What To Buy Before You Join A B-School In India
The Ultimate Shopping List For The Class Of 2020
Every great adventure starts with packing enough supplies that will not fall short at any given point. The next two years in b-school are going to be nothing short of an adventure, with long lectures, presentations, cultural functions, impromptu trips around the city and of course placements. It would seem impossible to pack for the next two years in a couple of suitcases. Whether you’re a minimalist or you’d be happier transporting your entire closet, you should be prepared for what’s to be experienced. You could take this as an opportunity to try something new or just stick to those ol’ jeans, what you carry along will say a lot about you. So here’s a list that will make sure you don’t miss the bare necessities you need to get through b-school. We’ve gone all out and added links to everything you’re looking for, and there’s a table at the end to suit your budget too.
The quintessential kit for b-school students is incomplete without formal wear. There will be several occasions when you will be expected to suit up.
– You should carry at least two options of either grey, navy blue or black business suits.
– You should also carry nothing less than four formal shirts to wear inside these suits. This will be really helpful during placements week when you’ll have back to back interviews and no time for laundry.
– You can carry a selection of 2-3 ties that match with all your shirts.
– Pick out a good pair of formal leather shoes and 2-3 pairs of cotton socks for formal footwear, and don’t forget to add a tie to complete the ensemble.
Casual wear: For our day-to-day wear make sure you choose comfort over everything else as you’ll be spending most of your time on campus. You must also keep in mind the general weather of the city and carry specific materials based on the seasons and temperatures (for eg: carry more of full-length cotton t-shirts if the weather gets cool during the monsoons and winters).
– A generous supply of shirts and t-shirts
– A few pairs of jeans and chinos
– 5-6 undergarments
– A few kurtas for cultural events
– 3 sets of nightwear
– A few party shirts
– Casual shoes
Formal wear: For women, formal wear can be distinctly divided between Indian and Western attire. However, it would be preferable to wear western formals for your placement interviews and leave the Indian formals for cultural occasions, alumni interactions, etc.
– You should carry two options of formal business suits, either skirts or trousers with a selection of shirts and scarves to go with it.
– Pack 2-3 elegant silk or cotton sarees to don at formal events in the college.
– You can also carry formal salwar kameezes for intra-college functions.
– For daily wear you can choose from kurtis and t-shirts
– A few pairs of jeans and leggings
– Carry cosy night clothes and ample sets of undergarments
– A couple of cocktail dresses and party tops
– Formal heels
While you may think that you’ll pick up medicines as required from a drugstore near college, it may not be the best idea. We’ve summed up a short list of must-haves for a basic kit that should help you with an immediate solution. You should divide your medicines into three categories – regular illnesses (like common cold), specific illnesses (if you’re allergic to something) and illnesses specific to the region you’re moving to.
- For regular illnesses like the common cold, any minor injuries like cuts and burns you should keep an antipyretic, a painkiller, digestive tablets, a broad spectrum antibiotic, an anti-allergic, Benadryl, Borolene, Vaseline, Itchguard, band-aid, balms, etc.
- For the second set of specific medicines, you should carry supplies to suffice you for the next two years. If you’re allergic to certain food or weather conditions, be sure to get specific anti-allergic tablets. You could also visit your family physician to get prescriptions that will help you source the medicines when you’re in college.
- To compile the third set of medicine, you’ll require some research to know the climatic and conditions and regular diseases of the region. You could also speak to seniors or alumni about what to pack for the campus.
If you’ve been accustomed to maa-ka-khana all your life, adjusting to mess food will be little difficult. Having said that, your hostel food will be clean and hygienic. You’ll have more appetizing options served at the canteen but it’s not a healthy choice for your everyday meals.
Your hostel and room will be home for the next two years, and no home is complete without a well-stocked kitchen. While you may not have a kitchen per say, there’s always that space in the closet that can be reserved for snacks. You should carry your favourite foods from specific places back home, like your Nani’s mango pickle, your neighbourhood Halwai’s namkeen or your favourite bakery’s cookies. If you’re a chai/coffee person or love midnight maggi, do carry a small water heater and enough tea bags and coffee powder. It’s also a good idea to stock up on ready-to-eat packets, dry fruits and quick-fix snacks (like biscuits, cheeselings, crackers, etc).
Being a tropical country, India has a variety of weather conditions across the country. It is best you research about the region you’re moving to and get a better understanding of the weather. It is also helpful to get some insight from seniors and alumni for this. Be sure to stock up on blankets, sunscreen, mosquito repellents, umbrella etc depending on the weather and climatic conditions. You wouldn’t want to be caught in a rain without an umbrella during your placement interviews.
You must carry every document that supports any claim on your CV, your profile and any details submitted at the business school. It is also advisable to make extra copies in case you happen to misplace any documents. You’ll need these immediately during the first few months of college and during your summer placements that happen in the first semester.
If you’ve never had your own room before, well this is your opportunity to create your own space. Your hostel room is going to be home for the next two years. Make sure it is cosy, comfortable and also has a corner for you to work. You’ll, of course, have a roommate to share the room with and if all goes well, you’ll bond better than siblings. It is best to create a room that you’d love coming back to after long lectures and tired days. Pack your favourite posters, books, wall hangings and frames, curtains and other decors to make it a homely spot. As for essentials, carry a laundry bag, dustbin and a lock for the door. Other necessary items include electric shavers, hair dryers, AA and AAA batteries, torch, portable steam irons, etc. You can add to this list any specific items that will make your room complete.
