Life At JBIMS
1st Semester At JBIMS – What You’ve Got, Is All It Takes
It was the end of induction, and just like many of my innocent batch mates, I thought to myself, “Thank God it’s over! Now we can have a normal college life.” But, little did we know that it was just the beginning.
The semester started with the coveted and much talked about committee selections. Then began the lectures, and so did the grind. JBIMS is renowned for its distinguished professors. Each professor has his own teaching methodology, thus varying the extent of assignments given. For Marketing Management assignments, we visited the local markets as well as the upscale malls in the city and were literally forced to speak with strangers. In one such assignment, we were asked to do a market survey on ‘rat poison’! From gazillion case studies of operations management and organizational behaviour to the scaled-up statistics assignments, we had it all.
Some say this can be done with proper time management and scheduling. But, there is no such thing as a ‘fixed schedule’ at Bajaj! The next day’s schedule is emailed at 10:30 pm every day and you can have classes anytime between 7 am to 7 pm! To add to it, you should have the guts of a gladiator to be late for certain sessions! In the case of a ‘merciful’ professor, you might be allowed to attend the lecture with a penalty of -2 marks.
Staying awake and making sense of the random sounds echoing in the class after surviving on an average 4 hours of sleep is indeed a herculean task. To spice things up a little, there are surprise tests (popularly called ‘Surgical Strikes’!) and quizzes. Here, you compete with the best of the best. People with work experience as bankers are trumped by the fresh engineering graduates in finance subject. No matter how good you are at studying, this place will make you struggle. If you define your self-esteem by your academic performance, chances are you will most likely undergo an identity crisis for the first two to three weeks.
If you are not already feeling overwhelmed, there are activities like resume building, corporate presentations and various guest lectures. At the same time, you have tasks like toggling between committee and club activities and interest group collaborations, and participating in case study competitions. Thinking of relaxing for a while? A backlog awaits you.
“Welcome to hell!” one of the seniors greeted me when I joined the institute. Having ignored it at that time, I realised its meaning now! Indeed, the curriculum of 1st semester has the potential to easily unsettle one of the coolest, calmest and composed students.
They say it is the journey and not the destination that matters. Similarly, this journey of self-transformation which moulds and shapes our lives into a better being is worth cherishing! With a platform to learn from subject experts, share a classroom with doctors, engineers as well as commerce and arts graduates, participate and ace the business competitions together while learning on the way, JBIMS has a plethora of opportunities to offer!
After working in this graveyard schedule, the obvious question arises, ‘Is it worth it?’ Ask the esteemed alumni of this CEO Factory who have been working in the industry for the better part of a quarter of a century and they would say in unison, “It is nothing compared to the 1st semester at Bajaj!”
Some call it hectic, some call it harsh but it is something more than that. It is real and more lifelike than one can imagine! Nobody will give you a manual for life and say, “This is how it is done.”
“Harry, kill Lord Voldemort!” they will say. No one will care to ask whether Harry knows how. And if Harry is from a reputed B-school like JBIMS, having gone through the rigors depicted above, Harry will figure it out – after all, Harry got through JBIMS with a CGPA of 7.0, amazing friends, job offers one dreams about, and enough CV points to feed the starving kids in Africa with some more to spare.
Harry will survive!
Student of MMS-I
If It’s MBA, It’s At JBIMS!
A bag pack, a white shirt, black trousers, a tie and a conscience full of expectations; that’s how I walked into the ‘Pre-Joining Meet’ at ‘Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies’ on my first day. Ever since the first moment of the meeting, I was assured that this college is all about tradition and protocol. ‘Discipline’ is more valuable than an ‘oasis in the desert’ and ‘tradition’ is guarded like ‘The Holy Grail’. It is this fierce nurturing of values that sets apart Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies. When it comes to tradition, JBIMS is second to none! And rightly so; when you have 51 years of legacy prodding you, ‘Tradition’ is the least you can expect.
The Pre-Joining Meet was followed by the much vaunted ‘Induction’. Now, I will not delve into details of what happens in the Induction. Why? The one-word answer is again, ‘Tradition’! Or to put it in another way ‘what happens in the induction stays in the induction.’ This might not ring true for a lot of the students who still shudder and run helter-skelter when they hear anything that starts with an ‘I’ and ends with an ‘N’!
