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"Hard Work and Self Belief Are Stepping Stones to Success" by Arijeet Mukherjee

Updated: Dec 16, 2020

Three years ago, I was in night shift at Blast Furnace 04, JSW Steel Ltd., sulking and frustrated with myself. It had been more than 5 years since I had been working at JSW Steel Ltd. and, though I had planned to search for new opportunities after 3 years, the last 2 years had been really tough. Both professionally and personally. I had already taken the GMAT once, but as my scores were not high enough, I didn’t apply to any B-school. It seemed like my dreams were getting away from me.


I, Arijeet Mukherjee, come from a very modest background and the motto of life has always been “Hard work and Self Belief are stepping stones to success”. But after those 2 years, I had started doubting myself and was on the verge of giving up on my dreams. But I always had the support of my family and friends, especially my brother. He helped me to regain my self-belief and reestablish the confidence that I can do what I dream of.


Fast forward 6 months--on July 2nd 2018, I appeared for the GMAT again and this time was able to score 720. Slowly but steadily, it seemed that my long-lasting dream of getting to visit the land of opportunity, the United States of America, was coming true. After I got through the application process, I had admits from 5 universities, with significant amount of scholarships in each.


As I started my B-school journey, I felt that getting into Consulting would enable me to provide the biggest impact after my MBA, considering my engineering background and previous experience. But being an international student made the switch a lot harder. I had to improve my communication skills. I had seldom interacted with senior leadership during my previous experience and I had to develop my executive presence as well. Casing was also something that I was wary of—before B-school, I had never done casing before and my first few case attempts were pretty bad.


Despite all the challenges, I kept on following my dream. It was December 2019 and I was invited for interview for internships from two of the Big 3 consulting firms; I was somewhat proud of my achievements so far. However, that’s when reality struck. I failed to get through any of the consulting interviews I had. I did end up getting offers from Dell and Amazon, but getting into consulting was my dream. I was not about to give up and I promised myself to try again next year for the full-time role.


I kept myself focused on the end goal that I wanted after B-school. During my internship, I kept in touch with my contacts within the consulting industry. Casing was also something I improved upon. Watching YouTube channels, such as Crafting Cases, helped me build a structured thinking process. I also used RocketBlocks as a primary resource to practice and hone my skills. I kept on learning and improving myself.


Fast forward to today, I have an offer from McKinsey in the Operations practice. In hindsight, my journey was hectic but as Jurgen Klopp, the Liverpool Football Club Manager, said after winning the premier league, “It’s the journey that makes success enjoyable not the end result.”


In conclusion, my advice to anyone reading this post is to never give up and always keep chasing your dreams. As I mentioned earlier: “Hard work and Self Belief are stepping stones to success.” Have that self-belief within you, that you are meant to do great things, and do not shy away from putting in the hard yards. In the end, you will find yourself doing what you have always wanted to.

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