In the beginning of the movie Batman Begins, when Bruce Wayne finally scales the mountain and reaches Ra’s al Ghul, he is huffing and panting.
Ra’s: Are you ready to begin?
Bruce: I… I can barely stand.
And then he gets kicked to the ground. A couple of more blows later, Bruce finally starts to defend himself, puts up a fight, and eventually faints.
This is the welcome a B-school gives to you, once you scale the mountain called CAT.
I wasn’t oblivious to this. I have heard friends talk about it. Most of you must’ve heard this too. But it’s not the same thing. It’s like the Matrix; you can’t be told what it is, you have to see it for yourself.
The first couple of weeks aren’t so bad though, when the only thing turning up the heat on you is the Sun. You walk around in campus, and survey the crowds for what IT guys would call leads and opportunities. There is an aroma of new found freedom in the air, and a proclivity towards being irresponsible.
And then out of nowhere, you are expected to be athletes. A multitude of races are laid in front of you, and your mind starts to spin.
Clubs. Committees. Presentations. Exams. Competitions. CV. Placements. Placements. Placements.
On the very first day, I remember a line from the induction ceremony: “Most of you here; your lives have been graced with success till now. But beware; a lot of you will experience failure here in some way or the other.”
His words started making sense soon enough.
The feeling of complete worthlessness is a phase through which almost every MBA student has to pass. Regardless of what you have achieved before B-school, or how inhumanly talented you are, you will break. There is no escaping it. Winning all the races is out of question.
Yet the fact that some seemingly do better than others is undeniable. Some have that extra spurt of energy for whatever they do. In fact, experienced folks start feeling like a hundred years old, when kids fresh out of grad school run around and speak with over-exuberance. “Who’s that jumpy kid? I hate that bastard.”