Once we were done with the induction, the next rude shocker that came to us was in the form of time-table! As a student who grew up accustomed to timetables, it felt like a deer caught in the headlights. Let me get this straight, JBIMS does not have time tables. In the maximum city you just cannot expect to get by miserly. The night before you come to know that the next day would be jam- packed with a Placement activity just as the sun is coming up, followed by a guest lecture at around breakfast time, followed by a company presentation. Just when a sleep deprived student thinks that that would be it, comes another bolt from the blue! The company presentation would be followed by a regular 4-hour lecture which would in turn be followed by a club and/or committee session! Oh boy, seems like a description of 2 days clubbed into one! Believe me, this is what one day looks like at Bajaj and I have not even included the assignments and submissions!
Amidst all this clutter and hard work, one thing that sets apart this college is the power that the 5-floor, brick-red colored building wields! If there was a prize for the amount of awesomeness emanating from a single structure, Bajaj would be right there at the top. When you have the ‘President of JSW Steel’ teaching Corporate Finance, ‘The God of Operations’ teaching Production Management, Professor ‘M’ teaching ‘Markets’ and the ‘Guru of Marketing’ teaching branding you cannot but expect people to stand up and take notice! When it comes to sheer learning, Bajaj is again in a class of its own. Jamnalal Bajaj is popularly called as the ‘CEO Factory of India’, and rightly so. The teachers who come and teach over here do not teach anywhere else in the country. Every hour that they spend with us is worth millions. But they come to teach because they respect Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies and wish to give back to the college. The alumni base that Bajaj has is unrivaled and the amount of expertise that the faculty bring into the class is unmatched.
As MMS- I students enter into their second month at the institute, the one thing with which everyone would unanimously agree is the amount of transformation that they have undergone. ‘Getting out of your comfort zone’ – that’s what this college inculcates in you. On a personal front, this college has pushed me to my limits and then pushed me some more. The college has unlocked a part of my persona whose existence I never knew. At Bajaj you learn that three things are elastic: hunger, sleep and patience. Over the past two months, students here have become super-humans bordering on the extreme limits of all the three parameters. But amidst all this rush the one thing that binds us is the unadulterated love for this unique college. And that is why, I can proudly say that if there is MBA on earth ‘It is here; it is here; it is here!’
Student of MMS-I
A Bohemian Tale – A Month At JBIMS
The night of 14th July, 2016 brought a precursor to the many subsequent feelings of belongingness. An intimation from one of the seniors is all it took for the MMS batch of 2016-18 to up their antennas and start preparing themselves for the aspirational journey they had been waiting for all along. Speculations began flying around all us newbies about the nature, intensity and purpose of the induction program which was long under anticipation. Our exuberance was at its peak, and conscious efforts were being made to avoid faltering on our first interaction with the institute.
The eagerness also brought with it a sense of content and pride with respect to one of the biggest achievements in the lives of all aspirants. This feeling, common to almost the entire batch, gave rise to a multitude of expectations from the institute to an extent that we already felt like a part of the legacy before we had even entered the college.
Amidst all the complacence came a shocker – an assignment!
(Time for fun-fact #1)
At JBIMS (and it took an embarrassingly long time for us to realize this), there is no such concept as a pattern. Be it with respect to lectures (about which we are intimated anytime up till 11PM a day prior) or assignments (with the famous 3AM deadlines), JBIMS will more than successfully teach you how to render obsolete the one thing you hold very dear to your heart – sleep!
(Fun-facts will be back soon)
The magnitude of the assignment and the quality of our contribution towards it compelled us to challenge our definitions of smart and hard work. The assignment made us feel violated for some reason (strong word, I know), especially because of the comfortable month or two which all of us had spent living our kingly lives at our discretion. So with a heavy heart, we (more or less) got ourselves through the task, and managed to elevate our recently shaken pride.
Then dawned the day that we had conveniently assumed to be the beginning of a life-changing era for all of us. Who knew it would take less than a few hours to turn a life-changer into an eye-opener? Our individual and mass conjectures were brought down with a series of reality-checks, and it didn’t take us too long to realize that the journey ahead was far from being the comfortable dreamy one we had reckoned it to be.
Induction had begun! Leisure, food and sleep (remember fun-fact #1) stopped being necessities & started being luxuries. Social interactions got reduced to probably liking some close friends’ pictures on Facebook while they enjoyed their weekends. College became life, and life was (quite literally) mostly spent in college. Home was the alternate work place where laptop was our primary companion. At such a demanding time, parents were supremely helpful and understanding, and quite often sacrificed their sleep & comfort for assisting us in adhering to our drastically changed timelines.
