To my alma mater

To my alma mater

A matter of brazen love and unspoken glory, with an unlead fury 

It was the summer of 2006. I had landed in Pittsburgh, USA on May 7, 2006 for my studies in Heinz School in Carnegie Mellon University. Life was fun. It was a start of a journey, which eventually turned me to a writer. A small incident of matching of eyes, and a few encounters turned me to a poet. Seriousness apart, I still galore those precious moments I had enjoyed in my days of youth and glory.

It is imperative that you fall in love at any or some point of time. It is imperative that you have a crush in your teen life. It is imperative that you can have a break in career, at some point of time. It is imperative to latch on, if you really like a person.

Love is never easy. But, on top of it, you need to be practical and down to earth. Avoid complexities in life. Just start with your confidence and build it from start. You should learn to shoulder responsibilities from a great extent. Always remember, career and love are not the only two dimensions of life.

After ten years of my university, I had the chance of seeing the resume of my juniors from our the then placement team, still headed by Ron Delfine. When I saw the resume of my university, I knew that I had survived the competition then. Only brunt was not interviewing with any investment bank, and not joining offers from a few consulting firms. I started to build on my own after that, and this is the 170-plus article that I have written in the last ten years starting from 2008. I still miss those conversations with my Dean, Andy Wasser. I wrote an email to Andy’s accomplice Terri about some suggestions that I had given for my school. Here is the e-mail.

Dear Terri,

Thank you so much for replying back. Here are a few points that I would like you to notice.

  1. Cultural adaptability- Any student migrating to the USA for the first time may avail an extra training on the culture of the specific companies and geographies that he is targeting. A student who is fit for NYC, may not like to end up in CA for a job offer. Also, the bollywood-cricket-politics culture for a student in India needs to be changed to hollywood-foootball business culture in the US. What I mean is that the professors in communication can address these issues in the class. I have felt that the students in CMU have a definite ‘class’, but they lack the acumen when cracking jokes. To understand a culture needs efforts from both the sides, and especially from the students. BTW, I am a fan of Prof. Ed Barr and Prof. Chris Labash.
  1. Communication prowess- Speaking skills, verbal and non-verbal communications needs to be stressed more. An introduction of a TV viewing of students, especially related to a particular program aired in the USA can be a good class, akin to writing a case by listening from the lectures.
  1. Cross culture training- I think a specific test can be taken at the start of the semesters to know what can a sample of students who are weak in communication- both verbal, non-verbal and written can take. This will open up new ways to communicate and appreciate other cultures as well. Each country can have limited seats in the class. The cross culture training serves as a precursor to the students who are facing diversity for the first time.
  1. Ability to lead- Another aspect that can be addressed is student selected votes for the best ‘student of the year’, best ‘speaker of the year’, best ‘beer mate of the year’ and so on. This will allow mingling of the students among themselves with a focus on learning from each other. As intense competition kills the empathy, I believe we need to figure out a way for addressing the outliers.
  1. Consulting mindset- When I would enter the office of Ron Delfine, I would ask him as to how to win a consulting offer in ‘MBB’. Ron’s tips helped me a lot to prepare for the interviews. But, I believe that I was lucky to get time from Ron every time when I would rush to him. What I mean is that, there is a difference between a delivery mindset Vs. a consulting mindset. Consultants look for relationships, not just business alone. I guess this needs to be ingrained very well.

All these views are my personal views. I have passed the coursework in 2007, but the ideas are very fresh till now; and I believe that every student in MISM is just not the ambassador of their country, but a brand ambassador of the coursework as well. I hope these points help you in some way. I am looking forward for your reply on this email. If you wish, we can also talk more on these points.

Albeit, MISM and Heinz school does not require my advice to be honest, but I felt that I should have shared all this points much before. Convey my regards to Dean Wasser as well. I hope that he still remembers me!

Thank you dear professors of Carnegie Mellon. With best wishes always!

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