So Kabir, braved through the courses in college and kept up his average, and then took on the challenging task in the final semester of MBA to work hard at facing interviews from various types of companies. Now Kabir had a dream of joining an Investment bank, and working with the finance division of it. He tried his level best, but somehow he was out ranked by a fellow classmate. Not losing any hope, he kept trying till the scope of job began to narrow down to I.T Companies or National banks.
He took a tough decision and decided to try his luck with these sectors, and suddenly landed with a job in a big I.T firm.
Kabir did join the company and underwent 3 month training with various processes of the company, overviews of the various divisions under finance and finally soft skills. Soon enough he was absorbed by one of the team which supported an application used by large investment banks as a platform to trade. With great hope of getting his first taste of working as a Business Analyst, Kabir joined the team. The first few days passed by with getting various processes in place. After which he and his fellow MT’s (Management Trainee) were asked to prepare test cases, and test the application.
Kabir was quite confused with the work that was assigned to him, as it wasn’t mentioned anywhere in the job description. Nor was any of his learning in the 2 years of MBA required to complete the tasks at hand. Still Kabir pushed through, and went on to work on all the tasks diligently.
After a few months, he began to question his ability and doubt his capability. It seemed like there were many around him getting assigned to different roles and he seemed to be stagnant with the work he was doing. A frustrated Kabir reach out to his mentors and was being told the same thing over and over again.
‘There is no requirement as of now for a Business Analyst, therefore we will keep you in mind when the time comes, and there are many projects in the pipeline. Don’t worry!’
When his team met for coffee that evening they looked at Kabir who seemed rather dull, and asked him what the matter was?
To which Kabir responded, “Guys, What THE HECK is happening!!!! I am an MBA graduate from one of the best colleges in India. I landed job in an IT company, in which I am working on tasks which can be handled by anyone who is an undergraduate. I just want to quit but I have a loan which needs to be paid off!”
There was a wise, slightly more experienced person in the crowd, who spoke next, “Kabir my boy, let me just point out firstly on how wrong you are about the whole matter. I apologize on behalf of the company for causing you such pain. But let me tell you a few things about the corporate world from my years of experience.
As a fresher, your expectations of the world of corporate are pretty high and you are focused on maintaining the same momentum, as in college. Which is commendable but things change so fast in the world around us that one must be able to adapt to any situation presented to them. For example in your MBA you are taught subjects from various streams before you specialize, think of the corporate world in the same manner. You have been given the opportunity to work in various streams before you get your break. I promise you, the way that you are working, it will come soon. You are very inexperienced to handle a team, or a project on your own, for which you are currently being groomed in ways beyond your understanding. Just have some faith.”
So Kabir, let go of his illusion of the perfect job and began to perform well with the tasks that he was handed.
In 15 months’ time Kabir’s team won a project, in which he finally got to work in the job which he was promised. In the meanwhile 4 fresh MBA graduates had joined the team. So Kabir took them out for coffee and decided to pass on the wisdom and set their expectations. So at the coffee table he got a quick introduction and said,
“Dear Graduates, firstly let me take the opportunity to thank you for joining the company. I understand you guys are very eager to begin working full-fledged in the project. But as you’re senior I would like to tell you that in our team things are a little different. We hire all-rounders and expect you guys to be comfortable in any work that is given. This is to test you and understand your strengths and weaknesses. This will also help you gauge your level of competency and you will be able to figure out what you really are comfortable with.
I suggest you stop looking at the job description that was given when you were being recruited for this role, as that is simply a guideline as to what we ultimately want to groom you guys into. There will be various ups and downs. You will have periods of work where the pressure will be high, and there will be periods where you will be free. Don’t worry about either, both are pretty temporary.
Open you minds to receiving any sort of work that is given to you and go about and take on additional responsibilities from your seniors and peers. This will give you a lot of insight to the project.
If you are frustrated reach out to your mentors, and take decisions based on rational thinking. The world is your oyster. Aim and achieve high.”
His speech was received with claps and cheers.
Contributed by Sujir Pavithra Nayak (Class of 2011, IBS Hyderabad)