05 Aug 2020 19:16 IST

Time to embrace the new normal, virtually

Online sessions have ensured participation across all subjects, along with perks such as home food

To all the B-school students beginning their journey,

The first three months of B-school are the most exciting, jam-packed, exhausting days of your life, but they also end up becoming the ones you reminisce about the most in the years to come. This is the time where you create some of your best memories, meet some of your closest friends and are officially sworn in to the big bad B-school world! Unfortunately, the new normal has new plans for you, and fear not, the ride is still going to be one of a kind. I say this with confidence after experiencing a month of virtual B-school life! So, here are my two cents to quell your apprehensions and fears, and help you make the most of the next few months.

Network, connect, reach out to all stakeholders

B-school is a place where you meet some really interesting people, who will push you out of your comfort zone and make you work harder — batchmates, seniors, professors, recruiters or alumni. This support system is what you should actively leverage, especially in this hyper-connected world.

Virtual classes are not hat bad!

Each time you feel like reaching out to your phone or scrolling on social media sites, during a lecture, think twice! The urge is but natural, but two minutes of distraction can cost you an entire lecture’s worth of content. In the fast paced B-school life, there is no time to go back to this after class. Neither do you have the luxury of dropping by at your hostelmate’s room for a recap of class! Also, ironically enough, the virtual mode of classes has seen an increase in class participation across subjects — a possible outcome of the fact that this is the sole way of remaining mentally engaged with the subject for the entire duration of the session.

Seamless shift to virtual internships

Placements are the biggest hype of B-school life, and truly so! In the past week, 50 per cent of all my conversations with juniors have been around allaying their fears about a possible virtual summer placement season. Just take a pause and step into the shoes of the final year students. The highpoints of our MBA journey and the summer internship was done entirely from the confines of our home and yet, it was one of the biggest learning experiences of our lives. Companies have seamlessly adapted to the new normal and will definitely put in place all possible enablers to make the summer placement process (if virtual!) as smooth as possible.

There’s no place like home

Getting up at 7am after 3 hours of sleep and rushing to give a quiz, is something that I absolutely don’t miss! Sitting in the comfort of home, with no more early morning quizzes or ‘hardly edible’ mess food is actually a huge perk. Recreating the fun parts of campus, such as, parties and 3am campus strolls is really tough — but, virtual hangouts and online ‘kitchen night mess’ outings are worth the effort and definitely lighten the mood.

Virus-willing, the world is your oyster

Talk to any final year student about how their plans of walking down the Champs-Elysee in Paris or witnessing the magical Northern Lights have been rudely cancelled by one microscopic virus. But, hey presto, if all goes well, you guys will be able to live the student exchange dream in 2021!

All in all, I just want to end by saying, look on the bright side — you’re going to be picking up some really essential virtual skills and its high time you embraced the new normal and stop being apprehensive about it. Can’t wait to see all the new faces sometime in the near future on campus. Until then, see you in the Google Meet.

All the best and welcome to B-school!

(The writer is currently pursuing her MBA from IIM Lucknow. She interned at Bain & Company this summer. She is passionate about Bharatanatyam and writing. She is always up for a quick chat about books, dogs, or future travel plans.)