A ride of a life-time

We had our last class of the semester today.  Looking back, it has been a roller coaster ride for the last 4 months. Initially, it was a challenge for me to comprehend the abstract aspects of business, particularly marketing. I couldn’t agree more with Damien McLoughlin’s (our marketing professor) remarks on females excelling in marketing. To push the button to switch on the right brain takes a lot of effort for people like me who have always had a digital mindset of looking at things.  But I can’t be happier at this stage for having taken that effort to broaden my perspectives and learning that everything in business is not “black and white” as I used to believe.

I have learnt so much in the last four months that I wonder if the quantum of learning is equivalent to my academic learning of years. At one time, particularly while writing journals and assignments one after another, I felt like giving up. But there was support from my own study group and colleagues in the class and above all it was my own determination that kept me going. And here I am looking forward to the challenges of the next semester. Although restless to go back home for Christmas, I am as eager to return for the rest of my MBA, a fun-learn ride of a life time.

– Nihar, FT MBA 2011/2012

Challenge the heights

It is 7 PM, Just finished reading a chapter from competitive strategy on “Analyzing resources and capabilities”, one more to go and then two articles to be read followed by a case-study. All this is to prepare myself for tomorrow’s strategy class. Can I afford to sit quiet and trying to hide myself from Professor Gibbon’s cold calls?

From my 14 years of career in IT and telecom, I can’t quite remember how many technology solutions I have architected and how many clients I have consulted. But did I know how tightly coupled are the IT strategy and the business goals of an organization? Did I know how Conway’s Law works while developing an IT strategy? Everything that I have done so far in my career was based on my industry experience, common sense and intuition. Did that work? Yes it did. However, with this new knowledge that I am gaining, I hope not just to make things work in future, but to make things work the best way possible.

It’s not all about reading and assignments, here at Smurfit. Last week we had a Career Leader workshop and a week before that we had a 16PF workshop. I was little shocked and equally thrilled to learn some of my unexplored career interests from the Career Leader report and some personal attributes that I myself was never aware of.  Can’t really say how much of these workshops are going to help me in my future endeavors career-wise, but they certainly helped me knowing myself better than before.  And an MBA after all, is not only about learning from books and earn a credential, but also to learn about yourself, come out of your limitations and to challenge the heights.

– Nihar Panda, FT MBA 2011/2012