…To continue the story, once a pre-start visit to IIMA was decided upon, the next step was to finalise the date and the number of participants. Sounds simple! Isn’t it? But believe me; it wasn’t, since willingness to attend was directly impacted by the likely date of visit. The initial suggestion to visit towards end of December was vehemently opposed by those who had better Christmas/New Year plans laid out! We then thought of 14th January, to coincide with the colorful kite festival in Ahmedabad but faculty was not available. Ultimately after hectic exchange of emails, Jan 21-22 were fixed as dates for the visit – Jan 21 (Sunday) for meeting PGPX-I participants and Jan 22 for meeting key faculty in IIMA.
Once dates were finalized, a poll was created to capture names and travel data but the details remained fluid since most of us were busy with work and travel. Encouraged by telephonic chats with Raju, Sonam and Sanjay, I started phoning up others for real-time updates. It was fun to observe their reactions; caution at receiving a call from an unknown number, followed by happiness at discovering the PGPX correlation. This interface was invaluable, though my phone bill during this period went through the roof!
Meanwhile, a full-fledged debate on yahoo group was on, to thrash out the parameters of the visit. PGPX Pre-admission Meet had initially been planned for personal interaction with PGPX-I and IIMA, to jump-start our Placement Brochure and development of a new website. But further discussions kept adding other elements such as academic activities, international immersion, and family related issues, much to the chagrin of Sanjay and Sonam who did not favour any dilution of the original objectives.
As if this was not enough, Sanjay, coordinating with PGPX-I, informed us that we needed to pass our questions to PGPX-I in advance of the meet. This required us to put down our collective thoughts on paper in a coherent and structured manner. This exercise was a lesson in group dynamics, and a tribute to the mature and collaborative spirit amongst the participants. Thoughts and contributions from Sanjay, Manish, Pramod, Sachin, Vaibhav, Bipin, Tejbir and many others were finally integrated by Raju and Sonam in the form of a note which was sent off to PGPX-I.
By early January, we had 22 people ‘signed’ for joining the expedition to IIMA. The generous offer by our local lass Darsha for sampling Gujarati food was an added attraction! Accommodation offered by PGPX office was expensive, forcing most of us to make our own arrangements.
Perhaps spurred by my almost daily emails to Alok Jain, the PGPX office scheduled a discussion-dinner with IIMA faculty and key participants of senior batch on the evening of Jan 21, followed by an exclusive meeting with Prof Arvind Sahay and a “sit in” in a live classroom session of PGPX-I.
Enthused by the prospect of meeting each other, we started congregating in the PGPX lounge at IIMA from 10 AM on Jan 21. As each person arrived and introduced himself, PGPX Pre-admission Meet was finally underway…
…to be continued…