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Diaries


Expert Suggestions on Preparation for Computer Based CAT-09


It's Time for Fourth Term at IIM-A

- by Vinamra Srivastava *

So you must be wondering why has this blog not been updated for so long... Was the 4th term so hectic that it didn�t give me any time at all? Well, on the contrary, the only reason I can think of for not writing for so long is... Laziness! Period.

The first term of the second year was everything I wanted it to be... the most chill term of my existence at IIM-A so far. I had only heard about what tuchchadom is and when it was time to experience it, I can tell you there was no greater bliss than this. The thing is that if you isolate the term from the first year completely and look at it independently, it's still not so chill. You are actually still supposed to study, prepare for classes, give exams, etc. However, with the academic hell that we have gone through in the first year, this study now seemed like peanuts. We were told that the first year at IIM-A will turn you into steel whereafter nothing ever in life could faze you. After successfully undergoing that transition for one long year, now the time was ours! Here came the second year with all its glory and enticement to enjoy life for one full year as much as we could, before we got back to the drudgery of everyday professional office life.

So why exactly is second year so chill compared to the first year, and why does tuchchadom imply freedom from all academic worries and the time to unwind and pursue all you wanted to? (Apart from the muggu junta, who will mug even when the heavens are falling!) And what exactly we did then in the 4th term? Let me answer all these one by one.

First, the academic part. In IIMs, there is no specialization. We are not MBA Finance / Marketing or whatever after we pass out. We are given general management diplomas. There�s a plethora of subjects on offer in the second year in varied fields and we are free to chose subjects from whichever field we want to. We just have to stick to the minimum credit requirements in each term, which mostly translates that people usually take 15 credits (subjects) in the entire year. The break up amongst the three terms is usually either 6, 5, 4 or 5, 6, 4. In my case, it was the later, I took 5 courses in the 4th term. Out of which, one was an offsite course called Shodh Yatra, which essentially was a trek to Sikkim and about which I will talk in my next blog entry. So that leaves 4 courses. Out of that, one course was called Managing Negotiations and it lasted for just 8 days and had no exams! So that left 3 courses. These were Infrastructure Development & Financing, Strategy Formulation & Implementation, and Consumer Behavior.

Out of these, CB started only post mid term. So as you can see, my time table was not exactly what you will call, Hectic. Another thing, if you see my subjects, apart from CB, none of them were focused on one particular field. And that�s what I love about this place.

I am free not to be bound by stereotypes and can actually learn any general management subject that I want to. And in all my 3 terms now, I planned to mix subjects from all fields, even including Philosophy, which I will talk about later! 

So effectively, my academic load was zilch to say the least, compared to what I had in the first year. But I had purposely chosen subjects that will not give me much pain in this term. I have taken a bit more painful subjects in the 5th term, but I wanted to reserve the 4th term for basically recuperating from the strains of the first year and, hence, just enjoying myself to the hilt!

The one interesting thing that we did academically was our IDF project. We did a project on the Sabarmati Riverfront Development Project, which is currently one of the biggest things happening on the infrastructure front in the country. In one sentence, it involves reducing the width of the river Sabarmati and using the reclaimed land to build beautiful public and commercial spaces. The end result would actually change the very face of this city. The best thing about this project was the insights gained from the primary interviews that we had. We spent huge time and effort in meeting with almost all stakeholders involved, including AMC�s Deputy Commissioner, the architects and even the slum-dwellers who are going to be re-located. The end result was a comprehensive report of which the group was really proud, basically due to the huge first-hand information that we had gained. It surely was the best project I had been a part of so far in this institute.

We had actually taken an exchange student from the US in our study group and the experience was rewarding. She was very senior to us, in fact she was serving in the US Army! She was here doing a Public Policy Programme and had taken IDF as one of her subjects. The insights that we gained from her were phenomenal. More than that, she was the motivating factor behind the group. After the first year, the enthusiasm levels of the group in tuchchadom were not really what I would term as �great� but she ensured that we are on our toes on this project and this project wouldn�t have been what it came out to be without her!

So, what did we do in the term if we didn�t study so much? Ha! Ha! Ha! A million-dollar question! On a typical day, I would go to the gym in the morning (yeah, I know, getting up was a pain but I somehow managed, because the gym would be full in the evenings) as my classes started only late in the mornings.

After having a leisurely breakfast (another first at IIM-A for me), I would come back to the room, read the newspaper, get ready for the classes and leave. Classes would get over in the afternoon, except CB, which took place in the evening. In the remaining time, I would usually explore new eating joints in Ahmedabad, roam around on my bike with friends, play cricket / badminton / TT and watch movies on my comp. Oh yeah, and try to squeeze in some studies in between, if mood permitted. So you see, now you can understand why I didn�t get time to write this blog. Ha! Ha! Ha!

The distinction can be summarized in one line. In the first year, I slept late because I was mugging. In the second year, I sleep late because I am either playing cricket or watching movies.

The institute was abuzz with activities as usual that kept people on their toes even without any academic load. Lots of sports events were organized between fachchas and tuchchas so as to help reduce the stress levels of the fachchas as well as spot the talented ones. The tuchcas beat the fachchas overall but almost every match was a close affair.

Thanks heavens! We finally won in cricket! For the first time my team won in this institute. By the way, I thought that my TT days were over when I came here last year as I didn�t play here at all. But surprisingly, I didn�t lose all my touch as I came 3rd in a TT tournament organized this term, open for all, with nearly 50 of us participating. I hope to continue to play regularly now. The Drama Club of IIM-A put up a 2-hour play which was very neatly done and appreciated by all. The Dance Club put up a show as well, displaying the best dancers we have and making us realize that these guys were simply awesome!

Not to be left behind, the Music Club organized the fachcha Welcome Night where they performed more than 25 numbers, ranging from Western Rock to Indian Rap! A mind-blowing performance it was. The guitarists, drummers and vocalists looked as if they have come straight out of some international band! I tell you, the talent pool at this place just keeps on getting bigger with every incoming batch!

So as you can see, the term was full of fun, masti and excitement. It kept all of us busy with our respective club activities, but there was no dearth of enjoyment. We even went for a bike trip to a nearby bird sanctuary.

That�s how the second year is. If you want, you can mug your way through. Else, you can chose a couple of serious subjects where you put good effort and freak out and enjoy rest of the time, an option most of us, including me, takes!

But all this enjoyment has not come for free. All of us have earned every bit of it by going through hell in the first year. And hence, we all deserve this time now. For the fachchas reading this, Hang on and keep your heads high... Good times are to follow. But for now, all I can say is: Muggo Fachchon Muggo... Ha! Ha! Ha!

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