MBA Stories: Your Mind Will Become a Sponge

June 29, 2017

Kishore Daswani, MBA Class of 2008, in an interview filmed during the Inside MBA open day on 10 June 2017

Kishore Daswani came to a crossroads in his life when he wanted to hone his business chops. The son of an entrepreneur and having grown up in an entrepreneurial family, one option was to learn about business by, well, joining the family business. But, he wondered, what value could he add? Nothing but “the same thing over and over,” he decided.

Another was to go the corporate route. “But at that point in my career, I’d probably be rank and file. So maybe I would not learn so much,” Kishore said. His third choice: to pursue a Master in Business Administration at the Asian Institute of Management.

Things happened quite fast as soon as he joined the MBA program. Kishore became part of the first class that underwent a compressed version of the AIM MBA, a 16-month program starting with Kishore’s Class of 2008. (It used to be 22 months prior to the Institute’s accreditation by the prestigious Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.)

He finished his Management Research Report (the equivalent of a thesis at AIM) on time so he could focus on participating in the student exchange program in Italy. “It was one term, three or four months, but it was very eye-opening. I really had a different mindset about everything [prior to studying in Italy],” Kishore said.

The whole program actually had a big impact on Kishore. “AIM gave me that ability to make mistakes, trial and error, and to learn from a lot of different people in a very short span of time,” he said.

He added that the program made him much more open-minded. Kishore said it is now easier to unlearn and relearn things, and the program taught him how to adapt quickly to any situation.

“Whenever we had a problem or assignment, I would just block out all the noise, focus on the core problems, and then come up with a solution,” he recalled.

Asked if such a skill did not come naturally to him anyway, Kishore replied, “I think it was really honed in the program, because we were put in a situation of dealing with 800-plus cases. So you kind of practice that over the time of the program.”

Kishore said the most memorable thing about his AIM MBA was, upon completing the student exchange program, actually receiving a job offer while still in Italy ― which he accepted. He has since returned to the Philippines, where he was born and raised. 

So, what advice would he give a future AIM MBA student? Said Kishore, “Just come in with a clean slate. Be ready to forget everything you know and soak in as much as you can of the experience. It’s really a time your mind will be a sponge. And that will be with you for the rest of your life.”

Kishore Daswani has half a dozen years of managerial experience under his belt, having been responsible for running marketing, product management, lead generation, and business development units. In April 2017, he assumed his current post, Social Media and Digital Marketing Manager, at Singapore-based document security company DOXCHECK.

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