The “Kathor Life” At IIM Rohtak

This question has actually sent me into a reverie of the past 1 year of my life.

“Congratulations!” This message flashed on the screen of my laptop on 18th May, 2017, when I entered my credentials to check for my admission status on the IIM Rohtak website. It took me a while to let this news sink in because finally I got the result of my efforts.  The dream of studying in an IIM had finally come true.

Being an outgoing and enthusiastic person that I am, my excitement to join IIM Rohtak and become a KATHOR (Rohtak spelled backwards) knew no bounds.

Our culture, The Kathor culture is what makes IIM Rohtak unique.

What does being a Kathor mean?

We were introduced to Kathor culture by the induction program.

Induction:  We had guest lectures delivered by various eminent personalities such as Dr Subramaniyam Swami (Hon. Member of Parliament), Captain Abhimanyu Singh (Hon. Cabinet Minister, Government of Haryana), Mr Rahul Sharma (CEO, Micromax), Ms Sonali Dhawan (MD, P &G India), etc. We had a Panel discussion on the topic ‘Goods and Services Tax’ which was telecasted on Doordarshan.

Along with the lectures, we had various group tasks, presentations, etc. in the induction. From the first day itself, we had an extremely tight schedule. On the very first day itself, I remember our Director sir Prof. Dheeraj Sharma saying us, “No one in the history of IIMs has ever died of sleep deprivation.” This pretty much gave me an idea that sleep will become a luxury in the coming time. Although life felt like a nightmare in the first two weeks, now I realize the importance of that.

I made presentations in less than 30 minutes which I never thought was possible. During induction, I was pushed to the limits which even I didn’t know I could survive. But it was during this time I realized my true potential. It was indeed a blessing in disguise where I got a glimpse of the unique Kathor Culture.

Academics: The academic rigor at any B-School is quite high.  The novel case-based pedagogy followed make the classes very interesting. Classes are mostly about discussing with your peers about the given case. Because of the academic, cultural and gender diversity of the students, we get to analyze the case from various angles. Lecturers mainly act as facilitators of the discussion.

Additionally, class participation carries weight in our grades. This makes the entire class extremely competitive, and students are always eager to put across their points of view. Also, we have never ending presentations. I think on an average everyone here gives at least makes or presents 2 presentations per week. Moreover, IIM Rohtak has more than 30 permanent faculties which makes our student to professors ratio one of the highest across all the IIMs. We have almost 33 percent female professors, which is the highest across all IIMs. We also have many visiting faculties throughout the year.

Friendships or Networking: Peer learning is one of the most important aspects of MBA course. One of the major reasons people join B-School is to network with the future business leaders. I have interacted with a lot of people and worked in groups for various tasks. We have people from engineering, merchant navy

Some of them have become pretty close friends now. Though networking is important, I would treasure some friendships that I have made here which I am sure would last a lifetime.

Time Management: “Deadlines are sacrosanct.” This is the most commonly used line at IIM-R. One cannot afford to miss any deadline even by a second here. We have a schedule of 12-14 hours a day and still are loaded with piles of work for the next day. Effective time management has become a basic need. Setting priorities isn’t optional anymore. I have learnt the importance of every single minute.

My daily to-do list has a minimum of 12 to-dos, out of which 5-6 are generally flagged as extremely urgent. I won’t say I have mastered the skill of time management, but I have become 100x times better at it now.

Clubs, Committees and Events: I have learnt more through my committee work and club sessions than in the class room. The committee work combined with academic pressure has always kept me on my toes. Attending various Finance club sessions helped me improve my finance knowledge. Also, getting the best speaker title in a session of Voice Club helped me regain my lost confidence in public speaking.

Many events are conducted throughout the year at IIM Rohtak. I was a volunteer of Film Summit, TEDx IIMRohtak, Mini Marathon etc. I got the opportunity to interview national level short film award winner Hardik Mehta. I also interviewed Ms. Kanika Tekriwal who has been named one of the BBCs top 100 influential women in the world. Just a year ago meeting such personalities, let alone conversing with them on a one on one basis was a distant dream. Being part of the organizing team of such major events has been a great learning experience as well. Because of the proximity to Delhi which I believe is the USP of IIM Rohtak, we have Guest Lectures almost every week by the top people from industry. My favorite one is, however, the one by Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi. It was indeed a treat intellectually to listen to him.

The first year at IIM Rohtak was full of incessant WhatsApp notifications of various assignment groups, never-ending emails, club activities, quizzes, committee work etc. But, now I have realized my true potential. My productivity has increased manifolds.

New Campus: We have shifted to our new campus this March. I attended the inauguration of our campus. The inauguration day was in between the only 1 week summer holidays we got. Many students cancelled their plans of going home to attend the inauguration because how could we miss inauguration of our new home.

I will sum up by saying, living a Kathor Life is like being on a roller coaster ride which only goes up. We survive here one day at a time, but I am living the dream of my life and I love it.

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

I would want to work for Aditya Birla Finance Limited (“ABFL”). I am a Computer Science Engineer and a fresher. I have just completed my summer internship as a finance intern in Financial Planning and Analysis department of Thomson Reuters. I am a passionate person who believes in commitment and doing work with highest amount of integrity and professionalism. These are my values which I find in sync with the values of ABG. Also, being a budding finance enthusiast working in ABFL, one of the leading financial services company of India would give me an opportunity to learn and apply my knowledge of MBA and kick start my career.

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