Saturday, October 16, 2004

Am I prepared for this?

Somehow I am finding a parallel between my five years in my engineering degree, and the atmosphere surrounding my graduate class. I feel the sense of high competitiveness and I can even define different types of personality that matches in both classes. Perhaps it is because both classes consist of people selected from a large group of highly qualified people. In the case of my degree, any high school students that aspire to become an engineer applies for my school. In the case of my company, it is one of the more well-known firms in the UK. They also have a very vigorous selection process (which I was not part of, thankfully), so the people selected were also of a very high caliber. This is not an attempt to up-play the prestige of my company, but I'm just trying to illustrate how smart these people are in my graduate class. (minus me, because I got the job through some weird coincidence)

This is when I start worrying - Do I put myself in these highly competitive situations for fun? Or am I slightly sadistic? I have been told that I tend to put myself through painful situations, complain about it, and then repeat it next time. (I'm looking your way Evelyn, Adrian, Prish, Lisa, etc.) For example, I absolutely despised a certain type of course in school. Yet, I keep enrolling myself in them term after term.

The main point is, I feel that this competitive environment is getting the better of me. It's really beginning to drive me crazy. I am starting to feel the pressure from my class, because it's full of achievers. I need to work twice as hard just to keep up! On the other hand, I have learnt a lot from my five years in engineering school, dealing with the ever-increasing competitive pressure. The bottom line is, am I ready for more of this?


Adrian said...

Throughout my graduate program, I have encountered one high-acheiver after another. There is no doubt that any professional environment; whether academic or industrial will consist of highly talented and competitive people.

With that being said, you should know that there will be talents that others have that you will not. But similarly you will have many talents that others do not have either. Your ability to use your talent and sell yourself will be the factor to put you above the rest. I believe that you are. But most importantly, you need to believe that you are above the group.

Working hard will pay off in the long run. And believe me when I say other people will work hard too. To quote a somewhat moronic politican, "bring it on". :) But also pay attention to others, and see how they do things, what brings them success, also notice what they are not doing. I found myself learning a lot but humbling myself and truly see what others are doing, that I'm not, that allows them to get ahead. Give that a shot.

Competitiveness brings out the best in people. I'd rather have competition than none at all.

Anonymous said...

I found this place through UW blog ring. Although your entry is entitled "am I prepared for this", it's obvious that you are one of those people that are always up for a challenge. However, the biggest challenge is being yourself. It's pointless to work your life away only to become the typical overachiever, right? Btw, are you working at Barclays?