Feb 13, 2023

Juggling dreams and deadlines: My B- School circus adventure

Karanvir Singh Bains   PGDM 2022- 24

I have a tale to tell, a story of adventure and bravery, of leaving a near-perfect job for the wild world of B-school. It all started in June 2021, when I decided to turn down a CAD 20,000 scholarship and a full tuition waiver for a master’s programme abroad, and instead, join the circus of Indian B-schools.

When I first took the CAT, I felt like a clown trying to balance a job and studies, but to my surprise, I managed to juggle both and received calls from the top B-school programmes in the country. It was then that I found myself at a crossroads, and after much contemplation, I joined the circus at S. P. Jain Institute of Management & Research (SPJIMR) in Mumbai.

The real story is about how I, a Punjabi man, ended up in the land of vada pav and Bollywood dreams. But it’s safe to say that my experience here has been nothing short of a three-ring circus. But what’s been even more of a journey has been the people I’ve met here. I share a hostel with CAs, software developers, ex-military personnel, and marketers, each one bringing a unique perspective to the table. It’s like a United Nations of careers, and it’s been a blast learning from all of them. Every day is a new act, a fresh perspective on life.

As a first-generation engineer and soon-to-be first-generation MBA, this journey has been a trapeze act for my family and me. My past work experiences have provided real-life case studies for my classes, and let me tell you, they’ve been a real hoot. My OB class was a performance on the Manesar Plant Strike of 2012 at Maruti Suzuki India Limited, where I once worked. My design and innovation class was a high-wire act, building upon my design thinking skills as a former product design manager.

My business communication class improved my writing and listening skills, which I discovered were crucial during my time as a management consultant at EY. And the strategy, corporate finance, macroeconomics, ethics, marketing and operations classes have given me a comprehensive perspective on how the world works.

As I look forward to my DoCC next month, I am both excited and grateful for this journey of self-discovery. I am thankful for all the mentors, seniors, and friends who have supported me and continue to do so as I navigate this rigorous yet exhilarating path. Who knows where this circus will take me next? All I know is that I’m ready for the next act.

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