The alarm bells were ringing, but who cared. I was up from my bed way too early, way too excited. It was after all my first lecture. The various B-school classroom experiences, the excitement of studying in an IIM were enough to keep my palms sweating. I got ready for my first lecture with the thought of leaving an impact and making the difference. I reached the classroom 5 minutes before the time, just to sit and feel the experience of being in an IIM and belonging there.
The lecture on Operations Management started on a regular note, the customary welcome note from the Professor followed by the holy attendance ritual. What happened after that was all a life-changing experience for everybody present, especially for me. Professor asked us our understanding of the subject, providing his insights on the topic through a day to day examples. Then he showed us a video and let us be the manager and highlight the nitty-gritty details of the operations happenings from the video and how we would like to improve the operations.
He let our inhibitions out. Patted on our shoulders when we answered correctly, encouraged us when we showed naive understanding. He then shared his understanding of what he thinks about the operations and it opened a whole new world of insights for me.
But as it is usually said that best is saved for last, he gave us a lesson that I would remember for the lifetime. The end of the lecture was approaching. The class was becoming little noisy, students discussing among themselves some important and some not so important things. He noticed two such people and stared at them. With his spectacles down, his stare looked all too intimidating, if it was not scary enough previously. The person immediately apologized, careful not to ruin his first-day impression. As soon as the divine word “Sorry” came from the startled poor kid, I learned the first B-school lesson of my life. To the customary “Sorry” from the student, the professor replied with a grace of his own. His words were “Do not take the word Sorry so lightly, it is a very expensive word. You are future managers, in your hands lay your importance. You will be washed away in your corporate world if you speak Sorry too often”. These words were the best things one can learn from his first lecture, though at the expense of a friend’s Sorry.
Which ABG company would you want to work for and why?
I would love to work with Idea Cellular. The telecommunications industry in India is blossoming and India ranks 2nd highest in terms of total internet users and with the GOI’s push for Digital India, there are massive opportunities ahead for the sector to blossom. With opportunities, there is also massive competition in this sector. This will challenge me as a manager to make decisions, understand the minute details of the industry and put the best of my knowledge as an Engineer and PGP and will prove to be an asset to the company.
Prashant Tripathi is a first-year student at IIM Raipur