Life in the past year has been a roller coaster ride at Great Lakes. Life has seen the joys, the moments of exhilaration, the darker moments and disappointments also. When one comes to a B school, every body comes with the aim of becoming a transformed person who then goes on to make his mark later in life. Transformation- The English dictionary defines it as , especially extreme psychological or character change, as in the context and vocabulary, but a B schooler wants something more. Well to get an idea, how’s this for that something more? Financial transformations on the paycheque from being software engineer to a strategy consultant/investment banker. A Bschoolers life ideally revolves around first getting subscribed to the fact that this one year is going to be a no-pay year, and they would have to keep costs low, and manage accounts well. They are into the second month at B school and their accounts seemed to be managed well so far, until Financial/Management Accounting comes and reminds them that there is lot more to accounting than what meets the eye. They start to pay closer attention to terminologies like CREDIT and DEBIT, by looking hard at their online bank accounts, and figuring out that life could be so much more easier without so much complex accounting. If those were the first instances of troubling your normal life, here comes the killer whale in the dreaded Stats. Statistics, made us realise how important was it to stay afloat on the sea of numbers and formulae, and we all started paying serious attention to that ubiquitous software called Microsoft Excel that you borrowed from your friend. Apart from all this was to wait in Eastern Philosophy for the noose to be hung around your neck when your chance came to answer, and it was in those moments that I discovered my strengths of predicting my probability of answering a question right was far closer to what Aryabhatta called zero, and depended on arbit and desperate participation to get some points against your name.
B school life is not all that dull and boring, with exams and pre reads. It depends on how you want to make use of the time post dinner. Dinner at the nearby dhabas became a good networking ground for most folks and conversations frequently hovered upon how one got good North Indian food in Chennai, which would unanimously turn out as the next mass networking joint. When folks were too tired after dinner, and didn’t want to devote their attention to the pre reads that were outstanding from the previous information transaction called Class, a bunch of intelligent folks found out how to form a movie club and play movies in the classrooms that were deserted at night. The MNMC(Mid Night Movie club) had movies of all genres and at times even was the host of many stress breakers like the all night carrom tournament and the Counter Strike networking sessions.While some saw strategy in Kotler and Porter, others swore by Age of Empires. In between the din and chaos of the gamers, were silent souls who in other classrooms would be holding a joint meeting to analyse the case given the previous day even as sleep would threaten their logic and resolve.
3 months into B school, one is used to snooze sessions in between classes (for 15-30 minutes) to catch up on those divine moments of peace, extra snooze sessions in classes, and crazy expectation of profs to accomadate pre reads and case study analyses. We learnt the importance of qualititative multitasking and forming strategic joint ventures, so that the group did well in the next days presentations. We still pride ourselves for becoming detectives at night, solving cases all night, to discover that 10 other groups have done much better than your so-called-solution. I for one started hating the word competition for a while, competition in class rooms, cases, pre reads, and even competition to eat lunch beating the queues. Nirvana for a B schooler is snooze, and some like minded friends to step away into a utopian world for a while, as it relieves the stress of the previous day. Life at Great Lakes has helped us to bond better and fight better, keeping the larger objective in mind.All these interactions have helped us see the corporate world and the possible problems that may arise, and the attitude required to take firm decisions.
6 months into Great Lakes, we braved ourselves for the first monetary and functional competition in the race for internship slots. The internship was a peek into the big bad corporate world and just a reflection to remind you that the world out there is not as linear and utopian as a B schooler starts to think after what he calls his “best strategy” in the cases he used to solve.
9 months into Great Lakes, the Pressure and tension was at a all time high, with heavy courses and assessments, competing with monetary dreams, as placement season looms large. Placement season saw a battle that each one was fighting as an individual and as a team, for that was the most tangible take away from the course apart from the eye opening interactions during the courses. Placement season rained jobs and offers, and once that was over, you hardly have the inclination to put even half the effort into the courses scheduled after placement season. The challenge now is to come to college, and not about offering your 2 paisa worth arbit and desperate class participation.
Now as 15 days remain for the program to end, you realise that all that buzz and activity has now settled down in fine dust, that would leave behind traces of an era that just got over. The Junior Crusaders are passing out… and its time for some new wine in the bottle called B school. Long Live the B Schooler’s Life!