As we let our own light shine, we give others permission to do the same….

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

This inspiring quote by Marianne Williamson is from her book, A Return To Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles, Harper Collins, 1992. From Chapter 7, Section 3 (Pg. 190-191).

This quote was used by Late Dr. Nelson Mandela, at the inaugural of his presidency of South Africa, after over 25 years of incarceration under Apartheid.

Each one of us is a prisoner of our thought process and most of the humanity never takes that step towards what they really want to be. This quote is always in my thought process and I use this to keep pushing myself to push my boundaries and this helps me to push others too.

In the last fortnight, I came across two youngsters who accosted me at different places on my travels, to confess that they have been through a session or two of mine in different locations at different times, and these sessions have impacted their thoughts and actions. And that they did take the leap of faith and chose their own path in life, during the interim period; and are well on their way to realize their inner sheen, as they are letting their own light shine others in their lives….

I am glad Sachin and Nikhil accosted me to reinforce my purpose of life. Thanks to scores of youth who have made me resolve steadfastly to undertake more such journeys in life….

———— April 20th, 2018 ———–

Sachin Jha

I was on my way back after addressing a very large gathering of about 2000 parents, on “Enabling children in this era of disruption” at DPS, Ranchi. As always, I was on a high, since I get to learn as much in these sessions, as I part with. So ideas were running in my head when I heard someone calling my name at a food point where, I was just trying to grab a sandwich before I boarded the flight.

Sachin comes from behind at Birsa Munda Airport, Ranchi and asks, “Are you Sreeni?”. I smiled. Sachin continues, “I could figure out from distance, but had some hesitation, when I came near, saw the CL logo on your laptop bag and that confirmed that you are. Still..” and laughed.

I was glad, #Inspiring #SachinJha of #IIML @iimlucknowdiaries accosted me at #Ranchi #Airport to tell me that he was in a class of mine in 2012 in #Kolkatta. and felt good that Sachin chose to take the path less trodden! #Sustainability #SDG which will be the mantra in the future.

He is currently doing his work with a foundation of TATA steel in the space of #education during the summers. Delighted that he is working with #policymakers #IAS decision makers in #Jharkhand!! Choose the less trodden path to progress faster, by exciting and enthusing others!! I am sure he will be in the @UN soon!

I commented that we both are in complete contrast(look at the photo) in the way we were looking that day! and we had a good laugh!!

#education #educator #mentor #learner #student #changemaker #travel #parenting #workshop #career #careerchoices #careercoaching #Lifecoach #coach

————- April 27th, 2018 ————-

IMG_20180428_065106_927

#Electrifying day it was; #TEDx style keynote on #Creating #Innovation #Ecosystem in Institutions to enable learners for the future;

@ #Vision2030EduConference @MMUMullana over 100 leaders of schools, colleges, universities participated,

Also I was on a panel that was discussing #TEACHERSofFUTURE

After my panel discussion, at my table I was observing an engrossed 4 year-old child sketching, oblivious to the happenings in the conference. Just then I felt a tap on my shoulder. Apologetically asks, whether he can talk to me.

@NikhilSheavaramani shared that he was wondering how to talk to me and that it took him some self-talk to talk to me. “I was in the first row in your 2011 session on #Entrepreneurship in #Varanasi; Inspired, wondered how? Today I am one, in Bhatinda.

I run an education institution in Bhatinda along with my wife helping many a class 8-12 children. She is missing meeting you as I have come alone, and will be delighted when I share about this meeting. Never thought you will be here.”

Feel blessed, for such moments. Each change-maker an inspiration. Life is Fruitful; It has a way of giving back! That’s what keeps one going – one spark ignited in a large gathering is good enough to set a community, town or a city on fire.

#education #educator #mentor #learner #student #changemaker #travel #Educational #Leadership #Transformational #workshop #Learning #Courage #Humility #career #careerchoices #careercoaching #Lifecoach #coach #Dynamism

@career_launcher @CLEducate @careerlaunchervns #SCBagla @satyaumanandu
———

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Insights into Legal Education, Profession and CLAT : with Sachin Malhan (Founder LST)

I have had the honor of moderating an interactive and engaging session with Law School Aspirants featuring the Legal Education Expert Mr. Sachin Malhan. Sachin is an alum of NLSIU; Founder LST, Rainmaker and Inclusive planet – each a path breaking effort in their respective spaces of legal education, professional facilitation and social inclusion; Sachin is the Executive Director (world wide), of Ashoka Changemakers one of the initiatives of Ashoka, a top-5 non-governmental organization in the world.

