What Is Life At SPJIMR All About?
Three months into the course and I am still trying to figure that out. Is it about learning financial accounting in a month, or about those intense classroom discussions which leave you mentally drained but gratified? Is it about making a submission for a competition two minutes prior to the deadline or about winning the tug of war match with the team that you formed a day before Microeconomics exam? Is it about those occasional two cups of ‘garam chaai’ (if you are a tea person, one is never enough) at ‘Kaliya’ (a street shop just outside campus) or is it just all about that quiet night walk (evening walks are almost a myth in a b-school) by the campus lakeside just letting everything happening around you sink in? What is it really about?
Maybe it is about the competitions. Coming from the small (read: smallest) state of Goa, stepping out of my home for the very first time, I knew it would be a struggle from Day 1, especially if you are competing against some of the best brains in the country; students from the top colleges with diverse degrees and qualifications, with every person having something unique or special about himself to offer (SPJIMR’s selection process with primary focus on student profile makes sure of that). Being in one of the top management schools in the country, I expected nothing less. But it turned out to be harder than what I had initially thought. Competition is cut-throat; you may have been a topper in your school or college but here you are competing against 240 other such toppers.
Maybe it is about the academics. Being one of the best MBA programmes in the country, it is needless to say that the subjects will be taught to you by faculty who are one of the best in their respective fields. They will not just encourage class debates, post-class doubt-solving sessions and arrange some great guest lectures for you but will also sing with you in class or even rap on Teacher’s Day. Apart from the regular classroom subjects, SPJIMR goes a step-further to incorporate value and experience-based learning and makes it an integral part of the curriculum through its Non-Classroom Learning courses. ADMAP(Assessment and Development of Managerial and Administrative Potential) is a course which offers students an opportunity to run the entire college through various student committees: right from admissions to managing the infrastructure, academic schedule, alumni connect, etc. Abhyudaya, a unique initiative by the Institute to foster social responsibility amongst its students, gave me an opportunity to mentor an underprivileged kid (whom we call “Sitaras”). Over a period of about a year, we had to visit their homes that gave us a glimpse into the lives of these children and those around them.
Maybe it is the time you spend away from campus. No, it is not just the autumn internship or even the semester exchange programme that I am talking about. Management cannot be restricted to the four walls of SPJIMR, and we know it too well. It starts with PG (Personal Growth) lab; away from campus in a scenic location along with your 240 other batch mates with one of its main purpose being turning 240 different individuals into a unified group. This is then followed by DoCC (Development of Corporate Citizenship). Social sensitivity is one of the major focus of the Institute. Along with Abhyudaya, DoCC helps inculcate social sensitivity wherein a student has to work with an NGO in a rural setting over a period of time. Lastly there is GFT (Global Fast Track), which provides an opportunity for students to pursue a 3-week long course in one of the top management schools abroad – something to look forward to the day you set foot on the campus.
Maybe it is the people you get to spend the time with. I may have sounded a little intimidating in the beginning talking about the intense level of competition, but these so-called competitors are the exact reason you are going to totally enjoy your two years on campus. They will share a cup of tea with you, accompany you to the night canteen, party hard with you but kick you even harder on your birthday, teach you accounts a day prior to exams, etc. SPJIMR has a unique selection process with a major emphasis being given to the profile of the students and it has all the right reasons to do so. All are achievers here, albeit in different fields. Everyone has a story to tell, a story about their past experiences, about how they are what they are, stories worth listening to. Your otherwise hectic schedule is made a bit easier and manageable by all these amazing people around you who will motivate and inspire you at every step you take.
Maybe it is everything that is mentioned above and much more. The Institute is what it is because of all these factors put together. Remember that it is going to be hard: clearing CAT and getting through the interview rounds is just the beginning. The real journey starts from thereon. However, to be truly benefited from an MBA, it is important to not just focus on the goal but enjoy the process as a whole, for this process is where the actual growth happens. I still distinctly remember a beautiful quote used by our beloved Dean Dr. Ranjan Banerjee during one of his classroom sessions, “You do better in a race when you are not in the race. So, the goal here is not to win the race, winning is just a happy consequence”.
About the Author:
Amruta Bharne (PGDM 2017-19, Finance, SPJIMR)