REMEMBER this in your script: Stop talking about the work you do, and start talking about the outcomes you provide.
How was #GOTR born?
It was born out of utter dissatisfaction – dissatisfaction with the status quo and the rigid conformity to outdated recruiting practices.
With all due respect, a full-time MBA program has all the resources for the student to excel but often lacks the strategy to organize and execute. I saw in dismay how the rat race for placements had pulled high potential students in a rut. They sounded robotic and scripted in mock interviews. They had lost sight of what they really wanted to do and what they were good at. A few could carve out their own journey, but most were barely just keeping up.
Fear Of Missing Out was making their recruiting approach paradoxical. Desperate for success, they followed the same patented career advice that has been given to every student on the planet. But, what they forget is that the more you look like your competition, the more you are NOT standing out!
They were losing sight that they had to bring their whole selves to interviews. Witnessing these many facades, I was increasingly getting frustrated with the system. I could not immediately change the system, so I decided I could start a service to help students see their real selves once again, use that in interviews and create a win-win situation. They do not have to take a job offer that might give them success but does not provide fulfillment. This is my aspiration and seeing the ‘real me’ shine in students is the most rewarding thing for me in a day!
Vision behind #GOTR
There are ample levers one can pull to get admission to their favorite MBA school, but once they are there, they can feel otherwise. Expectation is that the new MBA admit would leverage peer help, help from second years, alumni network and services of their career center. But truth is that after the first few companies come on-campus and leave taking 20-30% of the student population, the moment of truth arrives! The insane pressure to take a fancy off-campus job kicks off. Pressure from family starts compounding. The constant “do you know where you are going next?” begins to tick off as much as the many help offers “don’t hesitate to me let me know how I can help”. In spite of the surreal support system, the student is lonely in the crowd. His confidence is hitting bottom and he has long forgotten that he has it in him to land his dream job. He has already won a race (to get to his dream MBA school) that is long forgotten now.
So let’s re-imagine the scenario: You’re flowing in the tide, swimming with many others like you. I am extending you a raft and calling you out, “C’mon, get on that raft”. Remember you were not born to flow with the tide but born to carve out your own journey!
Don’t forget that the more you try to look like your competition, the more you are NOT standing out! You only work best when you are in sync with your greatest strengths and values! But how much are you aware of those really? How many mock interviews have led you to this kind of feedback? How many times have you come out of a mock interview thinking, “If I am so good, then why don’t I have a job, leave my dream job?”
How many times have you come out of a mock interview thinking, “If I am already doing great, why don’t I have a job yet?” Research says people are as scared of providing candid feedback as one is believed to be when receiving. We naturally fear confrontation, so we sandwich negative feedback between lots of praise, we give only praise, or we say nothing at all. The problem with this approach is that our relationships, organizations, and learning never improves. – https://bristowlg.com/
During my MBA program where I was both a mentee in my first year and an official career mentor in my second, I observed how students spent several crucial hours doing mock interviews. Yet, when they came to me for one, I could not fathom why they were still making visibly gross mistakes. If I threw them a curveball during mock practice, they would be jittery and say they weren’t prepared for this. I felt bad that a once-ever-so-confident candidate is now losing steam and sweating over challenges, really? Common mistakes were sounding like a robot (insert blog link), not being their whole self, sounding scripted or overconfidence in nervousness. They were focused on their words (aka Tell me about yourself, STAR stories), but their non-verbal gestures, which forms 68% of the overall communication, weren’t even being paid attention to. They thought they could get by with their solid crisp stories, but what they needed help was their body language, showing confidence, a tip on dressing well, appearing authentic and striking a conversation with the interviewer instead of interviewing (insert blog link).
As it’s said, real change lies in utter dissatisfaction. Utterly dissatisfied with the status quo and conformity to traditional interview styles, #GOTR was born!
This is my USP. If you have wanted to step up your game, you have to hear the actual facts! “Man is not what he thinks he is, he is what he hides!” The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off. At the moment of truth, there are either reasons or results!
So, if you want to own your results, are hungry for change and are 101% accountable and action bias, come grab that raft and choose where you want to float!
