"There is more to
IIM-A than what you think"
- by Anuj Arora *
Have been going through the
threads of different IIMs & what I observed was that the janta wants to
know what's unique to each IIM and what makes it different from the others. In
case of IIM-A, although there are hazaar things to talk about, I'll talk
about some "soft" courses, which as per my knowledge are unique to IIM-A (would
appreciate if any student from other IIM can share experience regarding any
course similar to this in their respective institute). These courses have helped
a lot of students for more than 2 decades in becoming a better human being.
These are elective courses and can be taken in 2nd year.
The 1st being CRI (Career,
Role & Identity)
In this course, we talk about the
different subjects of life. It is conducted by our dean Prof. Indira Parikh and
she is just marvelous in it. We are given assignments like writing another
person's biography, perception about men & women, expectations from spouse,
expectations from work place, expectations from marriage & finally one's
autobiography. All these are compulsory, but the onus to learn is on the
students as usual.
We have a frank discussion in
class with exchange students actively participating in discussions. We are asked
to talk about different issues in groups and then discuss in class. We also read
a book based on research on IIM-A grads who passed out in 70s & 80s, about their
experiences in different facets of life. It has a vide variety of experiences on
all fronts (both professional & personal). There were alumni with 20+ yrs of
work experience who came and talked about their personal experiences and told us
about common mistakes IIM-A junta makes at work (yeah, that also happens).
Frankly, this has been one of the
best courses I've taken in my life. Although it is not a technical course, its
learnings are of even more importance in working field and personal front as
The 2nd being ERI (Exploration
in Role & Identity)
This is a sister course of CRI &
the main difference is that it is not a classroom subject. All students who have
taken the course go to a far off place in a wild life sanctuary with Prof.
Parikh and her associates. They are totally cutoff from the world for a week or
so. Then they are distributed in small groups and everybody talks about their
life and other issues. People have their meals together and then have a night
session where they talk about different issues under moonlight in open. Although
I could not take this course, but still can very well say, it is another jewel
in the courses that IIM-A has to offer.
The 3rd course is PFM
(Philosophical Foundations of Management)
Although not that old, this
course is about pure philosophy and no management. It is taken by two professors
and they sure are impeccable in terms of thoroughness in their knowledge of
philosophy. Here we talked about ancient philosophies like that of Aristotle,
Plato, Descartes, etc. We talk about their line of thought and its relevance
today. Then we had discussions about God, different line of thoughts regarding
this, Indian vs. Western thoughts, capitalism vs. socialism. Other interesting
topics were about concept of reality, assumption, hypothesis and a lot of other
As our assignments, we had to
present on any philosophy/philosopher and review on a book related to
philosophy. It was good fun and full of learnings as well.
These are not all of the courses
that I liked, but they are a lot more unique than say, Brand Management or
The main purpose of the post is
just to make all MBA aspirants and readers aware about that there is a lot more
uniqueness to IIM-A than 4-5 hours sleep, fundoo people, I-bank
placements and high salaries.
I hope that my aim is served.