Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Time Machine

Though the Time Machine in the H.G.Wells' novella may still be a distant reality, I have managed to discover its not-so-close substitute in the form of a b-school.

It seems just yesterday that I landed at MDI, fresh and full of apprehensions about what the coming few months are going to throw on me. I have become one-sixth of an MBA since then, I have given 14 exams and 28 quizzes in the process, submitted around half a dozen projects and haven't quite realized where was it that the learning has happened, though I am certain it has. It is as if all the actions were involuntarily performed by a unknown side of me.

What has happened more consciously is that I have been promoted from the nocturnal creatures to a qualified insomniac. Seniors say if you are sleeping too much, you are not making the most of your time in a b-school, which I partly agree with. Say for instance the last week from Monday to Friday, I slept for 4,5,3,4,2 hours per day respectively everyday. And sometimes that too was broken into further bits and pieces. In retrospect, time seems to have flied, but each day is incredibly long, not necessarily fruitful.

The word 'fruitful' means different things to different people. For me, a day is fruitful when I have done my share of work (both academic and extracurricular), socializing (which does not always happen when you work) and sleeping (its quality matters when quantity is compromised). In addition, it is very important to be able to make time for your hobbies and your friends back home once in a few days. Reading beyond academic books and playing (especially when you have facilities on campus) should take up some space on your schedule too.

By that definition, I would say the term has been partly fruitful. I have worked a lot, met a lot of new people and interacted with some very talented folks from the industry and slept when I have had the opportunity. The net has allowed me to keep in touch with most of my friends.

But on the flipside, photography has majorly suffered (which my friend's on Flickr would agree with). I haven't been resolute enough to pull myself out of bed early each morning to find stuff to click. Reading has been minimal and restricted to the bare necessities. Playing and exercising did happen with some gung-ho in the start of the trimester, but then the other commitments took precedence.

More worrying is the reason why it has been so. The attitude in a b-school is you have to wait till the dagger hangs on your neck. Everything happens at short notice. And whenever there is enough time, people prefer resting now and sprinting later. As I had explained in one of my previous post, we create crisis situations and then call ourselves good crisis managers.

This is not to put off an aspiring b-school student - it happens everywhere in the country's top schools. It is the ''culture'' of Indian Management Education. You have to accept the culture if you are a part of the community. And in the process, you have loads of fun and loads of headaches and all in the name of 'wholistic learning'. It's charm lies in the fact that it is brutal, hence effective. It is an experience which a few other places of learning can offer. If you like roller coasters, this might just be the place for you!

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