About the interactive session.

Sachin Malhan, a luminary in legal education, engages the Law Schools Aspirants in his inimitable style. Sachin shares rare insights into legal profession and its immense possibilities.

The interaction encompasses all of the following –

· Sachin talks about law school experience as a student at NLSIU

· “MY JOURNEY” – Sachin talking about his journey of life – as an aspirant of law and law professional

· Secrets to do well in CLAT

· How to become better in Verbal section of CLAT?

· How to overcome fear? How to believe and succeed?

· How National Law Schools differ from other law schools?

· Is it worth dropping a year to prepare for CLAT?

· On RIGHT Hardwork and WRONG Hardwork

· Specializations a lawyer can pursue

· Career Perspectives and Opportunities as a lawyer

· Why Learner mindset is key to success

· Three values to inculcate – Learning, Courage and Humility

· Significance of General Awareness; importance in CLAT

· How to get insights into your readiness to crack the CLAT?

· Corporate Law and business; on private law schools

· Indian Law school education Vs Global Law Schools

· Is it worth to look at global law schools? Cost implications

· Criminology and prospects

· International Law and perspectives

· Media and Law

· Challenges in setting up one’s own practice; life in a law firm

· Is Law education of any value, if one doesn’t want to take up practice?

· How important is to remember the cases, articles etc that lawyers rattle out

· Difference between the regular 3 yr grad + LLB and Integrated Law programs

· Does legal education stoke creative capability

· A day in a National Law School

Kindly go through the entire interaction and also share your feedback here. Thanks

Moderating the interaction , “Know everything about IPM (IIM Indore). No more Hearsay!”

It was a pleasure moderating an Interactive session that featured Surjo Sankar Sarkar, Student of IPM (Integrated Programme in Management) form IIM Indore and Amitendra Kumar, Head, LST and School Test Prep programs, CL Educate Ltd.

This session got beamed into hundreds of homes across the country from where students and their parents attended this session. It was a highly interactive with questions coming in on various dimensions of the course; and I had to keep the discussion going, while also noting all the concerns of the students flying in and I had to make sure that they were addressed by the end of the session. Thoroughly enjoyed facilitating the session.

————

One course which has caught attention in recent times, no doubt is IPM by IIM Indore. Be it the design of the curriculum, placements, degree/diploma issue, it has got every ingredient of being the talk of the town.

Slowly the student and school community is waking up to presence of such an exciting program as choice after class XII. Since it is a new program, and also very limited (only to IIM Indore), every aspirant and more importantly parents have a few concerns.

Watching this interactive session will assist the students to have the authentic information about IPM, from an youngster who has been through the program. The session features Surjo Sankar Sarkar, who is pursuing IPM from IIM Indore, and is in the final year (fifth year of the program) attending classes along with the PGP students who enter through the CAT examination, post their graduation (and work experience)

The recorded session will help the students gain insights into the IPM Program, and also understand how it’s different from BBA+MBA or regular PGP. The session also covers comparative institutions that offer best of the undergrad programs in business.

It will not only help the student but also parents and every facilitator who wishes to understand and get peep into IPM. You can be an ambassador of the program 😊

Excelling in WAT / AWT at IIMs and top-business schools – Insights to implement

Placements after MBA/Management education – Q&A addressed for a leading daily of INDIA

From Students’ Point of view:

  • How does an MBA degree/PGDM bridge the gap between where a student is and where he/she wants to be in future?

Most aspirants look at an MBA/PGDM program as another degree that has greater possibility of landing them in a lucrative job. It is far from truth.

The critical question to ask oneself is – What is going to be my arena of excellence? What is my goal in the next 3-5 years? If an individual has a great deal of clarity and specific goals in mind, then most of the job is done.

An MBA / PGDM program is only a means to achieve that goal. If you have a compelling goal in mind, then greater is the possibility of you getting into an institution of repute, as you know that such an environment can make a huge difference in realizing your potential and your goal.

