Experience of a lifetime as part of a Dual Degree Program between IIM-Udaipur and Purdue University

The first thing that crossed my mind when I landed in Purdue as part of the dual degree program between IIM-Udaipur and Purdue University is the gigantic infrastructure of the Institute. There were huge blocks of each of the departments, the Purdue Memorial Union, the recreational centre, the football stadium and many more such blocks. The campus is extremely picturesque and very well maintained. In fact one can just roam around the campus the whole day to get astonished with the incredible beauty and green pastures all around.

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On the academic front, initially it was surprising to have just 1 or 2 classes throughout the day. I guess coming from an IIM setup, I was used to a rigorous schedule throughout the week. But this gave me an opportunity to be involved in so many other events happening at the campus such as industrial visits, networking sessions, club events, company information sessions, cultural functions and social get-togethers.  The unique thing about education in the West is the significance given to Networking. There are in fact formal networking events held with peers, alums, recruiters and other B school participants. These network platforms gave me an awesome opportunity to grow my connections and learn from new professional friends I made over time. Today I am proud of connections across the globe and confident of getting assistance in any part of the world. I was also fortunate to be a part of the career fairs at Purdue. WOW, what an experience it was. It was the first time I saw and understood what a career fair is actually about. I was bewildered to see lines of recruiters who had set up their stalls in the Purdue campus. The best thing about these fairs was the numerous goodies such as company merchandise, gifts, chocolates, foods and drinks that the companies distributed. It was huge fun. The recruitment process here is also different from the process at B schools back home. Having been fortunate to be part of numerous interviews at Purdue campus, I figured out that the focus here is on behavioural aspects, culture fit, adaptability and one’s passion for the organization. One’s motivation and enthusiasm for the organization really played the most important role apart from the culture fit showcased by your networking skills. I think that is the reason companies focus on formal and informal networking events and company information sessions. Most of the recruitment processes at Purdue comprised of 4 rounds at campus for final selection and in case of consulting opportunities there was a whole day’s final discussion at the company office in Chicago or any other nearby location.

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In terms of academics what stoop out in Purdue was the methodology of teaching. Some of the professors graded as per one’s contribution in blogs and social media. WOW, this was something new for me as the academic evaluation back home in IIMs is totally different. Considered as one of the best schools globally in Operations, Supply Chain and Analytics, Purdue gave me the incredible opportunity to learn and unlearn from some of the best professors in this domain. One of the aspects that are noteworthy is the numerous opportunities to learn from outside classroom activities. There are numerous events such as case competitions, simulation challenges, poster competitions, quizzes that give you an opportunity to showcase your talent and thereby earn some big money. In this regard, I was fortunate to get selected as one of the top teams in both “C.K Prahalad case competition” and “Global Operations Conference Case competition” at the Ross School of Business at University of Michigan. These events gave me a fantastic opportunity to meet participants from Wharton, Kellogg, Chicago Booth, ISB and Penn State as well as network with dignitaries from industry, politics and academics.  During this period of time, I was fortunate to get experience the fall colours and that experience was amazing. It literally cannot be described in words.

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Last but not the least let me share with you the concept of Tailgate here. Tailgate is the name given to the pre-event for the American football games in which the B school teams participated. Participants of Purdue gather outside the stadium and set up their booth as a support to the team. The environment at the Tail gate is absolutely that of a picnic with food, drinks, games and gossip. It’s a life time experience and one should definitely experience.  Even alums and families of Purdue participants travel a long distance to be a part of the Tailgate as a source of support to the team. Here the passion for one’s school is incredible and that is showcased by the school’s merchandise’s, regular events with the current participants/alums and regular connect sessions happening across the globe.

Another unique event here is what is known as the “Socials”. During this 1 hour weekly event all the participants of the school assemble over food and drinks.  All the important announcements, discussions by the school administration are held during this gathering. The representatives of the various clubs let participants know of their various forthcoming events. It is indeed a fantastic event as all information can be disseminated through one platform.

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All in all when I look back today over my Purdue experience, I am fortunate to have made connections across the globe. The learning in terms of getting to know culture of various countries has been priceless. I can vouch today that this dual degree program experience has indeed evolved me and led to a holistic learning. The education experience was world class and it was sheer pleasure to learn the next and best practices from some of the best professors across the globe.  The courses at IIM-Udaipur and Purdue were also well synchronized and that gave me an opportunity to make the best of both the experiences. The courses at IIM-U gave exposure on general management courses whereas in Purdue it was the focus on Operations, Logistics and Supply Chain.

 

About the author: Biswarup Das is a participant of the Dual Degree Program between IIM-Udaipur and Krannert School of Management at Purdue University. As part of this program, he is concentrating in Operations, Supply Chain and Analytics. He did his summers with Cummins, India where he was part of the Supply Chain Functional Excellence team. He is also part of the 3 member Corporate Relations and Placements team at IIM-Udaipur. Prior to joining this program, Biswarup Das worked for around 5 years in Strategic Consulting and Project Management.

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