MBA, these three alphabets in the Indian context have life-changing power. It is a degree of dreams, like a magic pill for all your problems. Want to change your field of work? Do an MBA. Need a swanky job coupled with a pay rise? Do an MBA… you get the drift. But, there are some out there for whom, it is no less than a dream in itself, I was one of those people.
The feeling of being in a boardroom, taking tough decisions, negotiating, creating a strategy to transform a company was all I ever dreamed of. Soon enough, being at an IIM gave me those wings. I could finally be a part of the ‘elite MBA club’. Things went well, and I got placed in one of India’s most coveted manufacturing firm for a strategy and operations role. It was time to fly!
The first day at your first job is always an extraordinary feeling. It’s like being emperor of the world. Nothing is impossible, or so it seems. But as days go by, you realise that all you have now is a 9-5 job where you have to just sit in the office, sign some papers and attend numerous meetings, which are all just pre-decided in one way or the other. And then you have a feeling, is this what I did an MBA for? To follow some fixed steps and just be another rat in a race, guided by some signboards?
I had had too much of it. I felt that I had to act, or else all of it would just break me and I would lose all that I had learned. Most importantly, I would lose my dream, of creating something, of changing something.
So, I did not think twice. I left my cushy job and just went home with these words from the famous speech by Steve Jobs, echoing in my head,
“The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. I was free to enter one of the most creative periods of my life. It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith.”
During this phase, I came to know about UpGrad. The company seemed to work on an exciting idea and the tagline, “building the careers of tomorrow”, spiked my curiosity. I started to look for opportunities and become a part of the team. It all started taking shape and soon I was called to Mumbai to be a part of the amazing team. With some skepticism in my heart that this was again going to be a typical corporate set up, I decided to give it a shot anyway.
I reached the office, all dressed up in formals, just to be completely knocked out of my senses (trust me if you join UpGrad, don’t ever wear formals to work on the first day, you will thank me later!) I see a place like I had not imagined, with bean bags, bunk beds and people who seem so happy at work! It was such a surprise to me, and I had already begun to like the place.
I was then given a short tour of the office by the HR team and I realised that every team was filled with people who literally were masters of their craft. At UpGrad, it doesn’t matter what educational or professional background you are from, all that mattered is that you loved what you do!
It was such a simple formula for success I thought, just let people do what they love. I could wait no more to make my mark and enjoy this freedom and energy and got straight to work. And now after working for two months in this place, I can easily tell you that I still feel the same way I felt on the first day. I try and give more than my 100% and create content so amazing that can one day help someone realise their dream and change their life. Till then, I will keep working on my dream to create change and make an impact, and in the process also try to win some free beers in a highly competitive game of darts!