Looks like this is the real deal. A taste of things to come. If we thought things were tough so far, I think we were all fooling ourselves. As of this week, the batch has been quite graciously welcomed by the true spirit of the one year MBA course. And in quite gallant fashion one might add. And to think, we all volunteered for this.
For many of us, we thought that taking our normal sleeping hours from 8-9 and bringing it down to perhaps 5 hours was perhaps the greatest sacrifice we were making, but try not sleeping at all. This seems to be the order on the menu until the end of this week….a week whose end we are all clearly looking forward to. Despite being subjected to the brutalities of the workplace where the extra few hours put in seemed almost barbaric, this week has us redefining the word ‘insane’. Allow me to read out the menu… 3 exams, 1 product launch, 1 case study presentation, 1 presentation to be done on chart (as you would have read earlier) and 1 book review of at least 1500 words…all to be done in a span of 3 days. And the three exams are all biggies…Economics, Statistics and Operations management. For all of us who were drawn into a false sense of security that we had seen the worst, life just upped the ante.
It’s the second night in a row that we’ve gone with a maximum of an hours sleep. People have been showing up to class in a near zombie state. We’ve all reached a stage where our mere sub-conscious seems to have taken over daily activities. And the profs haven’t been given us any mercy what so ever. Attendance and class participation is being monitored even more seriously now. A respectable number of people have fallen victim to sleep in the middle of class, only to be woken up by the professor asking them a question regarding what was being taught. I am quite sure that the cafeteria’s business has nearly tippled thanks to the sale of only tea and coffee. Quite obviously, this would go hand in hand with an increase in the sales of cigarettes in the small shop just outside the campus. The stubble on my face is not because I’m trying to cash in on the whole rugged look, but is an indication that we need way more than a mere 24 hours in a single day. And for each of us, there are our own ways in which we sport the bruises of the last few days. Dark circles and blood shot eyes are the most common scars.
But, all the agony aside, I think this is probably a good thing. At some deep level, this is a sign of the kind of responsibility that industry expects from us and for us to be students with both experience and an MBA degree, we’d all probably look back at days like these and laugh it off thinking it was all a piece of cake. Like Steve Jobs said in his speech at Stanford, “ A lot of things make sense when you connect the dots backwards.” So, the lack of sleep, brain wracking, number crunching, practice and reviews is probably a good thing. At least for me, a great comfort comes from the fact that we don’t have a single reported case of mental insanity or mental breakdown from our seniors, so maybe this is all part and parcel of the order called an MBA degree. Since I’m digesting so much, can I have some fries on the side please? Actually, I had better not ask for any more….lest it leads to indigestion.
– Nikhilesh Murthy