What It Takes To Create A Legacy – SIBM Pune
One of the many claims made by print advertisements for Symbiosis Institute of Business Management, Pune (SIBM Pune) is that it is a ‘student driven institute’.
So what does it mean to be ‘student driven’? Is it just a generic line created for an advertisement or is there some substance behind the statement?
The answer to these questions lies on top of a hill in Lavale. This is where the students of SIBM Pune reside and learn their trade for two years. Walk on to the campus on an unseasonably clear day in June and chances are that most of the conversations you overhear will be about ‘The Student Council’ – the student body responsible for all the activities conducted for students on and sometimes off the campus.
These animated conversations are a joy to behold as first year MBA students talk excitedly about the nine teams in the Council. The senior members of the teams are already preparing their agendas for the coming semesters and getting ready to screen and interview the brightest students by the end of the month.
Kaustubh Nagar, a first year marketing student, has barely been on campus for a few weeks but already knows where his future lies. “I am focussed on cracking the interview for one of the teams as I know that it will greatly complement my academic knowledge.”
The council teams consists of students from both first and second years. A coordinator is chosen to head each team. These coordinators, together with the duly selected student president, form the executive council – a body with the authority to oversee all activities conducted.
Every team conducts a number of events throughout the year, some teams travelling to villages nearby, others to metros all over the country. This means that from conceptualisation through planning and budgeting all the way to execution, the only people that the team depends upon are each other. Once faculty approval is received, it is the prerogative of the team itself to ensure that the event’s potential is realised. Most events are the brainchild of one team but are conducted in association with other teams.
Flagship events like ‘Transcend’ – organised by the Co-Curricular Team, ‘Coffee with SIBM’ – organised by the Aspirant Relations Team, and ‘Imperio’ – conducted by the Corporate Interface Team are the basis of SIBM-P’s great repute.
Such is the level of organisation that exists within the Student Council.
Towards the end of June, the teams (which at that point comprise only senior students) introduce themselves to the hushed, excited first year students via an introduction video and a Q&A session. Each team takes roughly 20 minutes to elaborate on what they do for the institute and what kind of candidates they are looking for.
Almost all the videos receive standing ovations. The adrenaline has already begun to pump.
Devesh Kumar Somvir Singh is a junior who is excited by the Student Council: “I want to be part of something bigger and improve myself in the process. I am glad they expose us to the council so early. It provides us with a chance to showcase our talents, while giving us enough time to learn on the job before the seniors graduate.”
Applications are invited post the introduction session. Students are required to choose up to four teams which they feel they best suit. Individual questionnaires are provided by each team, specific to the type of candidates they are looking for. Curriculum Vitaes are updated and sent to the teams as well. At this point candidates are being screened in earnest.
Interviews start by the fag end of the month of June. First year students are called to the team offices, one by one, for 30 minute interviews that can take place anytime in the day.
Some are grilled about industry knowledge, others are asked about their experience. Some are subjected to stress interviews. The aim is to weed out candidates who are not serious about the process.
As the rest of the campus enjoys the afternoon breeze and clear starry skies, first year SIBM Pune students walk, CV in hand, from their hostel rooms to the SIBM Pune academic block, steely determination in their eyes. Their hands twitch slightly as they walk, constantly adjusting their formal wear, betraying their nervousness.
They know the journey is not in vain. They know that if selected they will be part of a team that will change them forever. They know they will learn things beyond their years. They know that to be part of the Student Council is to be synonymous with excellence itself. They walk in hope. They thrive under the stress. They are the future leaders of corporate India. Their grooming has begun from day one.
It is now two weeks later. New council members have been chosen from amongst the first years.
Another council selection process has come to an end. One can now observe the very same students walking down the hilltop towards the academic block with a skip in their step. What was once a look of dread has now become an aura of achievement – a sense of belonging.
The individual team rooms, once a source of all-encompassing fear, are now a new home for several capable first year students, eager to make an impression on future aspirants, touch base with alumni or organise SIBM Pune’s next flagship event.
Thus we answer the questions posed at the beginning of this article. To say that SIBM Pune is but ‘student driven’ would be a gross understatement. It is ‘student led’.
The Student Council comprises nine teams:
The Alumni Team, which takes responsibility for nurturing the alumni community, ensuring that SIBM Pune graduates never lose touch with the alma mater or each other.
The Aspirant Relations Team, which is tasked with reaching out to future MBA candidates who are looking to join SIBM Pune and engaging with them in several ways, months before the course even begins.
The Corporate Interface Team aims to provide students with insights into the business world by organising guest lectures, seminars, conclaves, case-study competitions as well as other industry-related activities throughout the year. Its goal is to keep students informed about the latest trends in management.
The Co-Curricular Team’s plays an integral role in ensuring that life on campus is not all work and no play. It affords several platforms where students can express themselves, via various art forms.
The Information System & Media Relations Team (iSMaRT) provides exclusive coverage of all events and activities that take place on campus. It is responsible for reinforcing SIBM-P’s presence across a variety of platforms, including social media. The team also handles the institute’s IT infrastructure.
The Placement Advisory team has but one goal – securing final placements and summer internships for students.
The Research & Scholastic Development Team identifies, conceptualises and executes live industry projects and research initiatives with the aim of contributing to every facet of management education.
The Social Entrepreneurship & Consulting Cell undertakes socially relevant and sustainable projects and acts as a guide for future entrepreneurs.
The Sports Management Team organises a variety of sporting events in order to develop leadership potential and spread the mantra of ‘healthy mind, healthy body’.