April 4th 2013 and 85 of us walked inside the hallowed walls of The Institute - aspired, inspired and motivated.
A few were acquainted through social networks and alumni meets; connections were there but friendships were yet to born. Everyone, behind their smile, was hiding the anxiety of what’s in the store for the next one year, however, all were equally excited and proud of becoming a part of this prestigious phenomenon called IIMA.
We had 3 days before the classes – which few referred as the “days of our freedom before grinding”. Proactive ones among us coordinated introductory presentations and X2 alumni meet. That’s when for the first time we entered CR1, our temple for next one year – darshan timings from 8:45am to 1:10am with few sudden emergency poojas at 3:00pm. And the most prominent gyaan from X2 was – “it will come like a storm; don’t tremble, take it easy”. Did we?
All spent those 3 days arranging groceries, settling in new rooms, exploring the local Vastrapur market, mapping each other’s names with faces, carrying heavy-weight vidya from old campus to our rooms, playing badminton and pool, adjusting to the scorching sun, familiarizing with the beautiful IIMA campus, partying, and waiting for the unknown.
The course formally started with the grand inauguration dinner attended by many dignified professors. Spouses and kids were also invited, and it was a great way to interact with professors and mingle with 85 and their families.
The first morning, everyone was on time, well-dressed, clean shaved. Would this going to like this for long...ahem? ;-) We had heard the dreaded truth but the professor confirmed it on the very first day – forget your sleep, it is a luxury here at IIMA. And so, the course began.
All 85 were divided into 15 Syndicates – our core group to help us sail through good times and mostly bad. Every evening team members started meeting in their allocated syndicate rooms, trying to understand each other as well as the cases on multitude of functions and industries.
Inside the class we were dealing with the cheetahs, the elephants, the skylabs, the cash flow, the symphony, and outside we were learning to work together in teams of fellow peers. CP inside the class and assignments outside started taking the toll. The pressure eventually started building up with tougher cases, and the back log started piling up. "TGIF tomorrow" on Thursday evenings became a trendy status on chat messenger. Sleep deprivation was on its all time high and so was the caffeine intake. And then emerged some sleeping beauties :)
Amidst our busy schedule of attending classes, analysing cases, brainstorming with syndimates, completing assignments, making presentations, and experiencing morning light, it suddenly struck to a good soul that we are in campus for these many days and never played its traditional game – Frisbee. And a mail floated, Frisbee Tonight @ 10 @ IMDC lawns. And it became a routine for some. Sometimes we snatched people from their syndi rooms to play Frisbee for an hour.
We also started having our share of get-togethers on Friday evenings and dorm 26 became our adda. Sports enthusiasts formed the teams for badminton, tennis, squash and pool, and the big boys enrolled for gym.
The roller-coaster ride was taking up the speed and we all 85 were having a blast, learning something new with every turn and swing. The spouses and the kids in PGPX were good friends by then. They started meeting in the park, having potlucks, participating in cultural events, shopping together, having girls' dinner out, and the list goes on. All in all, spouses had started having the gala time!
We had our elections, some great pitches, and various committees were formed. Hats off to the election committee to handle the process so transparently and seamlessly. Focus industry groups were also formed targeting for specific industries, though some souls like me are still going to multiple focus groups, demeaning the meaning of focus. Hope we find our focus soon ;)
In between all this speed, our amazing speaker series committee managed to invite two eminent personalities - Mr. Ronnie Screwvalla and Mr. Annirudha Deshmukh, providing us the fortunate opportunities to interact and learn from the proven leaders. At the same time, the media committee also improvised PGPX blog and make our presence felt on FB and twitter. We also had some photo competitions during which few hidden photographers of our batch emerged.
In between we also had some fun time watching the shooting of a Bollywood movie taking place on the campus: an adaptation of Chetan Bhagat’s “2 states” - the main attraction was Arjun Kapoor, Aliya Bhatt and Remo. Some smart ones managed to get a click as well.
The ride was getting faster when suddenly we hit FRA and the its "surprize" downturns. But somehow we managed to ride pass safe. IIP decision was one more such turn that shaken up the ride near its end but IIP committee handled all the confusions and dilemmas very well. Hats-off to them!
By then, our sports committee was in place as well and it took out an amazing initiative to coordinate PGPX 2013-14 first sports meet with the badminton and table tennis matches. It was exciting to see everyone participating with full enthusiasm and spirit. Three evenings worth spent. There was one more sport played there. Check out the fourth pic below ;)
We also had a great time interacting with some of the Ohio students, who visited us for lunch in between a trip to other businesses in the area and even attended our marketing class. This is what some had to say:
The case study method used in PGPX program leads to a lot of interaction between the Professor and the students. The exchange of ideas therefore is very high and good for thought generation.
By now, all of us were tuned to the exams, surprise quizzes, complicated cases. Discussions on cases were shifted from syndicates to coffee shops, and in syndicates we started doing better things - someone celebrating the joy of becoming a proud parent or someone enjoying the feel of getting older (wiser) by an year.
Out of many good things, Connexions planning was one that took off early this year. That gave us a lot of time to strategize the event better, invite extraordinary speakers, coordinate among all the required committees and stake holders, and most importantly improve the PGPX brand.
When MSH folks felt a little out of touch, the amazing dorm people invited all MSH with their families to a class dinner. It was a welcome get-together which started with a paper dance, followed by delicious dinner, concluded by ice-cream and lasted by some great friendships.
Within no time, we were giving standing ovations to our profs after their last lecture for Term 1, and were buckling up for our end term exams. However, some felt exams were more relaxing than the daily cases and assignments ;)
The 1/5th of our ride was over in a blink, and we marked this end of term 1 and the beginning of term 2 with a bash - KAISHI KINEN - 歓迎幸せ (A Happy Beginning in Japanese) - in which the entire batch and their families came forward to make it grand.
The ride is still on. It is not going to be easy however it promises to be more thrilling and much more exciting. Stay on!