This is a slightly dated mail but still absolutely relevant for most of you. Nidhi Bansal was one of the most demanding students I have come across – demanding not just of MBAGuru but of herself to. And I will share her roller-coaster of a ride that culminated in an emotional finale some day soon. But for now, here is her unedited mail.
Sub: Advice To Younger Me
I hope you are doing great.
As far as I am concerned, schedule of a top B-School is making me go haywire.
Peer group I have is amazingly diverse and skillful, workload is crazzzyyyy yet kind of fun, our sessions are knowledgeable yet sometimes soporific, hahaha
I am writing this mail to you as over this one month of B-school journey and the whole interview process, I have realized that there were few things I ignored at the time of CAT prep and generally most of the students too. If you find them right, kindly share this with them.
1. Replace intimidation with growth: There is general tendency that we feel intimidated by the smart one in the group, at least I used to. But, If there is someone who knows more than you, don’t get intimidated by him/her, become a “betal” and latch on to this “bikram” and try to gain his knowledge for your own growth. In your learning days, be the best possible listener to become a better orator in future.
2. Expand your knowledge spectrum: Read newspapers, novels or HBR articles, not just for improving in VARC but for having an opinion and a perspective. Study for life in whole not just for an exam. Don’t hope to get better. Optimism can make you a “man on island” who keeps on thinking that a boat will come to save him but do nothing to save himself. Please don’t be that man- Hope is NOT a strategy. Optimism with a blend of action is the recipe that you need.
3. Fall in love with your VA faculty: (not literally guys,most of them are married) Listen to everything he/she says and work on those things. While preparing for CAT, all of us keep worrying about QA/DI but after the CAT, the one thing which is really going to come handy is what Abhishek sir was trying to articulate while telling a possible essay on ragging/terrorism i.e. the art of communication. MBAGuru gives you the freedom of contacting your faculty members. Write an essay on a weekly basis, send it to your VA faculty for review. They are ready to work hard, it’s you who is not stepping up.
4. Indulge in a physical activity: Our mental health is highly associated with our physical health. Go for a 30 minutes walk, dance or whatever you can do to release the pressure from your cooker.
5. Take it easy: MBA is just a career option, there are other options too. Don’t make it a matter of your survival. We lose when we put a lot on stake. Go with an easy breezy attitude and packed hard-work, you WILL sail through it.
6. Have faith in yourself: Be the bird who sits on a branch not because the branch is strong but because it has trust on its wings. Whatever is worth going after lies on the other side of fear. Beat your insecurities, fear and self doubt with your faith and confidence in your capabilities. That faith will come when you will actually work hard enough to improve yourself. Smart work is the trend of our generation but please know that there is absolutely no substitute for hard-work.
All the best!
I hope it spurs you on to be your best!