Welcoming MBA Freshers!

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THE FIRST TERM

You have not been part of a competitive milieu like this. Cracking the first term courses would amount to drinking honey straight from a hive of live bees. Getting a decent grade from a stingy professor will be like extracting a molar tooth without anaesthesia. You will end up stung and swollen faced. Most people will try to convince you that you are already a whiz kid by virtue of being selected here. We get two hundred thousand applicants for four hundred positions. Nevertheless, you can never underestimate the mindlessness of a herd, A herd is a herd, however, intelligent the individual members may be. Please politely refuse the offer of joining this collective hallucination that you are a superman.

Be prepared to be cold called at the professor’s discretion. This simply means someone may ask you to talk about the last class even if you did not raise your hand. Either hands go up or heads go down. Some hands go up even if you, the owner of those hands. have no clue for an answer. Those pretending to know without knowing anything– your legitimate vocation should be that of a weatherman or a palm reader.

Some courses like management Accounting may seem as intricate and complex as Mr. Mukesh Ambani’s tax returns. Figure out how to simplify a 30 contact hours into a few basic ideas. Organization Behaviour sees human behaviour as a dynamic interplay of self, others and systems. The key ideas about cost accounting may be reduced to standard versus actual costs and variable versus fixed costs. Look for simplicity at the other side of complexity. Some people are colour blind; the others are numbers blind some others are gender blind–don’t be–assess everyone for their light not for their shadows.

WHAT IS A MANAGEMENT SCHOOL?

A management school is not about counting coins or beans. It is about the romance and adventure of the creation of wealth. We want business school education to be a civilizing force and not a method of trashing each other for jobs or grades. A management school teaches the art and practice of creating organizations. An organization becomes important when the benefits from a collective action exceed the cost of bringing together people and resources for such collective action. While you are here, be part of or form interest groups where benefits clearly outweigh costs of bringing people together for a cause.

LEARNING IN A MANAGEMENT SCHOOL

The management school is a combustible chemical compound composed of two highly reactive elements: management and school. From the pragmatic to the academic you would have to traverse the whole range here. Not all subjects will be job-related. Some subjects will help you form your life’s most important questions. As part of the curriculum you will have subjects such as business ethics, social transformation of India or leadership—these are disciplines that you must pursue to deepen your understanding, not to manufacture something. When your wealth is inside your head and not in how much you possess in material terms–your knowledge capital becomes your real capital. Social intelligence and critical thinking skills would be crucial as you advance in your career. These abstract intangible disciplines become the differentiator as you move up the success ladder.

WHAT THE SCHOOL EXPECTS OF YOU

This school expects more of you than individual vocational success. We expect civility, respect for each other, and kindness– a bit of character. MBAs are supposed to inherit a world of moral relativism. Cheating in exams is not considered wrong unless the supervisor catches you. Remember, ethics is in and cheating is out. You will face boredom, you will face rejection you will face anxiety. Don’t run away from these emotions and escape in alcohol and assorted entertainments. Weave them into the fabric of your life. They will make you more humane and compassionate. They will soften you up for the real world. One of the ways toward excellence is to recognize excellence in others. Be sincere but don’t take yourself too seriously. You have not bonded with your class unless you can laugh at yourself and become a legitimate target for humour.

PARTING LINES

This school is not just about competent but also about compassionate professionals. The most difficult journey for an MBA is that of those fourteen inches from the head to the heart. I have spoken enough by way of food for your head–here are some lines that your heart can ponder on:

Love Because this is a food Our starving world needs

Laugh Because that is the purest Sound.

Listen

From the depth of your silence

The original voice of life is silence-

All other noises of the world are mere echoes.

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