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10 Lessons I Learnt From My Two-Year MBA In The USA

Indian MBA grad, Arnab Pandey, shares his secrets to success in the US

By  Arnab Pandey

Mon Sep 5 2016

Today, I completed my two-year MBA in the USA.

I still remember the day when I stepped out of my home country, India. It was August 15th, 2014 and I was uncertain about how I would survive and succeed. Believe me, it was difficult for a student from the middle class to step out of the protective shield of family, friends and well-wishers, to somewhere completely unknown.

I just had one thing which was hard-coded in my mind; my goal to reach optimality, and be the best in whatever I do.

The journey of me coming to the US, completing my MBA and working hard to get into one of the finest financial institutions in the US, helped me academically, culturally, personally and most importantly professionally. Here’s how you too can succeed in the USA:

1. Networking

The US respects talent. If you are talented, and you work hard for it, you will get recognized. But while you work hard, you also have to establish contacts and networks. These are the people who will advertise your talent to the right person and space.

2. Being the best you can be

There is no place for mediocrity in corporate America. Here, you have just two choices; either you be the best, or you don’t do anything. If you are a mediocre performer, you will never be able to get to the top.

3. Learning from your mistakes

You are allowed to make mistakes. Identify the problem, work on it and try not to repeat it. You have to remember that mistakes are okay until it becomes your habit to commit them.

4. Personality

Your overall personality is very important. Your personality describes your leadership skills. Confidence towards what you do is greatly monitored and needed.

5. Accountability

Your accountability towards your actions is greatly appreciated. The “blame game” doesn’t find a significant place in the corporate. Being responsible towards your plan of actions, and standing by your word is a highly sought after quality.

6. Teamwork

Team effort is the best effort: No matter how bad one of your team members is, at the end of the day you have to stand for your team. You team never leaves you, and you never leave your team alone.

7. Mentorship

It is highly recommended to find yourself a mentor. Your mentor needs to be a person with whom you can relate your professional life to. Once you get a mentor, you have to prove that you are a good candidate to be their mentee.

8. Work smart

Hard work precedes smart work: The notion of smart work comes after you work hard, understand what you are doing and be a master in what you do. After you achieve mastery, smartness and efficiency follows you back.

9. Equality

Treat everyone with equal respect and dignity: Everyone here talks to everyone. No one is small or big. Everybody is the same. You treat everyone with equal respect and help them to reach their optimality.

10. Loyalty

Loyalty is everything: Be loyal. Be loyal to your work, to your team, and to your firm.