There are two kinds of people in this world. Those who come in with a lot of expectations and those who have absolutely none and prefer to be surprised by the uncertainty of life.
The same applies to a B-school. I belonged to the second category. Being the first of my name to ever attend an MBA course, I didn’t know what to expect. Given that I am a small town girl and a fresher, I might not be amongst the majority and my thoughts might not resonate with those of most of my fellow batch mates. However, I don’t think any of them ever expected to indulge in the seven deadly vices.
Surprised? Read along, you’ll know what I mean.
Considering I am writing for an audience with an intellectual level higher than the commoners (jokes we tell ourselves before entering a B-school), I believe we are aware of the deadly sins. Dante Alighieri has provided us with a rather alarming depiction of the same in his Divine Comedy.
The first sin, Lust, is quite easy to understand, you see. You keep so many young girls and boys together unsupervised, feelings are bound to pop up. Not just that, a lust for power and money is in my opinion more prevalent in B-schools than anywhere else. We might have said in our interviews that we want to help the society and contribute towards its betterment, but who are we kidding. We rank high on Hofstede’s scale of individualism. Everyone’s looking out for themselves. We are more concerned with the package; work culture is secondary. But Dante says this is the least serious sin and all you need to do is walk through purifying flames to redeem yourselves. Who are we to contradict him.
Next in line is Gluttony. I’ll say we have the regional committees to blame for this. The Theplas from the Gujju Gang, to the Murgi Kosha of the Bengalis, the Daal Baati Churma of the Rajasthanis to the Idiyappam of the Keralites, I can keep naming the mouth-watering dishes we get every now and then. This variety of dishes makes it difficult for most of us here to keep our inner Ron and his hungry tummy in control!
Greed, need I explain that? All of us are hungry for grades. We are ready to lose our so-called intellectuality and fill meaningless surveys just to get an increase of 8 marks. Those of us who have never participated in class ever in their school or undergrad years are shouting answers in class to the irritation of other students, just so we get some class participation marks. Dante says such miscreants should be bound and laid face down for having excessive earthly attachments. Harsh, you think?
Sloth, or as Wikipedia describes it, disinclination to exertion, is a sin I wouldn’t exclusively link to MBA students because the student tag is enough to classify a person into the laziest being on earth. Be it the school times, undergrad years or post-grad, the degree we are working for is immaterial. Surprisingly though, these same students when joining the corporate sector are the most meticulous of the lot. Perhaps having their jobs in line is what demands a change in their inherent behaviour.
Wrath, anger, hatred. All the free riders are subject to their teammates’ wrath. You know how you go to new places and catch onto their lingo? Similarly, coming to XL has taught me a few new words or rather acronyms. FRAX, or free riders at XL, is one such loathed word. The number of times we are forced into groups is unnaturally high, or so it seems to me as in my engineering days the only time I worked in the group was in my final year and that too there were just the two of us. While I consider myself to be adaptive and a person with a high level of patience, the amount of fraxing some people do here makes me guilty of this sin.
Envy, the penultimate sin, is punished by sewing the eyes shut by wire, says Dante. But, when you reach a place full of top talent, I say it’s hard not to be a little envious. Especially when your neighbour fetches more marks while he was out all night and you hardly manage an average score in spite of putting more effort. What when you get a poor package even when you have better credentials. Lady luck is to blame.
Pride, the deadliest of the seven sins, is something all top B-school students are accusable of. At XL, I often hear the HR students pride themselves as being the best in Asia. XL might be, but we as students may not have a huge contribution to that tag. Rather, it’s the opposite. The XL tag is what helps us make our career paths.
But, in spite of all our sins and vices, a B-school does teach you a lot. Most importantly, it teaches you never to fear the unexpected, because life is a box of Bertie Bott’s every flavour beans and you never know which one you’re going to get.