Thoughts Of An IIT Grad In An IIM
“When to the sessions of sweet silent thought I summon up remembrance of things past” – William Shakespeare
They say that an idle mind is devil’s workshop. Having an idle mind at a b-school in the first term would probably be a sign that you are losing it. Yet I lie on my bed contemplating about the first month that has passed at IIM Trichy. A month full of new experiences, pleasant surprises and lots of new acquaintances. Before joining IIM Trichy, I had decided to pen down my thoughts so that 10 years down the line when I sit down to write my success story or try to figure out where I screwed up, I can clearly retrospect on the actual turning point in my life.
My first excerpt was when I had received the congratulating mail from IIM Trichy. It was a welcome relief post a couple of tension-filled months. It was a second chance for a person who had not made much out of the opportunities that had been gifted to him in the past. It was the day I started dreaming about the new phase that I would be entering. Excited that I would be going to a new place, thrilled that I would be studying at an IIM and most of all ecstatic that I can finally create a profile on iitiimshaadi.com. Though I hoped desperately that I don’t screw up these two years like I screwed up the four years at IIT. This fear motivated me to read non-fiction for the first time in my life and I started reading ‘7 habits of successful people’. I gave up after the first chapter. Then I decided to read ‘You only B-Schools once’ written by InsideIIM guys, fortunately I read it till the end. Though it didn’t wipe away my fears, at least it gave me a clarity on what are the things I should be afraid of. Keeping these doubts and fears I boarded TPJ-Humsafar express from Pune (my hometown) for a 30 hour literal journey and a two year metaphorical one.
This new phase welcomed me with scorching heat and soul-draining humidity of Trichy. Though the NIT Trichy campus (where IIM Trichy is temporarily operating) is a beautiful place with lots of greenery, the heat made it impossible for me to explore it. I decided that I’ll do it after the induction program. I finally got the answers to why people claimed that sleep is a luxury at an IIM. We were given assignments to get us prepared for the courses ahead of us and to get used to the so-called ‘MBA-life’. All the things that I had read on quora and InsideIIM about sleepless nights, 6 am deadlines, group-assignments, the insults thrown for submitting shitty works and many more started coming true. But I was happy that it had started, finally I was doing something productive after a very long time (Though most of the things remained incomplete and the ones that I completed weren’t up to the mark. But at least I had started. I knew I would get better eventually, it was just a matter of time that my lazy body got used to the hard work which had been a myth before getting here).
After rain there’s rainbow, after storm there’s calm, after the night there’s a dawn and after an end there’s a new beginning. After nearly two weeks into MBA and a week of peril thrusted upon the first years I started doubting whether this forced insomnia is going to continue for two years. The comments like ‘I didn’t sign up for this’, ‘I haven’t slept for last 24 hours’, ‘That’s it, I can’t handle anymore’, ‘We are humans, not robots’ etc. could be heard in the halls where first years resided. Daily bashing for not completing the assignments felt like a soap opera with different twists every day. Thankfully, in IIM Trichy, we follow the principle of “Work Hard, Party Harder”. Quite aptly, a welcome break came in the form of the freshers’ party, where people opened up to each other, inseparable bonds were formed, awkwardness in interacting with seniors diminished and most of all the party rejuvenated us for the hardships to follow.
Lectures had already started and by the end of the week we again had assignments to complete, books to read, presentations to be prepared and decent amount of sleep to get. Slacking off was not an option and the professors made sure that we didn’t. They had their ways with soul-crushing insults and sarcastic comments, early morning deadlines and late night smirky emails (which had assignments obviously), surprise quizzes and class participation marks etc. During the tough hours, I would like to remember the quote by a prof “Sometimes world is unfair, you have to live with it”. I am damn sure that the he is a Louis C. K. fan. It seems he is also a Virat Kohli fan for sure, every second example includes the Indian skipper and his excel sheets are filled with Virat’s data and graphs. I hope we get off-lectures on days when India plays. Then there is a prof who has such a sweet voice that I can’t help falling asleep but the third prof’s sarcasms could wake up Kumbhakarna. The fourth prof looks like an older version of Ross and has Emily’s (The girl whose name ross should have pronounced on the altar) accent while the fifth professor might be the most clichéd professor I’ve ever seen. Regardless, after a long time I feel that I am learning something useful which will most probably be useful in building a remarkable career.
A month has passed and I have been adjusting to the so-called ‘MBA Life’ with a dream of building a remarkable career. I have excelled in some parts, coping up with some and horribly failing at the others. But its just the start and I am sure I’ll learn to deal with all the aspects eventually. The future is uncertain but I can’t wait to experience it. Shakespeare ne kaha tha yaar “Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt”. So no doubts on whether I can handle it. I chose it and I will handle it. My confidence isn’t so fragile to be broken by some mere way of life. It’s a privilege to get a chance to study at a premier b-school, it would be ludicrous to waste time doubting my abilities. It’s a privilege to have great minds as teachers, it would be preposterous to not take advantage of them. It’s a privilege to study among the finest minds in our country, it would be ridiculous to not learn from them. It’s a privilege to be a part of a great institute, it would be foolish (ran out of fancy adjectives) to not contribute to its greatness.