Academics, Committees, Placements: How To Do It All In A B-School

A curious mind and a supportive set of parents ensured that I always did more than just study. Right from my early days of school, I got involved in a plethora of activities. Managing academics with debating and writing allowed me to engage in multitasking from a young age. Little did I know that this would be a lifesaver in the years to come.

Having landed in one of the best B-Schools of the country, I embarked on a challenge with a motive to achieve and do as much as I can, just like most of the other people. Right from the days of the orientation program which grilled me to the point of complete exhaustion, I knew that I was in for an adventure. Club and committee inductions crept in. So did the renowned IIM academic rigour. In a matter of a couple of months, I was juggling committee work with placement and CV preparations while trying to stay close to my passion for reading and writing. The desire to participate and win case competitions also took over and the first term became a web of umpteen activities which were very prone to get overlooked. Sleep indeed became a luxury at this point as it felt like a time that could have been utilised better.

Prioritization is a skill that I picked up in this time, more than ever. The right network aids one to halve the effort required for assignments, club-committee work and placement preparation as well. Since IIM Shillong boasts one of the best diversity in terms of gender and educational backgrounds, this definitely catalyses the learning process for quizzes and exams. Having a great repertoire with the group of people one works with also eases the process and adds and dimension of flexibility to work.

When it comes to placements, it helps to decide a goal in mind regarding the role and the firms. This kills any possibility of encountering the paradox of choices. Since Summer Internships require you to be quick on your feet, revising undergraduate concepts beforehand and having a good hold on term one subjects saves a lot of time. Stress management is also a skill one develops. Working along strict deadlines (they are sacrosanct) on a day to day basis, developing an active class participation, committing to overnight preparations for multiple tests lined up for a day, creating Whatsapp groups for shared academic interests and catering to high attendance cutoffs add to the overall cocktail that defines the classroom aspect of any B School. Other than that, having a good diet, not missing meals, exercising regularly, socialising (networking), and getting sleep (whenever one can) becomes imperative to not just survive but thrive in the cutthroat competition. These activities keep the stress and pressure at bay.

At the end of the day, a B-School is more than just a degree or a way to a high paying job. It’s also about the strategies and skills that help students in sustaining and doing well in highly stressful corporate jobs. It gives one a platform to make all the possible mistakes and try out everything before stepping into the real world. Last but not the least, it provides one with a platform that leads to self-discovery and realisations. So if you’re planning on joining a B-School, get ready for the ride of your life- fast, unpredictable and highly competitive.

Vani Vivek

Vani is a first-year management student at IIM Shillong. She enjoys writing on topics ranging from technology to book reviews. When not running between classes, she can be seen playing with the campus’ puppies and observing Shillong’s motley of insects.