2 Years in the US – The Lessons I Learned

Today I completed two years in the United States of America. I still remember the day when I stepped out of my home country – India. It was August 15th, 2014 and I was uncertain about how will I survive and succeed to attain the goals that I have set or myself. Believe me it was difficult for a student from a middle class family to step out of the protective shield of family, friends and well-wishers, to somewhere where you don’t even know how and where to get the basic necessities. I just had one thing which was hard-coded in my mind – my goal. My goal to reach optimality, to be the best in whatever I do.

The journey of me coming to the US, completing my MBA, working hard to get into one of the finest financial institutions in the US and globally made me learn a lot – academically, culturally, personally and most importantly professionally. I have tried to reconcile all that I have learned in the last 2 years very succinctly below:

  1. US is a land of talent, but networking facilitates your talent sourcing: US respects talent. If you are talented, and you work hard for it, you will get recognized. But while you work hard, you also have to establish contacts and networks. These are the people who will advertise your talent to the right person and space.
  2. Mediocrity is not respected: Here you have just two choices; either you be the best, or you don’t do anything. There is no place for mediocrity in corporate America. If you are a mediocre performer, you will never be able to come up top.
  3. You are allowed to make mistakes, and learn from them until it becomes your habit to make mistakes: You are allowed to make mistakes, and you should hold yourself accountable for the same. The next thing you do after making a mistake is to identify the problem and work on it and try not to repeat it. You have to remember that mistakes are okay until it becomes your habit to commit them.
  4. Your overall personality is very important: Your personality describes your leadership skills. Confidence towards what you do is greatly monitored and needed.
  5. You are responsible and accountable for your actions: Your accountability towards your actions is greatly appreciated. The “blame game” doesn’t find a significant place in the corporate. Being responsible towards your plan of actions, and standing by your word is a highly sought after quality.
  6. Team effort is the best effort: No matter how bad one of your team members is, at the end of the day you have to stand for your team. You team never leaves you, and you never leave your team alone.
  7. Your mentor(s) is your guide to almost everything: It is highly recommended to find yourself a mentor. It is a daunting job, because your mentor needs to be a person with whom you can relate your professional life to, and picture yourself to be him/her one day. Once you get a mentor, your mentor literally takes the responsibility to help you out. But you have to prove that you are a good candidate to be their mentee.
  8. Corporate America is highly interconnected: People here are highly interconnected with each other. You do a good job and it is resonated among the peers. You cannot afford to take things for granted.
  9. Hard work precedes smart work: The notion of smart work comes after you work hard, understand what you are doing and be a master in what you do. After you achieve mastery, smartness and efficiency follows you back.
  10. Treat everyone with equal respect and dignity: Everyone here talks to everyone. No one is small or big. Everybody is the same. You treat everyone with equal respect and help them to reach their optimality.
  11. Loyalty is everything: Be loyal. Be loyal to your work, to your team, and to your firm.



Arnab Pandey

 Arnab Pandey is a 24 year old (India born) capital markets professional, an entrepreneur, a nationally awarded debater, an internationally acclaimed researcher, and a passionate blogger. He holds  an  MBA (Finance) degree from the Sykes College of Business at The University of Tampa, Florida. He procured his under-graduate (Bachelor of Technology) degree in the field of applied mechanics….. Read More

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