22 Jun 2016 20:38 IST

Explore multiple internships to get real world experience

Don’t join a job just for the money. Find the sector that is best suited to your interests

Suneil Chawla, co-founder of Social Beat, is an alumnus of IIM-A. Here, he talks about how passion in anything you do can drive excellence. And how it is good to find your true calling, before jumping into a job.

Educational background

I completed my undergraduate degree in Commerce from Loyola College, Chennai, before spending a couple of months at London School of Ecommerce at its summer school. I then completed my PGP / MBA from IIM Ahmedabad in 2007.

How MBA helped me in corporate life

More than the degree, it’s your fellow students and professors who make the biggest impact. For me, personally, seeing the level of passion for excellence in the professors and fellow students at the institute helped me pursue a career I’m really passionate about.

If I had to re-visit my MBA, I would have liked this to be a part of the course…

The summer internship at Bain, Singapore, was really one of the best experiences, along with the exchange programme in Sweden. MBA students should probably explore multiple internships (full-time or part-time) to accumulate real world experiences in a variety of sectors and undertake exchange programmes when feasible.

Chief ingredients of my success

Passion, hard work and patience. Many of us at MBA schools are smart and most successful entrepreneurs are super smart. What drives the difference, I think, is passion for the industry we are in, lots of hard work and the patience for results. Long term goals take years to accomplish. One needs to be emotionally and mentally geared up for the marathon.

My best and worst moments

The best moments are always when our customers compliment us on the significant impact our company made on their growth. This is what drives us everyday to push harder and achieve new heights.

As for the worst moments, there are many learning experiences, some of which can be gut-wrenching — like when a co-founder left my first start-up. As a successful professional, we need to quickly overcome such setbacks and look at the journey ahead positively and with passion.

Advice to young MBAs joining the corporate sector

Time flies. Before you know it, you will be at your 10-year reunion. So don’t join a job just for the money. Find your passion and the sector that is best suited to your interests and aptitude. If you choose the right sector and company, you will progress much faster and enjoy the journey, rather than be stressed out.

What I would advise young MBAs to read

Some books I really enjoyed include Losing my Virginity by Richard Branson, Founders at Work by Jessica Livingstone and Straight from the Gut by Jack Welch. All three books dig deeper into how companies started and scaled up, giving us some insight into what it takes to achieve true success.