For a question like this, I can almost imagine prompt answers like “the holy trinity”, “placements”, "legacy” and everything under the sun. Not that I am denying any of this, but after spending a year in the institute, when I sit back and try to answer this question, I find a radical change in my thoughts.
Let’s begin with the place - Kolkata.
Although you see remnants of the colonial period throughout the city, it is far more prominent in South Kolkata (IIM Calcutta is located in South Kolkata). Beginning from the old houses proudly showcasing British architecture to the roads filled with old-style buses and century old trams, the place can never fail to mesmerise you. However, in stark contrast, New Town has a completely modern look with high rise buildings and wide roads. It is almost similar to all other metro cities that you can think of. So, if you take a tour around the “City of Joy”, you would feel you’ve almost had time travel.
Another aspect that excites me about the city is its cultural heritage. Temples, churches, art galleries, theatres – name it and you’ll find the best of the country located in Kolkata. Also, it hosts some of the best local markets and food joints. So, if you are an explorer, you are definitely going to love the city.
Now, coming back to IIM Calcutta - What is it that sets it apart?
IIM Calcutta fosters relationships. Starting from the mentorship program before joining the college to assigning mentors for CV review, preparation and so on, a colossal amount of mentoring and hand-holding is done for the fresh batch to help them smoothly transit into the life at B-school.
Now, once you are into the B-school and a few months had passed by, especially, when you had overcome the triumphant feeling of making it to one of the most prestigious institutes of the country, reality seeps in. You become scared of losing your individuality amidst the bundles of sticky notes and long unchecked lists of things-to-do. This is when IIM Calcutta already has a plan set for your rescue. It has around 28 clubs to help your interests grow. Ranging from clubs for entrepreneurship, social work, music and drama to clubs for animal lovers, IIM Calcutta promotes ideas and interactions in every possible way.
Also, the sports culture in the institute is amazing. IIM Calcutta is one of the few colleges which participates in almost all the sports fests among B-Schools. Not only that, it had brought laurels to its name consistently.
Another fact about IIM Calcutta that will make you proud is that it has no gender-specific rules. In a time when most colleges have different rules for girls’ hostels and boys’ hostels and both argue on the privileges of the other, I can happily announce that we do not even have separate hostels. I have never seen any rule or restriction based on gender and it definitely talks of the modernity of the institute.
Last but not the least, the speciality of the institute is its people. You will find the best mix of population here – diverse in age, gender, background, culture and many things else. This makes not only classroom discussions productive (like we all say in interviews ;)), but it also has a huge impact on your perception.
However, the interesting part about its diverse population is its unmatched unity. The placement season among many others is one of the best evidence to it. Each person (even if he/she is placed), wakes up early in the morning, runs around with food and beverages or sits next to his friend to morally support him. In fact, no one parties unless the entire batch gets placed. Such is the Joka culture – we stand by each other, no matter what!
So, who would not want to be a part of it?