“Teach Me and I May Remember, Involve Me and I Learn” – Learning Mantra @ Great Lakes

“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” – Benjamin Franklin

And that’s what forms the crux of the time students spend at Great Lakes, experiential learning, or to put it simply, learning by experiencing it for yourself. Great Lakes has always been innovative, be it being one of the forerunners in bringing the One year MBA Program format to India or introducing experiential learning in its curriculum. Great Lakes provides its students with access to the best faculty from across the world but there is as much learning beyond the classroom as inside. With a whole set of activities outside the classroom which involves working with an incredible peer group, students get to put into action what they learn in the class and solve some real world problems.

Great Lakes curriculum emphasizes on experiential learning in order to stimulate original thinking and to help the students develop a wide range of thinking strategies and perceptual skills whether it be developing leadership and managerial skills, honing strong analytical skills, understanding and analyzing business cases or dealing with capital markets. The end result is a business ready manager who is ready to deliver results from day 1.

Great Lakes provides the following avenues to its students so as to facilitate innovative thinking:

· Leadership Experiential Project: Karma Yoga

Karma-Yoga is a unique medium for students to connect with ground realities and experientially learn transformational leadership. Students work on improvement projects in 21 villages surrounding the institute’s campus that have been adopted by Great Lakes. The project creates a mutual win-win situation for both the students and the villages – while the villages get budding managers to enable the villagers to life themselves into their better selves, the students acquire a first-hand understanding of what it means to create followers and transform them.

Karma-Yoga is a real life practical lab to learn and experience the power of transformational leadership with the key focus on education, health, agriculture and small businesses. As a part of Karma Yoga initiative, the students helped 400 school-going children through tuition classes, science clubs and other educational activities, conducted 30+ village-level events, and got medical attention to 1100+ people across these 21 villages last year.

· Live Trading through Bloomberg terminals

What better way to learn the tricks of live trading than getting to actually participate in capital and commodity markets? Students get to do just that at Great Lakes through ‘live’ participation in capital and commodity markets. Guided by an erudite researcher, thought leader, avid blogger and a certified trader, Dr. Bobby Srinivasan, small group of students create a corpus and invest nominal sums of money on portfolio of stocks/commodities in the domestic/international markets and track its performance through the duration of the course. Trading concepts learnt in the class are applied and monitored real time to maximize the returns and the students are graded based on the returns made by their team!!

· Empirical Study

Great Lakers believe in learning by doing. Empirical study provides them with a perfect platform to do that by enabling them to do a real life study under the guidance of the best people from the industry and academia. They actually get to analyze and solve real problems faced by corporates and are graded on the output by both the industry and academic mentors. Some of the problems analyzed by students as a part of the empirical study last year were Impact of Pro social behaviour on Employee Engagement, Key Drivers of Effective Delivery in Online Sector, Variety Seeking Behaviour of Indian Women in Fashion Clothing etc.

· Live Industry Projects

Mentored live industry projects are an important part of any student’s journey at Great Lakes as it supplements their classroom learning and provides them with a holistic learning experience.  The students work closely and are mentored by the company project owner. It is a win-win; the companies benefit as they get high quality resources to work on a project of importance while the students gain learning experience. In the past, students have done live projects for organizations like Amazon, Jabong, TCS, Cognizant, and Infosys to only name a few.

· Experiencing Entrepreneurship – Paisa vasool

Plan. Setup. Run. All in 60 hours. That’s Paisa Vasool for you – a two day event conceptualized by the CIECOM (Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship) and an avenue for budding entrepreneurs to test their business acumen and put classroom knowledge to practice by starting and running their own businesses. This year, the students grossed 5.57 lacs from 64 businesses as a part of Paisa vasool, 70% (45) of which broke even and made profits. Prof. Veeravalli, mentor, CIECOM sums it up perfectly when he says, “It is not about making money, but about experiencing entrepreneurship.”

Sushree Panda

PGPM Class of 2012-13

               Karma yoga student video :  https://youtu.be/ekiDJdQhqhM