AIM Feature: Rachel Arandilla


“After a quarter life crisis, I decided to take MBA (because that’s why you take MBA, right?). After some eight weeks of GMAT self-study and receiving the AIM letter of admissions shortly after, I moved to Makati. It was a whirlwind for me, everything happened too fast.

At first, I felt like a bit of an oddball. The whole corporate culture was something entirely different to me. A travel writer by profession & fine arts by training, I grew up in an island with no Pt of time. My social circle made up of artists, surfers and bohemians. Imagine the amount of adjustment I endured when moving to Makati and going to business school.

My first math encounter since high school algebra was when I did my GMAT preps. So everything was completely new to me. There was a lot of times when I completely felt stumped. I would enviously look at my classmates and wonder how they breeze through LOB and Finance while every time I go through the readings, I cry on the inside. Rather than feeling bad for myself, I just tried harder. Remember, everyone starts off as a beginner. Every pro-surfer would look like an idiot when they first got on the board.

Starting off a little behind everyone else can be discouraging.Understandable-most of us grew up where success, or being the best, is celebrated. We get brownie points from our parents when we excel. Schools reward the top students in academic achievement. The problem with this mentality is it creates an illogical and immense fear in failure.

The biggest victims are the overachievers – they tend to be crippled with failure. Hence they tend to stick to their expertise and do not broaden their skill because of their anxiety on failure. “I can not dance” or “I’m bad at languages” or “I have no sense of balance”; But more of the fear of failing at it. It’s easier for them to say ‘That’s impossible,’ rather than ‘That’s hard’.

Willful advice for parents and future parents: rather than praising achievements, we should raise a kid who will not give up.

My arts background is not a crutch-everyone has to start a little bit. My learning curve may be much longer than my classmates’, but I think my learning experience was much more satisfying. When you finally ‘get’ what your classmates were talking about two sessions ago, nothing felt more rewarding.

Learn to accept that failure is part of life. Learn to laugh at yourself-the worth of wisdom from that failure is much more valuable.”