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Expert Suggestions on Preparation for Computer Based CAT-09

Confluence 2006 at IIM-A

- by Vinamra Srivastava *

This was long overdue but I guess I was just too lazy... Now that am back home for our 2nd term-end break, there's lots of catching up to do!!!

Confluence is the annual international B-school summit of IIM-A. I had heard it's a huge scale event, but it was only when we actually started preparing for the event and during those actual three days that I realized its true magnitude.

The event is managed by a number of teams, each consisting of a mixture of tuchchas and fachchas. The fachchas were recruited into the team in the first term itself, even when the event was to take place in the last week of November. I was in the domestic team, and thus, our work had started much before the actual event got underway. My team was responsible for sending invitations to all the colleges, and then, actually taking care of their stay and queries once they were on campus.

November was truly hectic in some sense. First, it was our mid-term exams. Once they got over, after three days the placements started, and once they got over, after another 4-5 days, Confluence started. A domestic registration desk had been set up at LKP and it was the nerve centre of all the activities taking place during the three days of the summit. Right from checking-in by the teams who got on campus to the announcement of results to the distribution of freebies, it was a one-stop shop for all information. And hence, it was essential that most of the domestic team members remain in the stall for as long as possible. And that's what precisely happened with me.

For all the three days, I used to be at the desk nearly the entire time and once the day was over, we all used to sit and do the wrapping up of data and get the desk ready for the next day. So basically, you can say that there was hardly any sleep for those three days. Get up early, come to the desk, be there or do other Confluence related work the entire day, get back to the room at about 12:00 midnight or 1:00 am, crash on the bed and the next day the entire cycle repeated.

But you know what? Those three days were damn good fun despite all the work. Though I did not get to attend any of the seminars / lectures / workshops / competitions (and some of them, I really wanted to), I really didn't have many regrets. Because the whole experience of being at the desk and managing the thousands of queries of teams and participants and guests was something special indeed. The entire domestic team bonded very well and we all had become very good friends, despite the fact that we were from different sections and had hardly known each other before we got together as a team. That's the beauty of this place. Even though your daily interaction is limited to people from your section or your dorm, since you are a part of different teams / clubs, you get to know so many people and make friends with them.

Yes, there were stressful times as well. You always don't have all the information with you and when so many people ask you consistently for that information, things get a bit uncomfortable. You have to ensure that you keep your calm throughout and that the guests leave the place with a good impression of the entire event. Multi-tasking was at its peak, with so much information about small details entrenched in your memory throughout. But all that was not only a challenge, but also good fun. I made so many new friends from so many other colleges. You talk to them, get to know how things go about in their colleges, learn from their experiences, get their feedback on the event, and yes, I will be honest, it sure does feel nice when you hear them praise the institute and the professionalism with which the entire summit has been handled.


And actually, when I sit and look back, yeah, they were right. It was a huge event with nearly a thousand participants I guess, not to mention people who just came to attend seminars and to get a general feel of a B-school festival. And it did, in the end, go pretty well I guess. No major goof-ups, things were smooth in general and almost all the teams I interacted with were appreciative of the way the event progressed.

Hats-off to our tuchchas led by Arjun Balan, the Confluence Coordinator, who all worked day and night for so long to pull off an event of this huge scale successfully. 

There were lots of eminent personalities who delivered lectures. All the details of the event are available on the website, and hence, I won't go into those details here. And once the summit officially got over after the Quiz Contest, which was the last event, the celebrations began. Starting with the Confluence Tempo shout at the auditorium to the Ramp-party organized for absolutely everyone on campus, it was a night of fun for most of the people. The dance party saw mostly the participating teams letting their hair loose and enjoying themselves thoroughly along with the Confluence team members, who finally could smile after pulling off a successful event. Yes, there were not many fachchas / tuchchas who were present, but I guess that had to do with the exhaustion that had engulfed everyone after three hectic days of buzzing activities.

All in all, a truly amazing experience. My first ever of such a kind. To be a part of Asia's largest B-school Summit and to get a first-hand experience of being in the thick of action was fun and learning going hand-in-hand. After Sangharsh and Placements, this was the the third thing that made this term a truly unique one. This place never ceases to keep you on your toes and give you experiences of a lifetime. WIMWI Rocks!!!

And now being in the Admin team of Chaos, our cultural festival in January last week, I can already feel an encore of a different kind.

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