Well, it’s been a year. Last year on June 26th, we packed our bags to go on one of our most significant and cherishable journeys in life– the journey of a MBA. At this moment last year, I would have met my MBA colleagues for the first time in Beijing.
People say MBA is a life changing experience. I couldn’t agree more but its life changing for several reasons. OK, it infuses formal knowledge about core business domains, widens your perspective, grooms you as a person; but there is much more to it than that. Basically, It gives you access to the most wonderful people in the world; people whom you are going to call friends; people who would leave an everlasting mark in your life; people with whom you will share a bond which will be unbreakable for a lifetime.
Well, I did groom as a person, did widen my perspective and gain formal understanding of core business domains. But my key takeaway from this MBA program has been these everlasting friends I have earned.
It all started once I got the holy acceptance email from University of Hong Kong. The entire admission process is very taxing and the email was very gratifying.
So I reached Beijing and the first set of people I met were Nikhil Wadhwa, Hitesh Dhawan, Karan Kwatra, Mohit Ishar and Akanksha Arun. Immediately we guys gelled and became a Gang.
I guess the theme of this post is getting clearer now. The post is not about MBA and things to do/not do during one. Its dedicated to the friends I made in this program and want to express my gratitude to them for ensuring that we all had a great year.
So let’s start with Nikhil.
Nikhil is one of my closest friends. An ideal romantic. Everything about him – his music, his style, his thought process has a bit of romance oozing out of it. A philosopher by heart – we have had so many candid conversations about life. I will remember all those convos for a long long time.
One of the most dedicated among us – his hard work and commitment is worth a mention.
A moment which I will never forget about him is the his dramatics at the International Restaurant in Beijing where he very eloquently explained to the non English speaking waiter what food he wanted :-)
We call him the cribber for the obvious reasons– I guess there hasn’t been a single meal where he hasn’t had issues with the food. But to be honest – the day he doesn’t complain about the food, there is something missing in that dining experience. People say 'keep rocking' but buddy I will ask you to – keep cribbing :D
Next is Hitesh. Mr. Dhawan creates an impression of a person who wants things to happen according to what he wants. His mantra seems to be – my way or the highway ;)
I got close to Hitesh in the last few months and am glad I did. He is my partner in crime to hunt for cool food joints in town. Dude – frescos was a good one : )
No one deserves ownership to the word passion more than Hitesh. His passion and zeal for finance is unbelievable. So unbelievable it is that it gets annoying at times. There are times when we are enjoying some good music or a good restaurant atmosphere and Hiteshji will start the most uninteresting topic in the world. The one about derivatives or hedge funds!!!!!!! OK – I might be exaggerating a bit but I am pretty close to reality.
An avid poker fan – the Beijing Poker days will not be forgotten for a while. His favorite quote – “ feel aa rahi hai “ ;)
The MBA has also been a very important landmark for Hitesh. He is getting engaged on 8th July.
It has to be Karan next… The heart throb of the entire MBA program.
One thing is guaranteed about him – regardless of the circumstances a smile on his face. If there is a party planned, Karan is always a part of it. That’s a trait we share besides our liking for the same genre of romantic Hindi music.
The kumb’karan’ of our group has not seen many mornings during his MBA but with his Microsoft internship starting in a month – I am sure the 7 am sun is not going to be a pleasant experience for him :p
Akanksha (Akki) is the BUDDY of our group. I can’t imagine a more perfect ‘friend who is a girl’. She cooks for all of us, makes the best coffee in town and doesn’t have any of the nakhras ( tantrums ) generally associated with the female gender ( I am not being a chauvinist – just making a point :P )
First one among us to get married, I hope she has a great married life !!
What I like the most about her is that she doesn’t have any issues in life. Her simplicity is her greatest forte. Very hardworking and devoted towards her work. I am sure with her impeccable execution ability, she will go places.
When we first met, we didn’t hit off well. Guess she formed a bad opinion about me ( Can’t blame her. Capricorns are the most misunderstood people in the world)… I hope now I am in her better books.
All said and done, I am glad that we met Akki. She is our best BUDDY !!! Akki coffee chahiye : )
Mohit – He is one person about whom whatever I say is going to be a little less.
The superstar of the class – An IITian to the core, brilliance is his middle name. I don’t think many will forget DRA course where he single handedly saved his team from a definite doom.
If this MBA has impacted someone more than me, it’s this guy. Just see the pictures below and you ll understand what I am trying to say.
Mohit has the ability to get people to absolutely adore him. He is one guy regardless of the situation/time, will be there for you.
Though we have drifted apart with time, I will never forget those amazing ‘walk the talks’ we use to have. And how can I ever forget the 3 hour midnight walk in Beijing when there were no cabs or English speakers on the road.
People say the best should be saved for the end. And this best is my best buddy Asanka Samaranayake. Initially, I didn’t know him well enough but with time I realized what an amazing guy he is.
He has been there for all ups and downs of my life in majority of last year and my MBA experience would have been total shit without Sanki’s support.
One of the most genuine people I have ever met in life. I have always believed in this mantra that “What’s in your mind should be in your face”. This dude is a living example of that.
A guy whose sense of humor can be lethal – one might just kill oneself listening to his crappiest of all jokes : ). I am surprised how did I survive it ..
A true Capricorn – ambitious but persistent to his values. There is no doubt in my mind that he will excel at whatever he does. Dude – when you become a big man, remember your lowly friends.If I make it big in life, I ll buy you a wardrobe ( pun intended )
A total failure at love – I am sure you have hit jackpot this time around man ..
A MBA can be a very challenging experience. Being among so many brilliant people can be more intimidating than you would ever imagine. For me, it could have been a long and never ending one year. But with these guys around, the year just flew off in a jiffy. Someone once said that generally it is the person closest to us who must travel the furthest distance to be our friend. Very apt.
Today, completing one year in this program, my fondest memories have all been associated with these tremendous set of people and am grateful for their support all this while. Just remember that relationships is all that matters in life, everything else is a vague notion.
If you are reading this and are doing/planning to do an MBA, I just want to share one bit of gyaan (advice ) with you. Consider your MBA to be a vacation – treat it like one because once you get out, there is this unforgiving corporate world waiting for you.