Dil maange more

We are part of the digital age where business world is evolving very fast. I am an IT professional with one and half decade into my career and the challenge I took to revisit an academic environment is going on well in ISB by studying alongside like-minded senior professionals. I am someone who has primarily learned management skills being on the job, and  ISB is providing me the perfect way to augment my identifications, hone my technical and soft skills, and ground my practical knowledge with  understanding of business theories. The purpose of studying business at ISB is to marry theory with practice, allowing me to fill knowledge gaps and tackle some of the most pressing issues faced by today’s mid-level managers

Why PGP Pro with ISB:

  1. Compete with myself
  2. Developing a strong professional network
  3. Boosting key knowledge and skills
  4. Accelerating career progression
  5. No time away from work and family life to pursue a traditional full-time MBA.

Challenges for me:

Every alternate day, my team member asks “when he/she will get role change” or someone comes and say “I got job offer with 100% hike so can you match my hike” or someone with 1 year experience come and ask “I want onsite as some of my friend has travelled onsite”. There are many odd questions like this to me and I have no straight answers for any of these. But as a manager of large program, I pretend to be helpful for all these “ASKs”. Few readymade asks as below from my boss/team across projects:

  • My friend got a role change. I have also the same experience and same role maturity. When will I get a role change?
  • My friend got this much hike. Why my hike is so less?
  • My friend got so much payout. Why was there no payout for me this quarter?
  • Doing same work repeatedly for last 3 months can I change my project as my friend is doing automation?
  • My boss asks me to give 4% Q-o-Q growth– which is possible?
  • Bring innovation every alternate day – but how?

I do not have a magic stick where I can fulfill all these aspirations but I need to be on top of these asks and assure them that sooner or later these all will be taken care of.

How ISB is helping:

The implications of this  learning is huge. I am able to put classroom theory into practice and add value to my company straight away. I have the opportunity to learn from an MBA program that is equivalent to a full-time MBA, while still working—this is rare.

  1. There are diverse, definable, and recognized leadership styles. Each style includes different approaches that are based on research. I learned about the different styles and how to apply them in the real-world.
  2. Help to take out of comfort zone and challenge individually – “Dil maange more
  3. Peers are  from different walks of life  and bring a diverse range of skills and professional experience to the classroom, allowing me to benefit from their unique perspective and expertise. What I have found that I am learning alongside a successful tech entrepreneur, a senior scientist, and the Managers of a multinational company. We have all the bullets in one pistol.
  4. I do understand the nuts and bolts of technology as part of my day-to day job but along with that now I understand the business aspects of systems in order to make informed choices. Now I am more efficient or to be efficient to make decisions about my team and budgets.
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Outrunning

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Let me start with a small, quirky (true) story. In the times of all play and no shoes, probably aged 10 and bouncing around aimlessly, came across a challenge I was most unprepared for. I surprised a dog by stepping on his tail and he didn’t like it one bit. So off we raced, the dog at my heel and I running on the road like no one crazier existed. I ran, he chased, and chased some more, and finally, Four Wheels gave up. Yes, I outran a dog (am proud of it) but what this experience did afterward is the key. If ever there comes another uncalled race with a teeth baring and mouth frothing canine, I feel I can beat it fair and square in a race. An unexpected challenge draws more than your best, it teaches us something for life.

I think someone just said, what in the world does this have to do with anything? Now that we all are on our toes balancing everything under the sun at ISB, taking on Goliath with the ease of a David, the fear of an unknown is diminished. But what may happen next? This level of intellectual curiosity is not satiated soon (kind of like feeling hungry just 2 hours after Chinese food) and may be only some of it comes from the next professional position we get to. The road we are on can lead to places we never really planned on visiting, precisely because once the unexpected was tackled, rest becomes easier. Wanted to learn guitar, run a marathon, understand astronomy, or whatever were the dreams can all be given a second life (don’t know if the neighbours agree with the guitar part, check ahead please).

The end of PGPPro, although there still is a year to go, is the most exciting part to me since there is something more to learn and more to give as societal due. All this from outrunning a dog…

linkedin, social icon Srinivas Cherukupalli

My Journey into ISB

I have always been a skeptical optimist. While this sounds like an oxymoron, I have felt the same on many an occasion. To put it simply, one half of me thinks like an optimist while the other half of me looks at the optimist inside me with a sheepish smile and a message that one could equate to “Stop thinking like this you bugger. You ain’t achieving it”. So started my foray into one of the top B-schools in India.

Taking a step back, I was in two minds whether to apply or not. I sought advice from various people to get certain basic things sorted. Armed with the advice and some stupid courage I decided to take the punt and apply for admission. (Note: I haven’t read their application form till that point). The moment I read the application form, I despised myself for the decision to apply. With this thought, a month passed.

I gathered the courage to collate all the necessary documents that were to be part of the application. It was at this point where, my daily digest of Quora was helpful. I would read lots and lots of views and counter views on B-schools and the positives and negatives of enrolling oneself into such a course. Armed with this knowledge, I started writing the most important aspect of the application (damn the essays, I hated precis writing in school).

The enthusiastic me browsed through a lot of videos on how to approach the essay writing. The nerd in me noted down all the important points judiciously from the videos (it helps to be CAs in certain cases) and I started writing/editing my essays on a daily basis till I was satisfied with the content. Somewhere in October, (on an auspicious day you know!!), I submitted my application (finally). While I was awaiting the result of my application the skeptical me was ready for any eventuality.

On a fine rainy, clumsy, Friday morning (the previous night it rained like bonkers) , I received the much awaited Interview call scheduled a couple of days later. I was thrilled to bits and started preparing for my interview seriously by skimming through the application in general and the essays in particular to ensure that I don’t flunk on the D-day. To my surprise, the interview was more like a conversation (sure they asked questions but more importantly they made me comfortable). It lasted for some 30 or so minutes and it was plain sailing. I wrote down certain questions for the panel and managed to ask all of them in the interview (thanking the notes in my iPhone).

The optimist in me started believing more and more as each day passed by. Finally, one fine Wednesday evening, I received the much awaited admission confirmation from the school. While it was a joyous moment, I stumbled for a moment considering the significant investment involved. This made me think again. While I was 50:50 on whether to accept the offer or not, my wife encouraged me to take the punt and accept the offer. So I accepted the offer the next day and everything happened so quickly.

Four months later, here I am taking the time out to write about an important event in my career till date (obviously next to the wedding). Honestly, my belief that there is always one right answer has gone away; and my perspectives about many issues have changed significantly (for the good you know!!). Apart from the knowledge that I am gaining, one of the most important take away that I have had over the last 4 or so months is to be happy for no reason and keep smiling since it costs none.

Cheers!!!