Learn Like an Intern

Quitting the Indian Police Service allowed me to restart my journey, like a fresh intern trying to make sense of the world.

I totally loved the first 5-6 years in the Civil Services — every day was a new learning. But gradually, it became more of the same, again and again. The learning tapered off. That is when I quit.

Post my MBA, when I joined McKinsey, I again felt like an intern, in an unfamiliar world of ‘clients’ and presentations.

When I quit McKinsey to join private equity investing, I was an intern one more time. And since then, through various entrepreneurial struggles, that is how I have always felt.

I use the word ‘intern’ as a huge compliment — it is a ‘keen to learn’ newbie. Sadly, the burden of rank and seniority makes us pretend that we know it all. We hesitate to show vulnerability or ignorance. We are reluctant to learn new things from scratch.

Then you are no longer an intern. You then start becoming old.

As long as I live, I want to be an ‘intern.’ I want to keep learning and experimenting, without the burden of always being successful.

Someday, if my startup HabitStrong becomes a large, stable company, I will find a better CEO and start the journey all over again.

I will become an intern, one more time.

– Rajan

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