I joined GMP with an open mind without any corporate exposure or full-time work experience. I had some vague idea about MBA life, but it appeared that fortune had lots to offer. We generally hear that MBA from a reputed institute is hectic, rigorous and will test your hardiness but GMP has been different. When we came for the interviews, seniors stressed on the fact that GMP is going to be rigorous but as they say, sometimes it is difficult to understand things until you experience it. Same happened with me and maybe with folks around me. The journey started with a lot of anticipation about what is going to happen within during the next 6-7 months but it got shattered once the program began.
As we say in SPJIMR the first week is your ‘honeymoon period’. This was proved very much right for me. When we entered into the next few weeks of the month, we could hardly feel how time was passing by. The first week began with a unique course ‘Science of Spirituality’. Just as the name is intriguing, it was also difficult to predict the content of the course. But, who knew this was the course which would provide us with the strength to set the right tone for us all and get prepared for the journey that was ahead of us.
Slowly the “MBA rigour” started setting in a multitude of assignments, presentations, mid-term, end-term, b-school competitions …. everything followed us. There came a time when we started solving statistical problems like the probability of hairs turning grey after completing GMP. This was all setting the tone to encounter the ruthless world in front of us. Life was getting tougher, but learning reached newer heights every day.
At the initial stages, the juggle was very challenging, but without much realisation, it started to percolate in us. With the next few months with this hectic schedule, we got immune to it; it became part and parcel of our nervous system. Gradually we started enjoying life – it became much more interesting because now we were acclimatised to the GMP environment.
SPJIMR provides a unique cordial ambience for learning which is unprecedented. You just need the right attitude to get the best out of the program. It's amazing environment gave us an opportunity to interact with people from different background across the different programs on the campus. I nurtured the ability to learn from the environment (especially peers and participants from other batches).
It would be a gross injustice if I do not mention about on the initial courses – PG Lab (or the Personal Growth Laboratory). My connection with this course began before I joined SPJIMR when I read an article on LinkedIn which mentioned all the courses taught in the top B-Schools across the world that develop leadership skills. When we saw PG Lab in the timetable we were very excited and thrilled. You may be wondering why? Let me explain you. It is because of this course that you get an opportunity to go out with your entire batch outside campus to some exotic location in the midst of the mountains and serene beauty and have fun masqueraded within a lot of personal learning. Also, this will give you a sole opportunity to interact with people from your batch and know about them in a natural surrounding and several outbound activities (I would not like to spoil the fun by narrating all that happens, as suspense is also a big element of PG Lab). GMP-2016 batch went to
GMP-2016 batch went to Garud Machi for the PG Lab; it was an incredible place to spend some days. It enshrines the beauty of nature. The principal faculty of the course –Dr. Lata Dhir made learning fun.
Apart from the regular MBA courses, Design Thinking is also worth mentioning as it is a course that can bring creativity out of you, even if you believe that you are the most ‘uncreative’ person on earth. Various other courses that make a typical MBA learning were also taught to us – Economics, Quantitative Methods, Accounting and Finance, Marketing, Human Resource Management, Operations Management, Digital Marketing, Information Management, etc.
It was in no time that we reached the end of the program. It was a journey indeed! At this point in time, when I look back at my experience of GMP, it is a mixed feeling of sadness and joy. I am sad because I will leave SPJIMR and now pursue the rest of the program from a partner school. I will no more be sharing the same class with the multi-talented amazing people that were around me. At the same time, I am happy; happy because it was an exciting and joyful journey that I have successfully completed and I am now waiting for the remaining in Europe.
Sometimes change is difficult to recognise by oneself but very much evident to others, I believe it is also with us. This program changed all of us in one way or the other, but surely positively.
Tips to new batches:
Be prepared to throw your schedule out of order! You can’t expect to get 8 hours of sleep. Many a times, you will be willingly working till morning 5 am and then again at class at 8 am. But, you know, we never compromised on having fun. We did have night outs, parties, holidays, and everything possible under the sun.
At some times of the program, the schedule can really get tough and at the same time, there could be times when you will be relatively relaxed. So, plan yourself well.
Focus on learning, not just grades because it is not going to help you in the long term.
Participate in group work, give your contributions. That will ensure you not only get a good score, but at the same time, learn something from others that you can capitalise later when you are in Europe.
Have a positive and flexible attitude (that is easier said than done, but believe me – you have no other option which will help you to sail successfully).
Keep your eyes and mind open – learn as much as you can from peers. Don’t be complacent with your achievements or knowledge, once you start interacting with your peers you will come to know how much you can learn from them.
Start your Visa process by July (especially, if you are going to Germany).
Do keep in mind the T-factor. Do not get entangled into too many things, as that will cannibalise your precious time, which the key factor. However, that doesn’t mean that you cannot go to the gym or play squash or badminton. We have done it all.
About the Author:
Naveen Kumar Sharma (GMP-2016)
Please note that the views expressed above are personal in nature, it has nothing to do with GMP program or SPJIMR’s views. Hence, reader’s discretion is required. Also, the author is not responsible for any harm caused because of any information mentioned. Author has tried to put the facts and information based on best of his knowledge and ability.