5 Things That Perfectly Describe Life At TISS Mumbai
A lot has been said and written about why you should want to join Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai, HRM&LR, reasons ranging from fieldwork to placements and to the fact that it has one of the best HR programmes in the country.
‘To add on to’ (a phrase you will use frequently in management colleges) what my fellow TISSians have already said, I’ve decided to write about what you should expect if you happen to become one of the lucky 60-70 people to secure an admission in this gem of an institute.
1. A gruelling first semester
You might think that the struggle is over, you’ve made it, you’ve joined one of the best institutes in the country and now ‘life set hai boss’. I’m very sorry to break your happy bubble, but that was just the beginning.
The first semester at TISS, I believe, will be the true test of your grit and perseverance. You would be spending close to 14-15 hours each day on campus attending back-to-back lectures along with Pre-Placement talks or Guest Lectures, meeting assignment deadlines, solving case studies, filling annoyingly detailed application forms for the internship programs, studying for exams and of course preparing for the summer placement interviews.
You will learn to survive on two hours of sleep, you will stop caring about dark circles because everyone in your batch will have them too, you will forget the meaning of weekends and spend whatever little free time you get either sleeping or eating your first proper meal of the day. Sounds scary? I know!
But, trust me, you will love the hustle and you will miss it once it’s over. I consider my first semester as some of the toughest months of my life but also some of the best because I learnt so much about myself in these few months that I probably wouldn’t have under normal circumstances and now I believe that I can handle any level of pressure that I may have to face in the future
2. Interesting assignments and exams
Even though we cribbed about the mountain of assignments that were piled on us, I have to admit that they were quite interesting sometimes. For instance, we were once asked to watch the movie ‘Frozen’ and critically analyze the characters and their decisions.
Another assignment required us to travel to any place in Mumbai in groups of 6 and write a reflection on the whole experience and the things we saw there.
‘Reflection’ is TISS’ favourite word and you will do so much of it here that it will become second nature for you to reflect on anything and everything around you whether you have to write an assignment/journal on it or not.
3. A strong support system
One of the biggest advantages of having a small batch size is that everyone knows everyone and everyone is everyone’s friend. You would have worked with almost everyone in the class by the end of two years in one way or another.
The seniors will not be strangers either as there will be a number of opportunities for you to interact with them. The faculty too will know each one of you and are very helpful as well.
The sense of community and family is very strong in TISS and you will find that this holds true not just with the ones currently present in the institute, but also outside in the industry among the alumni. Your batchmates and seniors will become your family and you will receive more support from them than even your own family sometimes because the outside world will often find it difficult to comprehend the crazy world you live in here. Be it help with notes or fieldwork or moral and emotional support – they’ll be your go-to people. Needless to say, you will make some amazing friends here.
4. True diversity
Diversity gets redefined here at TISS. Not only will you meet people from various parts of the country, you will also meet and interact with people who are pursuing courses that are very different from yours. You will meet people studying social work, disaster management, development studies, gender studies, psychology and so much more. Conversations are deep, meaningful and enlightening. It helps you develop a broader perspective, empathize with people who are different from you and makes you sensitive to issues that you didn’t even know existed. The foundation courses, field action projects and various other events that happen in college will really change the way you look at the world. Also, at TISS, you will find a culture of inclusion; it doesn’t matter what religion or caste you belong to, what language you speak or what your sexual orientation is. You are accepted as you are.
5. And of course, a lot of fun
We work hard but we party hard too. Legendary stories and memories will be created in your Freshers and Summers parties, and not to mention the innumerable house parties that you will attend if and when you find time.
Since most first years don’t get a hostel and most people will rent apartments, there’s more freedom and more fun involved. Only in Mumbai, will you make random plans to go to Marine Drive at midnight after grappling with a tough assignment and grab a bite at Bademiya’s.
All said and done, if you’re reading this article to decide whether you should join TISS or not, let me tell you that many people including myself consider TISS to be the best thing that has happened to us in our lives and even though I have only completed my first semester here so far, I’m already dreading the day I’d have to leave this place. TISS makes you grow as a person, makes you challenge yourself and changes your whole perspective on life and the world. This is definitely not your typical b-school and that is what is great about it. If you have decided to join this institute, I promise you that you have signed up for the best two years of your life.
About the Author:
Asha K is a Computer Science engineering graduate who changed her career track to pursue her masters in Human Resource Management and Labour Relations at Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. In her free time, she rescues street animals, binge watches TV shows and daydreams about travelling the world.