OCTOBER 12, 2003
 Cover Story
 Personal Finance
 Back of the Book

Kashmir On The Map
After a succession of false starts, this might actually be something worth taking note of. The World Travel and Tourism Council has joined hands with the Jammu & Kashmir government to promote the state as an international tourist destination for just about anybody who appreciates natural beauty. The plan.

Cancun Round-Up
The drumbeats on the way to Mexico were low-key, but audible enough. Now that the World Trade Organisation is back in pow-wow mode and India has attained some clarity on what the country's trade agenda is, it's time to do a quick round-up of the Cancun meet.

More Net Specials

Business Today,  September 28, 2003
It's All About Attitude

If the high of having secured admission to the most prestigious management school in the country wasn't enough, there was also the thrill of getting back to the good old days of student life-of getting up late, bunking lectures and surviving exams. Sadly, these were not to be. The hectic and rigorous IIM-A curriculum ensured that I rarely got a good night's sleep. I had to do a lot of my catching up on sleep during lectures. The two years at IIM-A were tightly packed with case studies, lectures, and assignments all of which equipped me with the requisite technical and business skills. Yet, what I benefited the most from the IIM-A curriculum was not the acquisition of technical and problem- solving skills, but the personal growth achieved because of the unique way the curriculum is designed. The curriculum helped me acquire a positive attitude, reinforced the confidence in my own abilities, and raised the standards I set for myself-all of which I think are a necessary supplement to effective management education.

The IIM-A curriculum has been designed on the back of "group-work". Though most of the courses offered at IIM-A have a fair share of group work, the marketing courses take the cake. Come the end of the first term, there is hectic activity to select coherent groups for the Marketing I course. Our groups would spend more than three-to-four hours a day analysing marketing cases and preparing for class presentations. Despite the precious time and effort spent, only a handful of us were lucky enough to see a grade higher than C+. What the grade didn't capture though (and what I'd like to believe) was the intensity of peer learning that occurred in the process. This, arguably, is even more than what one acquires during classes and is pretty much unique to the IIM-A experience.

The IIM-A curriculum also emphasises on and, at times, forcibly elicits "class participation". This was often graded and taught me valuable lessons in preparedness and how to feign preparedness. "There will be a seven-minute Management Accounting Quiz today at 2 pm" was a frequent read on the classroom notice board after the last 1 pm lecture. Such "surprise quizzes" caused continued high-levels of anxiety and betting volumes in our first year, besides many a skipped lunch.

The "WAC runs" ensured one of an athletic physique. A WAC run is the last-minute dash that one makes to submit one's Written Analyses & Communication (WAC) assignment, with witnesses claiming having seen some even make the dash bare feet, with loose sheets of hand-written assignment in one hand and a stapler in the other. Never have I seen and experienced a deadlier deadline.

The culmination of the physical IIM-A experience lies in the placements. Securing the elusive highly remunerative foreign job on the first day of placements or at least a job on the last day, is not the end of the IIM-A experience, but the beginning of an intellectual experience that stays with one for ever.

The two years at IIM-A remain a high point of my life. I didn't feel like a management expert or a financial wizard after I finished IIM-A, but I certainly felt adequately equipped with the will and aptitude to become one and with the humility and patience to work towards that objective.