Receiving an Award for Outstanding Contribution to Student Life – 2011-2012, Ryerson University, Canada

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When I look back and think about the time when I applied to a business school and got rejected because of my low GMAT score, I can’t help but think how different my life would have been if I hadn’t taken that test again. First of all, I must admit that I have never been a big fan of standardised tests. I completely agree with Einstein as he said, “If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid”.

I have always been more of a people person. I would rather talk to a human being face to face in an interview, who I can connect with and have meaningful conversations with, instead of being judged by a number of questions randomly selected by a computerized test. Luckily, I had submitted my application well ahead of the submission deadline and I was able to retake the test and re-submit my GMAT score.

As a grad student, I knew that MBA was probably going to be the last degree of my academic career and I wanted to make it the best year for myself as well as the entire graduating class. I did not want to have a typical business school experience where everyone just competed against each other and cared only about getting good grades. I wanted our class to graduate as one and build memories that would last for a lifetime. I tried to organize either a sports or social event every week so the whole class could get to know each other outside of the competitive environment of the classroom. Most of my weekdays started at 7 a.m. and went through until 11:30 p.m., if not later, but I loved every minute of it.

As a result I made many great friends and I was presented with an award for Outstanding Contribution to Student Life for 2011-2012 which is given to 1 out of around 200 MBA students.

When I Look back, I do not remember any of the nights when I stayed up all night to study for an A+, however, I do remember every single one of those days when I stepped outside of my comfort zone to grow as a person outside the classroom. I believe that the purpose of schooling and education in general is to grow your mind and your ability to expand your creative horizons so that you can tackle any practical problems in your life after college.

To those who are currently going through high school, college or grad school, I humbly request you not to let the academic pressure overtake your personal and social growth. Breathe a little. And instead of focusing on memorizing theories and competing for grades, try to find innovative ways of applying what you learn every day in real life. Find out what you are passionate about, explore real life problems that you think you could solve and practically apply your knowledge to find solutions to those problems.

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