If this resonates with you, read on to know how I do it:
Why you started:
- There’s no Go-To personalized MBA website: Many to read from, but convert information into impact
- Students were very superficial in their job search approach. They will do just enough to get that next MBA internship/ job. They are not thinking how they want to set themselves up for their future by utilizing what time and opportunities they have today.
- The world has become such that they push them to pursue short-term gains
- Students don’t get proper feedback to make them realize where they should change.
- Students in their dire need to get that next internship/ job at the earliest are taking shortcuts (learning their pitch/ STAR stories). When they are not successful, there is no around them to provide candid feedback. Everyone is beating around the bush, trying to lift their spirits up by saying they are doing okay. But they are not and they realize that. Something is wrong with them that they can’t crack it. Yes, it is about opportunities, but why is their neighbor getting it? Are others lucky all the time? For those, who want are comfortable getting uncomfortable with the truth – because “quote about truth in folder” – asking the right questions. The truth lies in how their mindset is!
- When they get feedback, they will be able to unravel what they really want in life – by talking and saying you are not sounding like you have conviction in this answer, students often say, yes, because I don’t like to pursue this.
Fresh perspective of the mission behind #GOTR
How many times have you come out of a mock interview thinking, “If I am already doing great, why don’t I have a job yet/ why can’t I land a job that my classmate just did? I don’t have any less experience that he has. :(”
Let me break your statement into two parts:
To the first point, research says people are as scared of providing candid feedback as one is believed to be when receiving. So, the feedback is sandwiched between lots of praise, only praise, or nothing at all. After all, only your closest buddies have the courage to say the hard truth! It is also not the number of mock interviews that matter, it is the quality of feedback that does.
Second, there’s too much emphasis on following a cookie cutter approach of interviewing. So, instead of bringing your whole self to the room, you are frequently advised to follow standardized ways of interviews. Result is you begin sounding scripted and robotic instead of showing your real self. It’s so paradoxical. Everyone is being preached to identify what’s unique in them, however, there’s hardly any freedom to practice that when it comes to the interview. Schools are afraid their candidates may not succeed if they don’t look the same. What we essentially forget is the more we try to look like our competitors, the more we DON’T STAND OUT.
Second, number of years of experience counts as much as your social presence and confidence before and during your interview. Did you engage authentically with the recruiter in the networking session the night before? Do you have the right mindset to believe you are the right fit for this job?
Often, the answer is no. But you are what you think!
I always tell my mentees: Interviews are not won by crisp pitches – they are won by being a likeable personality in the room.Interviewers want to add confident and smart people to their teams, not the kind who sounds polished (read scripted) but lacks the interview presence and EQ.
If the above line to too hard to comprehend at this point, just remember this: The recruiter is a human first and an interviewer second. For an instance, if you train your mind to see him as an acquaintance who was introduced to you by your friend, you will be your true self before him in a heartbeat.
This is exactly what I love doing over and over again with several 1-on-1 sessions. I provide direct and specific feedback to individuals that teach them to train their minds so that they are their authentic selves during interviews. (or #GOTR works with the mindset of MBA students to enable them to unlock their true potential in interviews and networking through customized feedback.)
or I provide direct, specific and actionable feedback to individuals during mock interviews so that they come out of their “robotic” zone and bring their authentic selves during interviews. My approach to the whole process is always asking them questions that help them understand themselves better and use it to become more confident and authentic in their approach. It requires a mindset change and that is my underlying approach. The main goal is to provide you with continuous feedback that you can internalize the feedback and actually “use” it to train your mindset. As my other mentees say, “helped me understand in the future how to make those improvements on my own” or “Ruchika doesn’t give you all the answers, instead she guides you down a path to help you find the answers for yourself” or “Her ability to listen to her mentees’ concerns and ask questions guides them to understand how to improve themselves and how to market themselves.” Set yourself up for the next several jobs, not just the next!
It breaks my heart each time a friend breaks the news he heard from the recruiter and says, “I really don’t know why can’t I land a job when everyone around tells me I’m doing great! I’m just tired!”
They want to succeed to get their fav job. Peer pressure is high and family pressure is crushing – after all, people are after him as to why he left his thought-as-fulfilling job to come pursue an MBA?
