Breaking In At SIBM, Pune
With a lot of anticipation about how MBA life is going to be, I entered the gates of the SIBM Pune campus on the beautiful Lavale hilltop. Having spoken to many alums/seniors studying in college, I had a few ideas in mind about how the course is going to be, but it was the induction process that gave the much-needed insight of what to expect(and what not to) in the months to come.
On the very first day, after being made aware of a few basic rules, we were put into groups and asked to put up a small performance on stage. The enthusiasm with which everyone participated in preparing for the event was infectious. The splendid performances absolutely awed me as I realized the diversity of talent that my batch mates possessed. That teamwork and people skills are going to be an important skill to learn and use over the next 2 years of my MBA became absolutely clear.
An interaction with the CEO of Thermax was next on the cards and with that SIBM Pune, true to its reputation, got us embroiled in the interface with the corporate world: a quality it boasts of as one of its key strengths. This interface wasn’t limited to just one session, but was followed by our alumni members from various functions like Sales, Marketing, Human Resources, Finance and Operations, working in leadership roles in various leading organisations, coming to speak with us about their life and learnings from SIBM, Pune and how this brand plays a crucial role in forming who they are today, both professionally and as a person.
One particularly interesting talk was by Mr. Prakash Rohera, who after years of work in the banking industry, now has his own consulting firm and is a much sought-after motivational speaker in corporate circles. This gentleman can make your adrenaline rush as he speaks. The kind of impact and learning environment the college was trying to create through these talks made me realise very quickly why SIBM Pune has been a breeding ground for leaders over the years. Additionally, every such interaction with alumni members made me proud to have made the choice of joining this college.
Unlike most other elite MBA colleges of the country, SIBM Pune believes in letting its students choose their field of study (viz. Marketing, Finance, HR, Operations) early on in their MBA journey and get in-depth specialisation in the same. While many students come with clear choices, some could still be struggling to make a choice. The college provided for professional counselling as part of its induction process to facilitate students to make a rational, informed choice. Not just that, these counselling sessions also helped us understand our personality types, our core strengths and areas of development, thereby setting a clear path for us for the journey ahead.
The introduction to student-driven councils, getting to learn about our subjects, evaluation process, projects, teachers were all activities we were simultaneously engaged in.
The induction program ended with a trip to a place called Karjat. The trip was a great time to bond with batch mates, many of whom had already become friends and a great time to relax before the real journey began.
Looking back at the induction program, I realise how well structured it was to get us up to speed on the B school life. We understood some of the basic facts about college:
- being on time is must, the college is a stickler for discipline, be it assignments, lectures or corporate interactions;
- every single activity in the college is conducted by students, and hence students of SIBM learn to be empowered, hard-working and street smart;
- there’s always going to be a lot of work, life wouldn’t be easy but the learning from a variety of these activities is unparalleled;
- Unlearning is difficult but it’s going to be a key aspect if one wants to succeed in college.
- And finally, because the entire journey is like going to war, your fellow soldiers i.e. the friends one makes in an MBA college would the closest and dearest ones.
The induction process, therefore, was a perfect bridge to funnel us all from our different lives and background to the starting point of the journey, giving us some ideas of what the terrain looks like, and leaving the rest for us to discover as we went along.