The equipment you pack for a b-school can be distinctly divided into two categories – work and leisure. It is best you keep the requirement for the equipment in mind while making the purchase, even if it is used for both work and leisure.
All gadgets and equipments used for lectures, making presentations or calculations, and which will make your life easier on campus will fall into this category.
The laptop will be the most quintessential of all these and will be your go-to gadget for the next two years. It’ll be most handy to make notes and presentations, work on research papers and spreadsheets and compile study material during exams. You should keep two factors in mind while purchasing a laptop apart from it being easy to carry and sturdy. The battery should run long enough for you to survive a power cut in the hostel or work from anywhere without worrying about locating a power source. The other factor to look out for is a moderately fast processor to make sure your machine doesn’t slow down while you’re working on a presentation or give up when your research paper deadline expires in an hour. We suggest a laptop with at least 4 GB RAM and a battery that can efficiently sustain up to 6 hours, and of course, a big screen is always a benefit.
Again, the emphasis is on the battery life. You’ll have long days at the campus and won’t find time to always plug in your phone to charge. A 3000 mah power battery should suffice you through the day’s internet surfing. You must also opt for a decent camera in your phone to click pictures of notes, blackboard scribblings by professors and any other study material. Make sure you also have enough data storage capacity on your phone or you can also add a 32 GB memory card if required. You should update your phone to the latest Android or iOS software to make available more applications and functions to use to their maximum efficiency. A phone always functions better with its accessories. Carry good earphones, a turbocharger (that charges your phone in less than an hour), a power bank and a 4G sim card.
You’ll need specific working functions on your calculator when you’re in a b-school. While a scientific calculator may have served you well through grad school it won’t be of much use during your MBA. You’ll need a calculator that has PMT, PV, calculate I, FV and N functions. You can opt for the TI-ba 35 solar or HP – 12C, or choose from the other available options in the market.
– Hard disk
It is quite impossible to store all your assignments, research, movies, music and games on your laptop. This will only take up more functional space and slow the laptop down. You’d rather store your data in a hard disk and transfer it to the laptop as and when required. A small, portable hard disk with 2TB storage space and no external power source. You could also keep your work and entertainment data separate in 1TB hard disks. Keep handy a couple of pen drives to transfer, exchange and share smaller data with your classmates for assignments and group projects.
Let’s just say you want to be comfortable throughout the day and not worry about things not fitting into your backpack. Choose a more durable backpack with enough compartments to store everything, from your laptop, pen drive and documents to snacks. It is always good to have a separate compartment for water that can be reached with ease. Other than this, choose something that’s light and easy to carry.
It’s always good to come back to a room with good music, especially after long, tiring days on campus. A good speaker not only means a better dorm room party or movie screening, but it should also be able to cut out the heavy metal sounds from your classmate next door. The new portable speakers are quite handy and some don’t even require to be physically connected to a device (thanks to Bluetooth). And of course, there’s nothing like a late night celebration with good music after campus placements or semester exams.
Sticking to the basics – get a desk lamp for the study table, coloured or yellow lamps for mood lighting, a zero-watt bulb for the night and fairy lights for a room party or when you have people over.
There is nothing like a cycle to get you around the sprawling campus for lectures, meetings and of course food runs. Get yourself a new and reliable cycle so you don’t have to worry about small repairs every week. Don’t forget to carry a lock for your cycle so you can safely pack it below the hostel or you can also opt for one of those foldable cycles that can be taken up to your room.
– Travel kit
During your two years in the b-school, you’re sure to go on short and impromptu trips to nearby hill stations and beaches. It is ideal to have a small travel bag for such adventures that will let you get away even with a short notice. You can pack a small pouch with toothpaste, an extra toothbrush, a comb, shampoo and soap.
– Apps & Online courses
While this may not actually involve the activity of packing, downloading some apps on your phone could keep you up to date with the world, organise your notes or make quick calculations on the go. You can also equip yourself with well-curated courses that will prep you for upcoming placements and interviews. Here are some useful apps and online course to add to your list.
– Business News: Bloomberg Business, Business Insider, CNN Money, Columbia Business, Forbes Magazine
– Business Apps: Roambi Analytics, Elevatr, The Decision App
– Productivity: Evernote, Audio Memos, Super Notes, Unstuck, Prezi
– Expensive: Splitwise
– Laundry: Doormint (dry cleaning of formal wear)
– Fundamentals of Finance
– The Ultimate Final Placements Prep
– Brand Management
– How To Crack The Marketing Internship Interview
– How To Crack The HR Internship Interview
– How To Crack The Operations Internship Interview
– How To Crack The Finance Internship Interview
If you’re in time, you can bag in great pocket-friendly offers on these courses. So, hurry up.
Yes, we’ve made it easier. We understand that not everyone would want to make extravagant purchases for b-school, so we’ve scavenged through the internet to scout and segregate all your purchases from a budget to luxe range. So whether you’re running on a loan or your dad’s a Mr. Moneybags, we’ve got you covered.