Yes, people confuse fulfillment with the ability to earn well, feed family, have a decent standard of living, right? Not wrong- for the last two generations, it essentially meant that! But times have changed, but not so much people’s thinking.
If you had an option, you would take a silencer and put it in every one’s mouth- I get it!
So, then why do you want to succeed? Because you actually want a fulfilling career – great compensation, high standards of living, but overall, a mission that is yours! A job that is your calling, a vocation where getting up for every day seems joy!
How do you get THAT job, when most often you are being pushed to get any job? The answer is not so simple:
By aligning your inner values, competencies and passion to the opportunity at hand! You have to be yourself, be authentic, show you are THE person and demonstrate high Emotional Intelligence!
Where do we start – by getting to know your strengths and values! I am here to help you in that mission.
Another version 2.0
You are tired of hearing in practically every mock interview practice that you are going great, just keep practicing and you’ll get it! Let’s be real- you don’t want to hear these reassuring statements, no one can do it better than your mom anyway! What you want is to know, “if you are so awesome and you are doing all the right things”, why can’t you land a job that your teammate did!
If you are at such a stage and this resonates with you, you are at the right place! No more sugar coating stuff. I will throw you a raft, get you out of the raging unidirectional flow and help you carve out a path unique to you!
I don’t promise you’ll land a job within the next two weeks of our time together – we know the job is half good luck too. But, what I can promise you is self-awareness! Yes, it sounds like a heavy word, but believe me all we need is to know how we work and what works for us. Get yourself set up for the next several jobs rather than the immediate one. Set yourself up for success when the amazing support will cease to exist, when you’ll find yourself in the raging waters again, finding a way to call on someone to throw you a raft! Thrive in life!
But how often have you laughed off on a friend’s critique but deep down it hit you hard. You did some introspection on it and boom you found it to be life changing. We remember what our friends advised us on, because of two reasons:
- They really care. I mean they most often feel stronger than blood relations.
- They told the truth! Gloria Steinem (someone) said, “The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off.”
- They dared to be themselves
- They knew you would care (of course after some knee scraping)
One month before I started my MBA, my career mentor told me, “Ruchika, when I find you swimming with the current (going with the tide) in the first semester of your MBA, which you inevitably will, I will throw you a raft and pull you out.” He did exactly that back then and got me out of the troubled waters. I realized the problem was prevalent with MBAs in general
and wanted to help.
Dor Mullen: Ruchika arrived on my radar screen at a time when I had little wherewithal to support projects and less wherewithal to supervise someone working in an environment of social media that is unfamiliar to me. She was self-directed, self-motivated, and willing to report in terms I could understand and report on to my board including 60+ year-old trustees. The quality of her work never suffered even though the population she was serving ended up being rather different from the initial target. I admired her determination.
Let me start by saying that as an individual you get to meet very few people whose exuberance and confidence leave an indelible mark upon your memories. Usage of the noun Exuberance for you may seem to be a misnomer for someone no more than an acquaintance, but people who know you very well surely know how cheerful and energetic you are. It may be seen in something as simple as hosting the school reunion event or in competing with other teams during the college spring-fest. It’s been more than 10 years of knowing you and I can very well say you’re your determination and passion to achieve something has never been less or dwindled. When many of us didn’t have any idea about their ambitions, you always had a clear sight of the goal and the tools to achieve it.
Ben Anderson: In group projects you try to include everyone. I remember when you did the breakfast party in the section you really wanted to make sure everyone was there and included. You think of every person individually and even reach out to them personally. You are always talking to me and others in the group and have a genuine desire to get to know people and connect. You offer to help others in ways that you can
Aman Goel: Ruchika has always been someone who genuinely cares about others and tries to help them in various ways. Being selflessly caring and helpful is one of Ruchika’s strongest attributes, one that endears her to many people who get to know her well. Ruchika continuously has a positive impact on the people around her everywhere she goes without having to wait for a position of influence.
Anup Puri: Ruchika is highly energetic, motivated and an ethical person, both in her relationships as well as in her work. These qualities reflect in her personality and her approach to taking on new challenges.. I think Ruchika’s patience, persistence and her convictions led her to outshine her competitors.
