Growing up I was positive that I wanted to be a professional table tennis player. After all, it was something I was ridiculously good at (or so I thought!). When this bubble burst I found a new dream, new goal, new ambition. This time around I envisioned for myself a thriving career in production engineering and industrial management. Alas, this ‘dream’ of mine waned away over the course of an internship at an automotive company.
Decision Analytics: my next pursuit. I worked intensively in business forecasting for a little over 2 years, but soon, I reached a point where I wanted to broaden my horizons even further. I wanted to break out of my comfort zone and challenge myself but did I know what I wanted? No.
Everyone encounters a phase in their professional careers where they are unsure of the way ahead; they don’t know themselves and have yet to find a true passion. Some get stuck in a place or job that they do not really enjoy but are too afraid to go out and try something new. And some people are aware that they do not like what they are doing but cannot find the means to discover themselves. And when asked – “Where do you see yourself down the line?”. Nightmare strikes and existential crises begin!
I decided that I needed a way to explore different options. To that end, ESCP was the right choice because it gives me the flexibility to try out various things at my own pace. So yet again, I packed my bags and moved to Europe. Here, I have been testing out multiple fields to understand what truly resonates with me.
There are incredible resources available that open up a whole new dimension for the students here. I have actively sought to learn about all the conventional and unconventional career choices that people have made.
Here’s an account of all the things that have helped me find a direction.
Ideas spawn from ideas
The more people you meet the more you get acquainted with a myriad of career options. Networking in itself opens up several avenues that you might otherwise be unaware of. An article ‘Why is it important to build your professional network?’ by Anass Boumediene, an ESCP alumnus, captures the essence and importance of networking succinctly.
ESCP can boast about a very strong alumni association which facilitates events conducive to learning, growing and networking. I have grabbed every opportunity to interact with the alumni and current students. I attended several ‘Ask me anything’ sessions with an esteemed alumnus which gave me an insight into a plethora of unconventional career paths that ESCP Alumni have taken. Another such event that opened up a whole new avenue for me was ‘Alumnight’. With a diverse alumni cohort ranging from the batch of ‘86 to ’23, the Alumnight fueled me with inspiration. Want to know more about these events? Download the ESCP Alumni app from Appstore or log on to the website.
You won’t know unless you try!
I believe that our actions are often guided by preconceived notions. It is because of this that we sometimes shut ourselves out of new experiences. Fortunately, at ESCP there are multiple student societies that give students first-hand experience of working in a variety of fields like consulting, marketing, finance, non-profit, social work, strategy, sustainability etc. These societies work on real time projects with real clients and deliver value. Being a part of these societies enhances your skills, strengthens your network and most importantly gives clarity about your likings.
Get a glimpse of the vibrant student society culture at ESCP here.
Be a good listener
A great deal of learning happens when one dares to explore beyond the classroom. There are several people who willingly come and share their experiences and are more than happy to mentor you throughout your journey. My interactions with my mentor have been very enriching. Having someone who has been through this process already is very reassuring.
Throughout the year, across campuses, there are several webinars, conferences and seminars that are conducted by ESCP. Each of these events is unique in its own sense, with well renowned guest speakers sharing their two cents. Keep a watch on your mailbox to never miss another seminar, webinar or conference.
Reading is your new hobby
Read. Read. Read.
‘Reading’ is that magic potion which unlocks doors for you. Since childhood, we have been told 1000 times over the benefits of being an avid reader.
But if you aren’t one, well, then there are podcasts too that you can listen to!
To be honest, I have never been a relentless reader. However, new information has always intrigued me and I actively seek to further strengthen my understanding. For me reading articles is the easiest way to do so.
‘The Choice’ is a platform where you can find articles, interviews, blogs and podcasts in abundance. Choose a topic. Choose a format. Get started!
Finding your passion is a process which involves embarking on a series of introspective journeys. However daunting it might sound, it is worth the effort. You just have to look around and recognise the abundance of resources available for all of us who want to make the most of ourselves.
As you pack your bags to set on a journey of introspection, do not forget to enjoy the process. I wish you luck and hope you find your passion.