Monday, October 22, 2012

Master of Networking!


Ask any undergrad kid preparing for a business school, what is the reason for him to do an MBA, and you are sure to hear him say, " It will help me network with blah blah...."
If not synergy, then networking has to be most abused word in business school circuit. Right from the day someone gets a shortlist for a business school till the time you graduate out and move to your professional career, all you want to be good at, is networking.
After all, don't you want to be in the best job that you can land yourself in an Indian Business school. No doubt your profile needs to be awesome ( a secret formula that checks the awesomeness of the profile ), but if you are not making news, not connecting with the right people, then, you are not there, as yet! You need to network with your seniors, after all they are the people who will help you with your placements, your being into the "coveted" groups in the campus, and what not. Then you need to network with your alumni, after all, they been through it, done it all, and now it's their turn to be on the other side. They are there for you, just that those poor guys might have a decent job and a family to chose as a priority. But then, it's your duty, to network with them. If they are not on your LinkedIn contacts, gosh, you are not exploiting your opportunities well.
Talking of LinkedIn  well, how can one forget the social networking sites. As if you don't have 500+ contacts on Linkedin, the courts will issue a non-bailable warrant against your crime of poor networking. It will be a great contest where people are asked to list down their contacts on LinkedIn or Facebook, or even asking them names from their contact list and mapping their recalling ability. I am sure the results would embarrass most people. But does that matter? Do you actually care about what's happening to your network? A more interesting question to ask a B school student or even a MBA professional with decent professional experience would be to give the percentage of friends he/she has in their network. I can only fathom the situation, but then, as any MBA would say, "It Depends!"
"Waqt aane par Gadhe ko bhi baap banana padta hai" - This metaphor, ironically, captures the art of networking that B schools preach and practice with utmost stupidity. It's actually funny, observing people do this thing, daily, in their life and work, and succeed. It's not that I do not network, neither can I avoid the lure of it. It's not a bad thing either, in fact, looks like most things in life thrive on it. Just that sometimes, it feels too cliched, too artificial, the whole thing about networking. I have learned more about it than any subject of management in the past 4 and a half terms.
Or maybe, they should change the name of the course, call it Master of Networking, instead of an MBA, then, I shall have my peace!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Lonely in yet another party

Last night, we had the most rocking insti party of this academic year at IIM L. The music was great, so was the mood. With three weeks to go for the D Day of junior batch, it was kind of interesting to see so many of them turn up for the insti party. Given the diversity factor in this batch, it is expected to have some "masala" in these parties. And yesterday was no disappointment in that. For all the gossip mongers, there were enough couples hanging in each other's arms, all in the gaze of the public world, swaying to the tunes of Linkin Park.

Then there were the group of so called friends, hanging and dancing around in circles, looking into each other's eyes and enjoying the satisfaction of being with people who love and care about them. As I observed these groups from the dilated pupils of my eyes, jumping and dancing to the beat, I realised one shocking thing. I was not alone, no! Most of them, most of us, we were lonely, trying to hide that loneliness, in the rhythm of the music, in the kick of the alcohol, in trying to act wild and cool. I could see people hopping from one group of people to another, to gain attention, to be recognized as one of them, to have that feeling of " I belong". Sadly though, even in that glamour and trance of the environment, you could see mortals, wounded by jealousy, insecurity, captured by the mirage of image and all that shit. You could see that even though people were dancing to the tune of the beats, it was not music that was driving them, but some inner desire, to be liked, by one, and all!

Thankfully, the kick got to me, and I lost myself to the music on the floor. After that, all I saw was happy souls jumping in the air. An expression of self-love, freedom, so pure, I guess it lasted for a fraction of a second, but what a feeling it was. Then, loneliness returned to the party.