Very shortly indeed, my MBA at Cambridge comes to an end.
After about 27 years of succumbing to deafening voices and unreal expectations of the world around me, I finally dared to live these 300+ days in my own grand, glorious and utterly goofy way.
“This life is mine alone. So, I stopped asking people for directions to places they’ve never been.”
Here are the four MBA commandments I broke…
They said – “Target that F500, and definitely that MBB”
Me? (Nope, didn’t)
At the start of the Cambridge MBA, we were asked to submit our career vision. So, as batchmates penned which Fortune 500 to join or which MBB cases to crack, this is what I submitted…
‘I envision myself as an entrepreneur, published author & visiting lecturer at Cambridge, Yale and MIT’.
They said – “Get your ‘E’ (extravert) game on”
Me? (Nope, did the opposite)
During the most socially intense Master’s programme on planet earth, I came out as an out-and-out introvert, and god, do I love saying it out loud!
They said – “Be everywhere & do EVERY single thing!”
Me? (Nope, nowhere close to that)
Bang, in the middle of my programme, my grandfather passed away, and I took the first flight home, spending every second completing his last rites.
When I got back to Cambridge, I walked around with an aching heart and a broken spirit. Over the next half of my year, I gave myself permission to not show up! To grieve and be kind and patient with the fact that I had just lost one of the most important humans in my world.
They said – ‘You must be utterly miserable till you land a 9to5 because well, you’re nothing till you do’
Me? (Nope, Didn’t)
Instead, I put my head down and built a venture. Most of my biggest ‘aha’ moments happened as I sat opposite legendary business coaches during our accelerator programme watching in awe as they thrashed our idea to bits. Most of my happiest moments were spent with my co-founder, rebuilding, better every single time. The rejection hurt bad, but then again we were tough cookies, ideating and laughing our way through the pain.
In the end, both my co-founder and I landed multiple job offers while making it into two phenomenal accelerators.
Over these past months, I don’t know if I’ve done a good job, a swell job or a lousy one.
What I know is that I’ve dared to make this MBA my own.
Not as an act of rebellion. Not to be different. Just to be me.
And this is the ONLY thing I will continue to be stubborn about every single time.
Why? Because it feels so damn good!