After joining an MBA course, I’m sure you haven’t found a single professor who has failed to tell you, “You must read ET…daily!!” Well, though ET stands for Economic Times, the language of the newspaper seems so Extra-terrestrial (ET) that I thought I would never come to terms with it. The dull shade of the newspaper, or any other business paper for that matter, would make me feel dizzy. And to add to it, if you hail from a Science background, like I do, it is most likely that inculcating the habit of reading a business newspaper daily will be a nightmarish experience!
Throughout my academic years, I’ve never taken the efforts to even read the Times of India, there was never a need, I felt. Bombay Times and once in a while, Mumbai Mirror if it’s a lucky day and that would be my daily dose of news. So, you can imagine the mental agony I must have experienced in order to start reading a ‘Business paper’, which I am sure many of you are going through right now. This article is the result of a year-long struggle with newspapers. Many ideas and tips that you will find further ahead are not my sole intellectual property but are inputs by very good friends of mine who are avid newspaper readers! And therefore, at several places throughout the article ‘I’ will be ‘WE’, because this is a collective effort.
So, here you go. I hope you’ll find this helpful.
P.S.: I’m taking the liberty of assuming that you, who are reading this article are not / have not been ardent newspaper readers.
PART – I
So, to begin with, why should you be reading a Business newspaper?
Reason#1: Because professors force you to.
Reason#2: Because it helps in Group Discussions & Personal interviews.
Reason#3: Because you really want to know what’s happening in the world around you. You are really interested in ‘being aware’.
Though the first two reasons are true, trust us, you will never successfully achieve this goal of starting and sticking to daily newspaper-reading if these are your primary reasons. Reading a newspaper needs patience and enthusiasm; it can’t and shouldn’t be done because you are told to!! So, the first step must be to generate interest within yourself. And the best way forward is to start by reading business magazines. There are a bunch of them like Business World (weekly), Business Today (fortnightly), etc. which will give you ‘complete’ stories, viewpoints and analyses unlike newspapers which often only ‘report’ daily happenings. For me, not knowing the background of a particular incident/news was always a deterrent to reading newspapers, and then I would become as disinterested and demotivated as always. So, reading business magazines will help you assimilate a few stories and will create that interest, zest and curiosity within you to find out more. We’d suggest you dedicate the next 15days (minimum) – one hour daily – reading business magazines and generating interest.
To ensure that at the end of these 15 days you acclimatize yourself to news & current happenings, we’d recommend a 360˚ approach. And that is, use the TV and the Internet as an aid to your efforts. India Business hour @ 9pm on CNBC TV18 gives you the top headlines and news of the day, NDTV 24×7 has discussions on key issues @ 9 and 10pm. With no additional efforts, all you need to do is switch on the TV and hear as you have dinner. Of course, there are umpteen news channels and programmes that could suit your interests and timings, we leave it up to you to explore further. This is a slightly less strenuous way of obtaining the day’s news and catching up on top stories, and one of the best sources for starters. Also, as an MBA student you will be spending 90% of your time on the PC / on your laptop. An innovative approach is to make Google News or any other News website your home page! Each time you use your web browser, you’ll be updated with the latest news and happenings. Isn’t that easy and cool!
So, starting today implement this 360˚ approach and tell us if you see the difference.
A word of caution: This will work only if you diligently dedicate time to this endeavor EVERYDAY. We understand assignments, presentations and lectures eat up most of your time, but make it a point to set your priorities right. Lectures and presentations will come & go, you might gain something out of them, but investing time in inculcating the habit of reading will reap benefits for a lifetime.
Make a definite plan and put it into action right away.
Once you’ve done this, you are ready to dive into a business newspaper……….
……..To be continued in Part 2.
Sharon Mary John
With Valuable inputs by:
Rohan Pinto, Sneha Shenoy, Ankit Shah, Preeti Singh, Riddhima Sharma, Sindhu Sundaresh, Ashwin Balakrishnan.