I have always considered her top three strengths to be her unwavering determination, highly optimistic attitude and her ability to get people to listen to her.
Back when we were in the 10th grade, we were assigned to do a coding project along with 3 others. We were a bunch of Harry Potter fans and we wanted to do everything including the project hardcopy in a magical world theme. It was you who took the task of steering us from doing something like that by keeping a level head and using your power of persuasion to get us to agree that it may not appear as a serious, prudent and well coded project if we give it an extremely fancy look. For all we know the project invigilator may be someone who is not even aware of the book and the characters/theme and may not appreciate it. Finally, thanks to her we settled on a well-balanced, well done coding & presentation.
Rishabh Shetty: Even if she may not understand something, she allows people the freedom to express themselves and not have to change their way of doing things, which is a great quality to have in my opinion.
Passion for a cause:
During our time at Leo you demonstrated a great zeal and dedication to serving the underprivileged in the community. What was key for that engagement was your ability to empathize with their needs. You would put yourself in their shoes and try to understand how their environment affected their plight. I think that’s what drove your passion towards and execution of different project we undertook there.
Being bold with integrity:
You were never afraid of sharing your opinion about a subject immaterial of it would be perceived by others. Even if you knew that might be the unpopular opinion you would stick to your belief system and not be peer pressured into the popular opinion. That highlights your integrity and ethics.
Saswati: Ruchika Goel, the name speaks, I know Ruchika since we were in kindergarten and since then she has been one of the brightest stars in the pool of students in the school. With her superb understanding instincts in the subjects she has always maintained a decorum of being the best.
There was this one incident where the teacher had shuffled bright students with the not so bright ones and made them sit next to each other. The Student had a repeat in her last exam due to poor marks but with the help of Ruchika she was able to secure average marks with which she didn’t repeat her exams again. Here Ruchika showed her altruistic behavior by keeping other’s needs before her own
The year she got married and moved to US along with her husband she struggled so much in order to adjust there not for the lifestyle but for the fact that she did not have a job .Where once she was the best student in both school and her engineering college she had the patience to stay composed in order to wait for the right time. For few days she did what she liked she joined NGOs in order to support people. She continued doing stuff what she liked and alongside studied hard as well and now she got admission to one of the top Universities in the US –BYU. I Guess this describes her best quality of being stoical and patient in order to achieve her goal nevertheless late.
During our days together in Capgemini, there has been numerous discussions where you have elegantly placed your ideas whether it’s about corporate policies, team building or social welfares. And I believe the reason you can do so is your boldness to present the facts and the self-confidence you carry in your ideas. It was so inspiring to see that whichever team or group you got involved with, you were able to bring energy and feeling of togetherness to the team.
You are a leader because you step up to manage the mess
An impactful social person
I didn’t see a single person I know you have met and they didn’t get in touch again. This is your great communication skills and pleasing personality which I always admire. You possess excellent interpersonal skills which in my opinion is the most important part of being a successful person.One of your greatest strengths is:
Priyanka Haksar: Confidentiality
For example, I think of the time when:
You are a very trust worthy person, there are many things close to me and family that I have only shared with you. You are very easy to talk you and also understand others which is a great quality and make you a very trust worthy person.
Key MBA Achievements
Ex-engineer (GE Healthcare) | Ex-homemaker | Ex-Marketer (Dell) | Forever impactopreneur (#GOTR)
Be it refuting barriers 8 years ago by being the only non-postgraduate degree holder in my dream job (image) or breaking stereotypes 6 years ago by quitting that same job to embrace the life of a homemaker (image) in a brand new country or finally defying norms today by leaving two 6-figure MBA conventional job offers to start #GOTR (image), I am happy when I am in charge of my life! Stemming from this similar conviction, #GOTR was born. I want to help MBA students carve their own authentic journey instead of fishing in the troubled waters.
When I am not working, you can either find me in the company of my beloved best friend aka husband (image) or exploring USA’s rugged beauty (image) or brainstorming and challenging the status quo with my friends (image)!
Friends and family are my lifeline! It is what gives me strength and keeps me sane. Hear it from them about what makes Ruchika, Ruchika.