‘XL Never Sleeps’ – Life At XLRI
It was 11 at night. I could see rain drops striking hard on the window pane and wondered if I should cancel my plan of going to Bishu Da- the favorite hangout ‘restaurant’ for XLers at night.
It had been one month at XLRI and I was still jubilant with the hangover of making it to one of the most coveted management programs in the country- PGDHRM at XLRI, which is regarded as the best HRM program in the Asian Continent. But the story had many other twists and turns. Having heard of the rigor of management programs in different colleges, it was a very difficult decision to leave my secure government job in a Public Sector Bank and join XLRI where it would be cut throat competition with sharpest minds from the country.
As I already had a decent compensation, I needed to be sure about the returns that I would get from this program. I wanted to ascertain that such an investment would bring me more than what I was earning. The only decision that kept me from joining before I came here was the fee, which is almost at par with other top management colleges, despite being a private institution. It was a tough call but I decided to go for it after getting feedback from a few seniors.
Placements were something that mattered even more after coming to the campus as I realized the level of competition. I had grossly overestimated my capabilities in comparison to others when it came to being outspoken or participating in things that marks you out from the crowd.
Within a week, I found myself with students from different parts of the country analyzing case studies, writing reports or partying. Most of us didn’t know each other before coming here but we soon started to enjoy each other’s company. The famous quote that each of us would say when asked by our friends from outside about our sleep timings was “XL never sleeps”. Sleeping at 5 am in the morning and getting up at 8.30 was a normal routine. Most of us would be missing our breakfast so that we could hurry for classes. People were often found running to the classrooms. I used to find it difficult to control my laughter on such scenes but soon, it happened with me.
The infrastructure was excellent, we had single rooms allotted to each one of us in a co-hostel, of course. There is LAN with a high download speed and a wifi enabled campus. The wifi is awesome and one could just sit in one of the gardens and study on his tab or laptop. Oh, how I wished to be in this place and here I was in my dream college with so many new friends and a beautiful new campus. From my hostel window, I could see the Swarnarekha River, flowing in its course and sending in a cool breeze. In fact, we heard from some of our professors that the seniors were not ready to vacate the new hostel for us as it was so dainty and cozy. The old hostels were good too but then then the newly built hostels were one of a kind. The seniors hostels were separate for girls and boys which made me feel that the connect with batch mates would go down due to distance.
Festivals were celebrated with all pomp and show. It was in September that we celebrated Durga Puja. The day will remain itched in my memory as never in my life had I celebrated it with such fun. I had never gotten into any dancing before and here I was dancing with my friends in such revelry. The campus looked stunning and the experience was beyond words.
My first class at XLRI left me astounded. I had attended lot of conferences and meetings with top officials from reputed companies but this classroom was simply amazing. With 1:2 gender ratio for the HRM batch, we were among those few colleges with a high percentage of the fair sex. Another remarkable thing that differentiated XLRI from all other management colleges was a big chunk of non-engineers in both PGDHRM and PGDBM courses. It was a matter of pride for the college to have so many non-engineers in the BM batch this year, as HR was always a favorite for non-engineers.
Coming to sports and other recreation facilities, we have TT, pool, basketball all in both the campuses. In fact, there was not one game that we could not play inside the campus other than hockey. We have lawn tennis, badminton and so many other interesting engagements for the sports fanciers. There was a common room where dance enthusiasts could conduct dance classes and same went for other people with similar interests.
One very interesting thing that I came to know from a beautiful senior was the food quality would be proportional to how we treated the staff. The better we behaved and respected them for what they were doing, the better the quality and standard of food. After spending 3 terms in campus, I realized how important it was to treat everyone with the respect they deserve.
All in all, it is a great feeling being here at XLRI. The friends I made, the place that it is, the festivals that we celebrate and professors that I have make it special- home away from home. This is what I realized was called the XL culture.