Are some things fated to happen?

Two years back bitten by the academia bug I made an appointment with Penn State Student counselors to figure out if I had enough credentials to take up a Masters program at their suburban campus. The lady who met with me looked at my transcripts and degree and waved breezily in the air remarking that I should have no trouble. For some one who has a bachelors degree not termed equivalent to the four year U.S. bachelors degree I was riddled with doubts. If that lady was sure it would not be a problem there should not be right? Wrong! I let my hopes rise only to be dashed a week later when another person at the same office told me there was no way I met the eligibility criteria. She also pointed me to a couple of online universities that would let me take bridge classes to bring my degree on ‘par’ with the U.S. ones.

As I held the phone against my ear waiting for the hold music to stop and hear a real live voice, I was feeling defeated. I almost convinced myself I was not good enough for anything. Before I put the phone down, there was a clear voice on the other end asking if she might be able to help. I poured out my blues to her. She must have been startled. She was definitely not on the payroll to listen to my academic woes. Anyways, I pulled myself together and explained to her why I needed to take a bridge course. She paused for a significant amount of time and then went over my prior academic record with me. Then slowly she said “We have a pilot program happening now that admits international students with good academic records and a three year bachelors degree. Would you like to apply to see if  you would get admitted?” Fresh from rejection, I shrugged. What did I have to lose? One more rejection possibly.

So an action packed week later, I was enrolled and on my way to a Masters degree. This week again, I am on the threshold of a similar decision. Ever since my M.S. was over, I have in a sense missed studying. Missed being occupied by something. Missed having deadlines to meet. Missed writing long papers. Missed poring over imaginary balance sheets and evaluating risks of imaginary corporations. So, I boldly ventured into unknown territory. MBA. On an impulse I walked over to a campus near where I work and got a list of requirements to apply. Materials on hand I am riddled by doubt again. On whether I really want to do this. If I really have it in me to be a manager. If this is really the time for me to think about this. Lots of ifs. No answers. Wonder if such things are fated. If it is meant to happen, I will find a way to do it?

Confused as hell.

20 comments

  1. Laksh,
    You should definitely go for it!
    since you are missing studying, I am sure MBA will keep you fully occupied and it is better not to miss the flow!! :–)
    Good luck!

  2. Laksh-

    If you really have the time and miss the academic grill of doing assigments etc. and enjoy reading case studies, working on teams, making ppt presentations etc. then go for it. Not sure if you have a full-time job and want to do this on a part-time basis, if so, consider all your free time gone- you will have your hands full.

  3. Laksh, my 2 cents…

    There are a couple of approaches you can take depending on your personality and how risk averse you are.

    Have you heard of the phrase “throw your hat over the fence”, once you throw your hat over the fence, then you have no choice but to go get it. So this approach says believe in yourself and just do it. Do not question your abilities or the urge to progress. Even if you discover along the way that it’s not something that you truly want to do, the experience itself is rewarding and will guide you in the desired direction.

    The other approach, is to do some research and look for a fit – Is MBA the only option to ultimately achieve what you want to achieve? Is there anything else you are interested in? what do you want to do with your life and will getting an MBA get you there? This would make your choice more definitive and a conscious decision. You may not have answers to all these questions and that’s ok.

    I think either approach is fruitful, atleast you will not regret not nurturing your desire. You have good work experience, educational background and positive attitude… what more does one need. I did my MBA few years back. It has not taken me to where I wanted, purely because I decided that some other things are more important in life. But I am greatful for the experience and would highly recommend it to anyone. Shoot for a GMAT score of 680 and above, ace your essays and see where it lands you. Put in your efforts and with time you will know if it’s fated to happen.

  4. @Laks: Thanks da. Still mulling all possibilities.
    @Anamika: That is the one thing that haunts me always 🙂
    @Mitr: Precisely the reason I want to go for it. Have tons of free time!
    @Suman: Thanks a ton for your input! I am actually going down the second path you have suggested. Analyzing why I want to do it. And when do I want to do it. Appreciate your point of view. Thanks again!

  5. Hi Laksh. My thoughts: Understand what and why you are feeling what you are feeling. Truthfully. And then, make a decision based on what you find out about you.

