I still vividly remember my first week at Smurfit, how nervous I was about this new chapter in my life, thinking about what I will need to be a success here, and good grades were number one on that list of requirements.
However, after almost two months on the programme, I have somehow arrived at the conclusion that grades are only a footnote in the MBA story. I did not suddenly have an epiphany about this one fine day, rather I gradually realised that our experiences and learnings are far more valuable than any grade that we get, and I am not just talking about my new found ability to read balance sheets and carry out industry analysis. In just seven short weeks this programme has helped me understand the meaning of teamwork, transformed the way I approach asks and taught me how to prioritise and manage my time. I have learnt more outside the classroom than inside. The sheer amount of work that has been dumped on us made me realise that it would have been impossible for us to complete all of it, if we did not have the help of our teams.
The competitive nature of the programme would make it very easy for us to develop a blinkered view of our goals. But the holistic approach of the programme has prevented the development of such views. Although I am not overly fond of being called either an owl or a peacock, I have learnt to put my qualities into perspective and understand their role in the larger scheme of things. I have learnt not to take myself too seriously and realised that I cared more about what I got out of a task rather than what grade I would be securing.
Mind you, given the competitive bunch of people we have here in the programme, grades are important to us and adds to our sense of achievement, but hopefully, all of us have realised that there is more to the MBA than grades, there is a lot of learning, self discovery, relationship building and fun involved along the way which cannot be graded. Hopefully in the years to come, when I look back to my time here, I will be able to give the Smurfit experience an A+.
Arka Banerjee ~ Full-Time MBA