During a recent chat, my college buddy has made a profound statement about entrepreneurship, summarizing his 5 years experience in entrepreneurship. The statement he made was “During initial days of a startup- The Passion and the Excitement of being on your own drives your Fight. But as you mature in entrepreneurship, you realize that Liquidity and Survival of your Business become the paramount driving factors and hence you start Fighting for Money. If you are not making enough to help your business, you will start becoming desperate for money for the day and stop creating value for future- a reason behind the failure of most Entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurship is exciting, is passionate and is Super-heroish when you make money out of it; else it’s a never-ending fight to stay Alive.”
Yesterday morning I received a message from a student of mine, who has just completed his Engineering: “Sir, I have just completed my B. Tech with 58% and a couple of back-logs, with no Job in hand. What should I do?”
This reminded me of a question a gentleman asked during my Engineering: “When you pass out of your Engineering College next year and if you do not have a job in hand, what are you going to do?” That question shocked me, for I never really thought of a life beyond college and more importantly about job and career. It also has frightened me, for I had average academics and these have to be good for you to get a job- especially so in those times, for we had limited recruitment opportunities and only the best get selected. Thankfully, this fear made me focus on my academics and the necessary preparation required to get a job- the result I got placed into CSC.
This brings me back to a question which I was asked by many students of today’s generation “Are Academics really important? What if I screw them? Why this hullabaloo about percentage of marks someone secures during their graduation (and in some cases this goes back to your school days as well). Shouldn’t a graduate be measured on what he/she can create for a company or to a business than on how much he/she has scored during their college/ school days. Shouldn’t all the graduates be given an equal opportunity in the job market, rather than filtering them out on the basis of marks? Who knows- there could be an Edison or a Gates or a Tendulkar hidden inside a student- who have failed in studies but have created inspiring careers.” I’m sure many of you who had seen the rough side of grades, agree to these thoughts and would surely want to fight for the right of these questions. All you need is that opportunity to prove your mettle.
My answer to these questions is highlighted in the last line “All you need is that opportunity to prove your mettle”. The opportunity we were talking above is your Acads. Why is it so? There are lakhs of students passing out of colleges every year and I’m 100% sure- having trained students for many years- each and every student has some talent or the other- sometimes unknown to the student himself/herself. Now if a company were to give opportunity to all the talented students, then it needs to give lakhs of jobs. But it has only a few hundred on offer- the unfortunate reality of today’s generation is that it is haunted by a demon named “Competition”. So the company needs to filter this crowd to even consider for providing an opportunity. And the best metric it has is Academics (or the consistency of scores), for this is the most objective metric which has traveled with a student throughout his/her journey thus far- and if someone wasn’t serious enough to focus on his/her studies- which was the primary job as a student- then according to these companies – tomorrow this student might neglect job as well. You might immediately argue against this logic saying marks are not true reflection of a person’s seriousness or interest. In such case, you should be challenging the examination process and not someone who is merely using a number (or a reference) to shortlist students. In fact, that’s the reason companies also conduct Aptitude Tests, to further confirm that their filtration was right. But, unfortunately, all those filtered out through grades miss the opportunity to showcase their skills. Thus, Grades (at least the minimum- greater than 60% as asked by many companies) provide you with an opportunity to illustrate your abilities- which if liked by a company, it recruits you, disregarding your marks. Academics are used only as an elimination parameter and not a selection metric. Hence for selection, companies evaluate many other qualities of yours; your many other abilities.
This is true even for examinations like CAT, GRE, etc. Without a doubt good grades provide you an advantage, but to give yourself an opportunity to fight or to prove your mettle, you at least need to clear the minimum. Forget about a company giving you an opportunity- by securing decent Academics, you are giving yourself an opportunity to succeed- an opportunity which otherwise is tough to get.
Aren’t there people who succeeded without good marks? Answer is yes! But each of these had demonstrated some ‘MAGIC’, which outclasses their scores. If you believe you have that ‘MAGIC’ go ahead and show it to the world like a Tendulkar or a Gates has done. But, MAGIC is beautiful only when the result shows off; else it doesn’t even get noticed. And in today’s competitive world there are many MAGICIANS. If you want to compete with them and win over them, you need to give yourself the right opportunity and the perfect platform.
Getting good Academic scores or creating great ‘MAGIC’- either wise you need to fight. But for you to achieve your Dreams, choose your fight wisely. Good Scores give you access to the right platform, from where you can build ‘MAGIC’ of your Dream. For me, this is a more practical route, though the choice is yours!
Every morning I take my dog – Copper for a walk. As he, a German Shepard, is a bit aggressive, I always take him out in a leash. This morning when I got up early, I decided to take him on his walk early. Finding the road completely empty, I, for the first time, decided to take him out without the leash – thinking that he would enjoy that freedom more.
This is the placement time. This is the time of the year when all the final year students wake up to the realities of world.
The time of the year when companies start visiting the campuses and the students are being pushed across the campuses to be ready to welcome the companies and the jobs they bring along. And if there is one thing that is common among the various students in the campuses – it is the tension levels.
Recently I saw a kid, trying to learn how to ride a bicycle, fall down. This resulted in a few snickers around. But when the kid, post getting up, laughed out at himself – others around him smiled. Suddenly the atmosphere changed – people prodded him to try again and when he succeeded they clapped!