As a kid, everyone has dreams like becoming a pilot, a doctor, a professional athlete or astronaut. Mine was an unusual one. I wanted to become an entrepreneur. As a matter of fact, I still have the same dream—running my own enterprise someday and being my own boss. In high school, I would study hard in order to get into a good college so that I can fulfill this dream of mine. Finally, I ended up in S P Jain and they were generous enough to grant me a full scholarship thanks to my outstanding high school performance.
Having joined S P Jain, I soon realized that I was, for sure, on the right track in an attempt to attain my ultimate goal. After only one week here, I started to become global. Coming from Mauritius—a tiny island in the Indian Ocean – at S P Jain I got to know people from nearly 30 countries. Before that, I barely knew any non-Mauritians! S P Jain’s motto stays “Businesses have gone global, and so must students.” I totally agree with this. As a leader, I will, one day, have to interact with foreigners. S P Jain is making this future task pretty easy for me—with its diverse batches and faculties as well. I have learned many practical things which one would hardly find in books or even the internet. Let me share some of these.
While having a chat with a Chinese mate at S P Jain once, we were on the “smoking” topic. He was smoking and I was trying to convince him to stop this bad habit given its mortal consequences on one’s health. And then he said, “You know, Jevin, if one day you come to China and you are dealing with Chinese in business, you will be in a better position to crack your deal if you smoke and you have brought some cigarettes as a gift for your business partner.” This is not a motivator to start smoking but, this was a shocking new thing for me. I was surprised. It’s the same for drinking as well. The more you are able to drink and stay sober, the more likely it is that you will win your deal. Another shocking thing that I’ve learned was about burping. In many countries, mine included, to burp while eating with others is considered really rude and disgusting. Before, I thought this was universally unacceptable and it was the same case everywhere. Later, I discovered that in some countries, burping while eating with someone implies a compliment. Hong Kong is an example. Burping shows that you have actually liked and appreciated the food. Shocking, isn’t it? For me it was, for sure. These are only a couple of the unusual practical things that I learned. There are hundreds!
One exceptional trait of S P Jain is its Regional Research Project (RRP)—done in all three countries. This is where I learned a lot as well. This pushes us to go out, away from the usual class, and learn about the real world of business in the country in which we are studying. We have to interview industry experts and learn whatever we can from them—relating to the industry in which they are. Very often, these interviewees stay as a contact of ours and it becomes relatively easy to find internships later, during our summer vacations.
S P Jain has some exceptional courses as well. One of my favorites was Organizational Behavior in which I was taught, not only to think like a manager, not even a global manager, but rather, like a global leader. It showed me the difference between a leader and a manager and how to finally become a leader—which fully matches my ultimate dream of entrepreneurship. This course even showed me the importance of emotional intelligence when you are a leader. This means trying your best to keep your calm, understand yourself and other people as well. It has been proved also that most leaders in today’s world are differentiated mostly by their emotional intelligence.
I have learned so much already in this college. Personally, I think it is great. Yet, I’m not even halfway on my S P Jain journey. I am still a year 2nd student and I have more than two years to go. I’m sure there are more exciting and pleasantly shocking experiences waiting for me ahead.
~ Jevin Ballgobind, BBA12