“Oh when I look back now
That summer seemed to last forever
And if I had the choice
Yeah, I'd always wanna be there
Those were the best days of my life…”
I woke up to Bryan Adams’ husky voice with a melodious and surprisingly soothing baritone pitch, making me recall the sweet reminiscences of everyone’s beloved undergraduate days. As I hummed along with perhaps the most popular and revered song on the planet, I realised that it had just been one hour since I had boarded the bus. I was travelling to Mumbai to catch a flight back home, and couldn’t contain my excitement. Nonetheless, I was completely drained; exhausted of the trying and taxing experiences the semester presented us with. Paper after paper, PPTs after PPTs, assignments one after the other, night after night- I couldn’t remember the last time I had a cheat day when I slept for 6 hours. No wonder my eyes shut the moment I took a non-reclining seat in a congested bus, which seemed to hoarded by swarms of vacationing families, and yes, the sweet little kids (sarcasm :p) who were crying, probably because they were kids.
As the bus swiftly rolled through the scenic beauty along the Pune-Mumbai expressway, the mesmerising landscape became all the more captivating as unseasonal rains caused little narrow waterfalls to form on the hills, making the roadway seem more and more enchanting. And it made me realise how poetic the entire moment was – I was making the journey back to my hometown after 5 months, and the setting was exactly the same when I had arrived here.
The semester began with an induction program, which, in hindsight, did help us a lot to break the ice with our batch mates initially. From the many motivational speeches and outbound trips to the first few days of class, it was all new and exciting. The food, the hostel, the new subjects and the campus were some of the 'unfamiliarities' all the students faced, but we knew it, we got accustomed to this way of life. Then came the induction into the prestigious Student Council of SIBM, and yes, it was a hell of an experience!
Fortunately, I was selected to be a part of one of the teams in the council. But it didn’t feel the same then. The selection brought with it added responsibilities that seemed like a burden at times. Furthermore, the pace of academics was snowballing swiftly with each passing day, and not everything seemed merry as it did a month ago. What’s more, I missed my home more than I ever imagined. Being homesick at times is a phenomenon that every hostel-ite experiences and that is even more pronounced in a high-pressure environment. Having said that, being able to cope with academics, council responsibilities and all the emotional baggage is an accomplishment in itself. Needless to say, we did manage to squeeze in the time for Tapri and SS too!
The toughest part of the semester was the period of summer internships. Yes, it takes something more than grit and audacity. I realised one thing in the process- I don't have to compete, I need to OUT-COMPETE. It was tough and demanding to say the least, but I could handle it. Now I realise the importance of it all. All the stress that we are exposed to, it was to make us ready and prepared to face whatever life throws at us. There are specific attributes each professional must possess, and the institute moulded us from our crude, unpolished form to committed, disciplined and motivated beings and perhaps, potential leaders of the future. In other words, the institute identified the need of the market, and moulded and provided its product in a requisite manner. That’s Marketing 101 right there!
As I realised the significance of the summer semester on my character and its possible repercussions on my future, I was in awe of Newton. The circumstances weren’t easy, and it necessitated an outward push to successfully achieve all expectations and standards. We all have hopes and dreams; the semester highlighted that lofty ideals need and mandate efforts that one believes he’s not capable of. It demands temperament, it demands true heart. And it is all reactive and impulsive, and that polishes us, setting us apart. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Newton might be the greatest physicist ever; I wonder if he could’ve been a prodigious philosopher too!
The bus nears the hustle of Sion as I remember the conversation I had with my friend while departing from the campus. “How do you feel now, given that 25% of your MBA is over?”, he asked. Knowing that the entire process has added a new dimension to my personality, and I walk back home a changed man, I replied “It is extremely difficult to quantify. But I can say for sure, these were one of the best days of my life and at the end of the day, there are Increasing Returns to Scale.”
About the Author:
A B.Sc Economics (Hons.) graduate from St. Xavier's College, Kolkata, Preet Mehta is currently a first-year student at SIBM Pune specialising in Marketing. He is also a member of the Information Systems and Media Relations Team (iSMaRT). Apart from being an economics aficionado, he likes playing cricket and football in his spare time.