The 3 Cs – Courage, Case competitions and Case interviews

Before you get comfortably seated and latch your belts on, let me warn you that this post is going to take you back in time – not prehistoric, of course. Nevertheless, a time span of a month in a B school’s dictionary is equivalent to at least a year in common man’s terms as soooo many activities that keep you busy. I wrote this post more than a month ago … but you’d get a glimpse of what went through even if it was way back in the past …

The past week had been good and exciting. We are almost half way into the second quarter and only this week I could gather my courage to open my Finance text book. All these days, I relied on my classroom attention, few of my classmates’ help in understanding the substance behind the homework problems. I have never had any Finance course before. For that matter, any course in the business curriculum. All my learning have been on the job. Why I did not take the book out for so long? One reason may be psychological – when you aspire to be good at something (of which you had no introduction whatsoever), you are so nervous that you fear you might not become as good at it as you want to be. So as long as you delay the onset of that particular task, you keep telling yourself that ‘if I spend some time with it, I can master it’, living in the belief that as long as I do not start doing it, there is always a possibility of the unknown that I might become a master of it. The moment I start doing it, I can see for clear where I stand and that might not be very pleasant. So in short I was postponing that unpleasantness. However, to the contrary, the moment I organized myself and started reading, I found myself engaged in it, understanding most of it and not at all unhappy about the few things that escaped my mind. I keep telling myself on why I wanted to do an MBA – it was not to strengthen my strengths but to weaken my weaknesses; to learn that I never had learned before. Finance is one such – I know that this is the only place and the only chance to learn it. Since am not-so-good at it as of today, I want to learn more of it. The ‘grades are not important’ aspect helps my learning by taking the pressure off. Not that I will relax and flunk or get bad grades, but had there been any pressures on grades, I would probably take those which am already good at, thereby adding lesser value to my time here. So yes, ‘grades are not important’ policy helps. 🙂

Talking of learning, I learned a valuable piece of approaching an issue from one of my classmates during the internal case competition that we had last week. We had an amazing team, sharing the responsibilities, a team where everyone’s voice was heard and a decision was reached only after we arrived at a uniform consensus. I learned how to keep the solutions simple and down to earth, how to de-clutter everything in front and see the crux of the situation. I learned that we need not have lofty ideas to deal with an issue and the sooner we see the immediate implications of an issue/solution, the better it would be.

Next weekend will be another competition at the Microsoft HQ, where we would be competing with tepper, nyu, cornell and ross schools of business. It is first time for Fisher in this and I am greatly looking forward to it. It’s been an adventurous journey so far  from bringing Firenze to OSU, recruiting students from the engineering and the design schools till this point of having crossed two rounds. Working with them was enjoyable and a beautiful learning experience. I saw in practice the different workings of the left and the right brainers – can not express in words. The moment there is a human element to the solution, views differ so much that its amusing to watch and participate in those debates. I am extremely glad that I got such a committed team and am very excited and happy to be representing OSU at the MSFT HQ. Looking forward to it! 🙂

Oh yea! I didn’t get to the 3rd C – maybe next week 😛

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