Convocation of class of 2013, IWSB

What does a good institution provide –

  1. An inspiring learning infrastructure and environment that is vibrant and thriving 24X7, through the year.
  2. Faculty of immense calibre and repute who are respected and connected in the industry
  3. A competitive eco-system where you come across groups of eager learners who explore immense possibilities. They are always on look out for opportunities. They keep pushing their own boundaries, while compelling fellow travelers to push theirs.
  4. There are too many instances to share wherein not only many a batch-mate but also faculty who have become co-travelers for life, starting companies and endeavours together, realizing the immense potential each one of us has within.

Look at the current entrepreneurial eco-system and the inspiringly successful stories that you read; most of them germinated in a campus, with co-learners as co-promoters.

It is not about a degree, it is about a space or a programme that initiates you into a journey of excellence, lifelong.

  • From the industry perspective, which out of these is better, a regular MBA/ PGDM, Executive MBA or Distance Learning?

The effectiveness and efficacy of a business management programme lies in its ingredients and structure – higher inter-disciplinary courses, intense interactions between the learners and a hands-on approach to business. This can happen only when the program is a regular one, where you are on a campus for an intense period of a year or two.

The choice between a regular MBA and an Executive MBA is purely based on the candidate’s present situation. A candidate with 3-4 years of work experience can go for an executive MBA and the industry is extremely welcoming to the products of both, regular and executive MBA. The B-school should be chosen wisely though.

Distance learning MBA programs / Exec MBA with a few contact-weeks could be of value if one has worked for a significant number of years. The conceptual learning added with intense contact-weeks where in you discuss and debate the possibilities, can act as a great cauldron to initiate a few ideas within the experienced, who can explore and experiment in their respective organizations. The process and outcomes can be of immense value.

Industry still seems to be skeptical about the Distance Learning MBA programs, especially if the takers are not experienced. With the advent of new e-Learning and m-Learning technologies, Distance Learning MBA programmes will gain more credibility in the future, especially in the context of experienced candidates.

  • What are the resources that students can expect from their college and faculty during the placements and their preparation for the same?

A good institution runs like a well-oiled machinery. The processes, both academic and non-academic, take care of building the vision and confidence in most candidates to chase their career and life dreams. It provides immense opportunities to explore and experience, through various live projects and internships. It also enables them to take failure in their stride; see them as a learning experience. Guidance, mentoring and support from the institution, faculty and even co-learners help them win through every challenge they face, placements are just one such. Of course a learning institution is always finding new ways to facilitate.

 

  • What are the short comings, if any, that the B-schools need to address, in terms of discrepancy in the talent pool of students & the skill-set required by the industry?

Most of the top b-schools are already aware of the skill-talent gap and are trying to match the industry requirements by way of having practical case studies, presentations into the course curriculum. Also the summer internship projects take care of the same.

Of course, every institution can create –

  1. Practices in the institution that can facilitate every student to be confident in the real world. Ability to introspect, being observant of oneself, taking initiative, eagerness to learn and ability to communicate are very significant factors for one to excel in career and life.
  2. Opportunities to dirty ones hands to explore, experience and learn the business dynamics. Entrepreneurial endeavours needs to be integral to the learning process.

 

  • What is the role of students in the placement committee? Ideally how should it be?

 

Students usually form part of the placement committee and interface with industry at the stage of inviting them to the campus and overall coordination at the placement time.

I keep wondering how many of these institutions really foster an entrepreneurial eco-system. That is the key to the future. Can we enable the students to create job opportunities than looking for an opportunity to find a job?

 

  • What are the things that the students must keep in mind during the interview process? (Pointers)
  1. Clarity of thought and goal – what do you really want to do in life? And then apply only to those companies that would take you towards realizing their goals.
  2. Enthusiasm – An extremely important factor that enlivens the interview process
  3. Honesty – At no point of time during the interview you should lie, brag or exaggerate.
  4. Presence of Mind – Mental agility is one thing that can make or break the interviews. Being able to comprehend and think quickly, certainly goes a long way. With good presence of mind, difficult situations can be turned into favorable ones.
  5. Sound concepts and logic – Especially for the technical interviews, it is extremely important to have your basic concepts in place.

