by Swatee Jog
Now that it’s here, it makes us nostalgic all the more, this summer at a B-School. A career in management, if a cherry picked one, is coveted. It comes with all the trappings of position and pay. But it makes you spend three summers in its courtyard, none too boring.
With the final semester UG exams nearing an end, Belgaum’s airs are filled with that yearly rigor of (PG) coaching class jamboree. With options galore, students are at a fix to make the right choice. Then starts the hectic tutoring in Logic, Commercial math, lots of English-Vinglish and a dash of GK to boot. If you see students coming out of buildings as late at 9 in the night, with books in hands and a ‘do-or-die’ attitude writ large on their face, be sure they are the B-School aspirants. It takes a lot of hard work to bell the CAT or crack the MAT. Few manage, others, equally brilliant who’ve missed the IIM bus by a whisker, or just don’t bother for that route, get into some of the best B-schools in Belgaum. A whole summer, just after the graduation exams, is spent jostling for that B-school seat.
Once in, a B-school is the most interesting place to be in, one which can never be forgotten and always missed. The hustle-bustle of its campus, the string of never-ending events that follow, the visits to industry that provide a first- hand experience of how companies work, all go a long way in shaping a management professional out of a graduate. A B-school provides the charms of a polishing school, one that metamorphoses raw graduates into smart professionals. Otherwise, it is seemingly no less than any other PG course. Semesters fly in a jiffy and then comes a new summer, one that never is a deterrent while travelling to the most sun-friendly spots like Bijapur, Gulbarga and the like or the mid-noon market visits. Summer time in a Belgaum B-school was the time for Internships until last year. But with a brand new University heralding a new era of winter internships, summers are mostly relegated to the festival circuit for the greenhorns. Invitations are received from various colleges with innovative themes and grueling rounds that test the participants’ skills. It also makes one wonder how on earth could somebody have thought of such unique ideas. If you are organizing a management fest, it’s like a second Diwali, literally. Enthusiasm overflows, meetings transform into brainstorming late into the nights, planning finds space on every possible piece of paper and the attendance suddenly sees a surge, veering into the 100% mark with surprising regularity. Umpteen calls to colleges across the country follow and every benchmark is cheered with celebrations of chai and pastries. Guests, judges, participants in place, the host B-school turns into a buzz area for the next few days. Subjecting the participants of the Best Manager category to crazy stress rounds, sometimes at midnight, with surprises at times, is a matter of B-School folklore. Winning teams shriek as they thrust their trophies in the air.
Once this season is over, then it’s time for some real time studies for the exams. But this is when the seniors drown into a serious pool of anticipation about their placements. Right from January to July, the warm summer months mean a nerve-wrecking journey of selecting job profiles, attending interviews, nervously waiting for results, ending at getting the desired position, pay and place. Up until then, it’s only a matter of hard work and multi-tasking, balancing study and exams with interview schedules. Wiping sweat from the forehead, puffing in their thick business suits, the students walk through this last summer at their B-School with mixed feelings. Watching the juniors basking in the fresh summer’s glory, the seniors prepare to leave the campus with a smile on their face and moist eyes. Etched on their minds are the past 2 summers, spent in different moods and in different environments. From now on, every summer would mean not preparations or festivals or interviews, just plain heat, dust and cold drinks. Sometimes seasons change, sometimes we change with seasons.
At a B-School, every season is a celebration of wit and grit.