I’m filled with enthusiasm when I entered IIM Shillong as a student again. After spending nearly half a decade in the industry, I had decided to go back to school for pursuing 14 month MBA programme, popularly known as PGPex – Post Graduate Program for Executives – Managing business in India and China, offers a great platform for those with 5 or more years of professional experience targeting senior management roles in their professional careers.
The excitement of joining one of the most prestigious institute of our nation convinced me to reach Shillong three days before the actual date of joining. I was fascinated by walking through the mountains to school with the best views in and around a campus. It is located at a heritage site replete with natural beauty surrounded by pine trees, lush green lawn and the kaleidoscopic mountains in the backdrop creates an aura of stunned silence amidst nature. The campus is currently functioning from a temporary campus in the Mayurbhanj Complex, Shillong (the erstwhile summer palace of “Mayurbhanj Kings”) which was renovated by the Meghalaya government.
A regular day starts with a packed bag on my back and numerous thoughts in my mind regarding the case studies which will be discussed in a classroom and enticed to learn new things every day not only from professors but also from your classmates. A faculty with core expertise in its field teach me something new every day, something which I could possibly relate to my past experiences. I’m also working on group projects with peers from different fields/industry which allows me to listen to different perspectives thereby shaping my thinking and develop my learning. So I am full of life again and in the future I am looking for exciting avenues for myself.
In fact, this is the distinction between the IIM Shillong PGPEx program and other PGPEx programs and the 2 year PGP programme. Of course, it is comprehensive in terms of content and contact hours as the 2 year PGP program. But what distinguishes is the immense experimental training and focus on the economies of India and China.
Over a period of 14 months, I had spent about 2 months in China which includes a learning module at The Ocean University of China at Qingdao and Fudan University at Shanghai. The China experience was very unique and amazing which I couldn’t describe in words. Arriving to Jinan, Shandong at late night around 1’o clock wasn’t easy step in my life at all, since the first time I landed in mainland I was introduced to a new language, which was difficult to understand so that was “Chinese great wall”, it was difficult for me to ask directions, book tickets, order meal, communicate with locals, therefore I didn’t feel in home initially.
I had travelled from Jinan to Qingdao to attend OUC, Qingdao through local train to experience a new land. The first week in Qingdao was hard because the culture & customs are not same as we have in our country, when I needed help from local people they helped me, but there was a lack of communication due to language barrier (thanks to google translator), it was a magic how I survived the initial weeks, as a result of those days I was determined to learn Chinese language, because I don’t want to be the rest of my experience in China as always foreigner.
Recently, the batch had completed a year in IIM Shillong. Throughout the journey, we have all been studying together, working together, learning together and most importantly enjoying together. There are numerous restaurants and dining options around the campus in Shillong. The Barracks, where I’m staying, is the best accommodation one can expect, equipped with basic facilities one can hope for – thus adding the feeling that I belong to a special place. And top of that, my room’s amazing view!
The faculty members are experts in their fields & subjects. The faculty members are more than willing to help and guide students in their studies, as I and many others have realised in the first term. They are easily approachable in-person as well as via other mode (phone/mails). So all you need to do is put your best foot forward and be rest assured that there is a helping hand around you. The library is one of the best & it provides easy online/offline access to resources. In addition, there is a tremendous focus on presentations and public speaking skills that will help us in the future to become better speakers.
If you are thinking it’s only about academics/study, you’re always going to have to discover the other side. There are sports activities on campus – basketball, badminton, cricket etc. There are also many committees and clubs that students may participate in. There is an entrepreneurship centre in the campus encouraging students to build great ideas. Thus, as a student, I feel there are no obstacles. There is no shortage of available resources and it is up to each individual how to make the best use of time to make this coming year worthwhile.
I’m glad I was able to share some of my feelings or experiences with you as a student of IIMS PGPEx from what I’ve learned so far. I hope to keep sharing these stories as I embark in the coming year on more exciting challenges.
PGPEx 18-19, IIM Shillong