IIM Ke After Effects
On one of the most special days of my life, HDFC chairman Deepak Parekh, Chief guest at my convocation at the Indian Institute of Management-Lucknow, spoke about the various side Effects of passing out of an IIM : People have a preconceived notion about you; You keep wondering whether you have landed the right job and thirdly; You falling prey to the lure of too-much-too-soon.
After about two and a half months into my first job, I realize that it’s not just other people, but IIM students themselves, who have a pre conceived notion about themselves and their lives post those hallowed two years. An average MBA student, say Raj (The SRK fan in me refuses to die) graduates from an IIM with a multitude of expectations, the least of which are all the materialistic aspects of a comfortable life. However, he soon realizes that the pre conceived notions he has about his post IIM life are nothing but just pre conceived notions. All you must have read a number of books and watched movies about Raj’s life at a B-School. Numerous books about life at IIT, IIM etc have been written, with almost the same content and a little bit of sex thrown in, and each one has sold like hold cakes. Ever wondered why??
It’s because anyone, in the world outside would love to associate oneself with this elite that IIM’s have become. Anyone would jump at the opportunity of getting rejected by 60 companies in a single day, and yet have the chance to sit for 100 more companies. These are chances that people usually do not get. Therefore, even though presented in a totally over the top manner and written in horrible English, these stories sell. However, unlike books, which end where the guy gets the girl, friends promise to keep in touch and where IIM ends, real life doesn’t. It isn’t “happily ever after”. It is in fact a life full of meetings (read this word as “Place where no work happens”), 12-14 hour work days, MS Office (Believe me I feel like I am in a relationship with MS Excel and MS PowerPoint), early morning flights, incessant travel, sales targets etc. It is too humdrum and boring a life, for the story to be of any interest to anyone. And thus no one writes about it, or makes a movie about it.But I can sure blog about it. This one is for the fresh set of Raj’s and Simran’s who will enlist themselves into corporate slavery, 7-8 months from now.
1. Meetings are not College Lectures. Don’t sleep in them for a minute
I learnt this the hard way. In those years of attending lectures, I guess out body becomes auto tuned to getting distracted and feeling sleepy whenever a monologue is being delivered. One month into the job, my boss dragged me along to a meeting that had no relevance with the project I was doing. I treated it way Finance students treat HR lectures and went into my own dreamland. After around 1.5 hours of the marathon meeting, my boss nudges me says -” I hope you are preparing the notes. You have to share the “Minutes Of Meeting” note with everyone”. Damn, WTF. With a Virat Kohli-esque expression of utter disgust on my face, I looked around for the familiar, first bencher ghissu, whose notes I always xeroxed and studied, the night before the exams.Sadly, no one was around.
2. Having sound vocabulary does not mean you have great communication skills
Perfidious, Verbatim, Lackadaisically, Indemnified etc etc. Remember how hard it was to memorize these words and their meanings. Congratulations, you will never have to use them again. Actually, using such words might put off your colleagues because it will be treated as condescending attitude which we MBA’s$ from IIM are anyways stereotyped for. Sales guys will know that debating about FDI in retail among like minded people in a GD is one thing, explaining it to a small kirana shop owner in Tirunelvelli in his own vernacular is a completely different kettle of fish. “Needs improvement in Communication Skills” will remain in the Key Development Area list forever. Don’t get upset by it.
3. No, girls will not fall for you because of your salary slip. Sadly, their parents will – You fell for it when they told you about it happening if you join IIT, then you thought it will happen at a top B school. If you fall for the myth the third time, I will have to call you a buffoon. No guys, it will NOT happen. Even if you try the audacious stunt where you email her your salary slip and apologize later saying it was meant for some HR of the same name. Unfortunately, their parents will fall for you. Get ready to endure compliments and adoring stares from all aunties the next time you go for a relative’s marriage.
4. You need to prepare well for presentations and even expected Q and A’s – Every MBA has a story to share about how he managed to give a presentation once where he saw the slides for the first time while presenting. MBA professor will be impressed by the figures in the presentation but not expect you to convert those promises into actions. Unfortunately, bosses are not that co-operative. Clients are even worse. All numbers you show and even the Globe you generate in your overzealous enthusiasm in the Q&A’s will be held against you in the next review. So beware, before you make any promises.
5. You are not as valuable to the company as you think – Thanks to the presentations HR give, Raj’s start to think that they are important and start disrespecting the organization criticizing the archaic systems and inefficient babus in place. The fact is that IIM’s produce 1000 identical Raj’s every year. A large proportion of them leave their first job in 2 years. That honest, loyal, hard working clerk who has been with the organization for 30 years is unique. Simple demand supply economics will tell you clearly, the importance of each one of you.
However, life is not all that bad. There are Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays too. Which I spend blogging, or as normal people call it, ranting out. 🙂
This article is written by Mayank Lodha, an IIM Lucknow alumnus, from the batch of 2014. An avid blogger and writer in the humour genre on campus, he is currently making PPT’s for a living as an Associate Consultant at Feedback Infra, Delhi.