on a college level project! For instance — making peer-to-peer learning more purposeful and intentional. Let’s see..
- Reading widely and deeply! There’s something immensely gratifying about learning new ideas from a case, article, blog or a book.
- Most importantly, finding time for my personal pursuits — fitness, gardening, dabbling in building products because those are the things that give you more meaningful happiness!