The Beginning of a
New life @ DoMS, IIT Madras
- by Surya, Pritam & Varsha *
The taxi entered the gates of the
Indian Institute of Technology, Madras. The driver headed towards the Gajendra
Circle, and I was seated in the backseat, staring out of the window. Just
looking around, a strange current flowing through my body... Yes I had
As a youngster, getting here had always been my dream and today here I was...
There are some moments in life, very few of them, which can't be expressed in
words. They can only be felt. The feeling of being at IIT was certainly one of
Getting to my hostel, setting up
my room, meeting new people and before I knew it, my first day at IIT was over.
Over the next three days, we had our formal orientation programme. Brief
introductions by our faculty members coupled with a couple of sessions conducted
by the people of the industry made it quite interesting. The highlight was the
address by the Director of IIT who happens to be one of the most erudite persons
I have ever heard speak. He was simply overwhelming in his clarity of thought
and speech. Citing numerous examples, quotes and excerpts from books, his speech
was greatly inspiring, to say the least. He managed to drive home the importance
of hard work and excellence, and also urged us to spend a lot of our time in the
library. Following his speech, we had a welcome note by the HoD, DoMS and then
got down to the most interesting part of all - getting to know our classmates.
There was great sense of excitement as each one of us went on to the dais and
introduced ourselves to the whole class, and as we did so, a mini-India had
already started to evolve in front of our eyes. We started chatting with one
another, had tea in the department with the Profs. The warmth, which had been
generated, was enough to keep us chugging for the rest of the day.
The itinerary read like this:
04:30 P.M. - Movie "The Corporation". Nobody among us had even the slightest
doubt that the name of the movie was misprinted. "It ought to be 'Corporate'
macha!!" The word spread and excitement was brewing among the guys - I mean what
could be more exciting than watching the sultry Bipasha Basu right on the first
day of the curriculum. But alas! That was not to be. There was no mistake in the
print. To brand 'The Corporation' as a movie would be at best a euphemism for a
dreary documentary running for the entire three hours. Meant to open our eyes
towards the activities and responsibilities of corporations, the documentary was
no doubt an informative one.
After that got over, we were
about to jump from our seats and get back to hostels in anticipation of a good
night's sleep when the 'breaking news' came in - a strict deadline by the
seniors to present a PowerPoint presentation by 10:00 P.M. which was a
pre-requirement for the seniors-juniors interaction.
To be frank, our hurriedly prepared presentations were pathetic - didn't deserve
a consideration, but then who was there to consider them - our seniors were
simply preparing us for the difficult days ahead. The interaction was a cool
one, had lots of fun asking weird questions, receiving equally weird answers,
eyes red from sleeplessness, dozing off towards the end it seemed to me as if
the session would never end. It ended with another announcement. "We are not
happy with the way it was done. Tomorrow make one more presentation and also
sell a product!!! " So the next night was even better. Things went on till about
There I was walking back to my
hostel room and cursing as to why we should be subjected to such treatment so
When I went to class the next
morning, I realized that I knew the names of most of the people in my class.
That's when it struck me and I said to myself, 'Geez... The events of the last
two nights organized by the seniors were indeed very good ice-breaking
sessions.' The entire exercise was to help us know our classmates and our
We had a brilliant and
interactive talk session by Mr. V. Balaraman, President, Madras Chamber of
Commerce, who gave us real insights as to what the industry expects from an MBA
graduate. His experiences during his long stint at HLL, which he shared with us
generously, helped a lot of us to get over with some misconceptions and
instilled many new ideas about the workings of the corporate sector. And this
was just the beginning of a series of more inspiring and informative lectures by
industry leaders, not to forget a good session on 'leadership' by Daniel
Jebasingh, Director - HR, Ajuba Systems.
And yes... no orientation at IIT
can end without the mention of the concept so popularized by Chetan Bhagat's
Five Point Someone, the CGPA. We had a faculty member explaining the intricacies
of the CGPA and asking us to put in our best effort.
Fresher's party is something one
associates with engineering colleges. I had no clue or rather not expected it at
a B-school in such a pompous fashion. Maybe I wasn't aware. Still if you ask
most of the students, the general opinion would be that we would have a party.
But what we got was just amazing.
Two of them, back to back on a Saturday and Sunday night, both in complete
contrast to one another, thus, by no means making it repetitive. The first was a
very formal one with the faulty members also joining in. After the declaration
of Mr. & Ms. Freshers and a small 'nick-name' game, our group was supposed to
come up with a dance, song and play, but we got lost somewhere in between and
managed a medley only. However, the medley was so well received that we had
almost the entire student community on the dance floor. Later the movie 'Italian
Job' was screened and we finally got back to the hostel at around two in the
The second party was a much more
'energetic' one, if I may use that word. Dance, dance and more dance was the
order of the night. By the time it ended, there was great deal of camaraderie
among students of both batches. The kind of effort put in by the organizers
during the entire week was just amazing. They have set a benchmark for us and
it's up to us to raise the bar higher.
I was also privileged enough to
witness the Convocation Ceremony held at the SAC Centre. Listening to the
Director and also Mr. Ratan Tata was really inspiring. This was followed by an
Annual Reunion for DoMS students, a great idea conceived by our HoD. It allowed
us to interact with a lot of our seniors who are in the corporate world and get
a real feel of the things.
In just two weeks, we have
already had two business quizzes organized by students of DoMS. We also had a
crossword contest organized for all the students of IIT. I'm sure it's a sign of
great things to come. The other day I was sitting in my room, doing some
self-introspection about how it felt to be back at school after having worked
for quite sometime. And the answer I got was - Great. It feels great to be at
I would like to end by saying
something that I strongly feel about. Perception is something on which the world
operates. There is a strong feeling that IIT is a technology-oriented
institution. It's very difficult to change people's minds. I also don't think we
We need to use this aura of excellence and quality as one of our strengths,
build on it and make DoMS, IIT Madras, one of the best management schools in the
country. This would take a lot of effort from all of us. I'm sure we will be up
Being at IIT is a dream come true
and the pressure works on each one here. But however hard we study... we party