Last week, I delivered a talk at a leading b-school and interacted with final year MBA students who are now ready for their first jobs. Their faces radiated hope and aspiration. To me, they seemed like caterpillars who are changing into butterflies, ready to break the cocoon of academics and enter into the world of work.
My talk started with the topic of self-awareness (also called ‘intra-personal intelligence’) and I emphasized that businesses today need more people who are aware about their strengths (inherent and acquired) and are passionate about what they are doing. In the process, I told them a story of my friend named Nish.
After schooling, when Nish was at the cross road of career selection, he told his father, “Give me an inch of space in electronics and I will make a whole world out of it”. These words came from someone who seemed to be an average student then, but extremely passionate about electronics.
I remember his room with a lot of books, used printed circuit boards and some soldering guns hanging out of the wall. In school days, when most students remain too busy (and often anxious) doing their assignments and tests, he assembled transistors and explored electronics. His father allowed him and he first took a diploma course in electronics. His grades in diploma allowed him to get a lateral entry into Bachelor of Engineering course. He went on to do his M.S in Satellite Electronics and then a Ph.D. in communication technologies from UK. This long academic journey was fuelled by only one thing: his passion for electronics.
Nish is a successful entrepreneur, a hands-on technologist and a creative human being who also teaches. He identified his strengths early on and built on it.
The journey of building a career is nothing but a quest to seek our strengths and then utilize those strengths fully to make a positive difference. If our goal as students, professionals and seekers is to express ourselves fully in our chosen area of pursuit, all recognitions and extrinsic rewards become a by-product.
The story resonated well with the students and I wish they take clues from it as they embark on the road to professional excellence.
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