IIM Shillong – The World Is My School

‘All the world is my school and all humanity is my teacher.’ Never before in my life was this quote by George Whitman truer than when we prepared ourselves to trek deep into the woods surrounding the city of Shillong. As part of the Sustainability Module, the entire incoming batch at IIM Shillong must complete this exercise to gain bragging rights and tick off another box in a long list of things to do at IIM Shillong.

The Sustainability trek is organized, every year, in the first week of July to mark the culmination of the Sustainability module. The day-long trek is about 15 km long and needs one to hop and wade across crystal clear streams, scratch the sides of hills in the hope of making it to the top, negotiate steep turns and slippery rocks all while braving the torrential rain beating down on us – as is wont in the monsoon months of Meghalaya. The prize: being able to reach the finish line and drop down dead.

But the trek is not just a physical exercise, and as was drilled down into us sufficiently by our teacher Mr. Tapas Giri, but rather a mental war with oneself. The urge to give up does get strong at times and it all boils down to mind over matter. All through the route people could be seen helping each other, pulling their friends back up from a slip or encouraging them to keep going as the finish was just over the hill (even though it was another two hours to go). The trek turns into a massive team building exercise, fostering bonds that last a lifetime. The local guides tell tales about the legends of kings from the past and ensure that everyone is on the right route for the risk of getting lost is very real. Everyone must follow the trail religiously, be disciplined and reach the pre-decided milestones right on time to be able to finish, while there still is daylight (Project Management?). For many of us, it is our first embrace of nature in its purest and untouched form. The clean air, the mist on the mountains, the sparkling water and the sun barely able to breach the treeline is a sight to behold for ages and gives us an appreciation for the need to nurture and protect nature.

The day spent out on the trail, struggling for every step is an unforgettable experience for every student of IIM Shillong, teaching us what can never be taught inside the confines of a classroom, showing us what can never be projected on a screen and instilling in us what can never be instilled through any number of speaker sessions. The truest learning experience ever!

Which ABG company would you want to work for and why?

The financial services sector has immense growth opportunities as vast swathes of the country is still far from formal credit and banking facilities. SME loans have the potential to change lives for the better and insurance products give people the safety net that they urgently need. The retail investor participation in equity markets is also low with people preferring to park their funds in FDs rather than invest in stocks. The satisfaction of helping to make lives better combined with my deep interest in this sector makes Aditya Birla Capital Ltd the company where I would love to work.


Parag Sharma

PGP 2nd Year

IIM Shillong

IIM Shillong Placement Committee

Placement Committee of IIM Shillong