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Expert Suggestions on Preparation for Computer Based CAT-09

IIM Lucknow - Journey Towards Excellence

- by Supriya Sharma *

It freezes in that one moment. The moment you step into institute campus for the first time, the tensions, the rigour, the aspirations, the desires, the hard work, the optimism of time spent preparing to get admission into the best B-schools in the country comes together in that single second.

As one enters into the IIM-L campus there are two statue replicas that can be seen, one that of Lord Krishna guiding Arjun and the second that of the Mahatma guiding his followers, both teachers and leaders like the world has never seen before. This one sight ensures that the feeling "this place is different from others" starts to sink in. It's not for the last time that you feel this, it reiterates at every step, every moment from that time on.

IIM Lucknow is known to be famous for its infrastructure. It definitely matches or even betters the expectation. Lush green surroundings, clean jet black roads, library which is a dream come true, CC (computer center) where all facilities one can ask for are available at the click of a mouse, class rooms that would give most conference halls across the country a run for their money, faculty sitting for whose lectures is an opportunity of a lifetime for most, a peer group that never fails to amaze - everything, that one needs to be able to learn, unlearn or relearn is present.

But it was not like this some 20 years back when IIM-L was just instituted. We operated from rented premises in the city where adequate supply of even basic infrastructural things like water and electricity was a problem. From those humble beginnings to one of the largest B-school campuses in India must have been a difficult journey. Present batches still discuss about seniors and professors who were makers of this transition, with tremendous respect and probably a tacit realization that this needs to carry on further.

Our senior batches never had the kind of resources that we can command but what we might never experience is that conviction which drives an individual to succeed inspite of constraints. It's not surprising though, what they managed to achieve - dedication, perseverance and excellence are the cardinal rules here in campus. It's a choice whether you learn it the hard way or accept it easily but you must and will learn, that is certain.

Within a week of class commencement, the incoming batch is invited for the selection processes of various committees. As a new batch this is where you get to interact with the seniors wholesomely and gain experience about what deadlines, priority settings, time management, impression management @ IIM-L are going to be. By the time this process ends you know that the next two years will take some toll as within couple of weeks, hopes change to desires, desires to aspirations, aspirations to hard work and hard work to resounding successes or to frustrating failures. Even if you survive the onslaught of the committee selection process, the impending midterms, project submissions, assignments, quizzes and presentations would knock you down.

To say that pace of life is very fast here would be an understatement. You always have something or the other like celebrations, events, and contests to be a part of, whether or not one has the time to do so is another question. This week we are going to be 20 years old .The entire campus is abuzz and engrossed in preparation for the same even as seniors have taken a weeklong break after their exams. At times, I wonder who would make better managers - the earlier batches who despite the resource crunch ensured that their learning was wholesome and enriching or our batches who have all the resources within reach and yet at times cannot utilize it properly. Probably the answer lies not in exclusivity of infrastructure or education or experience but rather in an amalgamation of all three.

Working lunches in the mess to complete assignments, midnight coffee breaks at Nescafe, the long lonely walk to the library in the night, the morning sprint to class with toast in hand, chatting up with friends on exodus, active class participation followed by the infamous bumps, the stress, the strain, the hardwork, the competition, the comradelier each experience has an exuberance attached about it and a learning value attached to it. No matter what you are doing, with each step you take, you realize "this place is different from others". It actually breathes...

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