AR speaketh...

The questions, the answers, the thoughts, the ideas and the other crap that make me, well, me.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

MBArking on an Atlant-ic Odyssey

Foreword: By now you were probably scouring the obituaries to see if I’ve finally had the decency to tie a stone round my neck and jump into the nearest overflowing manhole and I really hate to spoil it for you, but, like the French say, c’est la vie. No, I didn’t get abducted by aliens, did not travel in time to see if we’re really descendents of telephone linesmen and salesmen and certainly did not get arrested (really, believe me!). I’ve instead been through what some people call a life changing event. Of course, I refer to the fact that I have tried out a new brand of detergent and it removes the toughest stains (and the clothes are oh so soft!). Otherwise things are pretty much the same, except that I quit my job and moved to Atlanta to pursue an MBA.

After five years of being on a vacation, for no honest man would call a software job that, I decided to get serious about my life. After a dark, cold period of intense deliberation (53 seconds), I realized the world wasn’t ready for the motive force that lies trapped within my human form. And by definition, being serious isn’t much fun anyway; so I joined b-school instead. Here I am, back in school after what seems like a lifetime spent drinking free coffee (oh how I miss free coffee!) and mark my words, things can get tough in here! I have always been a believer in the theory that you always make time for what you want to do: over and above all other demands on your time. I’ve been told by many, including my faculty, that an MBA is different in that you rarely have sufficient time for all that you need to do! One week into the programme, I can tell you that it is true and believe me, we have just about begun ambling along.

If you’re an MBA aspirant and (yet) you’re reading this (don’t you know the number of GMAT takers has increased by over 40% since last year?), don’t get disheartened. No sir, panic! Rethink, is it worth it? You go through the incrementally challenging tasks of taking the GMAT, writing the applications and finally appearing for the interviews to do what? Lose your job and pay (and how!) for getting stressed? If that isn’t masochistic, I don’t know what is (listening to Britney Spears comes close, but we are talking grad school, remember?)

As always, you can rely on this blog to pose questions. But anyone can do that. We don’t run this thing to expand intellectual capacity, we run it for answers. Answers that even someone on the glamorous end of the intelligence number line can digest and assimilate. So here are a few reasons why you should still go for it:

1. Experience: Imagine being in a room with representatives from almost every cultural and professional background there exists. And then imagine them sharing their points of view with you on the most critical business problems of the world: the choice of topping to use with your bagel, for example. I can tell you the wealth of insight is simply phenomenal and you almost always end up more enriched than before.

1. Experience: Imagine being in a room with someone who shares a name with some famous expert in a field. And you think it ironical that they are in the same field as the biggie, till you realize that they are the same person. You don’t feel that smart for a few moments. (Notice any smart comments here, mister?)

1. Experience: Imagine depending on a few strangers for getting you through your courses in a highly competitive and stressful environment. Imagine your wife giving birth to your son half way across the world and the first people you can share the news with, in person, are these. And this really happened. Even cynics like yours truly feel overwhelmed. But only for a short while, there are always more pressing matters at hand. Like Economics homework. Or that babe in the see-through blouse.

1. Experience: Imagine having gone through the week on a total of less than 10 hours of sleep. And then on Friday evening, you consume enough beer to knockout an army of sumo wrestlers. In one aha moment, you see the way to world peace.

1. Experience: … it.

Note: All the above reasons are numbered one and labelled ‘Experience’ on purpose. When you are me, you do not make tyops.

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