Third Week at IIM-A
- by Vinamra Srivastava *
"If I tell you the average depth
of this river is 1 m, will you cross it by foot?"
The HR Professor asked us in a
commanding tone to make us understand that averages do not give the true picture
and it's the spikes that practically determine a course of action.
The class was silent, and suddenly, out of the blue, the Professor looked at one
guy and signaled him to answer... We all were expecting an obvious answer, and
the guy said, "No sir, I will not cross it by foot... I will get wet!!!"
The entire class burst out
laughing... We all couldn't control ourselves... amidst this serious discussion,
here comes a whacky answer that lightens the mood. The Professor too joined in
the laughter and we all laughed for quite some time... The Professor, also
amused by the answer, doled out to him... ha ha ha !!!
This is how the week started for
us... The first class of HR on Monday! Actually these HR classes are really
great... I never thought this subject would be interesting... but the Professor
is so great, he makes the subject so lively... he gives us anecdotes, cracks
lots of jokes and is really an expert on the subject... Makes us analyze
seemingly simple things in great detail. You have to be really alert in his
class because he randomly picks up people to answer stuff... and if you haven't
prepared for the class, you are in serious trouble. But even then, the classes
are good fun because of the exciting way he teaches.
Monday went fine... Accounting
classes take a toll on me, and I as usual, struggled to keep pace with the
class. Tuesday afternoon after lunch we reached the mess and the deadly notice
board awaited us... "There will be an OM quiz today at 2.30 pm in the respective
classrooms." Bang!!! There goes my lunch... Came back to my room to refresh for
the quiz. I wont go into the details of how the quiz went. In a nutshell, tough
is the only way I can describe it.
Little did we know this is going
to be the trend for the entire week? For four days on the trot, till today, we
had four consecutive surprise quizzes. A quiz notice is put up on the notice
board in the mess and also a mail is sent at about 12.00 noon informing all the
students about the quiz to be held at 2.30 pm. So what happens in the class is
that once the class gets over at 1.10 pm, everyone flocks to the computer kept
in the class and one guy checks his mailbox to see if there is a quiz
notification mail or not. So it has become a ritual for the class now...
everyday at 1.10 pm, gather at the PC to check for the quiz mail!!
Ha ha ha... I have in a way
started enjoying this entire ritual now... The quizzes are super tough is one
thing... How I fare is another... But this entire excitement, this
uncertainty... I have got used to all this now and we have started expecting a
quiz every day now...
I think the surprise in the "surprise quiz" is now redundant... In fact we get
surprised if there "isn't" a quiz any day!!!
So it has been a tiring week that
went by in a flash... it seems only yesterday that I had gone to my uncle's
place! We have now experienced the pressure of having four continuous quizzes...
so it all is a great learning experience. We are surely learning how to handle
extreme pressure, how to stretch ourselves to the limit... And I tell you, you
wont realize how much your body and mind are capable of!!! We always
underestimate our capabilities... this place makes you aware of them.
This week also continued my
changed attitude towards life here. I am much more relaxed about things in
general. I know I am bad in Accounts, but I try not to get too perturbed because
of it. I have been talking to people regularly on phone and realized it's a
great stress buster... I am getting used to this life now and have stopped
cribbing about the workload... On the contrary, I am enjoying the process now
and trying to understand its tremendous benefits. The load and pressure is here
to stay... its up to me to decide how I look at it... And I have decided to be
positive and take every load, every quiz result, and every pressure in my
stride... And I can already see the effects!!!
There was a birthday in the dorm
early this week and it was great fun... There is a great tradition at this place
to celebrate every birthday in the dorm style... It is a wonderful experience,
you tend to forget all your load and just enjoy the celebration. There is an
elaborate procedure that is followed to celebrate every birthday, and it ends up
being a great affair!
My sleep hours varied vastly this
week. One day I felt so sleepy at 12.00 midnight only and went to sleep, only to
get up at 5.00 am to complete my preparation for the next class... Another day I
was awake till 4.30 am and was fresh enough to carry on for more... Yesterday,
however, I slept at 12.00 midnight and didn't have the stamina to get up
early... Got up at 8.00 am... My longest ever sleep at this place... I felt so
so guilty... I compromised on studies to get some more sleep... You generally
don't do this here... And I know I probably won't be able to afford it anytime
We have got an Operations
Management group assignment where we have to do a study on a service-based
organization and analyze its operations and suggest changes. The report is going
to be submitted next Monday and I know it's going to be a tough week ahead to
manage the regular studies with this project work.
We will be going out of campus to complete the assignment... And we have to
manage this in our non-class hours... So it's going to be one heck of a job...
But its also exciting and I hope we make a good job of it!
Whenever any Professor teaches in
the class, he invariably gives practical examples from his consultancy
experience or his stints with high profile firms... and you can't help but
admire the competency level of these people... They are gods, and every word
they say is full of weight and wisdom... and humour too. I have noticed this...
they all have funny side to them, which makes their sessions even more
There are going to be elections
for various posts here next week and early next month, there will be the
much-awaited T-Nites, about which I will tell as the time comes... So all in
all, lots of exciting stuff in store for us apart from everyday study load and
the not-so-frequent quizzes... Nearly everyday is a quiz day now!!
LKP is the famous landmark in the
campus, which usually features in all the photos of IIM-A in media... It
surrounds huge lawns and the sight of LKP and the library with huge circular
arcs is awesome when you sit down in the lawn... I sat in the lawns few times in
the night to study and the feeling is awesome... You feel so powerful to be
sitting at this historic place, yet so meek to realize the big names that have
sat here, and in comparison, your own miniscule self worth!!!
Its weekend now... and no WAC
report submission But
there's the OM assignment for which we will have to go out tomorrow... and then
there is lots to catch up on studies front... lots of backlog to cover... But
it's still a bit relaxing! There's no immediate pressure... You can always catch
up on sleep... people are relaxing right now... some are playing football, some
badminton, some strolling, some gone out to shop or some are just pure
Whatever it is, we are all
bonding now. Bonding as a family, understanding each other's woes, helping them
out, sympathizing on the quiz load and smiling together in spite of all this,
chatting and relaxing on the intranet and doing all sorts of masti!!
That's the only way we can sustain this load...
Going back to that Monday morning
HR class... one statement the Professor said stuck me... He asked a guy about
the World Cup and he didn't know anything about it... the Professor said,
"Mugging all day is one thing, but if you guys as budding managers do not keep
pace with what's happening in the world, what good are you achieving in life...
So be aware of the world outside this campus... spend time in other
activities... don't have a on-track focus only on studies... and if you want,
you surely can balance your time for other activities."
And since then I have realized,
it isn't really that difficult to spend 15 minutes a day pouring over the
newspaper and another 15 minutes chatting to a friend...
Its all time management... and
whether you like it or not, this place teaches you this in the best possible