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During my MBA at Indian School of Business, I told myself that I will never run after grades again.

During my MBA at Indian School of Business, I told myself that I will never run after grades again.

Earlier at St. Stephen's College, I was a Delhi University rank holder- someone who crammed answers to predictable questions.

The grades indeed helped me get shortlists but I had my fair share of struggles to crack a job post my undergrad.

In my defense, I was a gullible 18-year-old who was just fed with the nonsense around 'marks are everything' mindset.

But this time, my situation was different. I was 26, had worked for more than five years, and exactly knew my goals from MBA.

I couldn't afford to surround myself with the GPA culture again, irrespective of my peer's priorities.

However, the main question was, what different could I do this time?

I started focussing on pure learning in classes to just become a better problem solver and a fundamentally strong businesswoman.

I brought my curious mind every day to finance, strategy, and operations classes and was always left wowed with the world of business concepts at my disposal to make better decisions.

I solved assignments to understand, not score.

Now, I am not against those MBA students who want to secure good grades. I believe #MBA is a redemption degree for everyone, where each one tries hard to avoid his/her past mistakes.

I, however, kept a promise to myself that I would not let this learning mindset go till the end of my journey. Slowly, things fell into place and I was one of the few students on campus, who was applying Little's Laws, Game Theory, and Statistics all together to solve business cases. I did the same at Boston Consulting Group (BCG) too!

The reality is today I can analyze whether India should procure Oil from Russia using Game Theory Models as I worked in International Affairs and have built complex operations model for my venture using Solver.

This is the power of a mind that acquired learning for applying, not for getting grades.

I didn't get a top GPA or any awards during ISB.

But I did something else that was 1000 times more valuable. I learned and solved problems!

Today, I continue to upskill every day for an hour because learning is a continuous journey that shouldn't be degree-dependent.

I understand that peer pressure exists. But once in your life, learn for the heck of learning- it's a very liberating and empowering place to be.

And once your mind bathes in the power of knowledge. There's no looking back ❤️!


Author - Shatakshi Sharma, Cofounder Global Governance Initiative, Ex- BCG, Advisor, Tony Blair Institute

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