Monday, September 01, 2008

Run Run.. While you can

Last three months have been hectic to say the least. MBA at an “elite” institution has its disadvantages. My house is in a mess. My book (of the novels kind) reading has taken back seat. My hobbies (of what little was left) have no time. I don’t remember the last time I took an oil bath. On the whole, my life is in a mess :-). Last weekend marked the end of first term. One step (out of 10) closer to the black cap….

Mini-shark got married and I could devote only 5 days of my precious time for the wedding preparations which included attending the wedding as well… Couldn’t attend the second reception which happened in Chennai coz I had the term exams on the same day.

Looking back, is this what I asked for? Of course there are advantages. In mini-sharks wedding half the attention was on me… not only for being the bride’s sister but for also doing MBA from so-and-so institution ;-) Apart from this false attention, the learning is good. The way I look at things are different now. I never could understand one single word in my company’s annual report. But now I can decipher almost everything and also give suggestions… if only they asked for it ;-)

Strategy has helped me understand each company’s or its industry’s position. I know which business is attractive and which is risky. Though one might argue a lot of people can do this without a degree, I can substantiate my answers and not just base it on intuition :-)

Economics has taught me why the oil market behaves the way it does. Why the local dentist sometimes makes more money than an established dental clinic.

There is no doubt that it’s good what I am doing, after all its burning a whole in my pocket and it better be worth it!

I can’t help but wonder about the whole process of higher education. No doubt it makes us better intellectuals. Note the word “intellectuals”… that’s it. Not better human beings.

Even at this level,

- People lie about how they fared badly in the exams… but the scores say a different story!

- During class discussions each one is trying to snub the other and make a point himself/herself. It’s as if the world will come to an end if I didn’t make my point.

- People still hide their assignments till the last moment.

*Sigh* and I thought “Vidya dadaaathi vinayam”. Frankly I don’t see any difference in the behavioral part from what I saw in middle school to what I see now.

So these degrees sure help you earn money. You can now easily interact with fellow intellectuals. You can now write papers on global issues and can now advise one or two (those who care to listen) about the +ves and –ves of their decision and blah blah blah.

BUT, do these degrees in any way help you make this world a better place to live in? My over imaginative mind can’t help but think… If 50 years down the line when everyone in this world can afford higher education, will this world become a place where everyone is trying to snub the other, where each day is a competition, each one is trying to outdo the other… it’s a scary thought!

This reminds me… somewhere I read “The unfortunate part about the rat race is that at the end of the race, even the winner is a RAT...” How true!!!


Veena Shivanna said...

Very nice post and truely from a horse mouth. Comparision about people in the middle class and now is so funny, hiding assignment, making arguments ha ha :-)
Utlimately if you are happy doing what you do, thats it no matter if its MBA or some other thing.
Well, about making the world a better place to live in, Its a collective effort alva? If you really want to contribute to that part, probably you can do it through writing, think through(so more of posts here)

Congrats to Mini Shark!

Kadalabal said...

yes to achieve something u hv to sacrifice something. but this sacrifice is temporary u can set things back once u r a MBA in more organised way!!!!!!! applying all admin skills.
appreciate your grit in managing all every one can not do it and wish you all the best
keep going and u will succeed sucess follows those who perceive it.

Kavi said...

The rat race..! Ah that race..! Good luck in this race ! Its one heck of a race..and is truly never ending !

With no bloody finish line !

shark said...

@veena: Thanks :) More of posts I really want to... I have so many things to write about but so little time. I hardly have time to breathe these days.. and I am not exaggerating!
Hope I will be able to lead a "normal" life soon ;-)

@pranesh: Thanks so much for your wishes. I only hope I can pull it through. The first term grades are nothing great... hope I will get into the college mode soon :)

@kavi: You got it! Bang on!

jayanthi said...

you're absolutely this so-called RAT RACE we tend to forget about the humane aspect which very much defines our existance.a thought provoking post infact !!

Anonymous said...


once a rat, always a rat! :-) waitaminute, you are shark ... stop ratting on others! ;-)

so, mini-shark is married. congrats! is pavan around or has he gone into hibernation?

- s.b.