The Roller-Coaster Ride Of A Fresher In IIMs

Hello folks. I am a fresher joined in IIMB in 2017. Yes, this is how I want to introduce myself since the story I am going to tell you a story revolves around how a fresher feel and embraces the challenges and sustains the life in IIMs.

It all started with a glorious smile on my face when I got the admission mail from the prestigious institute IIMB. My parents are very proud that I achieved this in my very first attempt and so am I. I started dreaming and planned for the roller coaster ride of two years as some of my seniors named it.

Even before stepping into IIMB, I was allotted one Mitr who was very helpful in resolving my queries and have got some friends through just the WhatsApp Mitr group. It was all rosy for the first few days. But as the time goes on, there are some tasks given by Mitr and some people had started solving them like a cakewalk. I recall one such situation when my Mitr asked in the group to solve a guestimate and someone in the group solved it really fast while I was still googling the meaning of the word “Guestimate”. I was very active in the group till then and this is the first time I felt intimidated.

After this, I went to IIMB and here starts the Orientation programme. This is the best week of my IIMB life. There were a lot of team building activities and networking sessions planned for that time. Out of all, my favourite one is “Breakthrough”. That was a great place where I found myself again. Yes, Breakthrough brought it all back which I lost in that Mitr group.

Then there comes Aarambh, welcome fest organized by pgp1s. I graduated from Andhra University and I organized a cultural fest there. I know this is on a small scale when compared to others who organized some fests in IITs and NITs. But still, I wanted a chance to do it here with a full effort from my side and prove myself as it would be a great kickstart to my whole journey here in IIMB. There was a lot of fear coming from the inside. I might call it intimidation from my fellow mates. But I felt my dream was stronger than this, I started preparing for my pitching and stood there. But they selected some other person who had prior experience in dealing those things. I felt very bad and started feeling like giving up and it suddenly got difficult to dream also. But again, I stood up for dancing in Aarambh which is my passion. It went well, and I felt like I was back on track.

Then starts our Club selections. As so many people aspire to get into one, I also applied to a few clubs which I am interested in. As part of the selection, I was given tasks to complete. Some of my pgp2’s who were on the selection board surprised by my work and they complimented me to keep it up. I felt really confident and started attending the next stage of interviews with the same enthusiasm. Though my attempts are good at interviews, they picked people who got prior experience related to the club position. And even though I had experience in organizing fest in my Undergrad college, they felt an IITian would do better than me for that club. And the next day when the results are out, I feel dejected as soon as I see my name is not there in the clubs I wished for and gave my best for. I can clearly see the bias while selecting club members. I was not even given an opportunity since the selection members were risk-averse. I felt bad for a few days and then again decided to completely focus on studies and started taking this a positive thing that I am glad that no time would get wasted because of club activities.

Everyone says that fresher have fresh minds and it is seamless for them to adjust to academics when compared to Work-ex people. But it is partially true. I found some subjects are very easy and some subjects like “Organizational Behaviour” are partially easy. Because work ex could feel more relatable when it comes to these types of subjects as they have more knowledge than you in the working field. So, I used to score high in some subjects and score low in some with the same effort. But I realized that this was not correct from my side after I got my first term results. Yes, it is IIMB. You can’t easily score with relative grading and cutthroat competition with the same levels of undergrad preparation. I realized my mistake and later stood out for great scoring in term 2. But again, I failed to sustain this zeal for the entire team. This resulted in no preparation for my summer interns and term 2 exams as I started to go in a flow without any forward thinking. I felt like I should have given a thought before.

After embracing all these differences and shocks given by IIMB, I decided to go in a flow in whichever direction it takes. But I was so wrong as the biggest shock is awaiting me. The Exchange program is solely based on term 1 GPA and I thought it was based on first-year GPA. After knowing this fact, I was shocked and realized going in a flow is the biggest mistake I have ever made.

PHEW!!! This is the story of my entire journey in IIMB. It is truly a roller-coaster.

I really wanted you all to be prepared better than me. So, here is the motivational funda I have learned to use during my journey at IIMB.

Whenever you feel like you are very inexperienced compared to others in doing any work, start thinking that when you get to their age you will be much better than them.

Sometimes you feel like the institutions and people in power won’t give you chances. Even though you feel sad about this, start thinking that they have lost an opportunity to use your talents and hard work to the fullest. They are the losers, not you. Sometimes, not having an ability to recognize talent is also a failure. Don’t lose your confidence because of others’ mistakes. Keep hard working with your full-heart so that people who rejected you once should start feeling like they had done a mistake by not choosing you.

Yes, I followed all this and have seen great outcomes. How hard and rocky the roller-coaster ride be, I must be thankful to IIMB as I have learned all these life-lessons. 

So, just stay cool and be in present. Don’t afraid of starting anything from scratch like zero even though others are gems at that. You came here to learn and so do it with your whole heart and success will be yours. I am saying it with full confidence since I experienced this and changed myself a lot. Try this, you will definitely be one of the best. 

Bhanu Sriharika Kalla

Fun-loving and Go-Getter