I have been here at IIM Bangalore for the last 2 months, and the experience, to be fair enough, hasn’t been great. And the reason is not academic rigor. Surely, there are enough quizzes (surprise and scheduled), lectures, exams, and assignments to keep you engaged for days, weeks and months. But, it is not new for me, especially with my 4 year stint at IITK! So, why is a sense of disillusionment creeping in?
Coming from a middle class family, I have always followed the crowd. Be it choosing engineering in Class X, or preparing for JEE, or taking up Comp Science at IIT Kanpur. Now, I was coming to this prestigious management school of India, with an aroma of innovation, creativity and what not. I expected a different dynamic culture based on out of the box thinking, breaking the shackles, so to say. I come here; I find the same rat race!! Right from day one, there has been only one thing haunting all of us here, our summer placements. All people (including me) think about is job, job and job. So, what are the typical issues to talk on here: “Hey which investment bank is the best? How many “bullet points” have you got? Teri to life chill hai, i-bank pakka hai!”. Where is thinking, innovation, creativity? Peer pressure is too high. No wonder, one of the basic problems with B-schools worldwide is that they produce managers and not entrepreneurs.
Course material doesn’t help either. Freedom of arguing with professors, and being a rebel, that I enjoyed most of the times in IITK, is absent here. You have to accept the system; otherwise it’s going to destory you.
Few minutes back, I met a senior of mine (IITK and IIMB alumni). He is currently working at a leading consulting firm in India. He told us an interesting distinguishing feature between analysts recruited from IITs and those from B-schools. Those from IITs tend to get frustrated soon as their work is not to their expectations (no revolutionary thinking, etc.). But, B-school graduates understand this “global stuff” in a much better manner, so are much more satisfied with their jobs. Is it good or bad? Do B-schools “widen” the scope of thinking or “erode” thinking itself?
Trust and binding in the student community is lacking. I come as a fresher here and from an environment where I could blindly trust most of the people around me. Not true any more. Here, people take competition and relative grading too seriously. Who will tell them, lower score of one guy in class won’t affect your grade? Cooperation and trust is very low. Perhaps, people who work in industry learn these traits!
All said, I don’t want to be a rebel here. So, I also think about how to be a part of the system, I also think about getting grades, and a job. I do not want to separate myself from the system, as I am a part of the system and I take full responsibility for it. At this point, I remember a dialogue of a Hindi movie (I am pretty bad at remembering names), “System ko sudhaarne ke liye system kaa hissat hona padta hai”.