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By Niti Jain, Class of 2007


 Whoever said life doesn’t give you second chances, wasn’t trying too hard.

Or well, everyone gets a first chance but second chances need to be created. If there were no second chances, there would be no Harry potter had JK Rowling taken the half a dozen rejections seriously. There would be no Walt Disney had he given up when the newspaper he worked for fired him for lack of imagination. Abraham Lincoln would not be known as an American president had he given up on one of the eight elections he lost and two businesses he failed at or after a nervous breakdown.

Failure, therefore, is not when you lose a chance; failure is when you give up. What is important is how you deal with a setback and how you approach the second chance. The keyword is “You”.

However, there are a few lessons to be learnt on the way. It is perfectly acceptable to miss an opportunity, lose a chance or make a mistake. It is important to take responsibility. It is alright if your work turned out to be mediocre, but it is important to put in your best effort and know that ‘your’ best is not ‘the’ best. It is important to put your name on paper, to take pride in your signature, to stand up for yourself. It’s about integrity. It’s about pride.

To quote Morgan Freeman from ‘Million Dollar Baby’, it’s about knowing that “the best way to deliver a punch sometimes is to take a step back. But step back too far and you’re not in the game anymore.”  It’s about knowing the difference. It’s about creating a balance. It’s about realising the difference between ‘needs’, ‘wants’ and ‘desires’. It is about knowing, your capabilities, your capacities, your snap points, testing your endurance, your strengths and weaknesses and it’s about capitalising on them. It’s about realising that a certificate is not a magic wand that would place you on the top of the corporate ladder.

It’s about accepting the fact that even though you had to take a step back, you’re in the same game as the graduates from the best B-Schools in the country. It is the same corporate world you are fighting in and the same place you are fighting for. The ‘best’ would always win and no certificate makes you any better or worse. Once you are in the game, all that matters is how good you are at it. The keyword is “You”.

And these were my lessons in life at Inbuss.

Inbuss was my second chance. It wasn’t a dream. The dream was higher; and after two attempts at CAT and not making it to the IIMs, I decided any more attempts and wasting another year would mean stepping too far and not being in the game anymore. It was time for Plan- B. My criteria to choose a B-School was faculty, placements, management and alumni. Another thing that tipped the scale towards Inbuss was the number of seats they offered. It was not a 400 students maddening crowd. It was representative of quality over quantity.


The faculty were industry specialists drawn from the best B-Schools in the country. The lectures we had in regular management subjects were at par with those B-Schools; actually better. Like the Avis slogan goes, “We’re no 2. We try harder.” Inbuss gave me that edge to bridge the gap.

Kotler like a general physician had his theories. Like you would not take “a” medicine just because you’re sick, you cannot use any theory because you have to sell. What makes the difference is the person taking those decisions. The one who can ask these questions, find the answers and implement them will win. And that is where the approach of ‘going beyond the texts’ comes in; because at Inbuss they realise that corporate world is not about managers anymore – it’s about entrepreneurs – the all rounder.

The classes on Indian Capital Market, Art appreciation, Business Venture Planning, Personality Enhancement gave me the “why” mindset. “The person who knows ‘how’ things are done would always have work and the person who knows ‘Why’ would always be his boss.”  I learnt more about the reality in the “Socrates’ Debates” than I did in the realms of philosophy books.

The two years were about getting out of a comfortable zone and face reality. They were about team spirit, when no one would celebrate being placed till the last person in the batch was placed. They were about management skills, building up confidence that comes with knowing your weakness and strength. They were about will power to be able to perform under pressure. And they were also about walking barefoot in the park at the end of the day trying to figure out what changed in us. The key word is “us”.

To conclude I’ll let another “famous failure” take over, “I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game winning shot, and I missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
– Michael Jordan

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