It’s been almost three weeks since am back home but still truly miss something, my stay at IIMA campus….
It was an awesome experience, brimming with memories. This piece shares my experience at IIMA and is a result of support of my family (in fact, it was on insistence of my wife I joined IIMA GMP course in Dubai), faculty who were the principal driver of learning and inspiration, programme planner in Dubai and friendship bonding of 40 amazing batch mates who made these six days pass by not only with such ease but also made me think if I could stay there for longer….
Morning of Monday 28th April, took a flight from Jaipur to reach Ahmedabad airport at 10.45 AM. It took half an hour to reach the campus, lots of thought were crossing to my mind about the journey I started 7 months ago in Dubai which was coming to an end. The moment I entered the campus, feelings changed, mood changed, changed everything. Greeted at reception with lovely broad smile, who handed me over a bag containing vast study material. A concierge guided me to the room where I was greeted by my roommate who had to come out of comfort room in towel wrapped around his manly waist.
Room was clean and tidy, white sheets, fruit basket, water bottle, study desk, a balcony facing Bougainvillea bushes outside, serene and perfect setting to be a sincere but not serious pupil once again after 20 long years. Had an hour to glance the study material and to know about the schedule for next six days before headed for lunch. The first lunch itself was an indication that we were in Gujarat best known for its delicious, lip-smacking food. A special mention for catering facility, its quality of service and hygiene standard.
Serious business started at 2:30 PM, entered the classroom, were briefed about the programme for next 6 days. Weeks of anticipation before coming to campus, followed by hours of enthusiasm on arrival at campus, were soon replaced by moments of anxiety. Will I be able to cope with it….
A guided campus tour in the evening, information on various aspects like the renowned architecture, the history, alumni of IIMs, the campus culture and other trivia about the numerous places of interest on the beautiful campus. Harvard Steps, Louis Kahn Plaza, The Promenade, Well equipped Gymnasium, Playgrounds, Auditorium Plaza, Vikram Sarabhai Library, Courtyard, Classrooms, Hostel Dorm room….
Waking up in the morning, morning jog, breakfast, long hours in classroom, lunch break, 5pm a few shots at snooker table, dinner, group preparation for next class till late night in syndicate room, few hour sleep to stock up vital energy for next day….
While preparing for balance scorecard, group thought of balancing our own scorecard by venturing out after midnight, 30 of us hired several auto rickshaws and in a fun-filled fashion gone for tea & bhajia break at Astodia. A night to remember for a lifetime….
Dinner hosted by dean & faculty at Vishalla a place designed like a village, warm hospitality, waiters dressed in traditional attire with turban on head and dhoti-kurta, a low wooden plank serves as a table, sit cross legged on mud floor, food served on a plate made of leaves, wholesome diet consist of lots of greens, ghee and various sampling of Indian platter. Puppet show, dance show, live folk music and virgin dance performance by most of us….
Then came the big moment on the penultimate day, briefing on Capstone exercise and presentation on the final day. Capstone project was meant to codify and crystallize all of our learning over last 8 months, it was AMUL dairy case with latest data and commentary on its organization culture, marketing strategies, economic environment, financial and operational structure, human resources, information system and challenges to its growth & leadership strategy….
Never ever thought of staying awake whole night but as they say whatever doesn’t kill you make you stronger. A balance of noise and seriousness throughout the night leaving enough space for fresh thoughts to foster. It was 6AM, an hour sleep to revitalize….
And final burst of excitement, capstone presentation, faculty feedback, certification awarded, group photo session, after all the sweet good-byes and friendly hugs I got when leaving, there was a display of sadness that I wanted to hide….
The journey has been fun with wonderful group working experience, interesting case analysis, alumni status and steep learning curves. I am determined to make this experience count and to climb on those learning curve in my work and personal life….