It’s Term 3 here at IIMA. It’s barely 3 weeks since the term started and we are already writing final exams!! A schedule packed with core courses plus electives gets pretty rough with classes starting at 8.45 am and ending at 9pm followed by group meetings, assignments and other prep work through the wee hours of night. I realized that this course is also a test of pure physical stamina and mental concentration. Now that we are getting close to the International Immersion Program, placements, project work and so on, the focus is slightly shifting from just class preparations. So that’s where we are for now.
I hail from God’s own country. After finishing undergraduate studies in Architecture from Thiruvananthapuram, I joined the mass exodus to go to the land of opportunities. I took a Masters in Construction Management and Certificate in Business from Texas A & M University. Following graduation I worked for one of the leading private general contractors in the U.S. During my 5 years of work, I was posted on construction sites as a construction manager for the project management division on projects with budgets ranging from $30 million – $55 million. There, I managed subcontractor companies (regional and international), their resources, manpower, material, logistics and project schedule. I also handled contract negotiations, payment requisitions, cost engineering, preconstruction meetings, quality review and sequence of operations. During one of my posting as project scheduler, I managed the project schedule for a $35 million project, analyzed impact of design changes and contingencies on schedule. Even though majority of my experience is in the Mid-Atlantic region, I also travelled to other regional offices for bidding projects ranging from $10 million – $200 million. One of the bids I worked for was the Schaumberg Convention center, Chicago. Some of the projects I worked on are Children’s National Medical Center, Smithsonian Museum renovation and some condominium projects in Washington DC.
Although undergraduate days and graduate days in U.S. offered me plenty of opportunities to pursue extracurricular activities such as dance, theater, travel, various academic and non-academic clubs it is a bit difficult to continue the trend here at IIMA. Not due to lack of opportunities, but due to lack of time. The 1 year condensed program doesn’t offer you much choice to try all the things that you want to try without giving up some other things. However I did brush up my dance skills during the 3 nights of culturals we had here. Other than that, occasionally I try to catch up with some jogging to control stress and to get breath of fresh air.
Post PGPX, I would like to move into either auto or media industry in India primarily in the marketing function. May be it is far-fetched to change both industry and function, but at least I have identified that my passion lies there and so I can’t let it go without giving a try. March 2010 will provide the answer to that. Until then its reading, case preps, assignments, exams, class presentations, group work, project work, sleepless nights etc etc etc…….
– Seenu Kurien