 

  • Is there a way through which the candidates can make the recruiters overlook their academic records?

A bright future can light-up a dull past. Students should show exuberance and the promise of heading towards an exceptional future. This can only be done by having a solid and steady present. A student’s performance in the B-school is the only shroud that can blanket the dim academic records of the past. Clarity about your future goal, the path that you see and solid performance in the B-school can give enough indicators for the recruiters to look ahead than dig into your past.

  • Should the students consider an industry’s growth while applying or opting for a particular job profile?

This is a point of great debate whether the industry performance should be secondary to personal interests or not. Certainly, industry growth does matter. The saturation of an industry is usually a sign of less scope of innovation. But, it is also time for Industry to look for exceptional talent who can replace even multiple role-holders. When Industry is in bad shape, exceptional talents rise fast!  A student must be really good in what he does and be judicious in choosing the right job profile for him that more or less falls in line with his aspirations. If a student is from a top B-school, chances are less that he would succumb to the situation.

  • Which sector is hiring MBAs the most and what would be the future hiring trend?

One sector which has grabbed everybody’s attention is the e-commerce sector. The likes of Flipkart and Amazon have indulged in aggressive recruiting in the last one or two years. Lately, these enterprises have come across as major recruiters from the top B-schools. The colossal billion dollar valuations of these companies make them appear as an untamed animal on the prowl.

Also in demand would be the ever green profiles of – Technology and especially mobility which is playing a big role; Analytics is gaining importance.

In India, the entrepreneurial eco-system is just warming up. Instead of asking, “what is in demand, what is the salary”, one needs to ask, “Am I chasing what I really want to do?; Am I an eager learner?; Do I dirty my hands?; Do I have the same enthusiasm at the end of the day, every day?” These will be critical in entrepreneurial organizations.

  • What should the current and prospective MBA students do to increase their job prospects?

Being a keen learner in whatever space he is in, being abreast with the world, keep working on his people and leadership skills along with having courage to think out of the box in solution-centric approach..

Good soft skills are almost a must these days. Doing your work diligently needs to be complemented with effective communication of the same. That makes a complete professional who is ready to bear the responsibility of taking an organization ahead.

From Industry’s Point of view:

  • Do the recruiters have any preference in terms of a specialization?

 

Every business needs people from various backgrounds. Every specialization is in demand. It is the vision one has and the passion one demonstrates begets the positions. Have you ever heard of a Chief Belief Officer (CBO) in corporate world? This position was created for a deserving person in the FUTURE GROUP, find out!

Recruiters always specify their preferences in terms of specialization before the interview process begins. A BFSI sector company would most probably be going for Finance graduates. A consulting firm may be looking forward to take marketing or systems graduates.

Having said that, if you really want to be in a company, work on polishing the skills that is of immense value to that company and just go after the company. In today’s networked world, you will surely find an opening.

 

  • Are there any attributes which are specific to a specialization or an industry which the recruiters consider while recruiting? E.g. one must be comfortable with number crunching when it comes to Finance.

 

Certainly, the industry expects people who are good with numbers for the finance profiles and people who are more creative and crafty to look after the marketing in their organizations. However, in today’s world, an MBA of any stream should be proficient in multiple skillsets. For example, even Marketing is a game of numbers. The industry expects a Marketing manager to have a good level of comprehension of numbers and data.

 

  • How much weightage is given to the academic performance of a candidate by the companies?

 

For finance and consulting profiles, consistency in the academic performance is considered and valued. For marketing and systems profiles, this consistency may not be that important as some other attributes of the candidates may cover-up for any deficiency in the academic record.

 

  • A lot of MBA professionals are going for start-ups instead of big firms. Is it good or bad? What is the reason for this trend?

 

Young MBA professionals going for a start-up shows a great deal about their risk-taking instinct.  Not just initiating a start-up but also joining a nascent one is a sign of courage. There is no job security, a start-up may fail. It certainly is a good thing and even those who have failed ventures are regarded and appreciated by the industry.

My heuristics suggest that the reason for this trend, this exodus of students from the promising final placement sessions of their B-schools, is the hunger for innovation. This is fueled by the various possibilities, resources and the upcoming technologies.

What are the factors to be considered while choosing a B-school?

