Do not be a slave to the system

  • Jatin Bhandari, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Dec 31, 2014 11:49 IST

This year I have to get into the top business school. I will study very hard and not do anything else until I get admission - these are common pronouncements of many students seeking happiness and meaning in life.

They will “do anything to get into a top B-school”.

They will “engage in extra-curricular and sports to garnish their resumes”.

They will “stop living and start studying for 15 hours a day”- We do that in India !

Their parents will go to the extent of seeking advice from every ‘geek’ in the extended family to ask “What should our child do to just get into IIM-A or Harvard/Wharton/Stanford?” – He/she has to be successful!

As I cast about for ways to make it better for the students, I will start with a simple question: Are you a slave or are you a customer?

Your question “Will a top B-school accept me?”My suggestion “Do you need it?”

Do not try to become something for the top B-schools. You are a valuable customer who will be paying $15,0000 to them. You will be paying Rs. 90 lakh to a Top 10 B-School. Therefore, you have the complete right to know if they will make a difference to your careers.

You need to think about these aspects before you start your journey of applying to business schools. Why do you start with the mindset of “Becoming successful?” If the end result is “Becoming successful,” what are you right now?

Getting into a top B-School is not a big deal in life. It will bring momentary upswings, and before you know it, you will be on the next path of “Becoming successful”.
You are the customer and a business school is your service provider. Can you stop behaving as if your life depends on them?

If success has to be a part of your life and a mindset, it has to start within you right now. I want to convey this to you that all of you have been very successful in your own lives in your own way - even without a B-school.

Be objective and keep this in mind

You should have around two to three years of work experience before you consider buying the services of international business schools (irrespective of their offer.) Before having some work experience it is useless to join a management school as you will be at sea with most of the practical concepts.
Working under a disciplined environment and performing under targets, and pressure will bring in certain changes in your thought process. It is human to go through those and develop a learning curve. That learning curve is necessary before you develop a strong sense of leadership.Every school will pitch that they teach leadership. Irrespective of what they say, you need exposure.
Developing a functional expertise: When you start working, you will start developing functional expertise. You will also start developing team skills, and will also
start taking initiatives. This will help you gain the necessary experience to know “What is your true calling in life?”

The author is CEO & Founder, PythaGurus

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