My mind was a mumbo-jumbo of self-deprecating thoughts while entering the gates of this school. I had dreamed of it right since 2013, my 3rd year of Dental School when I actually decided to pursue an MBA post graduation. From letting go of all the revelry of my internship year (called as the ‘honeymoon’ period of Dentistry) to registering my startup, and finally dumping clinical dentistry for Digital Marketing as my choice of job immediately after graduating, most of my career steps were aimed to strengthen my candidature for ISB. I was grateful enough to soon bag a seat through the EEO (Early Entry Option), but when the time finally arrived (after one year of waiting) to join, I got cold feet. I had absolutely no clue if the big risk that I had taken was worth it or if I would be able to even survive the one year with my sanity at its place.
Now, when the time is almost ripe to leave this ‘temple of transformation’, all I have to say is that this place has completely changed me who I was, has changed my perspective of everything I had believed in, made me test the deep waters and then gave me enough strength to pull myself out of it!
The aim of this post is simple- to keep the memories of this remarkable and ‘status-quo-changing’ year in a quirky way, that is ‘just a bookmark’ away. All of the facebook posts here are mine and hence from my personal perspective (Duh!), but I am sure everyone who has experienced #LifeAtISB will be able to relate to 90% of them.
15th April 2017 was the day when we all entered ISB- the chaotic but well-planned registration process, lots of Hi-hellos with people whom we had met at those city meetups was followed by the welcome dinner. We all had a peaceful sleep in our beautifully done quad, before the hell broke loose. . .
From ‘hell’. I didn’t mean those outdoors of O-Week, but that Simulation Competition in LEAD, followed by the Math Bootcamp. I, who hadn’t seen numbers in ages, got a fair share of idea of what I had signed up for, how challenging the next year is going to be for me (I am sure, non-maths, non-commerce cohort of ISB will understand).
Who would have imagined that our 1st Group Assignment will be such a deadly one. While we broke our head overnight on launching the feasible brand of detergent in Brazil, we got to know our 1st ever study group more closely (for the better or worse). I remember meeting some drunk people on the bench near SV1 at 5 AM on my way back to my quad after submitting the assignment. They forced me to accompany them to the dam, where we had two pints of beer each. I returned at around 10 AM, only to bunk all the afternoon lectures- Life at ISB had begun!
Meanwhile life went on with SMMD in-class quizzes, FADM off-class quizzes, MGEC hard-copy homeworks and faffing our way to Marketing Management.
We were still getting used to the deadlines when I already had the live horror experience (sounds too exaggerated now, but things were different back then). I slept off in the mid of the assignment and had to pull off a ninja attack to submit it in time- 8 seconds early is still the best record of mine!
Describing #LifeAtISB would be incomplete without giving proper worth to the reptiles. I remember someone spotted a live scorpion in the commode (No Kidding!) in SV4. We realized snakes and the impending mid-term results were not the only stuff we were supposed to be afraid of, there were scorpions too.
I don’t remember what was this night about, except a couple of friends and alums had gathered in my room over scotch.
Well, you can ignore this one. There are a few stupidities only I am entitled to be involved with. . .
I still remember the relief after finishing that Marketing Management paper, full of essays & what not! Neither had I any clue what the big bad DMOP has in store for me, nor I knew that this would be the one of the best term breaks for a long long time (because the next term breaks were nothing but farce)
It was a weird feeling when I realized I had actually started liking the curriculum and the course, at a point when both were screwing me the most!
Term 2 started with my Birthday and as they say Birthdays at ISB are always special. With aching bums, broken slippers and mixture of cake and soda smashed on my face, I started the so-called ‘Hell Term’
I don’t know why I wrote this? End Term results weren’t out and Term 2 had hardly started. Looks like another post under the influence of holy spirits.
DMOP Quiz, never ending cases of Comp Strat, weekly submissions of GLEC Country Reports (I know more about the Chilean Economy than the Indian one, thank you GLEC), MarkStrat discussions stretching beyond 6 hours- still get goosebumps on thinking about those sleep-deprived days.
