Now I know – who am I, what I want to be and how to get there – Happy Kukreja, XLRI entrant

How has the personalized mentoring in PDPP facilitated you ? How did that impact you, in what all ways?

Has it enabled you to create a compelling vision for life? Have you got reasonable amount of clarity of the path?

As all lost souls in pursuit of a guide, I knocked on the doors of Career Launcher, three months back, when I needed guidance and counsel for business school interviews. To be honest, I was a bit skeptical at first, and rightly so, I was entrusting myHappy IMG_7766 future, in the hands of strangers. Three months later, I can comfortably say, it was a good decision.

The scope of PDP personalised, as a programme, is too broad to simply write it off as an interview preparation tool. It allowed me to understand the ins and outs of my individuality. It started with the 10 questions, every PDPP student has to answer. They included simple, yet stimulating questions, like, ‘Who are you?’ and ‘What is your biggest achievement in life?’. These questions required a lot of introspection and contemplation on my end, as a result I was able to fully understand my individuality, my strengths, and my areas of improvement.

Now, this is something that one could do himself, how did PDPP help in this, one might wonder. Well, it was the gurus at Career Launcher, that enabled me to turn these strengths and weaknesses into instruments of impact in the B-school interviews.

How an ability to write a book can be turned into convincing evidence of superior leadership and management skills? Ask a CL guru, and prepared to be awed! This is indeed the best part. I wasn’t treated as just another student. I was treated as an individual, with unique strengths and weaknesses, and trained to turn my qualities into ammunition, to convince the interviewers.

Next, we come to the story. Every B-school interviewer looks for commitment towards a specific career in the aspirants. This is where all the interviewees need to have a story, a perfect chain of events, that point to the reason of going for MBA, and the specialisation one prefers. This is another area where a personalised story, based on my work ex, courses, certifications and academic record, was curated by CL gurus.

Another aspect of b-school interviews is the group discussions. A lot of top institutes across India, make GDs a part of the selection process. At PDPP, I got a chance to taste the cut throat competition beforehand by participating in over 10 GD workshops.

Another part of the selection process is the writing aptitude test. In the PDPP, I was able to take mock WATs and understood, what the business schools are looking for.

Apart from all this, I always had a mentor just a phone call away. Every doubt, query, was resolved within minutes. It is indeed an overwhelming privilege to be mentored by IIM alums on your way to IIMs.

In a nutshell, PDPP provided me a 360° view of business school selection process. From the story to interview etiquette to GDs and WATs to highlighting strengths and using weaknesses to further improve the chances of selection, I got great insights into everything.

But above all, it helped me, understand the different spheres of my personality. An in-depth understanding of my passions, interests, values, strengths and weaknesses, allowed me to fulfil the very purpose of the existence of knowledge and education, understanding thyself, and designing your life accordingly.

This has become a pragmatic reality because of the numerous interactions I had with CL gurus, who themselves, have a huge body of experience and expertise. In the personal interactions, I had with them, I was introduced to a world of possibilities, and different paths that lie ahead in life for me, the pros and cons of each, and most importantly, I was equipped with the knowledge and wisdom to decide, which path to venture upon in the journey of life.

I now have an understanding of the kind of person I am, both personally and professionally, and kind of person I want to be and how to get there!

Happy Kukreja

XLRI convert, 2019-21

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Introspective notes for self, Inspiration for everyone else – June 2013

On Setting goals and Chasing them

DO NOT JUST THINK IT – INK IT! If you have a goal to achieve, write it down. Written goals transform wishes into wants, thoughts into action, cant’s into cans; dreams into plans; and plans into reality. WRITE IT DOWN in as many posters as you want, paste them all over your home, vehicle, especially places where you spend most of your time. Create a song and make it into your mobile tune… Every element around you should be talking to you. JUST DO EVERYTHING POSSIBLE TO PUSH YOURSELF TO REALIZE YOUR GOAL.

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There is nothing called failure, you actually give up. When you fall down and stay down, people say that you failed. Do not give up! Keep banging the door that you want to open. Open, it will. It depends on your passion and perseverance. As long as you do not give up, every door in this world can be opened. Just believe in yourself. Love.

