Why MBA? Why now? Are you sure you want to spend one year not working and spending such a large amount for a diploma. If you want to follow your dream, why not put that money into a startup and learn it the best possible way. These were some of the questions I had to ponder over the last year. Every bschool asks you to write an essay detailing your statement of purpose or SOP as the jargon goes. In my case, if you would have asked me this 2 weeks ago, I would still be as clueless as I was an year ago. That all changed on 4th April 2016.
IIM Lucknow Noida Campus
The Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow offers a 1 year full time MBA program based out of its sprwaling 20 acre campus in Noida, Uttar Pradesh. The one year fully residential program or more commonly known as IPMX currently in its 9th year since inception is aimed at professionals who would already have a substantial work experience under their belt and would already have the skills to manage diverse teams or multi million portfolios. A year back I was working at one of the Big 4 Indian IT MNC managing a mix of teams workings out of both India and UK and clocking in half a million pounds in revenue per year. My customers were satisfied, my team morale was high, my actuals lined up perfectly with my forecasts, all my projections painted a rosy picture. In short everything was perfect. And it was just that Perfect! I remember an incident from around this time last year when I sat down with my manager for my annual performance review. I had done well and he started off praising the work done. We went over Operational, Financial, Personnel reviews coming to the last item on the list ‘Individual’. Though I had done my share of trainings and mentoring, I did feel that I could have done more, learnt more. I mentioned the same but he seemed to be least bit worried by it and I somehow felt.. Shallow. To quote Henry Ford, “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.” And here I was thinking it was Perfect!
I always have been an avid reader. A blog on my pc, the morning newspaper, the magazines I would pickup on my travels or the novel on the coffee table. But these were all a bit haphazard, without purpose and direction and it needed both. The appraisal incident taught me I had to learn again. I had to be in an enviroment where I could be free of all the other nuances and just learn. The journey wasn’t easy. Juggling regular job, GMAT prep, essays and then the interviews. The fruit at the end of the day was indeed sweet. I managed to convert the IIML call and secured a spot in its 2016-17 IPMX program. Finally I could hope to do what I set out to do.
So with a great sense of anticipation and a bit of trepediation, I reported for the program on 3rd April 2016. What I experienced next and what has been constant over the last two weeks isn’t a sense of fear or overawedness but that of happiness, eagerness, excitement. Right from the time you enter the campus to the people you start meeting to the wonderful support staff that greet you and make sure you are well settled in from the word go, to the comfy room you open the doors to which will be your home for the next year, everything seemed so perfect and this didn’t feel shallow.
Every alumni, every MBA I had spoken to before coming here had talked fondly about how given the opportunity they would want to go back to campus again. Its been 2 weeks and apart from the hectic academics, guest lectures, the focus on building skills, freedom to choose your path and above all the motivation to go ahead and simply do it is something I won’t be able to do justice in words.
So do I have an answer now. Probably no but one thing I am certain about is this is where I always wanted to be.