Meanwhile, number of people in the campus who threw a ‘Dentists are not Doctors’ on my face kept increasing. I don’t know if we the Dentists are Doctors or not, but it was always a gratifying feeling to provide consultation at those wee hours.
Term 2 also introduced us to ‘random’ lectures and sessions. There were lectures by alums, leadership talks by ‘more successful’ alums, peer-to-peer sessions by ‘more intelligent’ classmates and so on. While FOMO tightened its grip, I am sure we all eventually learnt what to attend, what to resist and what to attend for a few minutes before walking off.
The campus turned rainbow for the Pride Month with the LGBT flag flying high. Pictures on Facebook informed me about a colorful Pride March across the campus, which I missed because I was sleeping (no comments)
I take these words back. I couldn’t have been happier, and definitely not while doing RCTs.
‘The Kale’ arrived for the second part of Comp Strat and left the mortals of Sections EFGH bewildered, amused and mystified. Even apparently non-active users of Facebook were seen updating their status, expressing joys, jubilation and AHA moments over Professor Prashant Kale‘s lectures. Sadly, it ended too soon.
One of my major regrets at ISB would be that I still have no clue what the hell happened in the 2nd half of DMOP.
11:40 PM : Ran like a ninja from SV1 to LRC for taking the printout
11: 52 PM : Got the printout
11:57 PM : Submitted
I still remember Chile has a huge reserve of Copper and is the fastest growing economy of Latin America. Damn you GLEC!
Term 3 started with case competitions, ELPs and Live Projects. Live Projects were good, the ones which paid me and the manager took us out for drinks were better.
Well. . . . . .
Term 3 basically had no chill- Case competitions bombarded us faster than we expected and CFIN case assignments showed us the extreme ends of suffering (applicable for those who didn’t have CAs & CFAs in their study groups)
Loved the way how my 2 AM rant on CFIN was immediately supported by equally frustrating rants on MADM & OPMG. Phew!
I do agree that this sounds funny. But there was something in that first bidding along with the crazy cohort of Section G that got me excited enough (which is very often) to put up this status.
I never understood Operations clearly, till Professor Sarang Deo taught it in the Healthcare Context in Term 8.
How can we forget those belligerent combats during negotiations. Introduction to NEGA gave us a superficial realization that placements are near and very soon we will be on the table negotiating our own worth with someone who has no clue who we are.
ELP was the best learning experience at ISB. Designing the conjoint survey, getting the ‘difficult to understand’ survey filled with random strangers in Inorbit and GVK Malls, adhering to deadlines amidst everything that was happening in the campus, making sure that the client & our team were on the same page- I can’t put in words how effectual the entire experience was for me personally. If you are someone who is reading this prior to joining ISB- do take up ELP if you get a chance.
What a show ILS was! Take a bow Dawda & Team.
A special note for Section G- You guys have been amazing! And it’s not for the crazy time we have had together (infact I couldn’t attend even half the birthday gatherings & parties), but for the fact that ‘almost’ everyone exudes genuine warmth and everyone greets everyone with the kindest smile possible. #SectionGAlways , indeed.
Aaaand..came the resume making season. I wish I could honestly write what all went behind building those resume points. But let’s not go there. . .
Amidst all the craziness and the imminent placement week, we celebrated Diwali. Some people chose to wear ethnic and got themselves clicked at the Rec Center (Facebook was spammed once again that day). While I just chose to glorify my clean room (which was actually cleaned by the house keeping), put some fairy lights to make it look Instagram-able, distributed sweets to all the security guards across campus who couldn’t celebrate and finally ended the day with Old Monk (sourced by someone from Bangalore) with a few close friends who made everyone feel awkward with inappropriate questions for Truth & Dare. It was a memorable night.
You can ignore this one. . . .
Another week of an ‘overdose of submissions’. What made it worse was the fact that Placements were just 15 days away.
Term 5, when everyone chose such electives where they don’t have to study much so that placement preparation gets the full attention. Don’t ask me why I took ‘Portfolio Management‘. Even I have no clue.
