04 Aug 2017 17:27 IST

Soaring high: memories to cherish

First-year PGDM students of LIBA share their B-school experiences

College is a memorable experience for most folks. Making friends, learning, class outings — there are so many enjoyable instances, it’s no wonder people want to go back in time to relive those days.

It has been two months since Loyola Institute of Business Administration (LIBA), Chennai, welcomed its new batch. Here are the experiences of a few students, who seem to be enjoying their B-school experience already.

 

Edwin Moses

June 5: What started as a fiery orientation session turned into a memorable first day at LIBA. After all, how often do you get to throw rockets in classrooms? It was probably the most ridiculous and fun way of introducing ourselves to each other!

Twenty days later: The sight of the lengthy class schedules would have scared any college student, but not me. The atmosphere inside college was so good, I didn’t want to lose out on the opportunity to make friends and learn from some of the best faculty members in the country. At LIBA, you don’t study — you witness and change!

Right after the foundation classes ended, Pegasus happened. We spent three crazy days at the Pegasus Institute for Excellence, working on team building activities and mind games, playing sports, dancing, singing, hanging out at the beach, tasting divine food and more! Outbound learning is what they call it. The day we stepped out of Pegasus, we were leaders already, in our own right.

Now enters F16 — a strong, vibrant batch of seniors — with witty and devious plans for its juniors. They wasted no time in kicking off the Signature Challenge, a LIBA tradition for cross-batch introductions. Simply put, we, the F17s had to secure as many signatures from the F16s as possible after completing a few ridiculous tasks.

Up next was the fresher’s party. There we were, in our beach-themed costumes, dancing, singing, screaming our hearts out, and living the B-school life. LIBA sure does know how to party!

When I walk out of this institution two years from now, a PGDM degree in hand, it’ll be with a treasury of memories.

 

Albert Abhishek

We spent the initial days at LIBA introducing ourselves: listening to names and forgetting them in seconds, studying together, planning which sport to play first, going out for dinner as a class (of 60 people), chatting late into the night outside campus and hurrying back to the hostels in time, oversleeping and starting the day by standing in a queue at the canteen for breakfast.

Conversations became more interesting as we traded in Hindi words for Tamil or Malayalam ones. Words like va, po da, thanni and macha became a part of our vocabulary. Soon, we got used to the routine of college life.

It wasn’t long before we had to pack for the outbound learning programme at Pegasus. The journey to the institute was filled with unfamiliar songs and familiar dance moves. Pegasus was different from what we had imagined it to be. The classrooms weren’t your usual board-and-chalk enclosures; we learnt under the sun! Every activity taught us some management concept which we could not have understood as clearly, sitting in a classroom. We learnt how to mind our time and to time our mind. We also realised that, as individuals, we can win games but as a team, we can win competitions.

This has been the biggest take-away so far.

 

Deepak Andrews

It had been four years since I left the classroom, when I joined LIBA’s PGDM programme. My past experiences had been pretty straightforward: go in, sit down, listen and return. Repeat. At first, LIBA seemed the same. The first two weeks were for ‘foundation’ classes, to help us learn the basics of our disciplines and refresh skills we may have forgotten.

My picture of a B-school changed entirely, in the most extreme way, after the two weeks. Almost immediately, we were bundled and shipped off to a resort outside Puducherry for a programme called ‘outbound learning’. Away from civilisation, we were taught to work, build and execute as a team and were made to bond with others in a group that was 120 members strong.

Constant assignments forced us to move outside the college and find answers that no textbook was willing to provide. We were asked to find the impacts of sustainability, of price changes and the market shifts for people and places we would either not go or pay close attention to otherwise.

It has been two months since I joined and I have interacted with a variety of people with differing skill sets. Some would say this is hard work, others would call it is a learning experience, but as people at LIBA put it, it’s business as usual!

 

Deepak Raj G

It has been two months since we joined LIBA and it has already taught us that order, something we craved at first, is boring and that a fixed schedule, though comfortable, is an invisible harness that keeps us back from being the best we can be. Bustling with clubs, academic and non-academic, the college makes sure that no student steps out after two years without an all-round understanding and application abilities of management.

There are many cool aspects to LIBA like the ‘buddy system’, where each fresher is assigned a senior whose responsibility is to guide the fresher through the first year. We haven’t even crossed a single term but we already find ourselves in the transition period of adjusting to the dynamic life at LIBA. We are beginning to get comfortable outside our comfort zones!

 

Gokul Dharmaselvan

I believe everything happens for a reason and whether you wish for it or not, it will happen. This time last year, I would never have thought I’d be studying at a B-school, but here I am, at LIBA doing my PGDM programme!

When I left my job, I decided to do an MBA. I prepared myself and gave all possible exams to reach a B-school. It was exciting to go back to college after two years of work.

We were taught the basics of management studies during the first 15 days. It was a fun-filled period and gave us a chance to get to know 120 people. The interesting part is that everyone isn’t the same age and don’t speak the same language — we have people who speak Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu, Kannada, Bengali, Hindi and more — and this is the most diverse environment I have studied in.

We came as individuals, then became classmates, and are now a one, big, happy family!

 

Rajesh Kumar Sinha

When I left my hometown (Samastipur, Bihar) for LIBA and Chennai, I never expected to fall in love with my new home in the first couple of months itself. But that is how LIBA is — it grows on you quickly.

The two weeks of the foundation course were to teach us the basics of business and management before the first trimester commenced. This is also when people make friends. Then came the outbound learning programme, which was the perfect place to have fun, bond and learn by doing instead of reading.

The first trimester set the PGDM ball rolling from June 26 and all of a sudden we were flooded with assignments, quizzes, tests and case discussions. Then came the ‘Signature Campaign’, which helped us gel with our seniors. With valuable inputs from them, we, the F17s started to adapt to the LIBA way of life.

In the coming weeks, interviews for joining various academic and non-academic clubs of LIBA were held. I was lucky to get a chance to be in the Beyond Management Initiative Club and the Admissions and PR Committee.

The journey till now has been some sort of a quest to reclaim myself. Let’s see what sort of discoveries I’ll make in the upcoming years!

 

Asma Gulam Mohamed

How do you get hundreds of students from across the country, in a B-school, to interact with each other despite their gruelling schedules and academic activities? Impossible, you’d think. But LIBA has found an ingenious way to accomplish this: the ‘Signature Campaign’ — a two-week period in which the first-year students have to interact with as many second-year students as possible and get their signatures.

Yes, it’s that simple. To up the ante, people with the maximum number of signatures get to compete for the highly-contested titles of ‘Mister’ and ‘Miss’ Fresher.

Having a campaign like this — among a wide demographic of people coming from various walks of life and with varying interests — is a brilliant exercise in management. I was initially a bit sceptical about how I would find the time to interact with so many seniors, most of whom who had different class timings from me. Little did I know about the interesting conversations I was about to engage in. I started my campaign quite lethargically but once I started meeting the seniors, I would take out a few hours after class each day just to get to know the ones I hadn’t met before.

The campaign uncovered and achieved what I assume to be the crux of a good management education — learning to network with peers. The fact that it achieves this so easily and unassumingly is something that I find astonishing. Out of all the traditions at LIBA, this is one that I’m sure will withstand the passage of time.