Choosing a B-school can be broadly done by judging 3-4 factors given below:

  1. Learning environment – How innovative and facilitating is the environment? What is the methodology, pedagogy of learning?. How hands-on is the program? Does it keep pace with the changing trends in the economy?
  1. Industry Reputation & Placements – understanding about how is the industry response during the summer placements and final placements. Finding what companies from which sectors are dominant in hiring from that B-school.This factor majorly determines how smooth a student’s entry into the industry would be.
  1. Courses and Specializations – finding the best courses and specializations of the B-school. Assessing whether they are in-line with the candidate’s aspirations or not.
  1. ROI – The Return on Investment evaluation should go beyond the monetary aspects. One must also see what the other are takeaways from that particular B-school.
  1. Location – This affects the kind of companies that hire and also the opportunities of summer internships.

What are the factors to be considered while choosing a specialization

If passion can become profession, nothing else is needed. The greatest challenge for every aspirant is to discover his passion and excel in that space pushing ones boundaries. You need to be special, specializations really do not matter!

Having said that, I must say that, students get a great chance of understanding what their calling is during the first year which has common subjects. For the self-driven and self-motivated this much time is enough to identify their specialization.

Apart from this, being factually aware of the type of job profiles offered to students of that specialization at that B-school is one factor that should be kept in mind. Students need to keep abreast with the current trends and the future prospects of the industry of their interest.

“Widen your horizons, build a well-rounded personality” – S K Munjal exhorts the youth at CL’s Career Junction

Career Junction @ constitution club, New DelhiSri S K Munjal, Vice-chair, Hero motorcorp, extolling the youth at Career Junction

INDIA is a very very interesting place to be today
– Every govt has done better than the previous one

– When we got independence, we called ourselves socialist democratic country, with market economy; very unusual and one of its kind
– It was a bipolar world, founders of non- aligned movement
– It address the needs of people and meets the needs of people
– We followed five year plan, borrowed from then USSR

– Everything was licensed, where, even quantity to be produced was also mentioned
– efficiency was penalized; greater production was penalized
– industry created liaising; how to get license, and how not to allow others from getting it
– monopolistic markets formed
– quality, consistency, choice, etc customer had no choice
– in 60-70s .. 2% GDP growth rate…Hindu growth rate
– Historically, a couple of hundred years ago, we were growing at 20% china grew at 30%

– Soon, India will be the single largest, in population
– we need to find an employment for 12-15 million people year on year for next 20 years
– We run a school in Ludhiana, for children of industrial workers, all come from UP, Bihar
– we are encouraging people to bring families, so that children get educated
– in the last year 12 in the top 50 of the state, last to last year state topper
– I am sharing this coz, if not for such opportunities, these would have never been benefitted

– if one of you becomes an entrepreneur, you will create jobs; imagine what one can do
– Now 8 year olds, 11-12 year olds are becoming entrepreneurs
– education gives added advantage

– We are trying to build a university that will be nursery for world leaders
– We bring in leaders and corporates to create learning experiences

– A large part of our economy comes from services
– Manufacturing is 16%
– Agriculture creates less and less jobs, we need tech, systems and process to make it better
– We are the largest producer of veg, milk, ….
– We are low on yield
– 54% of population still dependent on agriculture

– Every manufacturing job creates, 6 services jobs… Whole host of activities get created
– If we are to grow in every sense, it is expected that in real terms 3rd largest economy in 13 years
– Opportunities are immense
– there are areas within manufacturing that are large multipliers
– the policies on infrastructure creation can make a huge difference
– You create industrial complexes, suppliers, institutions…..entrepreneurs..
– Auto motive complex attracts ancillaries, suppliers
– In the US – steel, auto motives, home were in the order…..
– Example – 107 companies produces stuff for home infra
– Lack of infra, red tape, corruption are putting India down

– One of the recommendations made is to change interfaces between govt and industry, govt and people
– Get rid off all human human interaction. Get technology for interface…
– Please only looks at the best and better it; look at the country and better it …
– starting the companies..let us better Singapore; Law, better than Malaysia..
– you should be able to go and settle anywhere in the country

