05 Dec 2015 17:18 IST

Bury the hatchet in B-School

College enmity can spill over to corporate life as well and affect your career graph

During the course of two years, or less in the case of the shorter duration courses, one tends to become close friends with a few, friendly with most, and not-so-friendly with other batchmates, seniors and juniors.

Everyone knows about the friendships forged during education and how they sometimes turn into life-long support. Such friends always stand by each other and can be counted on for any help.

However, what about enmity which springs up during a course? What are the implications if this is left unresolved?

This is a topic that most people tend to ignore.

The bane of connectivity

A fundamental reality of management education is that it draws highly competitive, hard-working people, who aspire to grow in their career and reach for success. Therefore it is a reality that most people from a batch tend to have similar career progression, with the exception of a few super successful people and a few who fall by the wayside. Therefore, the fact remains that your batchmates, immediate seniors and juniors would be approximately on the same level over the years and your paths might cross.

The probability of this happening was less a few decades ago, unless you were in the same organisation. So if a person had a bitter fight and a bad relationship with someone during college, they might never see each other again.

However, this has dramatically changed in the context of the connected world. When everyone is on social media platforms and online professional groups, more often than not, it is natural that the paths would cross.

Ill will bound to cast a shadow on interaction

In such situations, old enmities and bitterness is bound to cast a shadow on any interaction. This could actually even travel in ripples, and end up affecting one’s career prospects.

Imagine a scenario where you had had a sour relationship with a person. And he connected online with the head of an organisation or the HR head, where you had applied for a job! It is quite natural that your old batchmate would be asked about you, and their response could make a big difference with regard to how the offer pans out.

In a few cases, your paths might cross more directly if you end up being in the same organisation and work together or interact often. In such scenarios, old and unresolved bitter feelings will always be an impediment to working as a team and affect both the people involved.

Deal with it

It is because of this reality that I would suggest everyone uses their farewell get-together as an opportunity to bury the hatchet. Ideally, it should be done before, if not during, the farewell. In fact, it might be a good idea to organise some activity which would help everyone do this and leave the course and campus with no negativity towards anyone.

This is a very real issue and it would help if everyone became conscious of it and avoided enmity, or at the very least, resolved issues before leaving the campus for their respective jobs and career paths.

To read more from the Out of Syllabus section, click here .

Recommended for you