My Tryst with Entrepreneurship at Ashoka: A journey of deep gratitude
In this gratitude blog, Kavya reflects on her Ashoka journey and Entrepreneurship’s impact on it. Having donned multiple hats as a student from starting and leading a club to assisting in the delivery of courses, Kavya is set to join McKinsey soon
The InfoEdge Center for Entrepreneurship has greatly aided my journey through Ashoka and beyond. I could not have imagined where it would take me when I sat to attend my first entrepreneurship course. I was your typical second year at Ashoka; confused about my career after college with no idea what the corporate world involved beyond corner offices and pencil skirts. Furious googling, frantic phone calls to seniors and many existential crises later, I stumbled into the department’s introductory offering of Entrepreneurial Marketing and Finance. I saw it as a way to dip my toes into this unknown world and hopefully gain some clarity on my skill set.
The course delivered over and above what I had expected. Not only did I discover how fun the problem-solving aspect of the fields we studied could be, but I also discovered opportunities that went beyond the classroom. It led me to my next course in entrepreneurship, Cultivating an Entrepreneurial Mindset where the classroom was fertile ground for new ideas and introduced me to people who were just as excited about them as I was. The enthusiastic peer group that the department provides compels you to pick up on essential soft skills. This includes the ability to clearly and effectively communicate your ideas in a classroom bursting with opinions. The journey turns classmates into teammates, friends, and eventually even co-founders. The Centre gave us the opportunity to start a business club on campus, and I am proud to say that the Ashoka Business Club (ABC) is now a year old and thriving. The ABC hosts events, guest sessions, field trips and a vibrant learning community that contribute to my growth every day!
The coursework and club introduced me to a wide range of ideas and perspectives, which helped me think creatively and outside the box. Looking back, I realize that this was crucial during my placement process, especially for consulting firms like McKinsey, which value creative problem-solving, entrepreneurial initiative and innovative thinking. These experiences also taught me practical skills such as market research and pitching. Moreover, they gave me a deeper understanding of how businesses operate, and how to identify and solve problems. This knowledge is critical for consulting and is often what interviewers look for during the placement process.
The most important learning from these experiences, however, was confidence. University life, especially in the middle of a pandemic, has the ability to make you question your every move. It is not easy to shake it off and move on. When you are sitting for 10 interviews a day and facing rejections, dismissive responses and sometimes pure disinterest, it is imperative that none of them shakes you. The opportunities I have been given through the Centre have given me the ability to pose a confident front through the placement cycle and eventually win over potential employers.
I am deeply grateful to the Center for Entrepreneurship and the mission it has undertaken. The Centre has provided me with opportunities that have helped me grow in countless ways. Through the various programs and resources offered, I have gained valuable experience and knowledge about the corporate world. I have had the chance to network with industry professionals I would not have dreamt of meeting, let alone having conversations and gaining advice from. The Centre has also provided me with a sense of community and support and I am forever grateful for the impact that the staff and community have had on my growth. These learnings have helped kickstart my career and will stay with me all the way till that corner office and pencil skirt collection is actually mine!
Kavya Satish is an ASP’23 at Ashoka University.