I distinctly remember this one- I had posted this just before leaving for the pre-process of Day 1. It was one of the most difficult days at ISB for most of us, both mentally & physically. It will take me a separate blogpost to describe the entire placement season and I would leave that for some other time.
I consider myself extremely lucky to get out of the placement process without feeling much heat. And I have huge respect & admiration for the people who had to go through it for a little longer without losing their sanity. Nevertheless, the relief after the placement was ‘unearthy’. Life at ISB literally changed beyond this point.
I saw people breaking down after rejection ,then getting up immediately with full vigor and a wide smile for the next interview. I saw people jumping of joy after signing the offer, and I also saw the disappointed look on the face of people after signing the offer. A friend broke down in front of me after not getting any offer at the end of Day 2.1 and then miraculously got a call from HR at the end of Day 2.2 offering him the job (Later he told me, “You are the worst person to cry in front of”). Another friend asked if she can get a hug after she signed a offer she was not quite happy with. As I said, I need another blogpost to write about the placement season in detail. . .
We were so happy after getting placed that we went out to celebrate even before the final ELP presentation to the client.
Section G has been so cool that our Awards Night was accompanied with a Roast! It was remarkable because we couldn’t have done a roast session without offending people unless we were really close to each other as a section. Whatttta show!
The dormant foodie in us got unleashed post placement. We all found ourselves visiting and recommending each other fancy places to eat & drink across the city of Nizams. Kabul Darbar deserves a special mention just for this Raan!
Life in ISB is also about Life in Hyderabad. And the midnight ride to the Charminar will always be cherished. We even took the vegetarians to Shadab, though I don’t remember what did those poor souls order to eat there.
And there came the Solstice! 3 days of unadulterated alcohol & fun. The highlight of Solstice was the moment when Vishal (Or was it Shekhar?) said “I can smell what’s going up in the air”. #RevelryMax
Term 7, with the end of Day 3 & 4, witnessed an exponential increase in the number of parties and decrease in amount of collective attention in the lectures.
But what didn’t slow down were the assignments, submissions and deadlines! We even had strict deadlines (which got extended 97 times) to write testimonials for the yearbook.
Writing Testimonials was another time when we all got creative (it happened for the first time during the resume writing season). Sweet words were exchanged and promises to keep in touch were made. Few people wrote testimonials because they felt like, while others wrote just to ‘return the favor’
Term 8 started with the ‘Emails about Graduation’ and random trips, outings and more parties. While we reveled and got ourselves drenched in hedonism, the sinking feeling of ‘It’s getting over’ increased with each passing day.
We really pushed ourselves to ‘extract’ as many number of meetups/parties as possible- UG College Meetup, Club Members meetup, 1st Study Group Meetup, ‘The Best Ever’ study group Meetup, Meetup because someone had ‘stuff’, Meetup because ‘One year at Hyderabad still haven’t seen Charminar yet’, Birthday Meetups because someone’s birthday was post Convocation and the list goes on. . .
Group Assignments became a nightmare when people stopped replying on the Whatsapp Study Groups (because, priorities). “Kuch bhi likh ke submit kar de yaar” became a norm. I really pity the AAs and Professors of Term 8. Reading up those write-ups must have been upsetting.
HeyDay came with #TakeMeBackToTheStart and the realization finally started to sink in- It was time to get out of the cocoon and face the real world.
And then, just like that we had our last lecture. Pictures of name-cards flocked Facebook & Instagram (while few thought that they were too cool for that). No matter how each one’s experience had been at ISB, but the realization that the extra-ordinary classroom learning had ended finally, really hit hard.
I started working on this blogpost around 2 months ago (scrolling down to extract meaningful stuff from the garbage I post was difficult) and I had initially thought of putting up 51 updates (signifying the 51 weeks at ISB), ending the last update with our graduation. Tomorrow we all will graduate and cross over to our next phase of life. But in a parallel imaginary world, I would forever want to be a student at the Indian School of Business. Hence, there won’t be the 51th update to this post. ISB is going to stay.
Happy Graduation to one and all. Attraversiamo (Let’s cross over together to the other side).