It all started for me on the sweltering afternoon of 1st June. The heat was unbearable, humidity out of the world. It was a combination of sweat, heat, and too much of Sun 😊. Still, I was there, standing like a knight in shining armour, staring blankly at the place which was going to be my home, school, college, university and everything for the coming two years.
It's been two months since and I am sitting in the comfort of my room writing this piece. Wise men had once rightly said, “Smooth sailing does not make a good captain, it is the rough seas, incessant rains and a battered ship which brings the best out of someone”. I find the same happening to me here at IFMR.
At the time of induction, we were fortunate enough to come across Industrial stalwarts like Mr. Vikas Mehta, Managing Director (Talent) Deloitte Consulting India Private Limited, Guest of Honour Mr. T A Varghese, Global Business, HR Head, Tata Consultancy Services, and Dr Sunder Ramaswamy Vice-Chancellor, Krea University. There was a small briefing by Professor Kamal Ghosh Ray, Acting resident Director, IFMR B-School and Dr Vinodh Madhavan Chairperson – PGP, IFMR B-School.
We were also fortunate to attend a 4 days’ workshop by “Hi Happy Monk and Team” led by Shounak Chakraborty, a leading Corporate Motivation Guru. We were given sessions on managing time, stress and negativity. Key Takeaways from the workshop were discipline, time management skills, tools for self-motivation, meditation techniques for fighting stress and negativity in life, goal setting and achievements etc. Believe me, those 4 days were one of the best days. We had a lot of team building activities, ice-breaking, one to one interactions, group to group activities etc and all the little things which play a big role in shaping the future managers in us.
Classes started henceforth and the greatest fear of a B-school came true. Consecutive and long lectures, sudden assignments, difficult timelines, unannounced quizzes and tests etc. They all became routine and a regular affair. At first, it was really difficult to manage, coordinate, synchronize and assign priorities to so many things, but as it is said “time is the greatest teacher” we learnt along, some with good and some with bitter experiences.
Add to that, we had many gruelling late-night sessions with the student council and various clubs and committees for the journey ahead for interviews and auditions for the selection of members and representatives. This was the time, mark my words where the real learning happened.
Then came the much-awaited ice breaker. It was awaited with great excitement and enthusiasm as this was our first major break post starting of the classes. Friendships were struck, experiences were made, emotions connected, hair were let loose. This asserted my belief in the IFMR lingo “that when we work, we work with passion and dedication and when we party we party as if there is no tomorrow 😉”.
Over the course of time I have somewhat learnt the art of weathering the storm and moving ahead with a smile. There have been plenty of instances of unannounced quizzes, surprise tests, infinitely long case studies, arguments, counter-arguments, disappointment over low marks, but still the team is moving ahead, roaring for more, and hungry for more!!
The professors have been exceptionally great and are doing a commendable job in keeping us motivated and charged up. As the batch has a diverse and healthy mix of Engineers and Non-Engineers, great care has been taken by the profs to maintain a healthy and competitive mix. I can proudly say I belong to a batch which has students from 22 states of India, a rare feat achieved by IFMR and its greatest USP.
The Freshers event was a different ball game altogether. The ice-breaker was a small build up to it. I did not know the batch has such commendable talents in the form of professional singers, dancers, actors and speakers. The freshers actually gave them a much-needed platform to showcase their talents and skills. The college also got a new set of Mr and Ms IFMR😉. The freshers was a major breakthrough after mid-term and it was embraced with open arms.
We also had a Flea market where students (both the juniors and seniors) put up their stalls selling their ideas and products. The stalls were as varied as food from all over the country to the regional beverages, sweet dishes to fun events like bowling and sending subtle messages to your crush and beloved via balloons. It was an apt time to showcase the managerial and MBA skills which people have learnt in their classes. The best thing about this was the feedback and input given by the profs who were judging the stalls. They actually went around explaining the market models, scaling, and profitability to each and every team apart from judging them. One of the trademarks of being at IFMR😊.
These two months have gone past as if it was yesterday. Yes, time flies this quick at IFMR. You learn, you fail, you collect yourself and stand up again, you fail again and finally stand up twice as strong. Hard work, Diligence, Honesty, Knowledge and Perseverance are given utmost importance and you start experiencing these values once you join IFMR. Everything undergoes a paradigm shift. The way of talking, presenting yourself to a group, prioritizing things, conducting yourself, carrying self at times of overwhelming stress and pressure are some of the many skills I have acquired in these two months.
My writing is just the tip of the iceberg. Yes, you heard it right. The main learning happens when you experience things first hand.
At the end, I would like to quote some lines from the Indian Army which really helped me at IFMR “ Accept Responsibility for your Life. Know that it is you who will get you where you want to go, No one else”.
- Ashish Kumar Bastia
1st year MBA student
IFMR GSB Krea University