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Life at a B-school: The beginnings

  Debates, dances, assignments, studies these are just some of the things one is involved in at a management institute. The first year of the MBA course can be quite daunting, challenging ones every faculty to the utmost, but over time, the efforts are richly rewarded.  

Dr Suresh Srinivasan

The fact that one is a bona fide MBA student does not hit one till the hapless student finds herself/himself standing in front of the imposing gates of the B-school he/she has successfully found a place in. Something like this happened to me too. One moment I was grumbling at the heat and dust of Ghaziabad and the very next moment I was standing in front of the famous white wall with “Institute of Management Technology” inscribed on it. Taking a deep breath and summoning all the 330 million deities, I dived head-first into the experience best captured in the song “IMT Aao”.

Where I come from...
Much like the sun and the dry winds that beat down on us during the northern summers, the course dried up my enthusiasm. I have never used my background to milk sympathy (I am a science graduate. Not just any other science graduate but a Microbiology graduate. Double whammy just got redefined!), but subjects like Micro-Economics and Accounting had me running for cover. However, if there is one thing that an MBA course teaches you, it is survival against the harshest of odds. And all the 330 million deities had just decided to teach me the act of survival by plonking on me an Economics graduate for my roommate. Did I hear a moan of sympathy? Thank you.

It’s a group thing
I also experienced what most people mention in their B-school interviews – Group Dynamics. And believe me when I say that a group can become a very dynamic battle of egos. How to accommodate all that and then make sure that the dynamism results in some achievement is what an MBA teaches you — argument by argument, assignment by assignment.

No fire, the frying pan’s all in the mind
Life at a B-school is all about getting out of one’s self-created comfort zone. I got out of mine when I danced solo for the first time on stage in front of a crowd at Passion, the annual management and cultural fest of IMT Ghaziabad. And I was left wondering at the comfort with which I did it and why I had not attempted it before!
I did an encore at another inter-section event, and though I still don’t know to what extent I exceeded everyone’s tolerance levels, I know for sure that the latest chartbusters and I are inseparable on stage.
I also let loose my verbal cannons at a debate on the occasion of Independence Day and realised the merit of the words “controlled chaos”. Such are the things one gets involved in pretty regularly in a management institute.

Some everyday things...
Some things in life can’t be debated though. And foremost among them is getting up in time for an early morning lecture when all one wants to do is, well, go back to bed again. The task becomes a torture when the northern winters creep in and freeze everything in sight, when all one sees is a thick cover of fog and the vapour emanating out of one’s mouth like a kettle on a stove. Another one of those lessons that one learns to master over time.
As my first year at IMT drew to a close and the summer internship started winking at me from the not-so-distant horizon, would I have wanted to relive the 365 days gone by? Perhaps. But I would have rather enjoyed it vicariously through the new batch of 2013-2015. After all, experiences are meant to be gone through once, right?

The author recounts her experience as a first year student at IMT Ghaziabad.