As the Oval crowd burst into applause as India walked out to play Australia, their first big match of the World Cup, thousands of miles away the new batch of XLers was getting ready for their very own first too, albeit of a different kind. This was 9th of June, the date most people from the batch of 2019-21 had arrived and moved into their hostels.
Jamshedpur wasn’t a new city for me: I had spent 4 eventful years of my undergrad here. And yet, here I was, in a familiar place with unfamiliar people, not knowing what to expect. My apprehensions, however, would soon end with the art of living sessions and team-building/ice-breakers conducted for us. The first week ended on a high with the Student Cultural Night, where I gave a singing performance with a group in front of a packed Tata auditorium.
Then began the classes: I had always heard XLRI had incredible professors with a very good teaching mechanism, and I got evidence within the first few classes itself. Our classes were replete with real-world examples, things we could relate to and understand. This was a sentiment the class shared, and perhaps this very consensus helped me make my first few friends at XL: the appreciation for class gave us common ground. However, this “hands-on” teaching also meant that we began to get lots of assignments and case studies, with extremely sacrosanct deadlines. The MBA life had begun.
As the Indian team faced bouncers on a green Edgbaston pitch on the 2nd of July, so did we, with the first-ever quiz of the session: Managerial Economics. It, being the first exam in our XL life, added to the pressure, and for a lot of people, yours truly included, this would be the first of many all-nighters and 3 AM snacks with friends.
Along the way came committee ice-breakers, where I was fortunate to meet some incredible seniors, the outbound program, which pushed me to my physical and mental extremes, and the village program, that showed me a new side to the country I always thought I knew. All of this, while the race for CV points, and getting your points verified, was on.
India’s journey in the World Cup ended on the 9th of July, but we were just getting started. In this one month alone, XLRI had done many things: it had bowled curveballs at us, almost got us run-out of time for deadlines and stumped us with tough questions about priorities, but the greatest things it taught us was to build partnerships, a central tenet of XL culture, and got us out of our comfort zones; it taught us not to stick to the mental boundaries we limit ourselves by.
TL; DR, I love this place already!
If you liked this, you may also be interested in reading - The Thrilling Journey So Far – First Two Months At XLRI Jamshedpur, and more such stories about life at XLRI Jamshedpur.