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Life in a B-school

Life in a B-school can be exactly what you want it to be. The flexibility offered by an MBA is unparalleled. But the best part is that along with this freedom, you will be bestowed a self-belief, discipline and hard-working ability which might sound like oxymoron in the same sentence as freedom, but this is essential for success. Before coming to IIMA, I thought the peer-learning was overhyped, but now I think every word of it was true. The class discussions, study group assignments and in-general interactions take the learning to a completely different level. Just make sure you meet the challenge head on, making best use of the opportunities here, and not sleep away your two years!
B-school provides immense opportunities to students in the two years. So it is important to utilise the time in the best possible manner. It’s a place where there is no room for average. So you need to prioritise your goals and be the best possible person in your own domain. And that can only happen with hard work and diligence towards the tasks given to you. Once you acquire the knowledge, you will gain self-confidence and that will hold you in good stead for your stint of two years in a B-school. Interacting with the professors is a good idea and that will help you not only with the academics but also get a glimpse into the industry you are headed for.
One common thread connecting all B-schools is that there’s always a lot to be done. Along with academics, you get involved with corporate and inter B-school competitions, corporate projects, festivals, committee work, internships and many other activities. It’s very important to prioritise what you want to do and chalk out a plan for yourself based on your interests and skills early on. This will help you navigate the MBA with a purpose. Apart from that, networking, honing skills that give you an edge, staying updated on current affairs are a few things that you are expected to do throughout your course.
The two years in a B-school is an amazing experience. There is always so much to do that one is always running short on time. Along with diligence towards education, it’s also important to be active in the co-curricular activities. In these two years, it is advisable to talk to industry experts and gain a broader perspective on the things happening all around you. The entire stint at a B-school is filled with events and competitions. You need to participate in them as these will give you self confidence along with helping you to grow professionally.

Networking is very crucial in MBA. The more contacts you have in the industry, the better idea you will have about management.
MBA provides the right mix of academic rigour and experiential learning. The course itself is designed to cater to the needs of the industry, and MBA students are equipped to hit the ground running as soon as they graduate. Foreign exchange programmes, guest sessions by industry leaders, a two-month summer internship at reputed firms and live projects provide students with opportunities to learn about the different sectors and gain domain insights useful to make a career decision. So, I would advise students who are interested to take up management studies, to work tremendously hard and make the most of these two ‘awesomest’ years of their lives.
Well, I feel everyone has his or her own definition of how to make the most of the two years in a B-school. So there is no fixed rule. However, I feel it is better for students to set goals from the very beginning as to what he or she wants to achieve in the two years.

I would advise them not to restrict themselves to merely books. There are lot of options to participate in competitions and multiple activities. Try and participate in them as much as possible. Building contacts is extremely crucial in this phase. So hang around with your peers and seniors. But among all these, you have to remember that scoring well in exams is also important, so study hard along with all the other activities in the B-school.
An MBA is a very different experience from what you have been used to. The best thing you can do is to get out of your comfort zone. You will be in a safe and sheltered environment. So make plenty of mistakes (not the “invade Russia in winter” type!). There is no better way to learn. You are going to meet some amazing people during the two years. Try to work in diverse teams, debate and discuss ideas, and work hard, really hard. The pay-out will be sweet. Above all, don’t forget to have a great time!
Life at a B-school is all about the priorities you set for yourself. Make sure you make the most of the resources available. There are case study competitions, fests, sports, seminars, guest lectures, being part of clubs/committees and much more. However, you have to remember that at the end of the two years, all that matters is your CV. And, the period in these two years is the last chance that you will get to make it look good. So make the most of the two years, gather as much experience as possible and at the end of the day, have fun!
The single biggest advantage of studying in one of the top B-schools of the country is the kind of peer group that you are exposed to. The sheer diversity in backgrounds and profiles opens up so many avenues for learning which, at times, are far more profound than the in-class exercises. Where else will you find fresh graduates sharing desk space with professionals having five years of work experience, or commerce grads rubbing shoulders with science, fashion, engineering graduates? Life at a B-school is simply amazing with so much happening around you. So make the most of it in the two years that you get.
I think that the best way to make full use of the two years of MBA is to join special interest groups and the myriad clubs available on campus. Be it dance, music, quizzing or debating, B-schools have a club or two to cater to everybody’s interests. Invariably, each batch would have some accomplished sportsmen/women or artistes, who have achieved success at national level. As part of clubs, one gets a chance to learn from such individuals and mutually benefit. Apart from this, there are academic clubs that are focused on increasing expertise in specific functions like marketing, finance, HR and others through which students get an opportunity to satiate their curiosity about contemporary events and research in particular domains of interest.
Two years in a B-school are very crucial and how you spend that time can have a good impact on your CV as well. I feel it’s a lot to do with what one chooses as the specialisation subject. People who have opted for finance should augment their CVs with relevant specifications. Many of them come from an IT background and don’t know what is needed. They must make their decision in a very calculated fashion. It is good to be aware of what to expect from a B-school and set your own goals from the very beginning. The two years are going to be very hectic. And always remember that you are on your own, since no one is there to help you. But at the end of the day you are putting in the hard work for yourself alone and learning to be self reliant. So the rewards are going to be satisfactory as well.
My experience thus far at IIFT Delhi could be summed up in three words – varied, sleepless, and cherish able. The first few months passed in as if a utopia; that of acclimatising myself to the pace and rigorous regimen of MBA life. But as the months have gone, and people have settled in after the hectic competition of summers, it has become very worthwhile.