– plan your work, work your plan
– have passion, you can cover all the handicaps
– if you are driven by passion, no time limits
– today ministers are working overtime
– ‘why should not we be a 20 trillion dollar economy’ – Modi said; very inspiring, a profound statement
– biggest problems gives best opportunities

– infra is the biggest problems…..largest conceived Delhi-Mumbai industrial corridor
– high speed rail network corridor….100 Kim’s of industrial belt, smart cities
– smart cities are planned cities
– we have created only 5 cities in 60 years, china has built Over 100
– these cities will have tech, energy, food, logistics, places and work close, efficient mass transport system; water management systems… Clusters
– 7 seven smart cities have been signed
– modeled after Tokyo-Osaka corridor
– kol- Amritsar, Bangalore-chennai
– airports, highways
– waterways

– find opportunity for yourselves
– Abraham Lincoln failed so many times before becoming the President of the US
– Sunil Mittal failed seven times,….look at their perseverance,
– Sunil changed every model to become the best model in the world..

– You experiment with life..take sensible risks
– do not take wild gamble, take smart gamble
– opportunities in the new economy are new
– ecommerce companies valued higher than retail companies
– tech and communication is breaking all the barriers
– we are servicing the world
– we have opportunities; are literally all around us
– food processing, transportation; water, education, financial education
– SIP – saving and investment plan is an interesting

– 16% of world’s gold is in India lying idle??? if we can convert an instrument in making this financial opportunity
– world class companies have huge percentage of Indians
– never teach any one the answers, always ask them questions, so they go to find answers

– widen your horizons.. Learn about liberal arts, humanities
– Work towards lateral thinking, well balanced and well-rounded personality.

Wishing you all the very best.

“How badly do you want it?” – secret to success lies there! A telling interaction with an aspirant who succeeded!

Vaibhav Agarwal, FMS

Vaibhav Agarwal, FMS

After a couple of projects that kept me busy for over two months, pushing my own boundaries and found successes, I am back to the space of my passion, helping others push their boundaries. When I opened my email box after about almost 10 days of inaccessibility, I found this interaction… I felt compelled to share with each one of you – those who have that ‘Infinity’ (infinite potential) but have not pushed oneself!

This is a set of two mail exchanges….starting from the latest….For a few starting from the bottom (the first email from Vaibhav may be more appealing…) I am sure it will spur you to push your boundaries. Love.

———————–
On Tue, Jun 17, 2014 at 7:04pm, R Sreenivasan wrote:

Glad to hear from you Vaibhav! Inspiring that the email interaction and the session made a difference to your journey. I am sure you have grand goals set ahead. Wishing you the very best to conquer new milestones.

This interaction goes on my website….to inspire more.

Love and wishes,

Sreeni
————————–

On Mon, Jun 16, 2014 at 3:59 PM, Vaibhav wrote:

Hi Sreeni,

Just out of nowhere, I found this e-mail conversation that happened with you 3 years back. And I was overwhelmed once again to read your detailed response to my query. And how my life has changed over these 3 years.

Currently I am pursuing MBA-FT from FMS Delhi. I joined FMS last year after scoring a 99.4 percentile in CAT 2014.

I am enjoying my life and the complete FMS experience.

Sreeni, in these 3 years, I had no idea about this conversation with you, but your words always echoed and inspired me. They kept me motivated and so you owe a big share for my success.

And only today I realize that it was you who made me ask “How badly did I want FMS??” And only today I can recollect that the anonymous transcripts that I have in my file are from that webinar of yours that I had attended 3 years back.

Thank you very much for your help.

keep going…! All the Best..!

Do acknowledge if you read this mail.

And do connect with me on facebook and linked in if possible.

Regards,

Vaibhav

MBA-FT (Batch of 2015)
FMS Delhi

———————

On Wed, Aug 17, 2011 at 11:06 AM, R Sreenivasan wrote:

Dear Vaibhav,

To help you, let me narrate my story.

I gave CAT in 1990, prepared along with my brother. I was then doing my M.Tech from JNU. I did all the hard work, he did the smart one – built on my hardwork! He focused on the end, while I am very focused on the means. He made it and I could not make it. I then joined TCS in 1991. I loved creative work and my work in systems programming at TCS was very interesting. Yet, while my second year into TCS, I saw the seniors there in, and I figured out that, as you grow in the organization, it ends up being managing.