An inspiring video of Mark Inglis, a native of New Zealand, who climbs mount Everest even after becoming a double amputee…

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Importance of execution, and the way you go about

You cannot escape the inevitable, why procrastinate….. Kaal karey so Aaaj Kar, Aaaj Karey so ab…. JUST DO IT!

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Always under-promise and over-deliver…. Over achieving your objectives / targets is the biggest boost of confidence you can give for yourselves and for those who are betting on you.

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Good Judgment comes from a bad experience and Good experience comes from a bad judgment! Why hesitate, just jump and swim…. yes, be prudent in whatever you do! Believe in yourself and your judgments… Enjoy the journey!

An inspiring video that talks about Initiative, Execution and Perseverance

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Out of the box thinking and being creative

Both optimists and pessimists contribute to our society. The optimist invents the Aeroplane, the pessimist, the parachute – Grg Bernard Shaw

A story about two shoe salesman who happened to travel deep into the rain forest and chance upon a primitive tribe. The first salesman messages his boss, “NO opportunities here. All the people go barefoot.” The second one also sent a message, “Everyone here barefoot. Huge opportunity! Send all the possible sizes and styles”….. a favourite story of Akio Morita, founder of SONY.

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Discovery and innovation come out of seeing what everybody sees, but thinking and doing what nobody has ever done before. Do not be afraid to fail, just do it!

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Believe in every individual, he / she can startle you

Accept that people think differently than you do; Do not waste your time trying to convert the diehards. Instead, work with them, live with them, respect their differences, be open to learning from them, and be thankful the world isn’t full of people exactly like you.

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Child is the father of man!

How true this statement is. The way Mallika Nethra Sreenivasan and Svwara go about their explorations, in fact make them the best teachers I have ever had in my life. I need to have more patience to explore and learn as much as I can. Thanks to Indira for making life more meaningful.

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Don’t Expect gratitude! You may get it but don’t expect it. Do whatever you do because it’s right, because it pleases you; Your reward should derive from the fruit of your labours, not the arbitrary whim of disinterested recipients. And when that infrequent expression of gratitude comes your way, humbly accept as it will be that much sweeter.

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If this posting is inspiring enough and has set some thoughts in you, kindly share with others; Leave your comments here, what more I could do to inspire you and others. You may wish to follow the blog for future postings. Thanks, Love and regards. Sreeni

A wonderful fortnight of Pushing Boundaries

I always enjoyed being with the children and youth as these experiences always challenged me to push my own boundaries of enthusiasm, agility, fitness, ambition, dare-devilry, creativity… The last fortnight has been an exciting one in all these respects and learning has been immense, mostly reiteration of things known and heard before.

I was about to take off from my serious regular work schedule to pursue my other serious avocations – SPICMACAY and SRISTI/NIF – attending and contributing to annual SPICMACAY annual convention at Trivandrum and half-yearly engagement with the innovative citizens of this nation through Shodhyatra of SRISTI and NIF that was held this time at Dahod in Gujarat. As the challenge of the admission season at IWSB made me abort these ‘pilgrimages’, I was a little disappointed for, these important events on the calendar give me an opportunity to work with the brethren who are actively contributing in the spaces of culture, innovation and entrepreneurship that impacts our nation in a small yet sure way. But this disappointment was short lived, as the interactions with the youth more than compensated for my loss.



Assured or Confused at eighteen?

Class twelve results of various boards were declared across the country last fortnight. I happened to engage two sets of students from this lot during this fortnight – an assured set and a confused one.

In the first category, are those students for whom the board results are of little consequence. They along with their parents have been planning out their careers for the last couple of years and also executed their plans really well. Most of them got calls from IITs, National Law Schools, NIFTs etc.

The second category has significant numbers that do not have any clue what they really want to pursue in life. I experience that year after year, more and more parents getting really worried about what their ward would pursue after class twelve only after the board results arrive. Many of these children with excellent percentages (!!) in their board exam still fail to find a place in a course of their liking or the college of their choice. Why do they fail to? Have they woken up late? What a parent, a teacher or a school could have done to make their lives better? I shall talk about my sessions with the second category first.

