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    Dream big and follow up with patience

    CHENNAI: A massive audience turned out for Ira Trivedi’s lecture at Saarang at IIT-Madras on Saturday, where she discussed her own journey from aspiring beauty queen to investment banker to best-selling author. Though pegged as a lecture-demonstration, it became very interactive, as students of IIT and other colleges opened up on issues relating to choice of career, at the end of which it seemed that many in the audience were reluctant engineers. An economics student from Wellesley College, Ira turned down a lucrative career at a major bank in an attempt to win the Miss India competition. As she entered the contest, she said that it dawned upon her that, more than winning the title, she wanted to write about what was happening inside the contest. What Would You Do To Save the World? was the product of this decision, which became a best-seller. She has received an MBA degree from Columbia Business School. Ira outlined some qualities for success: being patient, she said, was a virtue, and the idea of making it big at one go was flawed. The courage to dream and follow it despite hurdles, was another quality. A qualified yoga teacher, Ira said that similar to the importance given to a career, students must keep an eye on physical fitness.Asked how she was able to take the risk of switching careers, she said it was a matter of what one wanted to do. However, she emphasised that most of her choices were made after carefully analysing her own strengths and weaknesses and that students must take calculated risks rather than blind ones. Confidence in one’s abilities was the key in turning risks into successes, she said. Ira added that her next non-fiction book, on love, marriage and sex in the Indian context, would have an entire chapter on the IITs.