Here’s to New Beginnings – What We Learn in the First Week of IIM Bangalore

Contributed by: Aashritha Rao
Edited By: Anirudh Agrawal

Walking around this beautiful campus, for the first time, can be rather overwhelming! The distance to my new room from the hostel office took quite some time to cover, considering the unplanned but conspicuously frequent breaks to try and take in all the dozens of incredible sights that you’ll casually come across, all over the campus. Some of these are the result of brilliant architectural design, while some others are just the seamless integration of nature with it.

Apart from the day in between, which was mostly spent in settling down, the Programme started the day after, on the 14th of June, with the Inaugration Ceremony. The evening was an execution of meticulous planning, notwithstanding the odd drizzle. The gathering was addressed by the Director, the Chairpersons, and notable Faculty. Mr. Saugata Gupta, MD & CEO, Marico Ltd, was the chief guest for the event. And when he said, “What brought you here, won’t take you to the next level”, we knew we had a lesson to take home and remember. The day just got better when Col. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, Minister of State for Youth Affair and Sports, as well as, the Minister of State for Information & Broadcasting, graced us with his presence, leaving all of us pleasantly surprised. The evening, of course, ended on an inspirational high and the schedule for it concluded with a “Bharatanatyam” dance recital.

The next couple of days had a series of back-to-back lectures over an umbrella of topics, to give us an idea of what to expect from our stay here and what expectations we need to live up to, in order to stay here. What really stood out among the multitude of agendas was the lecture on waste segregation in IIM Bangalore. This showed us how seriously the institute takes cleanliness and how important it is for us to learn to do it right and showing us how a little consideration for the sanitation workers at the far end of the chain, would go a long way in making their work conditions less harsh.

From the next day onwards, we were divided into three groups and had three days of exciting events lined up. For my group, it started with a visit to Home for Hope, an NGO run by Auto Raja, for the destitute and the ill. What we learned and saw during this visit moved some of us to tears and definitely made all of us to change our perspective on life. Two important learnings from this visit were that, one, we should be grateful for all that we are privileged to have and, two, to care for those who don’t have what we do.

The next morning, a third of our batch strength gathered in a classroom for what was called the ‘Theatre based workshop’ on our schedule. Some of us from this group had walked in with apprehensions on what it is going to be about, especially because of how little exposure we have had to arts in general or theatre in particular. Just as the session was going to begin, our facilitator had asked us to put away ‘the turtle’ sitting over our shoulders. This turtle was the symbol for our inner critic who tells us we aren’t good enough. So once the turtle was out of the picture, we began losing our inhibitions and spent the rest of the session reflecting on our feelings and experiences through a series of individual and group activities.

For the outbound programme that was scheduled for the day after, we were taken to Breakthrough, an outbound training company. This day was spent in a series of exciting activities that help build teams. Some of these activities pushed the limits of what we thought we are capable of doing. For instance, there was a course of physically challenging tasks that required (or at least, looked like it required) the skill of an acrobat, even if an amateur one at that. And while most of us had never done something like that before, we learned through experience that with the help of a minimum of two ‘spotters’, you reach your destination without falling from the high ropes or the narrow planks. The spotters were, essentially, people we could trust to hold our back if we lose balance. And that day, all of us found spotters in each other, even though it had barely been a week since we first met.

All in all, these ten odd days of orientation have been enriching in terms of the exposure we got. Be it the Alumni interaction or appreciating the diversity in our very own batch. Just as well, they’ve helped us look deeper into ourselves, to look back and see how far we have come and look ahead to know where we want to be.

Here’s to hoping we get to make the most of all this place has to offer!

Aashritha Rao is a student of PGP 2018-2020 batch of IIM Bangalore.

Media Cell IIMB is the student run outreach and communication committee of IIM Bangalore dedicated to form the bridge within the student community and the outside world.

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