Look for experiential learning

Well, it is that time of the year again! CAT results are out, the frantic search for the right b-school is on and the confusion seems never ending.

Having gone through the mill myself two years back and being a little wiser after that, I would like to share with you all what are the things that you should be looking for while deciding your b-school; things which the institute’s website may not tell you.

Experiential learning that one acquires in a good b-school is what drives the big numbers to these colleges. Real life exposure attained through attending guest lectures, live projects and industrial seminars, provides the cutting edge. My live projects provided a hands-on experience of the workings of the corporate houses, the collaborative project done with students from the University of Hertfordshire, UK, short –term projects and the summer internship , gave me an exciting opportunity to test my class-room learning in the waters of the corporate world. It gave me the confidence to take on my career with full preparedness.

The second most important thing to look for, a thing many a times ignored by the aspirants while doing their research on b-schools, is the nature of extra-curricular and co-curricular activities. In the globalised world of the 21st century, management students need to learn to use the right side (creativity) of their brains as much as the left side (analytical ) ; they need to learn to think creatively as much as they need to learn to think critically. In addition, there were value-added certifications like KPMG Six Sigma Green Belt offered by the college.

My b-school ,carrying forward the great legacy of the Birlas, has endeavoured to nurture students in a way that keeps them rooted to their cultural traditions. Leaders striving for sustainability and inclusiveness cannot be groomed based only on the hard skills of management; the softer skills of managing self and people are vital and the prerequisites of a good leader. This can only be attained through a symbiosis of management theories and fine art skills. The amalgamation of both has been a constant in all activities at my institute.

Debates and theatre events organised by Majlis (the Debate and Theatre Society at my institute) helped us hone our communication and convincing ability, an essential trait for any manager. The QCB (Quiz Crazy BIMTECHians) team ensured that we got to compete with the best quizzers of the country and this helped us keep our tentacles sharp and made us keep abreast with the rapidly changing world of brands and ideas. I feel, a great part of my managerial training occurred as I organized intra and inter college events; participated in the challenging activities and competitions of the various club .

B-Schools are also known by their rich and experienced faculty- a good mix of industry veterans and academicians. I observed during my two-years of PGDM that the right mix of faculty team drawn both from the industry and academic world helped us gain not only sound conceptual knowledge but also get the insider’s wisdom of the workings of the corporate world.

However, what really added to the uniqueness of our management course were those out-of-the box initiatives taken by the institute. I can never forget the sense of amazement that I was filled with when our institute took us to Agra to participate in the Jan Satyagraha Movement. This massive mobilization of more than 50,000 landless farmers and other under-privileged sections of the society in an unprecedented walk taught us valuable organizational aspects of the movement including its systematic, sustainable and operational effectiveness.

Another impactful experience was studying the complex dynamic and environmental impact of the Kumbhmela at Allahabad (similar to the one being done by the professors and students from Harvard Business School). This experience gave us an opportunity to live an experience which no classroom could have taught us.

So friends, look beyond the placement figures of the b-schools. As the Chinese proverb says – “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” Look for an institute that aims to teach you to fish for yourself in the turbulent waters of the corporate world; that prepares you in all aspects to take head-on the challenges of your career.
‘Prepare for the marathon and not for the sprint!

Note: This is a sponsored article and has NOT been written by the PaGaLGuY Editorial Team. It is intended from an informational perspective only and it is upto the readers to research and verify the claims and judgements in the article before reaching a conclusion