11 years and 3 jobs ... And counting ... It's been a whirlwind since I stepped out of my beloved alma mater - MDI, Gurgaon. New experiences, diverse challenges and the opportunity to create value have been the highlights of this time.
As I look back, I realise that the time spent on campus was all about shaping mindset, shaping attitude and not just an intense academic agenda. The lessons learnt on campus have served me well ... And I'd like to share a few with you.
A. The power of the network - It may sound cliched but it's a cliche for a reason. Be it my batch mates, senior or juniors, peers from other b-school campuses, my industry mentors or the plethora of distinguished faculty, professionals and academicians that we worked with over the two years, each individual has created an impact for me. Be it a perspective, best practice, framework for action or even a job, this network is an anchor. Does that mean that one needs to be a social butterfly - absolutely not. However, it means that you need to invest discretionary effort in building, nurturing and sustaining relationships.
B. Hunger to learn - I often went to the library for the super air conditioning :). That apart, learning truly comes from many avenues - books are one of them so make sure you read and absorb. Apart from my course material, I tried to read a book a week on diverse topics and it was an eye opener. The other avenue of learning was inter-college festivals. As a part of many committees, I tried to leverage every forum to get new experiences. Be it co-organising MDI's first HR festival or being a part of events across campuses, the opportunity to soak in the experience meant that I was able to apply a bunch of those learnings in the corporate world.
C. Delivering high quality results consistently and in-time - this is an important one because it helps build discipline. Amidst the crazy hours, the hectic social activities, the co-curricular agenda it is easy to lose sight of the deliverables you have. Assignments sometimes get left to the last minute and lack quality and depth. Be mindful that each assignment is designed to add value - if you short change the experience, you are short changing yourself.
Each of us have a hallmark ... Some are creative, some high on energy, some have a way with words. Nurture your individuality because this is your strength, your core. Learn from everyone around you - but be your own person. Organisations value independent thinking professionals who are confident of themselves. So chisel your personality to suit you and not what the world wants. Live these two years to the fullest because they will shape you for the future!
All the best for this thrilling adventure. :)
About the Author: Bhavna Batra is VP-HR at GENPACT. She was part of first batch of MDI Gurgaon's PGP-HR programme (2004-06).