This is the first of a blog series to share the experiences of students from the EPGP 2012 batch, during the one year MBA program offered by IIM, Bangalore. We hope (in spite of the ever increasing load of assignments and case studies) to keep you updated on our adventures during the coming year.
While schools across Bangalore closed for summer vacation, seventy four of us were getting ready to go back to being students. We were making the transition from professional work environment to class room after several years and hence, the need for preparation.
Some of us had had the opportunity to meet each other during the hand holding sessions with the previous batch of EPGP students. Others had met to take care of important formalities such as accommodation and so on. The community was quite active over email and had discussed various aspects of the year ahead. Yet, it was with understandable anxiety that some of us walked into the IIM Bangalore campus on the official start date of 10th of April. All of us had left behind jobs and careers that were at least seven years old. Many of us had relocated from other cities, in some cases leaving behind family and loved ones. It didn’t help that we were dressed in formals for the photo shoot, all prim and proper. I am not sure whether it was the unusually warm Bangalore morning or jokes about the late comers that did it, but within minutes, there was friendly banter in the air.
The program was officially inaugurated by Mr. Avinash Vashistha, Chairman and Managing director for Accenture in India. Our chairperson shared with us some facts about the class profile – The average experience of the batch was about nine and half years with about two and half years of international exposure. Interestingly, ours was the first batch to have 10 women, the highest since the inception of EPGP. The different industries that we hailed from (pharma, energy, public services, FMCG and retail to name some) spoke, in itself, for the diversity of the class. Our respected director, Mr. Pankaj Chandra gave us some insights into the life at IIM and the exciting times ahead.
Post lunch at the campus, we set off on a two day outbound learning program at Pegasus, located a good sixty kilometers from Bangalore. Right from the start, the atmosphere was filled with a sense of camaraderie that I thought was commendable for a group that had just met. Late night sessions were spent chatting, arguing and discussing subjects less grave than “Nirvana” (the nomenclature given to “placements” by a professor during our orientation program). Memory games(recollecting the names of 73 others in the batch) and music, courtesy the talent in the batch, were the order of the day. Team activities ensured that there was a reasonably good interaction between different people in the class. At the end of the two day program, there was a unanimous agreement about the usefulness of the program. More about the Pegasus trip will follow.
On the way back home, I overheard some of us talking about the last “real” weekend ahead of us. All such hopes were shattered when we received mails the next day, asking us to collect study material and prepare for some of the classes on the following Monday. To all my fellow class mates: As Obi-Van Kenobi would have said, “May the force be with you”.