    Re missing studying – it takes time (sometimes) to adjust to a different way of life. When I took the plunge to become a stay-at-home-mum (in Sept 2006), it took me almost a year to fit into my new role. I missed work and even started creating all sorts of templates and graphs and stuff for household chores!! But that has all passed and I am so engaged with the life that I have now.

    On another note,… I love the new look of your blogsite!! 🙂

  6. New look! looks cool! coming from someone who has been studying for a ‘looong’ time – I’d say go for it:), once you know for sure you want, you shd definitely go for it! good luck in the decision making – I can imagine how it’d be

  7. Spillay: Appreciate your input. The soul searching is exactly what I need now. To crystallize what I feel and translate it to action. All I want to do is take a decision and be happy with it. And Thanks! on the compliment.
    @UL: I want to, the question is how far do I go. Local colleges vs going all out for the best etc.. Thanks!
    @Justsomeone: Thanks!! Looks like the popular vote is to go for it. Gotta get on my GMAT prep then. 🙂

  8. Good luck, Laksh. Go for it. Follow your heart. “I can’t do it” is not an option. Don’t doubt your abilities. You’ll learn about them and strengthen them as you work towards a goal that you are passionate about. With MBA though, I’d really suggest trying for the very best and settling for what you get into for the love of knowledge. It’d be ideal if you get admitted into the very best though! Aim high!! Believe in yourself and we’ll deal with results when they come. For now, just aim high and work towards it. Don’t doubt your abilities. 🙂

  9. @Roop: That was a cheerful vote of confidence right in the morning! Just what I need 🙂 Actually after writing it down yest, I felt a little bit clearer and all the comments reinforced what I felt already. I will/need to do it, but also need to take the time to analyze what I expect from an MBA. The results I am expecting will bias my decision.

  10. As someone who has been procrastinating over the GMAT for 2 plus years (and getting nowhere with it except for a big belly now)…I would say go for it and just focus on your GMAT first….
    Good luck. With your flare for thoughtful musings, ability to put your thoughts out so succinctly and speak it too….and the command over the language…you could very well be on your way to managing your own business in your own chosen field…Laksh the entrepreneur….I will see that in pretty soon I am sure…
    And also along the way hopefully you can motivate ppl like me to take the gmat a little more seriously…..:-)…Good luck with your decision….

  11. As you know, I have been yearning forever to get on with my masters. I would say go for it too like many others here. Though, I would also say; being in the US…you can take your time and do it all properly. Prepare well for the GMAT, app for good schools and get the MBA done. It sure does take a helluva lot of time for anybody to settle to any kind of change in life. So, do not take the plunge just cos u feel bored. MBA is tough. You should also assess whether you really need it in your career path too! MBA does not come cheap either 🙂 Sorry..had to get that in too 😀 I would really say think about it and then take it up. Though I am sure you would ace the course , any course you would take up 😀

  12. Hi…I am a friend of Aparna’s. I should say this is quiet ironic stumbling on your blog and esp this particular post. I am exactly in the same position that you are in, although I should say I made up my mind to do my MBA and decided to apply this fall (which I think might be a mistake as you need time with everything GMAT, app’s etc). I prepared for the GMAT for 2 months and took it 2 weeks ago and I bombed it. I had a major panic attack and messed it up royally. I am planning to take it up again giving my MBA another chance. Anyways I liked reading your post and the comments on it. I think it got me thinking a lot more.Anyways good luck with your GMAT and app’s.

  13. @Arch: Thanks da. Both for the words of advice and the compliments. Will keep you posted
    @Apar: Thanks! Definitely lots of thinking in order.
    @Sangeetha: Thanks for stopping by. Its exactly what you say that scares me. Competitive exams spook me. I am also not sure if at the end of an MBA what is it that I want to do. So, taking my time. Definitely plan to take outside help for GMAT prep. Good Luck with your efforts. Would you mind if I got in touch with you offline to ask you questions about your MBA prep?

  14. Hi Laksh…..I would love to help in any way with your MBA prep. Just send me an e-mail with your phone number or I can get it from Aparna. I would love to share what I have learned in these past 3 months about an MBA.

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