The year is 2015 - right in the middle of my placement season while I was still a sincere undergrad student, battling my destiny of landing a typical IT job after trying miserably to become a certified Mechanical Engineer. While I had failed as a Mechanical Engineer, I had succeeded as a communicator and a Manager, in different roles, across different areas, with Toastmasters being a huge part of my life there. And like every pseudo and scared Mechanical Engineer, I too got sucked into the idea of an MBA right after college, and like everybody else, I joined coaching to hone my skills for the entrance exams I was forced to apply to.
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This was when MICA stood out to me, as it was not exactly a B-school but rather, the one and only C-school of India. MICA took pride in being differentiated as a place where a student can explore, experiment and fuse data with creative freedom, and it excited me beyond measure. The reviews were never bad, while the alums were always nostalgic. It seemed like a magical place where a failure like myself could finally pick up the pieces and look for a solution. I, however, had made up my mind to not join a B-school right out of college, rather first try my hand at the corporate world, get a gist of what it was like before I felt the need to do an MBA.
But three years down the line, and one year into MICA, I’d be lying if I said that MICA hasn’t lived up to its reputation. I came here with a motive of being in free space, as my life has been filled with restrictions. Restrictions in terms of what I did with words, my thought process, my understanding of people, they had all been constricted in a cage, released only when life felt boring.
As I entered and life started at MICA, it was a feeling of a cage being unlocked and keys forgotten. I was safe, and yet challenged everything, I was lazy and yet worked harder than ever before. You could say, isn’t that a B-school everywhere? Yes, it is. But imagine minute to no competitiveness, mixed with creative freedom. Doesn’t the mere thought of that excite you? You are not competing with each other but yourself, in order to get better with every class, every competition, every interaction with your peers. MICA is a non-judgemental space for people who are not competitive and are here only to learn. You may not score much, and yet there’s a high chance you’ll know more than anyone and people will respect you for what you know rather than what you scored, or which competition you cracked.
There’s an innate quality in every MICAN which defines them for what they are, what they can do. You can be anyone you want to be, and you will not be judged and that’s what defines the MICAn culture. There are a lot of other traditions which are carried out as a batch, which are personal and we don’t wish to share, they unite us as a batch, they make us stand for each other, with each other. The campus creates a deep need to express, while the out of class interactions help you dive deeper into the subjects, the topics discussed in class, or even come up with theories and conclusions of your own, while the faculties make it sure that our voices are heard. Every faculty is cordial, inviting and have immense industry expertise combined with honing MICAns to become the best versions of themselves. You can approach a faculty for academics, industry-related questions, while they will be equally helpful if you wish to discuss life with them. The freedom at MICA comes in many forms, and being able to be who you truly are, ranks the highest.
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I can go on and on about the curriculum of MICA, but it can still be summarised to something that our Dean very aptly puts as “Empathy”. What we learn in our classrooms, are not only hard skills, but we learn soft skills which no B-school ever can teach you. We learn about us, about you, and everybody else, for, in the evolution cycle of the business world, with every product now being challengingly called as a service, our customers are always looking for a differentiating factor in terms of services, as they have a plethora of choices in terms of products. And our courses like, Cultural Communication, Consumer buying Behaviour, Digital, media and business Transformation, clubbed with Rural FMCG Marketing, Communication for Social Impact and Media Processes, are teaching us more about the consumer at every step, rather than just what the RoI could be. We learn from our own behaviours and try to match the learnings with the external world through competitions. Our presentations, understanding of a business case and our solutions stand out for this very reason.
MICA is not a typical B-school, and no matter how many changes it goes through, it never will be. Our core competency will always be empathy, towards the consumer, and making their lives easier.
Are you willing to be a MICAn?
Did you know that MICA has the most diverse batch of 2020 amongst top B-schools in India? Check out these InsideIIM reports on academic and gender diversity to find out which other top business schools are amongst the top-10 diverse MBA institutes of India!