How a jack of all trades is learning to master them all...

How a jack of all trades is learning to master them all | “My Life at ISB.” by Riddhi Kapoor.


My Life at ISB

Life at a Business School is a rather coveted subject this time of the year. Prospective applicants, and in the Indian context, even their parents/grandparents and distant relatives want to know what the fuss is all about. As I sit back with my seventh cup of coffee for the day, I’m hit with an epiphany “Almost 7 months of my student life are over!” While I reflect upon what has passed in this roller-coaster ride of a year, I hope to give you a sneak-peak or maybe more into the life a student at the Indian School of Business (ISB)

I always thought that getting to the Post-Graduate Program at ISB was perhaps the toughest thing I ever had to do. Well, that was before I actually came to ISB. I now echo the sentiments of my entire class when I say “that getting through PGP at ISB is the most difficult thing I’ve ever had to do”.  I firmly believe ISB wants to transform us into not just leaders, but superheroes. What else would explain these sleepless days of moving from one term to the next surviving only on adrenalin and the company of other potential superheroes? Indian School of Business isn’t for the weak-hearted, I had been warned.

Here’s a break-down of ‘Why?’ – Keeping in line with a global school of thought, most of learning at ISB is case-based. This means that a student is expected to prepare sufficiently before class in order to be able to contribute to the class effectively.  This is typically accompanied by individual and group assignments along with post-class follow-up readings. The class-room learning is accompanied by peer-to-peer sessions, speaker-sessions by industry experts (including alumni), professional & social club activities and live consulting projects (like virtual internships) with companies. I am, of course, one of those ‘enthusiastic cutlets’ who decided to engage in all of the above to live a day where I go meeting-hopping, and a night where I finish the work from those meetings. What makes me feel better though is that this is the life of every student at ISB. Adrenalin rush, I told you!

I walked into the school thinking of myself to be a Jack of many trades. I was, after-all, one of the youngest students scoring high on that ‘diversity’ bucket we all obsess about.  But as I met some of the smartest minds of the country who had patents, published papers and their own start-ups to their credit, I stood humbled. The beauty of this place is that it throws a new challenge at you every hour (some would say every minute) and then throws at you people who will challenge your solution till you embrace open-mindedness. Beyond the leadership opportunities ISB has provided me with, what I benefit from every-day is peer-learning. Imagine being around a bunch of intelligent, enthusiastic, opinionated and aware people 24×7. Being a Jack of all trades may only have gotten me to ISB, but to get through this year, I need to learn to master these trades too.  Isn’t that what makes one a superhero anyway?

Flash-back takes me to Orientation week when the alumni told us- “This is going to be the best year of your life!”  I have a feeling those are the exact same words I’m going to use to induct the Class of 2015. As I go to re-fill my cup of coffee and run to my 8:00 AM lecture on Acquisitions as a Corporate Strategy tool, I will leave you with an old saying- “What doesn’t kill you, only makes you an MBA”.

Contributed by Riddhi Kapoor, a student of PGP Class of 2014 at Indian School of Business. The article first appeared in the Hindustan Business Line newspaper.

Riddhi graduated from Jesus & Mary College, Delhi University and was active in extra-curricular activities. She then worked for a year at The Economic Times in brand marketing, and then was Assistant Manager- subscriptions marketing at Conde Nast India where she handled Vogue, GQ, CN Traveller & Architectural Digest Magazines. 

Riddhi’s message for Letsintern users: “Internships are the best way to understand whether an industry or function is meant for you. Its the right time to experiment and you may never get this opportunity again. Chase your passions”

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