Types of People At An IIM – Which Category Do You Belong To?

Are you a geeky hero/heroine or a freebie amigo at your B-School? Which category do you belong to?

Being a part of an IIM is a great and the eccentric experience that anyone can have in their life. It teaches a lot of things varying across the spectrum of professional to personal life. The exposure you get at IIM campus is unprecedented. Most of the students aspire to be part of a reputed B-school as they think that it will be the turning point in their life and obviously one of the ways to change their career path.

Outsiders perceive a very rosy picture of being the part of IIMs. Most of them are not aware of the internal struggles some students or rather many of them face. It’s just that the nature of issues differs from person to person. And, these things add a lot of value to your journey which can be cherished, which you realize later.  No doubt, some of them find out ways to enjoy the life to its fullest in these two years (rather they might be very well satisfied with the current scenario) as it may be the last opportunity to enjoy college life and afterwards, they’ll be burdened with both professional and personal responsibilities in their life.

It has been almost nine months being a part of an IIM, and I would like to put forward my perspective about the types of students that I have noticed on the campus.

Students can be categorised broadly under four categories:

  • Nerds – These people want to study and study and study…. They want to gain knowledge from all the domains of an MBA and, of course, CGPA matters to them a lot so that they can be among the top 10 percentile of the batch. They are serious towards projects, quizzes, presentations, and examinations. Many of them focus on a particular domain in which they want to specialise. I admire these people if they can justify the applicability of their knowledge practically.
  • CV builders – Now comes the second category of students who are more focused on CV revamping especially after going through the summer placements procedure. They try to grab as many certifications and live projects they can. Most of the B-School students aspire to win case competitions that are conducted by top recruiters.Here comes the real challenge to go through this phase of B-school which is really competitive and tests the limits of student’s patience. Time invested in group formation and the teamwork impacts heavily, as herein B-school “ Deadlines are sacrosanct”. Case competitions are great learning experiences nonetheless.
  • Chill-commers – Chill commers are those who chill out throughout their residence at B-school. They are least worried about most of the activities that are going in the campus, be it leadership talks by alums or academic work. They hang out nicely on weekends to the nearby spots and enjoy their life on their own terms rather than caring about what they should do ideally in B-school.
  • Confused Janata – This category of students jumps in between the above three categories. They are always confused for at least one term about what they actually want from their tenure at the IIM, apart from decent placements. Especially freshers have a different story to tell, I believe. Time passes in finding out what’s the reality at IIM and they realise the plan of action very late.

Now some of the suggestions from my side as I believe everyone has their way of seeing things and it might be helpful to some of the students of the upcoming batch:

  • Networking – Networking is the essence of MBA Life. May it be with your peers, seniors, alums, professors and eminent personalities from the corporate. Start networking the day you step in the campus.
  • Socialisation -This advice is to some of the introverts who are already, and who will be, part of IIMs in the future. You need to socialise if you want to gain in these two years all of the aspects, be it knowledge or the personality ready for the corporate world. Enjoy your life with the craziest and best minds in the country as it’ll be the last opportunity to do so as a college student.
  • Academic Knowledge – Be thorough with the basic theories and models of subjects, especially from the first year as it will be helpful in the long term. Try to build concepts and its applicability in the businesses. Leverage the opportunity to learn from the best professors at the Institute.
  • Current affairs/News – Be updated with the knowledge about the trends and technologies in the world or at least about your surroundings. Trust me, it will help you a lot. How different economical, technical, environmental, legal and political factors can influence the corporate affairs is important knowledge to possess at a B-school.
  • Committees and Interest Groups – Committees and IGs will teach you a lot of things, besides CV points. They’ll give glimpses of the corporate world if you have not experienced it earlier. And it’ll be a huge learning in many aspects.

At last, I would like to say there is no right time to do the right thing. Get ready and accept the challenges that are thrown at you which are way too random. Face them with courage and patience. After all, life is a Roller coaster ride which we get only once and, we should learn through our experiences.

As Albert Einstein said, “The only source of knowledge is experience.”