Life at an IIMRahul Singh
Most of us aspire to be in a premiere B school, to have a life at an IIM or preferably other top management colleges. Some of the aspirants are undergraduates who wish to pursue MBA just after completing graduation, however, there is another category of aspirants who have little work experience. We all appear for CAT and other management entrance tests, the retakes and the hard work we all put in for getting a good percentile. And then when the results are declared and your mailbox has a new mail “Shortlisted” that moment of joy and extreme happiness and ultimately your hard work pays off.
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Cracking CAT with a good percentile makes you feel good and converting an IIM Interview call into a final admission offer makes you proud. But my dear friend, that is just the beginning. When you get enrolled into a B school, phase two of your journey begins.
Life at an IIM is definitely no cake walk. It is a demanding tenure but is equally rewarding in terms of shaping your career.
Soon after the admission, the induction process will start followed by the commencement of academic sessions. The induction is aimed to make you familiar with the existing rules, the value system, the group activities to make you comfortable with your batch mates and other such activities which are management oriented will take place.
The classes will begin soon after the induction ended. Mostly the class timings are from 10 am to 5 pm; however, there will be a different time slot from 9 am to 10 am especially dedicated to class tests. And if at this moment you are thinking that you are free after 5pm that is where you entered the wrong zone.
A typical day in the life of an MBA student involves around choosing between sleep, social life, and grades- all three at the same time is not at all possible. You are so much engrossed in your assignments, presentations, and submissions that you have an altogether different after class sessions. You can see everyone struggling in and around campus to finish their assignments before deadline. Yes, deadlines – we have them for every single thing- they can make you starve, sleep deprived. You have to work under pressure, be smart, be competitive and maintain your grades as well.
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This definitely shows that survival is not easy and the students generally tend to bunk the classes, miss the deadlines or in some cases quality of assignments gets deteriorated. However, I suggest attending as many classes as you can. This is not for the sake of attendance but for your self-development. Your presence in classes determines what you learn, and the more you learn, the better you perform, and add credibility and value to yourself as a professional individual. The whole point of getting enrolled into an IIM can be rendered fruitful when you recognize the prestige that it has achieved because of the quality of education that it imparts.
Another challenge comes in the form of guest lectures and that too after classes when you are drained of energy and a huge pile of assignments is waiting to be attended. But try to make the most out of it, as you will gain insights of industry to which the speaker belongs and learn through his experiences.
And on top of that, comes the deadly examinations- the mid-terms and the end terms. The evaluation and assessment criteria revolves around your performance in class, quizzes, mid-term and end terms examination. They have different weightage. Therefore if you are to survive in such an intensive academic situation, you must make sure you cater to a healthy lifestyle. Avoid procrastinating and pushing assignments and studies to the eleventh hour. Doing everything, at its assigned time will help you function well without feeling any pressure. Hence, time management resolves several problems that most students encounter in the course of their term at IIM.
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The teaching pedagogy and syllabus at B schools is designed in such a way that you get to know the nitty gritty of business management, strategic alliances between firms etc. The case study analysis approach gives you a touch of how exactly the things happen in real world, your approach and evaluation criteria determines your thinking and decision making ability.
One of the most distinctive features of the campus is that students run most of the things. The Students’ Activities Council (SAC) is the channel through which the student body carries out most of its endeavors. Then there are other clubs and committees that are responsible for organizing college events- the fun and frolic moments of your college life.
Another thing that you learn while you are in your post-graduation is how to use your peers’ strength to your benefit and vice versa. Thus, make sure to create an intellectual peer group. Your peers have an immense influence on your learning, studying habits, and eventually the way you perform.
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At last, I would like to tell you that life at the IIM campus may be hectic, frenetic, and tiring but it is never dull. You will face challenges but you will learn to overcome those obstacles. That’s how you are groomed to be highly professional and organized in your life.