Learning From The Best – The Professors At SPJIMR
Close your eyes and imagine a classroom. What do you see? Probably desks, chairs and students being lectured on some subject, let’s say Mathematics, by a professor. What you wouldn’t visualize is probably a bunch of students all standing inside the classroom and indulging in a healthy dose of tai-chi or an insanely noisy room full of students looking around for trinkets and items each of whose names start with a different alphabet.
Yes, SPJIMR is different and it isn’t just because of a social internship or a Global Fastrack Programme. It is different because each professor here has something unique, something very special to offer. I will not speak about their qualifications or their achievements as it is something one can look up anytime and after all, isn’t it a prerequisite for any top B-School to have illustrious professors as part of its family? What I will speak of, is the way they have been able to make this journey a lot more interesting than it would otherwise have been.
It is 8.30 am in the morning and a bunch of frightened engineers have arrived for their first lecture on Financial Accounting. Professor Raghu Iyer will be addressing the group highly apprehensive students who are still musing over how they would fare against an experienced set of Commerce graduates and chartered accountants who already have had a fair experience of the subject.
What happened in the course of the lecture was nothing short of a miracle and I can tell you first-hand all that followed, being a part of it myself. Prof Iyer opened his lecture saying in a matter-of-fact tone that Finance was very very very easy and all we had to do in turn, was to think of ourselves as owner-entrepreneurs instead of mere students. Over the duration of the course, we made financial statements for our own firm, making our own transactions, our own mistakes and miraculously, somehow, Prof. Iyer, with his hilarious statements delivered with a highly inexpressive face, was able to drive out that immense fear for Financial Accounting which we had started off with.
Ever had a burger at McDonald’s? I believe most of you will have had but even if you haven’t, it will possibly come as a surprise that something such as a burger at McDonald’s could be used to simplify the complex concept of NEER and REER. Prof. Preeta George was able to skillfully weave her magic so much so that as students we learnt to read and understand newspapers a lot better and all of a sudden Macroeconomics felt a lot less formidable than we had thought it would turn out to be.
I could go on with anecdotes, quotes, events and memories but probably will still fall short of words in explaining the importance of the asset which SPJIMR guards in the form of its faculty.
In the words of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people together to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.” Perhaps that is what each teacher here at SPJIMR strives to do in the end, not to teach us in bits and pieces all that an education in Management requires us to know, but to teach us the ways and means to deal with the successes, the failures, the hardships and the triumphs which await us in the real world at the end of this journey.
– Shilpita Sarkar