Saying “Goodbye” to a beloved is always painful and I am finding it difficult to maintain my poise while writing this piece as this really sounds like a ‘farewell bell’ from IIM Calcutta PGEX 2016-17 batch!
The topic is PGPEX journey in past 1 year: but when we speak of a journey it is ever-lasting; I also wonder why on the earth I am penning my experience of 1 year in PGPEX, as this bond with my alma-matter (hopefully the final one!) will be life-long.
Well, my connection with PGPEX started well before 19th April 2016 when I left a secured job in search of a better, alluded tomorrow. I first visited the campus on 10th Oct 2015, the day we had Lattice (PGPEX flagship program) of the PGPEX batch-9. The warmth I felt by my first interaction with staff members, discussions I had with my seniors and ambience of this esteemed b-school enticed me.
It still feels like yesterday the date 19th April 2016: the day when I entered through the gate of IIMC to start my journey which began on 22nd April. If you have ever visited IIMC campus, you would understand that there is a stark contrast when you are outside IIMC gate vis-a-vis when you are inside. The huge stretch (33 acres) of land full of trees, lakes, migratory birds, monitor lizards ensure that you are in a place of tranquillity and you are far away from the hustles and bustles of daily city lives. Being a person who likes to jog early in the morning, I vouched to myself that I would continue this practice all throughout the year and the ambience of the campus, full of greenery, helped me strengthen my belief. I started with a bang and for the first week, I was on target; but who knew that the first week will be the last one as after the first week, when the program started at the full swing, I realised the advice from the alumni: ‘the first two terms will be really hectic and after that though the pressure will not be subsided, your body and mind will ensure that you are not feeling the stress to a great extent’!
Being away from ‘active’ studying for a long time made the task a little difficult and the first term came in a jiffy. I got a feeling of the clock ticking and reaching at 4 AM before the exam day and that was a strange feeling to me as last time I had such an experience way before, in 2005.
Two terms passed by and then we were ready to travel to the western part of the globe, Seattle. The preparation though started long back during term 2 itself. I can tell one thing for sure, probably for a lot of my friends – immersion was certain a stress-buster. After getting into active studying for three full months, I was probably down and out and the immersion at that time came like a fresh air and gave me the necessary fuel to rejuvenate my energy.
Terms after terms went, we got the basics of Marketing (remember Krishanu sir’s ‘thou shall not use any technical terms as you do not know what it actually means!’), Finance (Corporate Financial Management made life hell; Ashok Banerjee sir is superb and so is the subject; but when the quizzes were there and the class average became 2 in 10, we thought why the hell on the earth this finance has ever existed!) and strategy (I probably have made the world record by taking all the strategy related subjects IIMC could ever offer!).
But when we speak about PGPEX, would we only speak about the courses, the assignments, the exams or the quizzes? Certainly not. We had fun till throat, we had Lattice, we had Durga Puja, loads of parties at MDC PGPEX lounge and Whatsapp group where nobody spares others!
Just before we joined IIMC was awarded the triple accreditation. We were excited and wanted to share with the others; hence our FB pages were full with that topic, in marketing terms we were reiterating our brand proposition.
Is everything hunky-dory? - Like every other intellectual individual who likes to improve, we kept on asking us this probing question time and again. The intention is always to go big and reach the greater heights. We have identified certain shortcoming the program has - but I will definitely not choose this forum to illustrate those points.
IIMC helped me to meet with some colleagues who have come from other industries, who have seen the world from other angles and this experiential learning is equally invaluable to the curriculum knowledge I acquired.
Oh, one thing, pretty important – I am a mother of a 3 years old, she is my companion in this IIMC journey in every single moment. She is adorable and demanding – I had to make sure that apart from studies and projects, I am giving her ample attention also.
Now, the time has come to say a “Good bye” and kiss the corporate world once more. I came here with the intention of only learning new things, but the knowledge I gained from this course is immense and I certainly can say that the course is in the right direction to reach its ultimate goal, i.e., to produce high-quality leaders for tomorrow.
It is difficult to keep smiling at this time as we will part temporarily from IIM Calcutta, but the intensity I have seen within the school to bring alums in all the occasions and give them importance, I am quite sure that I will be back to “my PGPEX course” soon, not as a student this time- but as a friend who is willing to help her school in every possible way.
About the Author:
Simantini has over 9 years of experience in IT industry with various multi-national organisations (TCS, IBM and CTS). After completing MBA from IIM Calcutta, she will soon resume corporate life as manager (Delivery).
She’s a mother of a 4 years angel, who accompanied her during the stint at IIM Calcutta for every single day.