Deadlines became even more stringent, with every passing day reminding us that one needs to take hard work to a different level to be in one of the most prestigious institutes in the country. But more importantly, they taught us that it takes conviction to survive through the two years which we expect to perpetually change our lives.
Remember the adages like “You need to earn it to value it” or “You don’t value it till you have earned it”? If you haven’t understood them yet, JBIMS will ensure that your mind, body and soul are put to a test which will determine whether you have earned your place in the institute. Getting into the college is the first (and the easiest) of the challenges.
(Apologies for the spoiler)
The way it started, induction ended with a bang! Memories amassed throughout the time of the induction started being cherished, and the importance of the program was sinking into us as regular activities and lectures began. Idols started being created in and around the campus, with professors impacting us not only on professional, but also on personal levels. This ushered the first “real” feeling of belongingness towards everything related to the institute. We proudly started being a part of the college just as we started considering the college to be a part of us.
As of now, a month has passed, but the goosebumps which pop up with thoughts of the induction still don’t fade away that easily. With many fresh memories and aspirations, we now find immense pleasure and consider ourselves lucky to be a part of the rich legacy!
Student of MMS-I
JBIMS: The beginning of an epic journey
Getting a call from JBIMS is one of the best things that can happen to an MBA aspirant. When I saw my name in the final list of shortlisted candidates, my happiness knew no bounds. Over a year of hardwork and sacrifice culminated in the convert. Friends and family congratulated me as I got ready for the opportunity of a lifetime.
The first time I set foot in the brick red building at Backbay Reclamation, I sensed something much bigger than me. The institution which has produced some of the top industry captains over the last 50 years, undoubtedly has an aura. Initially intimidated, I settled in after some ice breaking with my batchmates.
The first few lectures were about the history of the institute and what is expected of us. With the onset of the new and revised course under JBIMS’s autonomy, we were exposed to some fantastic professors who have been and some even continue to be stalwarts of their field. The academic rigour here makes us work long and hard but the time spent with new friends in the canteen and recreation room more than makes up for it!
What struck me the most about my new college was the rich diversity of students produced by the college’s holistic selection process. Almost everyone I met has a unique talent and most of them have achievements many can only dream of. This motivated me to push my limits and take my library time seriously, while working together with my peers on various case studies and competitions.
Despite its curriculum, JBIMS isn’t all work and no play. An outbound trip at Durshet after our orientation was a superb experience where the bond with my new batchmates grew stronger! The informal bonding sessions and parties made me realise how lucky I was to be a part of this college.
The last 2 months have been incredible to say the least. Although I’m busier than before nowadays, I’m glad JBIMS is giving the opportunity to test myself and become a better person both personally and professionally.
MMS Batch Of 2017
A year at JBIMS
It all started with a mad dash from CST station to the iconic red brick building of JBIMS! I met my fellow students while fulfilling the formalities of admission. The students are a mélange! We come from various disciplines, varied work experiences and bring with us our own brand of brilliance. But we all have one thing in common, our passion for JB or Bajaj as we fondly call it!
Our college life started with interactions with some of the who’s who of the Indian industry and we were an enraptured audience while they reminisced about their days at JBIMS. The day started out with us addressing the professors respectfully in class and ended up with sharing Chai with them in our canteen! We are always in college, sharing ideas, discussing things, having philosophical discussions on life and intense discussions about the business model of the Idliwala who serves Idlis just around the corner. We were taught to mingle with and learn from our classmates right from day one. As a result of this encouragement, now I know all of my classmates on a first name basis. In a short span of 12 months, we have become a close-knit family of ambitious, driven individuals. Our classes start from any time around 7 AM onwards but we are enthusiastic to go even at dawn. JBIMS has a culture of fostering opinions and encouraging individuality. This culture has been brought about by professors who are CEOs and who want us to engage with them without holding back. It is always a two-way street at JBIMS, open to communication for one and all. In a very informal, yet professional setting, we have met our idols and been inspired.
To be faced with real life challenges and case studies from day one of our course was intimidating. But it was a journey of self-discovery and elegant solutions. Coming from academia focused backgrounds, it was refreshing to be dunked in practical realities. We are in a trance like state after listening to concepts made simple by our professors. I went from a state of trepid curiosity to disbelief to being a child entranced by the simplest of toys!
