Life at IIM Shillong
There are certain things that business schools incorporate in their campus lives and programs as part of some sort of unwritten rule – packed class schedules, deadlines that teach one to race against time, competitions, surprises – not restricted to quizzes alone, long days and longer nights – IIM Shillong has all of this of course, but it has so much more.
How would I describe a typical day at IIM Shillong? Well, there is so much here that defies typicality, that I must borrow the most striking features of the days here and put them all together in an attempt to summarise life at IIM Shillong.
To begin with, the campus itself – nestled among tall pines and the taller Khasi hills, offers an experience that is hard to come by in our country. The institute’s focus on sustainability could not have found a better inspiration or setting.
On any given day, the class schedules may differ – beginning early in the morning and going into late evening, but they take place in this beautiful setting and therefore any fatigue from the pre-reads, assignments post-class or evaluations faced during them, is hard to feel.
And therefore, the campus is always abuzz with energy for the many extra-curricular activities that offer both – learning and just the right amount of fun. New shades of real-life application to academic learning are to be found in abundance – be it through The Podium lecture series that brings the students in contact with some of the best minds from the Indian and international corporate scene, the many conclaves and case-study competitions held during EmergE – the Entrepreneurship Summit and Khlur-thma – the annual B-school event of the college or the many guest lectures that the campus plays host to. As for the new shades to the real lives of its students, there are activities galore, such as the trek through the David Scott trail recently organised by the ECoBiZ Club – which brought the participants closer to the beauty of the North-East, Rannbhoomi – the annual sports carnival which channelled their competitive energies onto a different pitch, quite literally. There is also a healthy breed of photographers and poets who are reared on the campus – thanks to the picturesque tranquillity of its setting.
Festivals are brought to life by the efforts of the Cultural Committee and the camaraderie that runs effortlessly through the students – a direct blessing of the small batch size – everyone knows everyone. This is why it is easier for the B-School to become a second home during festivals like Diwali or Janamashtami when diyas are lit with much togetherness or ‘handis’ are smashed with competitive gusto. Birthdays are necessarily happy on the campus were come no matter what – wind, hail, rain, or Shillong’s signature chilly winter weather, we all descend to ‘The Ramp’ at midnight to wish the birthday boy or girl.
And then there is IIM Shillong’s own festival – the Golf Cup, which is a one-of-its-kind engagement with the corporate world. With the Shillong Golf Course – one of Asia’s largest, as its backdrop, the Golf Cup is the institute’s flagship event which sees participation from over 150 corporates from across the country.
These events are interspersed with the many offerings from the clubs – like Godseller’s – a real-time market simulation from Marketing Club, golf lessons organised by the Amateur Golf Club of IIM Shillong or poetry and story-writing competitions by Symphony – its literary committee that keeps the creativity levels high.
Of course, an analeptic cup of coffee from the Night Canteen in the wee hours of the night helps, and if one wants to stir up some flavours, there is always the burning hotness of Bhut Jolokia peppers being doled out at Uncle’s Shop – an adorable little shack serving delicious momos, noodles and soup, just outside the college gates.
Life at IIM Shillong is compiled one day at a time – for it needs to be – as the everyday rigour of B-School life, the vagaries of its people and the immense, unbearable beauty of its setting, cannot be held together by generalizations of any kind.
(Varsha is a first year student at IIM Shillong. She loves to write and explore new places)