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My professor said "Please come forward and do a derivative of this equation" to my classmate.

In my physics class at St. Stephen's College, Delhi, Professor Sangeeta Sachdeva pointed at a classmate and said, "Please come forward and do a derivative of this equation".

All of us knew he wasn't paying attention. As he slowly moved toward the blackboard and started scribbling, I decided to give him instructions through sly hints. Frankly, the task was easy.

On the blackboard, he took 5 minutes, which I could have done in 30 seconds, and slowly moved back to his back seat.

Today, my classmate is a C-Suite at a leading global MNC, a rare achievement at such young age, and is one of my cohort mates whom I respect for his extraordinary journey. While I had struggled to grab my first job post-under-graduation.

The irony of life is I was a Delhi University rank holder also-- but did that teach me how to grab a job (an outcome 90% want)? My academic smartness didn't help me apart from some CV shortlists - which I failed to crack initially.

But behind that incident, I realized how irrelevant our education system is. During those three years, I didn't learn anything relavant for my career and didn't achieve any mastery apart from surrounding myself in an ecosystem of talented and competitive folks.

And that is the later in my MBA, I decided to fix by focussing on networking, building business skills, got into Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and the rest is history.

We succumb to peer pressure, wanting perfect grades but trust me it's a trap. Now, I am not advocating getting poor grades.

But spend your student life indexing equally over networking, grades, and acquiring critical reasoning, coding, and communication skills.

Don't blame your school. Yesterday’s story is over. You can’t rewrite it.

But your story is in your hands. Write it well.

And, it is fine to scribble while writing derivative equations on blackboard today, if you know you can crack your career and interviews tomorrow👊.


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

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