There is so much to do at JBIMS! We have committees and clubs for everything from Lecture scheduling to Infrastructure. They give us a platform to develop our soft skills and work as a team. Managing submissions and activities by the clubs; competitions to be fought fiercely and conferences at 5 star Hotels have all become a way of life. Being in the business hub of India, we can always go to markets and businesses to see in action the theories we learn. We have visited the bazaars of old Mumbai and Malls in most upscale of areas in search of answers for assignments. Watching movies at the behest of professors and contacting consulates for individual projects has shaped us.
In my first year, our support system and go to guides were our mentors from the second year. JBIMS has a tradition of assigning mentors from the senior batch based on profiles. We, as juniors, learnt the ropes from these mentors. JBIMS is all about friendships and bonding. Recently, a 30 year old batch of 10 alumni met us. It was endearing to see how they have been in touch through the years. I have made friends for life in this institute. They are one of the many things JBIMS has given me. JBIMS is an institution which gives a treasure trove of knowledge and people.
Ours has been a fortunate batch. We are the Golden Jubilee batch of JBIMS. We have seen the full force of JBIMS and its glory at work during the year-long celebrations. Ours being the first autonomous batch, we had the privilege of helping revamp our curriculum. Having a say in almost any part of college system, be it the curriculum or professors we want or when to have the lectures; has made us self-assured and self-sufficient.
I cannot believe that an entire year has passed by already! It has been a journey of laughs, giggles, whoopees and delighted squeals all around. The JBIMS anthem speaks of ‘Humara Bajaj’. Bonhomie intermingled with competitive spirit is our trademark. And then, there is Marine Drive, a stone’s throw away.
The end of academic year should signify a passage of time. But in Bajaj, it signifies a rite, we have all been tested by fire and have come out stronger than ever.
MMS Batch Of 2016
A walk to JBIMS has always been a walk to remember. The profuse energy on the reclamation walkways, the luscious meadows of the Oval and the dulcets emanating from the majestic university clock whenever the gong strikes the chime. I still remember that walk I had on the first day, clad in the professional raiment, apprehensive on what was to come. I can’t believe what a transformation it has been since then.
It all begins from that simple realization. We all forayed into Bajaj with our variegated experiences and surfeit of dreams, though still privative and lumbering. Bajaj soon becomes your platform and your entourage in chiselling and honing oneself. Be it the ruthless pragmatism which the industry so vehemently venerates, to the bestowal of business praxis, you witness it all. From day one, there hasn’t been a single day when I haven’t added any value to what this emphatic place has endowed me with already. From a faculty that constitutes of doyens and humdingers from the industry, to a pedagogy that transcends the mere tome based learning and calls for sheer contemplation and deliberation, every single day at Bajaj has been stupendously invigorating.
Bajaj is a place which closely emulates the professional realm. We are made to compete, we are made to liaison and we are made to strategize. It’s been an avant-garde of modern management practices and it is so gracefully reflected in all that we partake. We’ve had legions of assignments and countless cups of “cutting-chai” whenever we break between the lectures. We’ve had a multitude of presentations and even an umpteen number of inadvertent examinations. Surprisingly though, I never felt knackered and never felt fatigued. I just kept coming for more, just kept foraging for more and more bits of wisdom and acumen in every word my professors spoke. Even more startling is that education suddenly assumes an enrapturing and engrossing character. I would confess consuming lozenges between the lectures, but I’d also proclaim I’m craving to attend them once more.
In a management institute, it is only befitting that discretion and suzerainty be vested with the students. As members of various committees, we all ensconced in ourselves the ways to run our respective units, like we’d run someday which we so fondly call SBUs. Well, hopefully at least! We seamlessly keep moving from the intellectual platforms to that occasional opportunity to act or shake a leg, all astonishingly under one single roof. The most archetypal element of us is that we’re always doing something. The campus is a melange of activity – Of those guffaws on the staircases and those feeble conversations in the library, to that hallowed canteen which houses some of the most scrumptious of delicacies which its visitors so ardently savour, students and CEOs alike.
Just like that popular adage “If you stay at one place for long, you become that place”. I never realized when this institute, so replete with energy and ebullience and so enshrined with vigour, would become much more than an abode. With all its pertness and its red, Bajaj has become an inhered part of me and my way of life. Having said all this, you just have to witness it all to believe in the splendour. The slugfest you wade through to enter this place, standing atop amidst the thousands! It is only after coming here that you begin spending every day of your life thanking no one but yourself for this cherished gift. That feeling, that enigma, they’re simply ineffable.
Tushar Kumar Singh
MMS Batch Of 2015