Hi, I am Arnav Gupta, entering my second year at the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto. I am pursuing a Bachelor of Commerce degree, specializing in Management with a focus in ‘Finance’ and ‘Strategy and Innovation’.
Challenging. Laborious. Intuitive. Insightful. Hard Work. Discipline. These are few words which describe my first year experience at Canada’s most prestigious university. Globally, U of T is known for its academic rigour. This was one of the main reasons that made me apply to this university. Even though I expected it to be this way but still faced a lot of hurdles, especially in my fall semester.
It took me a few months to understand the work-ethic required to be successful at this University. The main difference between University and High School is that you can never leave anything to the last minute in University. If you are lagging behind in a course or a lecture, it is a next to impossible task for you to cover up. I changed this attitude of procrastinating and practiced time management techniques to excel. I adapted quickly to this competitive culture and was successful to make it to the Dean’s List in my first year.
In March 2020, I had to travel back to India because of the COVID-19 pandemic. I was quarantined at home and those 14 days gave me the much needed time for self realisation. I realised that getting a high GPA is not the only goal of education. It is important to apply what you have learnt.
However, this realisation wasn’t enough to guarantee success. I started off by trying to launch a club in my University but due to some reason it didn’t work out. I failed. I applied to a few clubs but I didn’t make it past the interview. I failed. This was the time, I uncovered my hidden strength to be ‘positive’ in the darkest of situations and fighting my situations. I learnt. I spent hours working with my career coach, polishing my resume, cover letter and practising my interviewing skills. I never doubted my abilities but continued to learn by taking feedback from the people who rejected me.
Today, I am proud to share that I am the National Director of Marketing at Youreka Canada. I am managing the biggest consulting project at Enactus UofT. I managed to get an Executive role in 180 Degrees Consulting and Rotman Commerce Cannabis Council. Lastly, I worked relentlessly to co-found ‘AJ Swift Exchange’(https://www.ajswiftexchange.com/), a finance blog to provide swift weekly market updates.
All this was possible just because I channelized the time I spent on negative people on myself and having a positive mindset. To sum up, I don’t believe there is a set formula to excel at university. I believe failure is a prerequisite of success. Working hard is super important but something that matters the most is that you never stop believing in yourself.