“Do Not Make Studying At IIM Larger Than Life, Enjoy The Studies And The Activities” – Vivek Sinha, First Year Topper at IIM Bodh Gaya
To begin with, what is the difference between “IIM-Bodh Gaya as a dream destination” & “IIM- Bodh Gaya as a place where you wake up everyday”?
To be true, being in an IIM wasn’t quite my dream, but studying in a good place where the learning does happen was a dream and what I worked for, and I am happy that I got into an IIM, it surely helps to be in an IIM.
Tell us about your educational background. What was your initial motivation to get into an IIM?
I have a degree in electronics engineering and worked as an software engineer for 2.5 years before getting into IIM. The job, the graduation life , the high school at Kota , everything shaped me for what I am today.
The main motivation were my managers at my job, one with an MBA from IIT Madras, who was a gem of a manager and one without an MBA who failed miserably, I didn’t want to be the latter while going up the ladder.
“To be one amongst the toppers of my batch”- was that a strategy from day one of B- School or something that evolved eventually?
It wasn’t just studies for me what the prof taught me here, I enjoyed it thoroughly. It was just awed by what I was getting to learn. I tried getting as much as I could from my professors; that was the only strategy.
Tell us about the most interesting experience that happened in the last one year that changed your outlook towards the B-Schools studies.
I would be broke most of the time, but I never need to worry here from where I will pay my next mess bill or miss my outings. Everyone in the groups just chips in and I have them for life.
Same is with studies, no one is perfect. Everyone just chips in if you are falling behind. You can never just study on your own here, that is just impossible.
The level of competition would be insane at your B- School, and definitely maintaining a balance is important. What apart from maintaining a balance helped you to achieve this topper’s badge.
Yes, maintaining a balance is important, I knew this from the start as I have been in such competitive environment earlier too during my High school at Kota. One thing that I do is just not at all think about the competition, just think whether I am doing the justice to the knowledge being provided to me and relax.
If you were to go back in time and change one thing about the last year, what would it be?
I feel quite satisfied about my year that I have spent so far. I don’t recall anything that I would want to change to be frank.
B- School is mostly about group activities. Were you used to this kind of team endeavors or was it a new experience for you? How would you rate your performance during the team activities?
Team activity wasn’t new to me courtesy of my previous job, but I must say working with such a diverse set of high performers is a different game all together. I have been performing good as a team, leading the team many a times but there is always room for improvement, especially on the communication front.
You would have had the opportunity to meet people from different walks of life. How was it like interacting with them? Any particular incident that you would like to share with us?
It can get over whelming especially if you are fresh out of graduation and not used to it. It was interesting for me because it was just so diverse. One of the many reason I chose this college was because it was in the east, and I have till now lived in all parts except the east. My internship is in the north east.
How important do you think is the involvement in Extra- Curricular activities? Do you think these activities tend to deviate a student’s mind from the initial academic goals set?
Extra- Curricular are the real deal where you develop and sharpen your skills , which can’t happen in the class room. I think extra-curricular activities are a must to keep you calm and deal with the stress of the hectic schedule at IIMs.
What would you like to advice to this year’s batch w.r.t academics, activities, & in general about the B- School life?
Just one thing to remember, do not make studying at IIM larger than life, enjoy the studies and the activities, do not make them a burden.