Hailing from a small hill-station town in Tamil Nadu called Kodaikanal, I did my entire schooling from the Kodaikanal International School, where diversity is the key to the overall learning experience. I then went on to do my B.E. Mechanical Engineering in Chennai; a post which I joined Signode India Ltd. (Formerly ITW India Ltd.) where I honed my skills on post-production logistics capability issues.
After having worked for 5+ years, one gains a multitude of skills and depth of knowledge. However, fundamentally this human capital lacks structure. The Post Graduate Programme, to me, is a tool that broadly aligns my past personal and professional experiences to a thought process that is geared towards delivering, while putting me in a high-pressure environment. With an India focused career map, I started looking at the value proposition of different regional business schools and ISB was the natural choice in terms of the right mix of course rigor, peer-group experience, faculty diversity and overall learning experience.
The one year at ISB is transformational. Not only did I have the opportunity to learn from some of world’s most influential professors, but also had my thoughts tested and challenged by a diverse pool of peers.
The holistic learning from peers inside and outside the class provides the greatest substitute for what to expect from a more globalized work-environment. ISB’s PGP is designed to push the students to the limit which enables them to maintain rationality during the stressful decision making. My experience of being the President of the Graduate Student Board made me realise that 550 of some of the smartest people in India believe in me to add value to the experience they are about to have. And, that is humbling.
Other things that I learnt from my experience, include:
- people with work experience come with clear expectations and rise to be extremely capable leaders within the student community
- autonomy is a more powerful tool than control in a setting that is driven purely by motivation
- when you gain the trust of your class, never let them down, even if it calls for sleepless nights and more sacrifice on your part. It is the only goodwill you can ever own.
The one-year programme has minimal overlap between the subsequent batches. This essentially means that, though there is an underlying ISB culture, each class also has its unique culture. The current class is extremely collaborative and tight-knit. They are extremely driven, but they do not compromise the relationships they are forging here for their own self-gain. Therefore, it is safe to say that the student culture at ISB is unparalleled.
One thing I am certain about tomorrow in ISB is that I will learn something new which may happen in the class or outside. So, at the ISB you are in a constant state of transformation and the rate at which it happens is based on how involved you would like to be. It is due to this constant learning experience that I love being here at ISB.
The PGP at ISB is not just a fantastic learning platform for business acumen, but it is also a holistic experience that will test your strengths and transform your weaknesses to the extent that you will confidently be able to tackle any challenge the world can throw at you. Your opportunities are endless in ISB and 24 hours in a day may not seem enough, but your level of passion for what you do here can transform 24 into 48. Therefore, when you come to ISB view the entire experience as your learning, allow your thoughts to be challenged and decide to take on tasks that will build you. Be passionate about what you are doing now, at work and show it in your essays. Also, know clearly what you want to do while in, and post ISB and showcase that in your year of transformation.
In the end, I’d like to quote Mr.Steve Jobs and say
“The people who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world are the ones who do!”
About the Author –
Peter Paul is the President of the Graduate Student Board (Class of 2016) at the Indian School of business.