Take a look around you. You’re looking at young, agile minds. Brilliant minds. Diverse minds. The career-graph post an MBA is not uncommon to us al
Take a look around you. You’re looking at young, agile minds. Brilliant minds. Diverse minds.
The career-graph post an MBA is not uncommon to us all. Heading into a managerial position is something we all aspire for and hence the decision to get into a B-School. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done before, what you’ve studied, how much experience you have (okay, that’s debatable). But the basic fact remains, that for most part, at a B-School, all slates are wiped clean. Being an engineer gives you as much an advantage as someone from the finance background. If you ask me, finance students have the edge; I still cannot balance my accounts and make sense of an Income statement.
In business, it is often said that it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. Something that is highly under-stated and equally under-rated in a B-School, is the importance of networking! In fact, I would say it’s the single most important aspect of your two years here! Heading out into the corporate world is daunting, especially for someone who’s entering it for the first time. Say five years down the line, you plan on starting something of your own, you’re on the lookout for a strong team to lead your business. You could either carry out a crude recruitment process on your own to find potential candidates to fill the role, or you could just call up your batch-mate who specialized in HR to set-up a hiring plan, or email that brilliant mind from the Finance specialization and discuss the possibility of working together.
The catch here is, you could only call those people up, and convince them to join you (trust is more important), if you had known each other during the course of your degree!
We invest money to get ourselves that business degree the same way some of us invest in books to hone our business acumen. What stops us from investing in our batch-mates, in building bonds that will help us in the vast, vast corporate world that is waiting to devour us all? Networking with your batch-mates is more than just adding them on LinkedIn. Hell, I have the CEOs of a few organisations in my LinkedIn contact list, but I’m pretty sure none of them will even open a message sent by me.
Allow me to describe an actual example. Working in the Corporate Relations & Placement team, I constantly find myself emailing my old Engineering batch-mates (who are now at top positions), for any recruitment leads. Nine out of ten times, it’s ONLY the ones who I had some sort of interaction/friendship, that have bothered to reply and continue the conversation. I don’t blame them! I can’t expect them to reply to my messages when I have not spoken more than 20 words to them in four years of my Engineering course!
We each have our circle of friends, but that shouldn’t stop us from interacting with the others. There’s no reason we can’t have a good discussion in the canteen with that Agri-Business student and learn something absolutely new, there’s nothing stopping us from playing a game of Table Tennis with a random person in the common SIC room and getting to know them. For all you know, five years down the line they might be the recruiting head of an organisation and you might be looking for a job! Imagine bumping into them and recollecting that game of TT and leading on from there.
Take a look around you. You’re looking at young, talented leaders. Bright leaders. Future leaders.
Do you want to be in a position in the future where you know who they are, but they don’t remember you at all?