As clichéd as it sounds, but it seems like only yesterday that we came to the Indian School of Business, prepared (or so we thought!) to take on the biggest leap of our lives. We added ourselves to numerous WhatsApp groups, attended meet ups, ‘connected’ with alums to soak in as much as we could about what was in store for us. It will only take you an hour or so on your first day at campus to realize that no amount of preparation, no amount of networking can PRE-pare you for your life at ISB. Why, you may ask. As much as the next year is about learning from some of the best professors, finding that distant dream job and knowing your peers, it is also about finding yourself, accepting yourself for who you are and bettering yourself. And nothing can prepare you for this than ISB itself.
‘The year of transformation’. This is what the one year PGP at ISB is fondly called (soon it’ll be your favorite hashtag too). One caveat though, the transformation is slow and abstract. You’ll keep feeling that you’re the same person. More often than not, you will be the same person albeit your ability to function like a pro with just 3 hours of sleep, your ability to write a three-hour exam with a hangover along with your appetite for food (and other things) at any hour of the day.
So what changes really? The answer to that I think is not only very subjective but also very personal. Through my own experience, I think what this one year at ISB will do is that it will make you extremely comfortable in your own skin. You will start accepting yourself for who you are and that is when the magic begins to happen. My friends have always thought of me as an outgoing, extroverted person. In reality I think I am happiest when I am by my own, in the confines of my room snuggled with a nice book. But I also thought about how nice it would be if I could call people over, host them and throw a nice, cozy party. I could never get myself to do it thinking what if no one showed up. What a bummer that would be!
In the beginning of the second term, the school invited applications for various posts of GSB or the Graduate Student Board. The GSB is a student elected body, responsible for coordinating and managing all student activities and initiatives both academic and extracurricular. I decided to stand for the position of the Director of the Student Life council (SLC), a council that is primarily responsible for all student activities and engagements. SLC takes care of all occasions, events and parties both on campus and off campus. Personally, this was a major challenge as it was way beyond my comfort zone. But it was also something I always wanted to do- getting people together and ensuring they have a great time.
Today, we are a team of 5 and are constantly deliberating over the next school event for the class and enjoying every bit of it. Standing for the SLC was my biggest dare to self and I am glad I took that step. Today, some of my happiest memories from ISB are because of the opportunities I got by being a part of the SLC. While you all get prepared for YOUR year of transformation, be open to making it about yourself, embrace yourself in totality and then throw yourself in challenges – unknown and daunting.
The beauty of this place is that it will never fail you. Remind yourself time and again to try on something new.
If you have the will, you WILL find your calling. Slowly and eventually!
Arpitta Jerath is a student a ISB (PGP Co-2018)
She is also the Director of the Student Life Council