Importance of making friends at ISSB – Sibtain Afzaal
One of the most important things you have to do at ISSB is to make friends. You have to start making friends right from the moment when you enter the ISSB centre gate, or perhaps before that e.g. Rahwali check post waiting room.
The question might come in your mind, why make friends with these guys who are there to get selected? They are my competitors. Why would I be friends with them? Or other thoughts might arise like “ Nahe he seems like a paindo”, “oh no he is from another city, ill make friends with guys who are from my own city”. Or “4 din ke tu bat hay, phir in sy tu kabhe milna he nahe ho ga, phir dostian bananay ka kia fada?”
Well the answer to all these questions fall in two categories. One is that its perhaps the first and only chance where you get to make friends from different parts of the country. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a friend from Lahore, another from Multan, one from Rawalpindi and another from Sahiwal, perhaps someone from Quetta, Karachi, Hayderabad or Peshawar. You will realize in the later stage that these friendships last quite long and are quite beneficial. I know I met some of the best guys here, some of them are still my very good friends.
The second category is of strategic alliances. Now what does that mean? It means that you have to make friends for your own good. Just think, you are at a new place where there are 60 or 100 guys, all strangers. For most of them this is the first time they are out of their city, in fact for some of them it’s the first time they are not going to spend night at their home. They might look OK but inside everyone is a little bit scared, the same kind of feeling which you get on the first day at school. Everyone would be shy, not talking to one another. At that time if you break the “Glass ceiling” that can do wonders. If you start gapshap with others , like asking them where are they from, how did they reach ISSB, where did they study, it would make them feel that you are a nice guy and a friend. They would naturally be tilted towards you and you would feel that you are not in a strange place anymore.
What is most important in these friendship ties is that if these friends you make are also in your GTO task group, they can help you a lot. Those who lack confidence and who are scared would take you as your leader and your friend in time of need, giving you confidence and opportunity to look good before GTO. GTO looks at the fact that who is shining in the group, who is the one everyone looks up to as the reliable one, the one who is blue eyed boy of the rest of the group.
During the interview, and when GTO tasks end, all the members of the group are asked to rate their fellows. Now if others are your friends and take you as their savior, there are chances that they will rate you No.1. If that rating is supported by your performance in tasks and other tests of GTO, its very likely that you got the GTO’s vote of recommendation. The MOST IMPORTANT vote of all.