16 Aug 2017 20:28 IST

Into a world beyond dreams

The experience of studying at XLRI is something words fall short of describing

As the shared auto from Tatanagar railway station took a right turn along the board that directed all towards XLRI, I felt a shiver of anticipation. Taking my first steps through the gate, I remembered a quote I had come across during my XAT preparation: “The day you enter the gates of XL, your life changes completely”.

Living a long-cherished dream and feeling proud of finally being an XLer is something one can hardly describe in words.

Running up the stairs of the Fr McGrath Residence towards my allotted room — my new home for the next year — I got a glimpse of the surroundings. The view of the Subarnarekha river alongside the Marine Drive, the lush green lawns, and the tennis court with the majestic International Centre in the background, was wonderful. The stereotypes I held about hostels were shattered.

As dusk slowly covered the nearby mountains in saffron, 60 new faces sat in a circle on the grass, introducing themselves to one another.

A new day

The next day was the academic year inauguration, which instilled the true meaning of ‘Excellence and Integrity’ in us. We were now the flag-bearers of XLRI, one of the oldest and finest business schools in India.

Over the course of the week, new friendships were nourished. The orientation week not only gave us a glimpse of the road ahead, but also geared us for what is known as one of the most rigorous academic programmes.

For someone coming directly from an engineering college, the first lesson on team work was driven home with a case study submission, that took place even before the regular classes commenced. At the other end, sports somehow became a part of our daily routine, thanks to the sporting facility available on the campus.

The daily schedule

As the regular academic schedule started, building teams, working on case studies while burning the midnight oil and making it to class the next morning before 8:59:59, presented its own bunch of new challenges. Even before we settled in, professors were ready with their quizzes and submission schedules. Life is now about breaking old barriers and embracing every challenge. ‘Time management’ is no longer a proverb but an art that we are imbibing, because at XL, deadlines are sacrosanct.

The senior batch prepared us for the upcoming challenges from the first week. Be it for academic sessions, introducing us to academic, co-curricular and functional committees, or making us feel at home with regional committee interaction representing every part of the country, seniors go beyond what is needed to ensure that the junior batch settles into ‘Life at XL’.

A walk to the old campus for the General Body Meeting introduced us to late-night food joints: Dadu’s and Bishu Da. And ACP, DCP and FRAXI were added to our vocabulary. Somehow, “Bodhi ki chaaon mein, Dadu to raahon mei”, the XL culture become a part of our identity and XLRI — Xavier School of Management, our dream b-school of a few months ago — became XL meri jaan.

(The writer is an HRM student, batch 2017-19)