The Paradise Within HELL – IIM Lucknow

It has been a year since I joined IIM Lucknow. Now, when seniors are packing their bags for home we are realising that about a year has actually passed. Time really moves very fast in this world of IIML (aka HELL). I hope the information given below will be useful for upcoming students. I have added some of my experiences and information a new joiner should be aware of.

The year started with a big BANG called induction. It’s an introductory process through which all students go. It actually familiarised us with this institute, its culture and most importantly how to survive in this campus for next 2 years. What is this process? Well, it’s a surprise ;).

(Before induction, there is an option of “Preparatory Course”, I will highly recommend it to new joiners to appear for this program, it will help you to get used to this place and this will be the only time of year when you will be able to enjoy this campus to the fullest.)

The major difference between IIM and under-graduation, is case-based studies, group projects, and classroom activities.
Case studies, in a nutshell, are nothing but real-life business stories including people, company or group which focus on strategies, business issues, best practices, behaviour, and recommendations. While learning these cases, insights brought forward by some of the professors will leave you mesmerised.

The group project will prepare you for teamwork, it will help you to get along with people having different personalities, backgrounds & skills. It will actually prepare you to work in diverse teams.
Classroom activities are fun activities based on things you learn, mostly related to HR and are very interesting.
Videos, some professors will also show videos related to studies, cases, advertisements etc.

There are hostels in multiple areas in campus but, generally, juniors get hostels which are concentrated in 2 areas, either just next to academic block or 2 km away from that block. It’s your hostel which decides whether you will wake up 5 min before class or half an hour before class.

The day we arrived at campus, we were allotted hostel room by being asked to pick up chits in which hostel room numbers were mentioned.

First midterm exam arrived pretty early, within 1 month from the commencement of course, and exams haven’t stopped since then. We have been conquering through quizzes and term exams throughout the year from that point on.

Exams in here are conducted throughout the year, approximately 4 quizzes, 1 midterm and 1 end term exam for each subject. Quizzes can be announced or they can come as a surprise depending on the professor.

For mid and end term exam, there is no predefined pattern for the exam, the professor is given freedom for determining all aspects of exams. Some exams will be open book, some will be a close book, and some will be very unconventional. Like, we had one exam in marketing in which we were actually shown advertisement in the exam hall and we were asked questions based on it.

Term Breaks:
Everyone awaits for what comes after end term, a week long holiday. A magical chance to meet people outside of campus called “family”. (Who normally give up calling you by the end of 2nd term after numerous missed calls and late replies like “I will call back tomorrow”.)

Academic Rigour:
If you might have heard that IIM Lucknow is one of the most rigorous management programs in India, you have heard it right. That’s the reason IIML is also called as ‘helL’. 80% attendance is mandatory in each course; noncompliance attracts grade drop. Most professors won’t allow students inside in classroom past given time. Very Strict deadlines for projects and assignments are followed. Throughout the year, there will not be a single day when you will be free and won’t have anything to do.

Classroom Environment:
After induction, we were provided with a section which became our macro group for rest of year. We had 8 sections, which was a mix of ABM, FPM and PGP course students. Although grades and pointer are the outcomes of relative grading, classroom environment in IIML supports healthy competition. The section as a whole act as a united group, while working late nights for projects, assignments, studying for exams and not to mention, during section parties and birthday celebrations.

Everyone’s birthday is celebrated from the class with 2 cakes, where one extra cake is ordered strictly not to eat J.

Students are very different in here, especially talking about the junior-senior relationship. Seniors are very friendly and helpful and they will really go that extra mile to help you out. This culture is built here over years and I really take pride mentioning this culture in here.

Seniors will selflessly help you during placement process which is a most challenging process of all. They will help you right from making a resume, to preparing you for placements. For every query, no matter how small it may seem, your seniors will be your mentors and a helping hand.

Some of the professors in campus will actually make you realise what it’s like to study in one of the top institutes of the country. Most of the professors here are researchers, some of them also perform consulting for organisations.

Professors are given a lot of control over subjects which they teach, the professor can decide weightage of marks allotted for class participation, quiz, mid term and end term, exam pattern, grading etc.

IIML mess is managed by students. There is a separate committee for Mess. Mess serves relatively better food than what most people normally get in under graduation mess. Mess serves food 4 times a day with multiple varieties and different dishes every day of the week. Option to buy some of the items other than common mess food from paid counters is also available.

Night mess is the life of IIML, it remains open from 11 PM to 3 AM every day and till 4 AM during exam time. It is most lively place on campus, no matter whether it’s 1 PM or 2:30 AM you will find many groups lingering in mess all the time.

If mess food gets boring, there are three student-run startups which serve food. Also, the option to order from outside restaurants is also available. Most of the restaurants from nearby areas provide parcel inside campus (including Pizza Hut and Dominos for pizza lovers).

Sports infrastructure is good. There is a Football ground, cricket ground, indoor badminton court, Table tennis, pool & carom facilities. There are an indoor swimming pool facility and state of art gym as well.

Inter-section cultural competition named ‘Camaraderie’ took place by the end of August, after the first midterm. It’s mostly focused towards building unity in sections and a healthy environment. Camaraderie included multiple small competition ranging from dance to fashion show. Also, there is Sangram, an inter-Section Sports War happening in the month of January.
There were multiple events throughout years like Manfest-Varchasva cultural and sports festival of college, Index- marketing research event, Nihilant: IIT – IIM campus quizzing festival and Prom Night.

Clubs and committees:
There are multiple clubs and committees, interest groups, philanthropic organisations of students who engage in various activities.

About the Author:
Nikhil PhalakIMG_20160702_173923 (1)
Studies in IIM Lucknow 2016-2018 Batch.
Has prior work experience of 3 years in IT.
Electronics Engineer from Mumbai University