Life@ISB

The main building...(from behind khemka..)

-By  Sudeepta Sahu | PGP 16

Blogs on Linkedin titled “A typical day in the life of” CEOs would always catch my attention. I ensured I never skipped reading such articles. After all, the curious and ambitious in me would kick in time to time! As I stared at the admission offer e-mail of ISB, little was I aware that “A typical day in the life of a PGP Student at ISB” was going to be far more busier than a CEO’s. And this was just the start!

On joining, a set of individuals is presented to you by the Academic Services and Administration (aka ASA). One is put in a particular “Section” and assigned a particular “Study Group”. The other set of individuals one is surrounded by are the “Quadmates” (housemates) and “Student Village mates”. Needless, the intersection of all four opportunity sets would be the ideal hangout group, but little does probability favour such odds! Technology plays a big role as all kinds of Whatsapp and Telegram groups get created for ‘any and all’ kinds of groups!ould kick in time to time!  As I stared at the admission offer e-mail of ISB, little was I aware that “A typical day in the life of a PGP Student at ISB” was going to be far more busier than a CEO’s.  And this was just the start.

MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA“I care about the grades” chant in term 1 followed by frenzy of lectures, visits to the Learning Resource Centre or LRC, study group meetings, peer-to-peer sessions, fumbling with classmates’ names at every stray encounter to attending crazy section parties every weekend to attending any random party on campus, the Term 1 frenzy comes to an end, only to be followed by more of it!

Cometh term 2 and comes the ill-fated day when the SAP Portal gets into action and the mail from ‘ASA Assist’ sits in your inbox signaling that GPA has been uploaded. Yet again begins the hysteria of 560 students logging into SAP Portal at that very moment to view the expected and unexpected grades. “I do not care about the grades, here for the experience” chants become the commonly heard phrases afterwards.
Right when you believe that you are getting a hang of things and finding your own “Sweet spot” , comes a plethora of activities gushing down, speaker series, B Plans, events, and one is back to gaining a foothold amongst other things. Throw in some more pieces, and it becomes a kaleidoscope of activities – what to do, what not to do, build networks, decide or not decide what you wish to pursue, which electives to take or not take, take electives based on professor or interests or not major at all. Term 3 hysteria engulfs in it this kaleidoscope as one inches closer to the grand event of placements.1234I sat and compared. Clearly, a CEO has finite decisions to make and always has a team of advisors at his/her beck and call. At ISB, there are multiple opinions, be it from alums or batchmates, and personal biases, all talking to you at the same time! Truly, this was tougher than a CEO’s typical day!

But amidst this frenzy, one sometimes does stop and stare – to breathe in the surroundings, to not miss the sights which would elude the oblivious eye.  The campus and its facilities astound you at times. One could be sitting at LRC reading the newspaper and suddenly you look up to stare at the vast dome and soak in the admiration of the architecture of the building.

2pm on a hot sunny May afternoon or 2am on any night, the Atrium at the centre of the building is always breezy!

12345Come the rains and the campus adorns a fresh look. As you are sitting with your study group brainstorming whether to increase the number of machines in your factory while running the simulation, the sun plays a peek-boo through the blinds at LRC after a drizzle of rain.
And then all these sights leave you with a feeling of hope, glimmer and optimism. Maybe you broke a leg in the first week of joining but became popular because of that. Maybe you suffered a few heartbreaks but found solace in the least talked to member in class. Maybe you understood nothing about optimization and Linear programming in DMOP, but now when you read the Economic Times or listen to a CEO talking about the company’s performance, the terms sound familiar. Maybe in spite of studying, grades double cross you but you found your calling.

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Maybe , just maybe, you might not land the job of your dreams, but this year is a year of discovery for yourself as  you surge ahead with optimism irrespective.
A few words from Bob Dylan’s song  “When the deal goes down” resonate in my head.

Through the darkness on the pathways of life, each invisible prayer is like a cloud in the air, tomorrow keeps turning around …