Disappointed. Letdown. Exactly what some of you are feeling at this moment. Right?
Complaints of mismanagement in the hallowed lanes of management. Voices raised. Fingers pointed. Comparisons made. Frustrations vented out in forums. People cribbing about the non-transparency of the selection process. Dilution of the IIM brand. The talks of disparities in the cut-off criteria. The indignation at the perceived irrationalities of the interviews. Issues with the website displaying results.
And the list goes on.
Even those with calls are not spared of the misery. Especially those with multiple calls. They suffer from the dilemma of plenty. No one wants to settle for anything less than the best. We ask around for those with opinions. We read posts. We compare placement reports, batch size, faculty, infrastructure, college locations. In some cases, even a skewed sex ratio creeps in as a prerequisite. No prizes for guessing which side it is skewed towards.
Wind those clocks a year back. We were on the same side as yours. Knocking on the doors, we were.
Time was like an immovable object. Frustrated as we were on some occasions, we cribbed. We cried unfair. Some of us mocked the institutes out of sheer desperation.
“Why me” was the feeling.
Things didn’t change much at IIM Raipur. It’s not very easy to be on the other side of things. We realized this only after we got here.
In a b-school, there are the usual mundane things. Classes, Projects, Assignments take their toll. CVs, sometimes not very different from blank A4 sheets, needed major upgrades. Extracurricular activities were as important as academics. There were the Club activities. Competing & participating in events, competitions, quizzes at other colleges. Fests needed to be organized in yours. The “culture” so to say, is passed on to batches.
But it was very different with us. We had no “culture” when we arrived. We had to make one. We were new. We were not handed over things in a platter. Pitched against the best, we had no “b-school feel” as they say. Nothing to brag about. No one to give us directions.
We had the same expectations that people carry when they join colleges of the cadre of “IIMs”. It was initially a feeling of letdown for us. We envied the infrastructure that schools like A, B ,C had. All those stories about a snazzy b-school life that we dreamed of, were told about, read about etc., now seemed like a mirage. And all of this while we were being lectured about “post-purchase dissonance” in mark(read marketing) classes. Huh!
It was only in those moments of desperation, that one realized (or in some cases “had” to realize) that the legacy of those three letters “I I M” is not endowed. It’s earned. Inch by inch. Brick by Brick.
I mean, what is the point in cribbing? What do you get of it? It is not just about being strong, but “feeling” strong. If you think that you are shit just because you couldn’t fare marginally better in a written test/interview on an average day, then chances are nobody can help you either. You will remain to be what you think you are. As one of my seniors said on the very first day at college:
“Pain is Inevitable, but suffering is Optional!”
That statement took its time to settle. It doesn’t come easy; trust me when I say this. But it was there to stay. Now when we look back at the last 2 years, we can say that we have done quite well. We have had very decent placements in all domains. We have organized fests, entrepreneurship summits, and quizzes on a national level. We have had sports tournaments. Clubs have become more active. To put it right, we needed the “IIM Culture”. The legacy we inherit ensures that ordinary is not acceptable.
With no Alumni or Wisdom passed through Batches we started from scratch. Imagine pitching yourself for sponsorship from a Real Estate Company Owner in Raipur. That too for events organized on a nationwide scale as those of other IIMs. How you do it? This is just the tip of what goes in to making that ‘culture’. It will not be without its own birth pangs. It’s taking shape every single moment, right from the little things as “thumping tables” in class, the lingos, the parties, the gyaan sessions, the one-of-a-kind quizzes late in the pm etc.
One very important idea that developed was to understand how we stand and compete. It is easy to fall into comparisons with peer IIMs, talk about their shortcomings or even slander. We feel especially proud of the fact that all our communications (formal or informal) have talked of our own strengths and not the pitfalls of others. The kind of value system that we intend to create is what we hope will become a part of our ‘culture’.
In contemplation, one thinks that CAT was just a Math & English test peppered in some cases with Reasoning. That’s all it took. Getting in was the easiest part. As I am writing this, I know that some of you are thinking that I have lost it. “That’s pride talking. It’s easy to be saying these things while sitting in a b-school”. Right? But nobody hands you a six figure paycheck just because you wrote a damn test & got here. For that matter, it’s the same for any b-school. Face that!
All this talking about the issues we faced. We know that it doesn’t help matters much. We don’t want to come across as sympathy seekers.
We owe you a sincere apology for the inconveniences dues to lacunae in the current admissions system.
We can only promise you that there only one way we wish to go. And that’s skywards. There have been mistakes. There have been shortcomings. But we know we have got better. As difficult as it is to maintain standards as high as is expected from those three letters attached to our lives, it is also an experience that not many would have. Or rather, dare to have.
We are only starting. We are rising. And we need you on this. What say thou? Are you in? Can you bite the bullet?
Wish I could tell you how it is to be here. And all the things that matter at the end of the day. Because the only things you would take away from college are a bunch of good friends & the “feel-good” of having spent your two years well. And of course. Considering the current trends, a hefty loan to pay off!
Here's hoping that you choose well. All the very best for your lives.
Contributed By : Somyakanta Nanda, PGP 2011-13, He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org