Apr 21, 2021

An intangible transition

Praveen Chandra Upadhyay   (PGPM Class of 21)

It was September 24th, 2020. I was binge-watching Netflix after my dinner. At 11:50 pm, I heard the sound of the Gmail notification on my phone, and a floating notification appeared, with a Capital ’S’ in a purple background. I opened it, and for a moment I was in a state of shock. The subject line: Early Offer of Admission to SPJIMR’s PGPM Class of 2021. It put me in a state of disbelief. I jumped out of my bed, turned on the lights, and opened the mail on my laptop. Yes, it was the offer letter for my admission to the PGPM, the one year MBA programme at SPJIMR. I closed my fist tightly and screamed loudly inside my head- “YES!!!”.

After working for seven years, the decision to quit my job and get back to student life was a tough one. Of course, I was going to miss the text messages that I would receive at the end of every month, and my monthly trips to the mountains were going to halt. I was about to change the routine I had set in my life for the last seven years. And for what? Going back to being a student? Was it a good decision?

Well, the answer is ‘Yes’. So, I joined the programme, and the last five months have taught me wonderful lessons, so much so that my life has changed exponentially. I will remember joining the Class of 2021 of PGPM at SPJIMR – one of the best management colleges in Mumbai as well as the rest of India – as a huge turning point of my life. A point after which, I have started to see the world from a different lens. Trust me, I have learnt the real difference between a straight-line graph and an exponential graph now. I have not only learnt subjects in-depth but also wonderful life lessons. The biggest lesson I learnt is to be empathetic. The leadership lessons on people management and lessons on critical thinking will definitely help me grow in life. The other thing I have learnt in these five months is that studying is not just about reading a subject and scoring marks but it is more than that. Every subject sow a seed of an idea in your mind. It is our responsibility to nurture that idea, to help it grow into a beautiful reality. Yes, marks are important, but on paper, not in real life. What matters is how we speak and what we speak.

We have been studying online and Zoom calls are our meeting place. You must be thinking of how a person can learn over a zoom call? Well, the bonds that we have made over our zoom calls, are those that will remain with us for a lifetime. We never met, but still, we feel connected. Yes, we miss thumping the desk in the classroom, but the digital claps make a louder sound in our minds nowadays. We do complain about the hectic schedule, but trust me the sleep that we get at the end is priceless. Knowing 130 people online, meeting professors online, bidding online adieus to them in different ways is what makes it all memorable, and any student from the Class of 2021 can vouch for it.

The transition from a salaried person to a student is actually wonderful. We have lost the monthly credit, but we have gained a lifetime of bonding, experience, and learning. In the end, I would just say, MBA does not teach us any subjects, it teaches us life. It teaches us the importance of the 1%, One percent growth every year. The Class of 2021 is happening digitally, but mentally and emotionally we are way more connected.

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