“We have learnt nothing,” uttered the class in unison. The last class of ‘Elephants and cheetahs’ was perhaps a fitting end to term 4. A term, that had begun with the words, “I still haven’t found what I was looking for”. A number of electives had a deep impact behind changing our outlook to how we went about conducting things, but the one on operations strategy was something we all are going to remember for a long time to come.
Starting classes after the long IIP break had been difficult, especially with the Diwali holidays falling in between. Our earlier class schedules had also been broken- and some of us started having classes till 11PM. Daily assignments and PPTs were now a part of our lives- the second term had stretched our limits and this one threw us over it. The only qualm a few of us started having was with electives taking up most of our time now- the earlier groups and syndicates had almost dissolved. The syndicate groups- or the study groups for the uninitiated, had somehow become a part of our extended family- in fact family for most of us. However, some new ones were also being formed, and some of them promised interesting interactions.
I remember me walking through the over powering gates of IIMA in April, when I like others had had to leave our families behind when we embarked on this tumultuous journey. Eight months into the course, we had lost a few things, but had gained much more than what we could have ever thought. And to top it all, the bonds that we have formed have become our lifelines in the daily rigour that we are subject to everyday of the month. Of course, like every family, we keep having our fallouts, only to reconcile a few moments later. The campus has become our home away from home, and our friends have become a part of that home. And a few people have become just that little closer. We do not know whether these bonds will last a lifetime, but what we know in our hearts is that they are going to be fond remembrances for years to come.
When we came out here, it was to learn the ways of IIMA, to absorb the learnings the place offered us. It would be a life changing experience we were told. It has been that and much more. Little have we realized that over the months, the place has absorbed us in its fold, and no matter where we go, a part of that is going to remain in our hearts forever. The professors, the late-night classes, the intense arguments in the syndicate rooms and over tea at Tapri, Dosa at Radhika’s and Late night eats at Tanstaafl are the things that infuse adrenaline into our veins, and will continue to evoke a feeling of nostalgia when that rush is gone.
The intense lethargy to get out of bed at 8, the mad rush to the class, breakfast in hand, the hurried lunch, the herculean task of keeping our eyes open in the post lunch sessions, the evening tea at Rambhai’s, the late-night study sessions at the library have become our new way of life. And for us people with families on campus, we somehow have to squeeze in those precious few moments with them.
Going to the gym has now become a luxury- a thing we all yearn for, but cannot afford. Cycling has been a life-saver, or rather the saving grace till winter comes and we don our jackets to hide those bulging waist lines. Outliers would always be there- and envy is the only thing we have for people who despite the rigorous months out here have managed to maintain that perfect anatomy.
Some of us have shown the courage to audit a few courses amidst this blink-and-you-miss-a-class schedule. Some of us are more prone to #fomo I guess. Can’t blame them though- with the kind of professors and the course outlines that we keep getting for the electives, it is very difficult (despite the overwhelming workloads) to choose which subjects to drop. From listening to music, watching videos on YouTube, doing yoga, to trips to jungles late at night- the courses have thrown a lot at us. A lot besides the usual truckload of assignments and pre-reads, that is.
So, the pertinent question that rmay remain in the minds of a few readers, is why, after such ‘intense therapy’ we couldn’t manage to learn anything? Well, to quote our dear professor, “no matter what you do, and where you go, always remember your roots, and don’t forget to tell yourself that there is an ocean out there, and you have barely learnt to swim. “
Organizational turnaround lessons in tow, we reflect on these words as we try to figure out how much of a turnaround we have managed to achieve in ourselves.
Archya, is a doctor-turned-healthcare administrator, who thinks he has a passion for writing, and hence uses his limited idle time to pen down his thoughts. No publishing house has yet made him any offers, so he has to now debate his opportunity costs.
Archya is presently pursuing a MBA (PGPX) from IIM, Ahmedabad.