In 1992, I was charged again for getting into IIM – Babri Masjid incident happened a couple of days before CAT, and it was deferred by over two months. I lost steam as I was neck deep in my project as the head. I worked in TCS for three years. I fought tooth and nail with TCS, not to go abroad, as I wanted to get into IIM. I continued my preparation with vigor to again go after it in 1993, and made it to IIMB. I was 28 then (just to tell you that 24 is no big deal)

Hailing from a humble, economically low-middle class family, with a father working in central government, who used to get a salary of 3-4K a month even a couple of years before his retirement, we realized that education is the panacea for our future. Though this realization dawned only after class 12. Parents helped all the way, by supporting whatever we chased.

I immersed headlong into making my career and life only after class 12. Being the eldest at home, I was always trying to figure out what next by myself. Unlike today, then only means of information was newspaper, if you are able to afford. Whether it is IIT or IIM, I got to know about it only when I entered a better institution at the next level. And I tried to catch up with what I missed, a couple of years down the line.

So, whenever I chose to do something, I was very focused and adamant at getting in. Whether JNU or IIM, I was very determined. I am very tenacious and go-getting once I set my eyes on anything. Perhaps the struggle I went through during the growing years and the outlook I got due to it, makes me a fighter. Mind you, inherently I am a lazy fellow. But set a goal, I will go after it like mad.

Preparations for CAT has been a grinding one. Singular minded. Only aim was to be in IIM. For those three years of my pursuit, I did not lose my steam. Kept myself hanging there with immense drive from with in.

People used to ask me why I was so hell bent. Why not go abroad through TCS and enjoy life. Most of my friends from those days who took that path are doing well in life. I wanted to do something on my own and I was not wired to be in that programming and consulting space forever.

From June – December, I knew nothing but CAT and Office. Got to know Diwali only when I heard crackers being burst outside. Home being a one bedroom government apartment that accommodated six people including four children who are into studies, I had to find a peaceful place to prepare. I prepared either at my office staying overnight or I requested the ‘chowkidar’ in the neighbourhood school to open a classroom for me. I used to crash on the office carpet or on the bench of the classroom by 10pm. Got up at 2am every night to prepare till 7am, then got going for the day. This continued the whole of 5-6 months, every day.

The journey as an entrepreneur / edupreneur for the last 16 years has been no different. It is a challenging day, every day. If we want to do things that we have never done before, we will go through the same emotions and grind.

It all boils down to “How badly I need it”. You need to ask, how badly you need it. I am sure you will find the drive and ideas to schedule your next three months to crack it.

I am sure you will. Attend my webinar – “Dream It! Do It!”. All my learning from my journey that keeps me going goes into this session that helps people push their own boundaries.

I hope, you are now determined to go after it with all your might in the next three months.

Dig deeper, you will find more reserves.

Best wishes and love,

Sreeni

PS – I am going to post this question and my answer without your name being divulged on my website – http://www.sreeni.org.

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On Tue, Aug 16, 2011 at 11:32 PM, Vaibhav wrote:

Hi Sreeni,

Got your email id from career launcher website and hope you might help.

Sreeni, Just to give you a brief insight, I appeared for CAT-2009 and got 98.1 %ile. Since I scored low in Verbal, so I did not get calls from any of the top 10 colleges.

Finally, I was offered admission in NMIMS-Mumbai, but I gave it a miss so as to give another shot for IIMs and FMS.

I appeared in CAT 2010 also but scored a mere 93%ile. Ambitious very much though, I dont know what to do and how to do with this exam. I am very much ambitious, start really well for things, but in the middle I drop the enthusiasm and the will to take it to the end. Had been trying to tackle it all the way till now, but nothing seems to work.

Finally, on this day, I am a 24 year guy who is working with HCL @ Rs 3 lpa. Don’t know what to do and how to go for CAT this year with hardly 2 months left for preparation.

Please guide me how is it possible to crack this one exam so that my whole life could change. I hate technical job. I have always dreamt of making my career in Business world.

I aim to fly high but cannot see the horizon. Please help…!!

Thanks,

Vaibhav Agarwal


R. Sreenivasan,
Co-Founder, Career Launcher (I) Ltd.

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