Interview with Dr. Revathi G., Dean of LIBA Chennai

1) Working in leading IT firms, what role does Organizational Behavior play in the success of any organization?

Regardless
of sector, the understanding of Organizational Behaviour is crucial to the
success of any organization, because the key assets of an organization are the
people who make up its workforce. In any relationship, understanding oneself
and the other person is the first step towards a fruitful engagement. This is
what the study of OB does – it helps organizational members across levels,
functions, and sectors understand better the people they work with, and thus
manage these working relationships more effectively.

2) How differently do you train students at LIBA who are interested in
Organisational Behaviour or Human Resource Management to make them industry-ready?

Not
just OB or HRM, for every specialisation at LIBA we do our best to help our
students fit into industry from Day One of their jobs. Summer projects or
internships, live projects, survey-based assignments, guest lectures and
conferences where they get to listen to and interact with industry
professionals, are some of the ways by which we expose students to real-time
scenarios of industry. Apart from this, we use case discussions, tests on
business news, games, and simulations wherever relevant and applicable.

We
also take feedback from recruiters very seriously, constantly altering our
curriculum and pedagogy to ensure that our students are industry-ready.

In
addition, we are very open to suggestions from the students themselves; when they
request us to include courses that they believe are useful for their careers,
we consult internal or external subject matter experts and either introduce new
courses, or alter the course content of existing courses suitably.

3) What’s your biggest achievement as a part of this Institution?

At
the micro-level, I understand that quite a few students have developed an
interest in the HR specialisation due to the OB classes I have handled. Most
students have been very involved and participative in my classes.

At a
macro level, as the Dean for the full-time PGDM programme, I do believe I have
tried to ensure fairness in all policy decisions, and what is equally
important, have tried to make the system as transparent as possible through communication
and discussion.

Students
know that at LIBA they will always be listened to, no matter what requests or
complaints they have, and that while they may not always get what they want,
the decisions will be fair, and the rationale for the same will be patiently explained
to them.

But
here I must also give credit to the students of LIBA – they are very
well-behaved, non-rebellious, and respectful of authority. Hence it is easy to
have discussions with them and explain one’s stand.

4) Who is an ideal candidate for LIBA?

An
ideal candidate for LIBA would be one whose value system gels with that of a
Jesuit institution – learning, sharing, helping, and caring for others,
especially those less privileged than themselves.

This
of course, is in addition to the regular academic and personality requirements
of any B-School such as:

·
Specific XAT and CAT cut-offs,
and 10th, 12th and UG performance.

·
Quality of GD participation

·
Written communication skills

·
Verbal communication, general
awareness, drive and enthusiasm, and various positive personality traits as
evidenced in the admissions interview

·
Readiness to work hard

5) What kind of mentorship do you provide to students at LIBA?

We have both formal and informal mentorship at LIBA.

In the formal system, we assign every student to a
faculty-mentor soon after a new batch joins LIBA.  We have 120 students in each batch, and
roughly around 24 faculty members, so that works out to 5 to 6 mentees per
faculty.

In order to encourage the students to meet their
mentors on a regular basis, we have structured our First year time-table such
that every month there is a slot for “Mentoring”. 

The mentor-mentee meetings are forums where students
share their concerns regarding academic matters or other issues like the
canteen or hostels, as well as seek guidance on choosing specialisations and
jobs.

We also try to route the students’ term-wise
grade-sheets through their mentors, so that they can discuss with them how to improve
in areas where they are weak.

Informal mentoring is what all the faculty members do
when students approach us for any advice or guidance. All the faculty at LIBA
are extremely approachable and deeply committed to the well-being of the
students.

LIBA also has a buddy system, which the students have
now taken on themselves, whereby the Second years assign a Buddy from their batch
to each First-year student. Buddies complement the mentoring programme.

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