I arrived at IIM Shillong starry-eyed and ambitious, and learned the first invaluable MBA lesson on my first day itself- Don’t look back! The moniker ‘Campus in Clouds’ is often enough to give people an idea of what awaits when they spend two years at my alma mater, but let me paint you a brighter picture.
We’ve all been told to expect sleepless nights and grueling submissions while pursuing an MBA. But at IIM Shillong, where the lull of twinkling night skies gives way to the crowing of roosters at the break of dawn, it’s one of the things you grow to enjoy rather quickly. From group projects that miraculously come together JIT (just in time, for the MBA noobs) to last-minute KT sessions for all the questions you felt too stupid to ask in class, Kulen’s chai has fueled many a midnight lamps on campus.
The phrase ‘student-run campus’ seems to get thrown about a bit, but when you’re literally running across campus, chasing people to get the right shots for the institute website, it does end up making some poetic sense. Be it regularly updating the mess menu, ensuring Diwali is “ghar jaisi”, or ultimately getting the batch placed -- there’s a lot that needs doing, and there’s always some student body hustling to get it done. In that sense, every student at IIM Shillong gets an opportunity to make an impact on the institute. Your training to become a worldly manager starts right on campus, from streamlining existing processes to negotiating with the right stakeholders.
But here’s what truly separates an MBA at this institute from all others- its location. People tend to think of Shillong as a ‘must-hit’ travel destination on their Seven Sisters’ tour and truth be told I was equal parts excited and apprehensive about moving to the Scotland of the East/ Rock capital of India/ Wettest state in the country. Looking back, I’m truly grateful to have had the opportunity to call this city my home. I believe Shillong gave me and my peers the much-needed space to cherish the day-to-day while we pursued a course that prepared us for the fast-paced corporate chaos that awaits.
Makes me wonder if Guns N’Roses had Shillong in mind when pining for a paradise city where the grass is green and the girls are pretty (+ boys too, we are among the most gender-diverse IIMs after all!)
Vani Vivek, PGP 2018-20