44-year-old student excels at IIM Vizag, earns 2 gold medals

Meet a 44-year-old mother of two boys, a student at the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Vizag, who is a glowing inspiration for anyone with a passion for learning. Prerna Baid is living proof of the saying “develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow” by American writer Anthony J. D’Angelo. Prerna not only went back to college to continue her studies but also managed to secure the first rank at one of the country’s top business schools. She bagged two gold medals from the institution- one for her top academic performance and the other for securing the first rank in the postgraduate course.  

“The whole experience is extremely surreal and overwhelming as I never expected this win. Even when I was joining the course, I was doubtful of whether I would even be admitted. But I feel extremely blessed, and joyous, to be here today and celebrate this success with my family,” said an exhilarated Prerna to Yo! Vizag.

Being a mother comes with a lot of challenges and to find time for higher education and pass out with flying colours would have never been possible without the support of her husband, Chaman Baid, Founder and CEO of ACN Infotech. “I had fully immersed myself in my course after joining IIM Vizag as a student and was not available to meet anyone on weekends for three years. The main reason was that I had classes on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. During this time, my husband supported me completely and my sons were a source of encouragement to me,” added Prerna. Her sons, Arnav and Arav, are aged 21 and 17 years old. And she duly gives all credit for this achievement to her husband and sons.  

Prerna had dreamed of joining IIT since she was a little girl, but because of certain unprecedented personal problems, she couldn’t give her Joint Entrance Exam (JEE). “I had prepared for JEE for three years but couldn’t give them. I immediately got married to my husband and gave my exams post marriage. However, one or the other thing kept cropping up and my plan was shelved for some time and I couldn’t join my course immediately. During the initial years of our marriage, we were both busy in setting up ACN Infotech and then came the kids and I wanted to stay home for them,” added Prerna. 

Going back to learning was beyond her expectations, she said. The faculty at IIM Vizag was said to be extremely supportive and encouraging. “The faculty and management were extremely patient with me and always responded to my doubts and questions even outside class. They helped me academically in whatever way possible and I never felt out of place,” she said. 

Prerna is however not planning to bask in her glory and is planning for her future. She insists that she must start working for another company and then start something of her own sometime in the near future. She is a great advocate of having fun while learning and believes age is just a margin. When asked what advice she would give to the present batch of students pursuing an MBA, she concludes, “it’s important to cherish every step in the learning process and to take learning beyond the classrooms. Enjoying while learning is an important step for the desired result to follow.”

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