As most of you might be aware, work and study are worlds apart. Yes, you heard it right, the kind of skills that one requires at any workplace are entirely different from those required during the academic phase. In my opinion, it is because while pursuing academics our performance is influenced by our abilities and efforts whereas at a workplace the same need to be synchronized with those of others to meet the goals of the organization.
As a Purchase Officer at BHEL, handling procurements from all over the globe I am required to liaison with internal agencies such as engineering, planning, finance, contracts management and logistics as well as external agencies such as banks, freight forwarders, custom house agents and so on. I am also required to negotiate with various suppliers. I would attribute my success largely to my persuasive abilities. In order to be persuasive, one must be humble and realize that every link in the chain is equally important. There has to be an inherent respect and understanding for the various functions/roles in organizations. We need to make conscious efforts to build and nurture relationships which are essential if we want to excel and make an impact in our work.
During my college days, I was a part of several events, fests and clubs, which meant I was working with a number of people whose participation was voluntary. I learnt many valuable skills some of which include communication, networking, persuasion, team work and building relationships. So, when I started working it was just an extension of what I had learnt earlier. I would advise students to look beyond academics – be a part of a club (not necessarily in college), try learning a new language/instrument/sport, intern with a company and be on the constant lookout for opportunities. In 2015, when I was casually glancing through a GMAT preparation website, I came across an online course from Harvard Business School. I just gave it a shot and applied and I was selected. During the course I not only learnt various concepts related to business but also got exposure to a totally different approach to education. Just imagine what can happen by just being aware. So go ahead and follow your passions whole heartedly.