A Few XL-ent Facts!
Although aware that the founder of this website always intended its scope to extend to all the top B-Schools of the country irrespective of the IIM tag, I am also alive to the fact that for all serious management education aspirants, “MBA” is synonymous with “IIM”. I was definitely one of them until I attempted the CAT.
My first real tryst with XLRI began after a disastrous CAT 2008. But I’ll admit I was still not as motivated for XAT. Reason was obvious – I’d heard enough times that as far as Indian B-Schools went, it was “A-B-C and the rest”. Doubts aside, XLRI it was to be. After two BRILLIANT years at XL, any thought of “What if IIM…” is simply laughable.
XLRI has all the usual great elements of an MBA programme – a cheerful hostel life, fun campus events, good people to interact with, some brilliant faculty, decent placements, etc. etc. But there are a few things that set XLRI apart, give it a unique flavour.
“More the merrier” maxim does not hold true in a B-School, in my opinion. XLRI has a smaller batch size (even with two different programmes) than most of the IIMs. Placement considerations apart, I particularly like this fact. Everyone knows everybody else in their batch at XLRI – one need not get lost in crowd. The fact that it’s a private college also plays some role in the rich interactions.
A pet peeve at B-Schools, the Gender Ratio, is not a concern here. Thanks to the PMIR programme, XLRI has a rather favourable ratio of girls (a rare sighting on some campuses!). Yes, it’s not without reason that XL ki Kudiyaan have a song dedicated to them – ‘nuff said!
Those from IITs/NITs do find the campus woefully small. Yes, if you have been used to hundreds of acres of space, no doubt XLRI would seem inadequate (not so with me, having studied in space-poor Mumbai all my life!). But just like the “lesser number of students” argument, a small campus too has an advantage – one is never far from activity. With everything/everyone close by, people are involved by default – it’s difficult to isolate yourself. And the biggest convenience of all: a one-minute run from your bed to the early-morning class!
While trying to find out more about XLRI before actually landing on campus, one thing that every past/present student told me about was the “XL Culture”. I was highly sceptical about this before getting to campus. Every B-School is bound to have its own share of events/traditions/culture, right? Lekin XL mein kuchh baat hai… Perhaps it’s all the above reasons that make it seem close-knit. Add to that the absence of campus curfews or hostel restrictions, and it’s a rather free community. The various events/traditions passed along on for years connect XLers as much as 25 years apart (for all the curious janta, these “events/traditions” unfortunately cannot feature on this forum – some things should never leave campus!). I don’t want to exhort too much on the “XL Culture”, and many alumni too will have tongue firmly in cheek while mentioning it, lest we take it too seriously. It’s one of those things that can be done justice to only by experiencing.
While on paper these may only amount to “facts”, it is all these points and many other intangibles which have contributed towards making my two years at B-School a highly enriching experience, one which I know could never be replicated in any other surrounding. Looks like screwing up CAT wasn’t such a bad thing after all!
– Miti Vaidya
(The author is an alumnus of XLRI School of Business & Human Resources (Batch of 2011). Currently working as a TAS Manager, she has worked with Goldman Sachs (Global Investment Research) in the past. A graduate from Narsee Monjee College of Commerce & Economics (Batch of 2007), Miti has also completed her C.A. – Inter)