Tanish Rajput is a 23 year old Masters of Management student from Mumbai, India. He completed his undergraduate degree in Business Management (Finance) from Mumbai University.
"I firmly believe that the people around you play a big part in your successes in life"
Q: Who is someone who inspired you from a young age? What did you learn from them?
A: As a kid I always wanted to be a athlete and my father has been a big influence on me. My father was a professional cricketer who achieved a lot of success in his cricketing career as player and later as a coach. On the contrary though, I got into soccer and wanted to be a professional soccer player ever since I quit cricket at age 10. I was not the most talented player as it didn’t come very naturally to me so it was a bit harder for me to keep up with my friends who were much better than me and at times it got annoying. Looking back at it I would say that these friends inspired me a lot to make myself better. It has been pretty much the same story outside of sports as well. I feel that it would be very difficult for me to name one person who has inspired me. I have always believed that there is always something to learn from everyone and I have always tried to learn and be inspired by people around me. My Mum, my Dad, my brother, my friends (old and new) have all played a part in me being the way I am today. Hopefully as my journey continues, I will meet more people and learn new things and be inspired further.
Q: What’s a philosophy you try to follow?
A: I am a preacher. People who know me will vouch for this and therefore there are many philosophies I try to follow. But there a few I believe in very strongly.
Firstly, ‘Work is worship’. This is my driving force for when I am training for soccer or working on anything in general. I hold myself to very high standards of work ethic. My coaches and managers/mentors will 100% back me up on this. This attitude/philosophy has not only made me resilient and mentally strong but has helped me push my limits to a great extent and learn new things along the way.
Second, ‘The world doesn’t owe you anything’. Sports teaches you a lot. Competitive sports, on the other hand, teaches you a lot more while being brutal at the same time. Soccer has taught me that just working hard for towards something doesn’t mean you are going to achieve it. You may deserve it, but just deserving it doesn’t mean you will get it. I follow the same philosophy with my relationships with people outside of sports as well and while some may argue that it is very negative take on life, I think of it as a very realistic and practical way of looking at things. It has served me well so far and until I come across something or someone that changes it, it’ll stay that way.
Lastly, My family obviously means a lot to me, but I also like to keep the people I admire close to me. As cliché as it sounds it is something I have been following for a long time and it is for that reason that I am very picky with my friends. I try to maintain long standing relationships with them. These people are usually people who have helped me through some tough times and have inspired/taught me something and given me new outlook on life. I firmly believe that the people around you play a big part in your successes in life and this is proven by great achievers throughout the world, who have people backing them up through thick and thin.
Q: Tell us what sport has meant to your upbringing?
A: Soccer or football has played a big role throughout my life. I got into soccer at the age of 11 and my life has revolved around it ever since. It has always been my aim in life to be professional soccer player and I feel like I have achieved may 5% of that dream. My journey through soccer has taught me a lot about life and has exposed me to people I would have never had a chance to meet otherwise.
A little background about my soccer career, I am a state champion, representing the Mumbai City u-17 team, I have represented the Maharashtra State U-19 team at all India level, captained my college team and also represented my club’s senior team at a semi- professional level. I have also played international tournaments representing my club in Sweden and Denmark in international youth tournaments.
My journey has had its ups and downs, sacrifices and struggles, with injuries playing a big role with the downs. But I feel like these injuries were in a way good for me as it gave me time to reflect on a lot of things and made me mentally strong and mature. With regards to the ups there are a few things I cherish the most –
1. Getting my first senior contract at the age of 18.
2. Me making the State team.
Football or sports, in general, has been a big influence on me and has shaped me for the person I am today. The sporting atmosphere at home because of my Dad and elder brother has also been a big factor as to why sports has been so important to me. My father has achieved some of the highest accolades an athlete would want to achieve and I have always aimed to live up to that. I can say with a 100% certainty that I would have been a completely different person had I not pursued soccer and I am grateful for it.
"having a high EQ is as important as having an high IQ, I believe that global education has much more to offer than just studying at a foreign country"
Q: What do you want to get out of Melbourne University by the time you’ve finished your degree?
A: A job would be nice! I mean for all the money I paid seems like a very reasonable thing to ask.
But on a serious note, when I came to UniMelb, I wasn’t sure what to expect, all I knew was I wanted to experience something new, study further and follow my soccer journey outside India. So far I feel it has been a good ride with a few ups and a few downs. I have meet some really nice people along the way, things on the soccer front could have been better but sometimes things are not in your control. Overall, I have liked my journey here so far.
Q: How has UniMelb challenged you? What have you learned about yourself through that?
A: I have definitely been challenged academically here at the university. Like during my first semester I took the Quantitative methods for business class and realized that I was really going to struggle with it. However as the semester went on my group members helped me a lot and I realized that I work really well. My opinions about group study was that it was a waste of time but this was new for me and have tried to organize study groups with my friends ever since.
Q: What does a global education mean to you?
A: I look at Global education as experiencing something you would never experience in your hometown or local university, and this education is not limited to books and theories but goes beyond that. It educates you emotionally and culturally. In today’s scenario where the world is so close, having a high EQ is as important as having an high IQ I believe that global education has much more to offer than just studying at a foreign country. I can personally vouch for this cause my experience at Melbourne Uni has been an amazing one. I have met people from countries I never thought I’d meet, and created bonds that are some of the deepest ones.
If you like this profile on Tanish, we think you may also like our profile on Reha Yadav. Click here to read.
Q: When you think of home, what comes to your mind?
A: The place where my Mum and dog are, is the place I would call home.
Q: What's one thing you'd like to be able to bring here to Australia?
A: The one person I’d love to bring here is my dog ‘Cookie’. I was never really that into a dogs but since we adopted her, she has become a big part of my life and my family’s life as well. She has given me company through some really difficult times. Whenever I was recovering from my surgeries she’d always give me company. She is a kind and expressive cooker-spaniel She is a sassy one with a lot of attitude and tons of energy, but I lover her none the less and in a way I think of her as my sister as stupid as that sounds, I do feel that way. She has brought a new sense of appreciation for pets and I understand why it affects people so much when they loose their pets. Also it has made me realize I am very good at taking care of people.
Q: Think back to your youth, what advice would you give to a 13 year old Tanish?
A: I remember what I was doing at 13 very distinctly because it was for the 2nd consecutive year that I had been rejected from my school’s soccer team. It was only the year after which I had finally made it. I don’t regret any of the choices I made then, because it was through football that I met the people I have very close relations with today. That being said, I would probably tell myself to not overthink things so much.
Q: What's a word or phrase you like and what does it mean to you?
A: There is a line from the a Bollywood movie called “Lakshya” (which translates to ‘aim’). To give you some context, it is the story about a upper-middle class boy who is not sure about what he wants to do in life even after graduating from university. The line is a conversation between the boy and his father where his father tells him something along the lines, “Whatever you do in life, be it cutting grass or mowing someone’s lawn, do it with dignity and give it your all”. Coming from India where dignity of labor is virtually non-existent, that line has a deep meaning or at least to me it does. It basically means all work is equal and all work needs to be given equal importance. Regardless of the task being small/easy or tedious/complex, one must always try to do his/her best at it. It is something I find myself recalling, at the back of my head, when I come across a task I not very much interested in.
As to answer why this has stuck with me, I do not have a definitive answer for that.
Q: Looking ahead, where do you see yourself in 5 years?
A: I don’t like to talk about or think about my future that far out but, I can tell you that I want get into the business consulting industry or want to work for a sporting organization/brand. But if things work out, I would give up all of this to continue my soccer career. Maybe I can be consultant or work for Nike once I have retired. You never know.
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