"B-School Diary : Snapshots from IIMB"
- by Prasar Sharma*
Believe it or not... I'm back!!!
It's vacation time at IIMB. Yes! We actually have them here.
And yes, it also means that I have completed one term. And YES also that I am
now looking forward with extreme fear to that morning about 20 days away when we
get our grades. RG shall rear its ugly head and we shall see the results of the
immeasurable volumes of CP that so many of our mates indulged so desperately in.
And for you poor uninitiated souls, here is Episode II of IIM
CP: In the 'modern U Shaped lecture halls' of the IIMs,
Class Participation is the mantra that all our 'revered' kings of RG cling to.
It's an extremely sick concept. We, the members of the
Learning Mode Society - we can't even sleep in class. Instead, we must spend an
hour thinking up of weird, pointless crap that we can throw up in the guise of
fountains of logic. The vagueness of the whole concept stems from the fact that
it inspires you to indulge in pointless blabber and still earns you marks.
Yeah... our marketing course actually had 15% of grades devoted to CP!
It started of as a way of getting people to share experience, gain it and to
basically contribute to the value-add. But sample this...
Date: Duh! Happens everyday in some form or the other.
Place: IIM everywhere. Stats Class
PROF: ... So what this essentially means is that the
area under the curve between the upper and lower limits is 95%...
(... before the prof has had his say... RG King has shot up his hand... the prof
hasn't even noticed him... but he believes that it is his birthright� so...)
RG KING: ... Sir, so that essentially means that by
basic calculation and by innovative application of mathematical logic and by the
... (the class is groaning) and by applying acute analytical skills, we can
actually make some interesting conclusions (... by this time even I have woken
up). The conclusion that I have reached through my mental ability (... my mouth
is gaping wide open... ditto the rest of the class... even the prof is getting
there) without the aid of a calculator ... in continuation of what you were
saying and consequent to your piercing insight and with the aid of my razor
sharp number skills ... is that (... the prof is now scratching his head trying
to figure out what he had done!!!) the area under the curve but outside the
limits can actually be calculated and is in fact equal to 5%!!! (... he looks
around like a satisfied cat after having eaten a mouse... people gape at him in
horror... he thinks they are awestruck... even the prof... so much so that he
has actually fainted.... wait till I tell him that there are no marks for CP in
As NBC would so proudly say... NOW YOU KNOW!
(By the way NBC is nothing sinister�. yet for the uninitiated
it stands for the National Broadcasting Corporation).
If class was horror... then the last two weeks were pure
terror. What else would you call sleeping regularly at 6 in the morning for
almost a week!
(In case you didn't read the first part: I usually go to sleep much earlier, at
4 in the morning). And the culprits were those "group projects". They actually
wanted to get us used to working in groups... make us feel comfortable about it.
Did they succeed? Less said about it the better. You really have to wonder about
this: In engineering college, we wrote one project report in 4 years, which was
hardly worth the paper that we wrote it on. At IIMB, we have had to do 4 such
projects in one term. What has been even worse is that we actually had to work
on them this time round. And as if that wasn't torture enough, we had profs
mailing us now and again telling us about more and more assignments to do and
presentations to make. The end terms were a week away, I hadn't studied a word.
And in these tough times, when I needed inspiration... that golden piece of
advice from my seniors kept replaying in my head...
"So what if you screwed up till now... the end terms have the
greatest weightage... you can cover up in them!"
OK! Advice accepted. From where do I get the time?
"You'll be a manager soon... manage it dude!"
But before you could even say 'try'... Placecom struck. We
actually had to file resumes and fill forms for something like 25 companies
despite the fact that we had projects to do and exams to write. But that wasn't
too bad either till you realized that the Summer Placement season was here. The
companies were now going to lineup at the holy abode of the future Gods of
Management to lap up the "best talent". Now I was really depressed! In case you
are still wondering why, go back to the part in the inverted commas!
And while the carnage was happening, there were still 5 exams
to write. Three of these were open book. In case you are an IIM aspirant - WIPE
THAT SMILE OFF YOUR FACE! An open book exam is usually what is usually called an
"open challenge" by most normal people. When a prof says that his exam will be
"open book", you can safely assume that the next thing he'll do is swagger down
to his office, lock himself in and have the laugh of his life!
"60 more suckers!!!!!!"... I am afraid that this is what you
must decipher the real sentiments from... the 'truth' is quite unprintable.
But then when you are caught between the devil and the deep
blue sea... you will always choose - open book. Because that means that
depending upon how much more fun loving the profs in the other sections are, you
are likely to get a night of sleep and the other sections a free night out with
Philip Kotler's epic work on Marketing!
The bodies keep piling up, until the day when you get the
break that you so desperately needed. 15 days of pure (?) ecstasy. What an event
to look forward to. Just imagine that you will get to spend a few days at home
after 3 months of terror. Every day shall dawn with you desperately checking the
college mail account for short lists for the summer placements. Each day shall
take you closer by one to the day you shall return back to the grind.... O! What
a lovely future!
Dear Diary, it was lovely talking to you again tonight. One
month after I last talked to you. I have begun to believe that I can actually
survive this place. I have begun to develop that confidence. But, then I'm not
sure how long that will last - Summer Placements happen next week!