For most this may seem like a “first world problem”ish article, but who said that they aren’t fun? To begin with, “Animals may not have been hurt during this process” (except may be for the dogs we would bump into while running for the 8:45 class) but life sure was hell, at least for the first month. Everyone kept saying that things would get worse, and boy were they right! They did.
But not because of the workload or complexity of courses. The pain was more or less self-inflicted. Here you had a bunch of 400 people, almost all of whom struggled at one question during an interview, “When have you have failed? “ Coz most of us did not know what failure looked like. Setbacks yes. Maybe an A-. But never an F. Never a reject. You can counsel someone when they are bad at something, not when they are bad at failing. Kind of defeats the purpose of counselling, doesn’t it?
But with the introspection time that you quite often get between 1:42 and 1:45 waiting outside the mess, hoping for the “no quiz” announcement, you realize, that more than half of your pain was self-generated. That the entropy was always going to increase, you knew that in the first year thermodynamics course, but forgot to apply it. As you progress, assignments increase, cold calls get worse and WAC reports longer. We all knew that. We kept procrastinating, pushing our luck. 6 slots and a million assignments later we now finally accept it.
However painful exams might seem (they are usually worse than you think), they sure are fun. Before you judge me, I would like to make my case by recounting a Macroeconomics end term paper, where in the question read, “…The oil crisis has hit the country. You are the RBI governor. What will you do?” or something to that effect (this is one course I sincerely cannot understand). Now why I appreciate this is because no one in engineering ever told me, “Imagine you are Bernoulli”…or “Imagine you are Stokes”…”Now what will you do? “. I mean, give the kid a perspective, tell him/her that, “you are now solving issues that Pascal or Schrodinger or Jobs spent their life on, that made them famous”. This is what MBA lets you do. It shows you that you are solving real life problems that day-dreamers like me need to get serious about and write “real” stuff, that the cases you read, the problems you solve, the balance sheets you make actually happened. Someone lost their job or made a fortune. The course is as real an education as you can get.
Speaking of real, while adrenalin kicks might require cash in the outside world, you get them free of cost on a 1+1 free offer here (apart from the fees you paid of course!) So it is important to enjoy the moments when you need to make decisions when you are shit scared, the moment when your group looks up to you at midnight to make that ppt before 8am or the cold call you survive when you have no idea what a debt to equity ratio means. It is about staying calm and letting yourself outdo your expectations (or not). The way your friends grin or laugh at you at the end of it while eating your Maggi in Tapri is worth the pain.
(Ooh…and since I have mentioned Tapri…if you ever happen to be on campus at midnight…do go there for tea. I honestly did not know how to fit this anywhere in the article, but trust me you can forget all I have said but for this bit. )
And although talking about Tapri has got me a bit “senti”, MBA is all about people, but what isn’t? If I am ever so thankful for anything other than the Sunday ice-cream and the Tuesday Pav Bhaji in mess, it is the brilliant people I meet here on an everyday basis. While this may sound like an alien feeling oh-so-happy about meeting earth-beings, in all honesty, the plethora of people, opinions and conversations that you encounter, leave you inspired and humbled if not anything else.
So while I have cribbed about this last one year to whoever willing to listen (or read), this has been a roller coaster ride. Do I want to do it again? Are you kidding- one 5000 word WAC report is enough! But I would certainly recommend it. The red walls may signify “danger”, but they certainly have seen many battles lost and wars won.
-Madhura Prabhudesai (PGP 2016)