Friday, June 17, 2011

A full circle

Intern Global Pricing Strategy and Planning CM Optimization

You know you’ve come a full circle when you reach this designation. It feel strange being an intern all over again, specially after havign workd for 4 years. Although I wonder what it must be like for a lot of my classmates with twice my work experience. Looking back at my first year of MBA and this internship and contrasting it with Indian education, I know we’ve got a long way to go.
First and foremost this concept of doing an MBA or any masters right after undergrad needs rethinking. I have not a single 22 year old in my class, the youngest being 26 years old with 3 years of work ex. Working brings so much perspective to ones thought process and orients your mind to thinking like senior management unlike the fresh faced almost kids graduating as MBA’s.
Being an intern here is serious business with all of us working on high impact projects – a little unnerving but also a great challenge, and you’re expected to build off from your work experience as well as the education youre getting in B school to be able to handle it. In short the MBA focuses on making you a manager, a leader and a businessman – not someone who can read textbooks and regurgitate information on a written test. In fact, most of my classes in the second half were not even written tests - they were case analyses, projects, presentations etc.
Which brings me to the second thing – testing. Indian MBA’s have to move away from the written test format as well. I had a few friends go to Bschool in Mumbai and saw them cram from textbooks the night before the exams much in the same fashion I studied for engineering – textbook rote. That takes away from application altogether.
Thing is, we all come to the US for higher education for many of the same reasons – its just a richer quality here. Which does make a case for brain drain. Its not just engineers and PHD students the US is luring away now, its also business professionals, future leaders. Funny thing is the US is under flak for giving jobs to so many Indians so ideally they wouldn’t want us here, whereas India would, but there arent enough opportunities anymore.

Its almost surreal how if I was back in India everythings changed with my circle of friends – we’re in the 27-28 age band now, and everyone back home is married/engaged/formally announced marriage. I was in for a HUGE shocker when I found out my best friend is pregnant after her marriage last year. It was GREAT news, but unexpected. She’s extremely excited about it, and so am I but it was strange nonetheless. Here I am being a student and my bestest friend, the closest thing to a sister is pregnant! Thing is, we’ve lived 5 mins from each others house since the last 20 years, gone to the same school, college, moved to the states together so her life is very synonymous with mine.. except the marriage of course. So when she called to tell me shes pregnant for the first ten mins of that phone conversation I dint believe her! I of course had to make up for that by sending her red velvet cake. I cant imagine her being a mommy – we’re such kids ourselves. I LOVE animated movies, rides, lollipops, am scared of scary movies, I LOVE Dave and Busters and Universal studios and disneyland and my idea of parenting is cuddling up to a baby. So is hers!

Speaking of friends – the other best friend from Mumbai finally had the time to write me an email last night. It gives me no explanation as to why she never had even 5 minutes to write back, or wish me, or reply to my calls, or facebook messages. She dint even reply to a thread I had posted on her facebook wall asking how she’s doing. She’s quitting her job next month and will be taking a break and I feel like she wrote to me because her time opened up, which hurt. I don’t think I will reply to this email, simply because I think she doesn’t deserve a reply from me. Guess ill see her when I go home in december. I feel bad, but enough of this being there for someone to walk on and then be there again when they need you.
In other news, I got a car! Im now a full fledged working girl living alone (temporarily) driving to work, cooking over the weekend and wait, I sound 45.


Aditya said...

Oh lord, do I know what you mean or what! I thought peer pressure was about smoking and drinking and such, but it's actually about getting married and "settling down". So many friends of mine are either married or in the process of doing the same. It's a bit surreal.

If you don't mind some unsolicited advice, keep up your side of friendship with the other friend. Not once every day or week, but once in a while just drop a message to say Hello/How are things? It doesn't take much effort, and as long as you know the other party is not inherently evil things will change down the line. I'm not saying she will be your BFF all over again, but maybe just a good friend.

Congrats on the car! What did you buy finally?

Scarlett said...

Unsoliticited advice again but I need to say it - reply to her message. You don't have to be overly warm. Just a friendly, cordial reply will do.

Some times people do get caught up with their lives more than they'd like to. The thing to remember is that the world doesn't revolve around ourselves and such a thing can happen to oneself as well. Don't pull the plugs on a friendship just b/c she wasn't in touch with you for a while.