Doing MBA – The New-Normal Way

 “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable” – Helen Keller.

The crisis precipitated by COVID-19 has pushed educational institutions to move all physical classes online to ensure that there is little or no disruption in the learning process in this “new normal”.

Rather than working round the clock in our gorgeous campus (ahh IIM Kashipur, you beauty), we are stuck at home, sitting suited up in front of our laptops and attending academic sessions and guest lectures.

While I was preparing for CAT, I never thought that I would be doing an MBA from home. It was a bittersweet day when I got my admission letter because even though I had managed to clear the rigorous admission process, I realized that I would have to spend the first few months of my MBA life, working remotely from home.

 Who would have thought their induction to the “IIM in the North” would happen from their homes.

I still remember my first day at IIM Kashipur, where three hundred and forty students sat in front of their device screens, with backgrounds green with envy! It felt like winning a lottery with no prize money.

But the circle of life continues, and I knew it was not worth giving up on this beautiful journey, not even for the pandemic!

What appeared to be impossible became possible. IIM Kashipur planned a schedule so well keeping in mind various factors like strain on one’s health due to increased screen time, availability of the Internet, etc. which led to a smooth transition. Soon Zoom sessions replaced classroom learnings and options like polling, chat, and breakout rooms have successfully managed to keep classes interactive without making them chaotic. Raising hands has a new synonym, and appreciating peers takes the form of digital applause. “Am I audible?”, “Am I visible?” is the new introduction phrase for a presentation.

The level of FOMO (A popular B -School jargon that implies Fear of Missing Out) these days has reached another level, that makes us all check our phones and WhatsApp messages very frequently and consequently makes us stick to our laptops and phones. One nap and there are hundreds of messages regarding assignments, case competitions, and corporate presentations.

It gives me chills when I think that this all started just eight months back, and we are already done with the third semester as of now. But all these small little shifts made us realize one very important facet which we learn in MBA-Crisis Management.

Seniors/Student Body members became our rescuers. From giving us stories of Agnitraya (Our Annual Fest), classroom anecdotes to the banter at the night canteen, each new adventure invoked feelings of a better tomorrow and made us more excited for what awaits us on campus.

In a virtual learning mode, there are numerous distractions but one thing which we ought to remember is why we are doing all this, why we are spending our valuable time and resources in getting this degree and we need to make them count. This can be only achieved by advanced preparation of pre-reads, active listening, and involvement through sharing of perspectives and experiences as well as by asking questions.

Remember the end goal each day and this Online learning will no longer be a barrier.

About the Author:
Sakshi Poddar a Computer Science Engineer by qualification is now pursuing MBA(Analytics from IIM Kashipur. She is a part of various student bodies like the Media and Public Relations Committee and Admission Support Body. She is an IT professional with 2 years of experience in Hewlett Packard Enterprise. She loves traveling and dancing. You can connect with her on LinkedIn

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