On introspection, I recall my childhood when my parents did not ever show the anxiety of where I or my siblings would study ahead. I hardly remember parents visiting our schools. Were they indifferent? No, they were highly involved in a different way. Hailing from an economically humble family, yes, their motivational interactions with us had sprinklings of stories of inspiring personalities elevating us to think about pursuing a dream path. ‘Hardwork was the only way for a rewarding life ahead,’ that was clearly conveyed. ‘Do what you are passionate about and be passionate about whatever you do,’ was the message I got. My father’s words “Karmanye-vadhikaraste-maaphaleshu-kadhachana (The fruits that we pluck depend on the efforts we put in),’ still keeps ringing in my head. Never ever salaries and lifestyles were discussed. It was each individual’s aspirations and possible opportunities that lie in front of him or her that we passionately pursued. Believing in oneself has been the mool-mantra, followed by planning and uncompromising execution.

Somewhere along the line in the last two decades, marks have become be all and end all of education for most parents, teachers and schools, exceptions do exist. Parents and teachers take pride in boasting only about the child’s marks. Are marks directly related to the growing capability? Pursuit of learning and individual growth has taken a back seat. Awareness of self and then believing in the self which is the key to success is alien. I can see the inability of a child or a parent to face failure a direct result of this.

So, the last fortnight when I set out to interact with youth who are stepping out of their cocooned homes and schools and who are clueless about what is in store for them now, my main agenda was to make them see within, identify their capabilities, realize that each one has immense power to change their own future, that failures are temporary and are great sources for us to learn to succeed in life.

This mission took me from one classroom to another, one education centre to other, bringing me face to face with a couple of thousand youngsters. There were many eager learners, most of who were reluctant and recalcitrant to start with. The rebel at eighteen, he or she, wants to challenge. Friendliness, warmth, interactivity, sharing observations and learnings from personal life with glimpses into lives of a few fellow extraordinary human beings were real eye-openers for them. The focus was on ‘Believing in self and steadfastness in execution.’ By the end of every interaction I found many determined souls, including me (I get energy by experiencing the responses). Their responses have been amazing. I got to hear that no one has really spoken to them this language.

What is our role as mentors?

Is a class all about teaching a subject or just solving a problem? I am sure some of the aspirants inside a class too would definitely break their own barriers and create their own story, if each one of us as a mentor, constantly, in every session, help them think big, instill the belief in themselves and make them push their boundaries. I do not see this role to be any different even for a parent, in every interaction. This is what I learnt from my parents. We have such a wonderful youth with immense capabilities that can change the world, it is our responsibility to facilitate them realize their capabilities, in the process our own. Money, Comfortable life will definitely follow, as they are byproducts of our pursuit and accomplishment of the goal. If the passion continues, higher wants – POWER and FAME, too will be at their doors!!

The Assured Ones!

Talking of the pursuit of goals and accomplishment, I also had the opportunity of addressing this focused bunch in Mumbai on June 7th, on the occasion of the IITJEE achiever’s felicitation. The hall was full to the brim with IITJEE 09 toppers and their families, their seniors who are at IITs now, were there too to share their experiences inside IIT, and also IIT aspirants and their families who were there to hear and interact with the successful candidates.

It is heartening to see the bunch of 250+ succeeding at the JEE from the portals of Career Laucher / ARC this year. Their stories have been that of extraordinary perseverance by ordinary human beings. One who scored 58% in class 10 but getting a rank of 603 at JEE, those from government schools and central schools making it to the ranks, making their schools and principals very proud. A few of the principals were there in the audience to celebrate the success of their own wards.

The felicitation of achievers by their untiring mentors, the lively interaction between the achievers and aspirants and also brilliant performance on stage by a few aspirants with their guitars and vocals went on to show that, one can be good in more than one space if one really wants to. I really enjoyed addressing this august gathering, all charged up by the occasion and performances that preceded my address.

All in all it was an exciting fortnight of pushing boundaries. I shall narrate another such experience of this fortnight in the next issue.

sreeni@careerlauncher.com

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