Exploration. Self-discovery. Enlightenment. Knowledge. Success.
The longest journey for a human being is the one towards self-discovery. And in the pursuit of knowledge, as the society attempts to assign roles based on ethnicity and gender, it takes courage to confront setbacks which materialize in the form of stereotypes and glass ceilings.
In social contexts, a reference to the state of Bihar evokes a discussion on corruption, casteism and controversies.
“You are going to Bihar for 2 years? Will you be safe?” my concerned sister asked when I had told her about the call from IIM Bodh Gaya. Perhaps stereotypes ought to be blamed for the way the state is perceived by outsiders. And the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete; one story becomes the only story. It distorts the truth as we tend to discard any information that is not consistent with the stereotype that exists.
My first journey to Bihar comprised several encounters with fellow passengers who were travelling to Bodh Gaya. The colloquial Bihari accent mixed with Hindi was not easy to grasp initially. But from the discussions about the state, I learnt that the people in Bihar remain optimistic. They remember Ashoka, who administered the entire country from Bihar and changed the course of Bharat. In a state where boys have a choice but girls often face compulsions, Meira Kumar from Patna became the first woman to hold the position of Speaker in the Lok Sabha. And with a vision to make IIM Bodh Gaya a world-class institution, Dr Vinita Sahay became the second woman in the country to become the Director of an IIM.
IIM Bodh Gaya is quick to recognise talent and promotes leaders who produce more leaders. The atmosphere of the institute and the aura of enlightenment that surrounds Bodh Gaya has always motivated us to focus on our collective goals and lay the groundwork for one another’s success; to become the kind of leaders whom people would follow voluntarily- regardless of the title or position. This was evident during our annual cultural fest in 2018 as students rallied behind Kajal and the Cultural Committee, to make the fest a grand success despite ongoing exams.
Our Alumni have established an excellent culture of mentoring and peer-to-peer learning which differentiates us from all the new IIMs. IIM Bodh Gaya is an opportunity to shine for all students who are driven and exhibit the initiative to work as a team. Our worth lies in the culture within the institute, and not just in the appearance and possession of the IIM brand. We understand that our cumulative output is more significant than individual honours. And it is this common mindset among the students which drives us, as we spare no effort to win laurels for our institute and hence ourselves.
IIM Bodh Gaya is more than just a launchpad into the corporate world. It is a huge canvas upon which we draw our dreams. And the collaborative climate in our campus propels us to become an individual who is inclined towards influencing human lives-at-large, and not someone who waits for the weekend break. We are motivated because we believe in what we are building- a centre for learning where MBA candidates learn to become leaders and graduate with an enlightened mind.