Saturday, June 06, 2009

School ends; Life continues...

This comes exactly three years after the day of my GMAT. A perfectly timed MBA experience! Not a perfect one though :)

I had my last class yesterday. It was a great class to end my two years at Chicago Booth, as it reminded of everything this school stands for - good professors, great analysis and wonderful classmates. As I was joking to someone at the Class Celebration yesterday evening, I feel like I've grown old faster over the last couple of years. Many of us here think that way! In the process, we've also become wiser.

Yesterday, in more ways than one - academically, professionally, personally, socially - summarized the story of my life. The 24 - 30 hour period between Thursday evening and Friday night was filled with huge, life-impacting, unforgettable events and as I sit here on this lazy Saturday morning, musing at all that happened and all that led to all that happened; I can't stop thinking "How did I get here."

I am in a bittersweet mood. What started more than three and a half years ago, the quest for fine business education finally came to an end yesterday. Three and a half years!!! That's a lot of learning and thousands of hours of hard work. That sure is a good reason to celebrate! The Dean's office did time it perfectly in hosting the Class of 2009 Celebration yesterday. It was a wonderful event, and everyone had a lot of fun - with great food.

But as I wandered around the alleys of the Winter Garden in Harper Center while the rest of my class was letting go on the dance floor, the other things in my mind made me sober. The greater challenges ahead of me prevented me from jumping in. For all the insulation supposedly offered by the cocoon of the business school environment from the real world, we all know that the times are a lot less celebratory in nature.

Over the last couple of years - I've been through a lot and quite understandably learned a lot! So it always helps me stand away from a moment, and look at the big picture. The picture in front of me was not good.

Most importantly, my personal life could be a lot better. I could have done some things better, and as a result I find myself in a very difficult situation. At this moment it looks like a fight I'm going to fight for the rest of my life - but I'm fully committed to that fight! This is a lifelong commitment either way! The sooner I win it, the better my life will be - but if, unfortunately, this is going to drag on forever - I'm up for it.

Professionally though - I am standing at the verge of a great opportunity that I hope to make the best use of. But far beyond that - I look at all the things I see in this world, and I wonder what role I could play in improving some of it; any of it! This blog won't be sufficient to list all the issues we face today - there's so many people out there who need so many things, very basic things in some cases, and they all could use so much more help. Here in Chicago, my new home, I am close to so many of these vagaries. I see the results of racial differences, neglected communities, poverty and homelessness! My trip to Africa took me closer to some of the other vagaries - neglected countries and people with a lot less opportunities. I was thinking of the movie "Hotel Rwanda" throughout the trip!

People will argue we're making progress, but we all know that there could be more done. Organizations that are currently working on these issues are far from efficient. I've worked with an organization that tries to create opportunities for people in lesser economies and I've seen the inefficiencies. I've helped and interacted with a few non-profit organizations fighting various causes in America, and I have friends who have worked with them too. I'd like to think I know a little bit. I was recently discussing regarding these issues with a friend on our way to school one day. She had a lot of experience working with such agencies and is very passionate about leading some kind of change, and she was talking about the inefficiencies she had faced so far. My answer was that there's still a lot of work to be done and that kind of work needs a lot of committed people. If you look at the lives of various groups of people around the world - there are way too many complex issues to tear this world apart. This world, and the human race, could be SO much better!

I was not sure if it was the right thing to sit and think about my personal issues and these issues of my fellow homo sapiens at a place where we were supposed to rejoice the achievements of the past two years – but that's exactly what I did. The personal issues obviously weigh in always, but the other stuff has been playing in my mind for a long time. I really see me playing a role to make some kind of change somewhere. I wonder what I could do. I wonder what any of us could do. And oftentimes, I wonder what ALL of us could do.

I started writing this blog to chronicle my life, not just my application and business school experiences. I intend to continue doing just that - chronicle my life, its joys and vagaries all included. As with everything I've done so far, I also intend to discuss my efforts towards some of these goals I want to set for myself, and get public opinion on what I'm doing and how I should proceed.

So there goes two great years of my life. And here's to the rest of it. I hope I continue to work on what I've done so far, and build on that further to do something to help with these challenges that surround us, while continuing the constant search for a hopefully satisfying life!


Varun Jain said...

All the best for your future!!!

Anonymous said...

Iday, thanks for sharing ! You were a great source of encouragement for many others (probably more than you realize)...

Best of luck for the rest of the way !!


Anonymous said...

what the f? in mood for cryptic crossword clues? personal fight.. life long fight.. what are you talking about? if you can't include details, don't talk about it. duh!

Abhishek said...

Iday - congratulations on finishing your MBA. Right from the GMAT days, your posts have been very helpful and your story has been a massive inspiration for me and many others I know. You deserve the best in all facets of life - good luck!


Anonymous said...


Congratulation on successfully finishing your MBA and a very insightful glimpse of what one has to go through to achieve their goals.

A quick question is 2010 doing for summer placements and internships and are you taking up a position in US or 'back home'.

Will look forward to your reply.
And all the best wishes for your future.


allyg1213 said...


My name is Ally and I have been following your blog for quite some time now, I am a big fan. Thanks for all the support and information in the transition to college to "real life." I was wondering if you could shoot me your email and we can discuss some questions I have about engaging in the student community. Would really appreciate it. Thanks again,