“All great journeys have interesting beginnings.” This one line captures the thought that I harbored before the start of my MBA journey at IIM Bangalore. I and seventy-two other of my batch-mates landed in Bangalore on 30th March 2018, with our eyes filled with dreams of a life-changing experience in one of the most prestigious institutes of our country. After a day of back-to-back orientation and photo sessions and just an hour of packing, we were on our way to Pegasus Institute for an outbound program for two days– what lied ahead, no one had a clue!
The institute is situated nearly 70 kms away from the city, hidden among the hills and away from the hustle bustle of the city life. We reached the institute late in the evening, eagerly awaiting the next instructions. We were greeted by the members of the institute and were told to rest for the night. Needless to say, we did the complete opposite! We tried venturing out in the dark using torch-lights, sat through the night catching up with our batch-mates over scrumptious dinner and bonfire and finally called it a night after giving ourselves a body massage of odomos.
The chirping of the birds and morning bell was our wake-up call every morning. The silence of the woods and fresh breeze gave a different taste to the morning tea which we blissfully sipped over multiple rounds of introductions. After breakfast, we were welcomed by the instructors and were explained the intent of the training program. All our materialistic possessions (or rather “distractions”) like wallets and phones were taken away from us. For the next two days, we were formed into groups and were given tasks to perform a la “Roadies” and “Khatron Ke Khiladi” style. We did everything possible to complete the tasks! We lifted our team-members and made them pass through asymmetric holes in the nets; tried to walk over a pole or a rope and consequently slipped and got knocked down several times. Every time we fell, there was a team-mate’s hand ready to lift us back up.
Many of you readers must be wondering how tightrope walking is even related to an MBA programme. This is where the instructors came in. At the end of each task, the instructors would ask us to introspect and re-assess our actions. They explained to us our mistakes and their impact. In the process, we realized that these learnings, though seemingly very basic, play a huge role in a manager’s life. The activities were a mix of fun and action – some of them gave us a peek into our team members’ personal lives and some of them made us scratch our heads over Tower of Hanoi theorem!
Our time at Pegasus helped us question our habits, challenge our inhibitions around people and work as a team. I cannot think of a better ice-breaker for the batch. We came in as strangers, but we left as friends and team members.
Let the journey begin! 😊
~ Nazim Shaikh