One month done and here I am blogging from the comfort of my bedroom. The last month seemed like a year as we were involved in so many things right from day 1.
June 24th was sort of a red-letter day in my life as I would be rekindling the fun, cluelessness during classes and exams, camaraderie which can only be associated with college life. Though I would have to leave Bangalore for Mysore, the experience in itself was exciting. It was the first time that I would be spending in a hostel and along with that I could not follow the tried and tested ‘photocopy notes from the class nerd at the last minute and slog all night’ model that had served me quite well in my engineering days. MBA was a different ballgame altogether like so many people had briefed me about before I left.
It was a hard moment for my parents and me when they dropped me off at Mysore as they would see a lot less of me. However, my initial fears were dispelled that very night as the whole group staying at the hostel went out for dinner. It gave us the chance to break the ice with the others in my batch and also due to the early glimpses of negotiating skills of two of us, we managed to get a discount on the food. Good start!!
Day 1 at college was a total eye opener as our administration brought forth Ms. Meera Sanyal, a legend at Royal Bank of Scotland and now pursuing a role in Indian politics. Her message despite the superstardom she had deservedly achieved in the finance world was simple. Work for the society and bring about the changes to them and the country. This was followed by a lot of other speeches and we were done for the day.
The next two days was what I had looked forward to a lot as we were to be taken to The School of Leadership (TSL) in Bangalore for some team building exercises. This would be the chance I had looked to get to know the others in my program a lot more. The initiative was an instant success from the moment we stepped onto the bus at 5 am. Yes, I woke up at 3 45 am!! Believe it!!
I had made quite a few friends within my first two days of College 2.0 and one of them was a Bangalorean by the name of Nanjunda Prasad. We had the misfortune of sitting right next to the speakers on the bus. And no, they were not Bose speakers by any chance. There were more of a D.K.Bose brand of speakers which jarred and screeched at every chance that was given to it. Add to that the driver deciding that he would make this ride hell by playing songs which had ridiculous lyrics like ‘Lets rock the soniye’. I have already launched a manhunt to find the lyricist of this song!!
After a struggle, I managed to sleep for 15 minutes in a 3.5 hr journey. After a little loss in direction, we managed to reach TSL where we famished souls were treated to some delicious breakfast. Our activities were to be coordinated by a person called Mr. Joseph, a truly delightful person who ensured that we had a good time that day thanks to his innovative ways to get us to learn basic management lessons through activities which included a game where we had to kick a football between makeshift goalposts. I managed to beat my career record of 15 goals in this game. Yet to receive that award from FIFA for this. Wondering what’s taking them so long!! 😛
The rest of the day and the following day had other such activities where we learnt more about the nuances of being a manager and also more importantly for me, I was able to get to know my peers better.One of these games involved the usage of absolute gibberish words like Ongo, Pongo, Tongo… Sounded more like auditions to add new words to a Bingo snack ad. (Vango Pongo Ukarungo.. to refresh your memory). Another was where we had to build a missile launcher using bare minimum material. A teammate of mine christened ours Dragon Backfire. I would suggest you start scratching your head right away and continue at it as I will not reveal (or rather too embarrassed to reveal) just why this name was chosen.
One of the persons I met was one who had worked in Narayana Hrudalaya and was part of his very own cancer hospital in Bangalore. And also he was a walking encyclopaedia on football and probably everything else on the planet. Another soccer soul was an Under-19 player for Mysore University who had been working with Dell.
And oh yeah, there was this one guy who could tell your character by means of analysing your handwriting. I have been very careful of not letting him see my writing till now.
The rest of the week passed by with talks from eminent personalities like Mr. Vineet Nayar, a face I could relate to very well thanks to my Infosys Mysore days. This was followed by a session from a German professor teaching at our campus called Dr. Wolfgang Messner on how people behave in a public environment and within offices. Guest lectures were a frequent event as we had eminent personalities from CXO’s of software companies to social entrepreneurs visiting our campus to share their experiences with us.
Leadership was the first course of the year and was to be taken by a professor from Arizona State University named Dr. Minu Ipe. The next two weeks were just an eye opener not only for me but for the whole class as she got us to introspect quite a lot and resulted in a lot of analysis possessing depth as part of assignments. Our group assignments were a delight as I had a team that was very cooperative and receptive to opinions and offered some of their own too.
But this course involved a lot of self-analysis which meant studying couldn’t really help us here (something I always told my parents when I got low marks:-P). Hostel life was simply a dream for me as the building was always full of life. People going into others’ rooms at odd times, different genres of music being heard (Telugu on the ground floor, trans on the first floor and rock on the second just to be specific), beer and food always in surplus were just some of the things I had never exposed to all this while.
The course ended with a module exam. Exams, usually, meant preparation of chits, contacting the studious persons and buying them food so that they will return the favour by helping us in the exam. But for the first time I sat for an open-book exam. Well, an open book exam has purpose when you have a book where you have actually written something relevant. History suggests that I wouldn’t have written anything and I remained true to it.
I wrote the exam with all my powers of limited creativity and music blaring in my ears which had a setlist of ACDC, Metallica and Iron Maiden.
The fun continued as our second course was something called Managerial Accounting to be taught by Dr. Govind Iyer from the US. The general stereotype on accounting professors was that he/she would be strict and no nonsense. Dr. Iyer was anything but that. In fact he wore sunglasses to class, had an ear piercing and had a style of speaking which has become a rage in the college now.
But the course was really interesting as we learnt a lot outside the classroom during group assignments and case studies. The day before the final exam for the module was what was a throwback to the under-grad days. Late night studies till 2 am supplemented by coffee and music has probably helped me garner a just-pass in this course…
And oh I nearly forgot…. Udaya TV had telecast one of their episodes of a talk show called Sakhiyara Sakkath Maathu at our campus. Though a vast portion of my classmates are non-kannadigas, the experience of seeing just how a live talk show is being set up was an enlightening one. Two of my classmates were part of the panel that was to express their views, one of whom even gave a melodious song to inaugurate the occasion. The show was hosted by someone who was a regular in South Indian movies, Vinaya Prasad. A constant smile on her face coupled with sheer power in her delivery of speech, she held the show together with a control that I had never seen before.
Wish the same could have been said about the Master of Ceremony that day. All she had in her locker were ‘speak some inspiring words’!!!
Wow….1000+ words to describe what has been an eventful month…..Hopefully more of these to come as time flies by……!!!
Experiences from Srinivasan PGDM-2 about their first month of immersion model MBA.
original post @http://cechandmate.com/category/b-school-logs/ on June 26, 2013.