My advice to all aspirants would be to remember that for an overwhelming majority of you, an MBA would be the last bit of student life. Hence, push yourself; but at the same time, be sure to enjoy.
Time management is of prime importance for any B-school student. In my opinion, as a student if you have learnt how to effectively manage your time, life will be a lot easier for you. As an MBA student, you will be always expected to be proficient in MS Excel and MS Powerpoint. Presentations are an integral part of an MBA student’s life. So, start enjoying the work that you get to do in the B-school so as to make the most of the two years. I would like to end by stating that MBA is an excellent opportunity to collaborate, learn and develop one’s own self. So work hard and enjoy the two years to the fullest.
Life in a B-school is a completely different ballgame when compared with the life before it. If normally you are progressing at 50 KMs per hour, after joining an MBA college, things start happening to you at 200 KMs per hour. It’s that much different. And, things happen so fast that at times it becomes a little difficult to get a proper grasp of things. So, I would suggest that you develop a clarity on your likes and dislikes from the very beginning. If you know what you want from the very beginning, life at the B-school will be more or less sorted. It is better to focus on a few things rather than pursuing everything that happens. Take up opportunities like internship, live projects and competitions. Remember, in a B-school there is no one to drive or guide you. So keep motivating yourself every now and then.
For me, the best way to make use of the two-year stay at a B school is to participate in the numerous competitions organised by corporates and other B-schools. Mahindra War Room, L’Oreal Brandstorm, Deloitte Maverick, Tata Steelathon and others are National Level competitions featuring real life cases and challenges faced by the leading corporates of our country. Participating in these competitions not only sharpens your mind but prepares you for the big stage. Apart from these, Young Leader Awards and Youth Icon Awards are given by firms like Economic Times, NHRDN, Aditya Birla Group, which allow the students to compete with the best in the country and test their mettle.
MBA is more about getting knowledge at a broader level. Your success during and after MBA is determined by how well you can connect the dots distributed across various functional fields. The first year covers the core courses and gives you business knowledge. Second year allows you to experiment by offering loads of electives. The middle of the second year is packed with semester exchange programmes which are very interesting. It’s crucial to identify the functional areas of business and explore them. Don’t consider your peers as competitors; treat them as your companions in journey because after graduating these very people will give you an extensive network of professionals spread out across industries. Networking is important especially when you move into executive positions or you begin to start-up because you leverage your contacts to get business.
Be open to diversity that one would have at a B-school. Interacting with people from varied backgrounds helps to increase your knowledge span. Make use of the opportunities in a B-school and learn new things.

Make it a point to interact with faculties from different fields. The more you interact with them personally, the better will be your insights about different fields and this further will help you determine the career path you would want to pursue.

The final point that I would like to make is, enjoy every minute of your life because at the end of the day, when one looks back, one would want a lot of good memories to ruminate over.
My perspective is that people need to enjoy student life as much as possible along with having loads of fun. MBA life is not just about classroom studies, there is a lot more to it and that is what makes the two years so dynamic. Here are activities like corporate case competitions, competitions from other B-Schools and many other activities. Along with the learning from the lectures of the professors, there is also a lot to learn from the peers, through these competitions and other group activities. MBA education is completely different from college education during graduation. So my advice to the students is to work hard and make the most of the two years in the B-school.
Well, students need to know what his or her main concerns are during the two years. There are a string of activities going on, so you need to be active in them. This way your personality develops in a dynamic way and you get to interact with a lot of people in the campus, thereby boosting your contacts. Developing a good network is extremely crucial not only for the two years but later as well. Make the most of the summer internship as this is the time you can make crucial corporate connections. And one more thing, associate yourself with one of the societies in the B-school, as per your liking or inclination, like Marketing Society, Finance Society and others so as to make yourself visible.
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