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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

EPGP first reunion! 18th Sep 2010

One of the primary disadvantages of doing a one year MBA is that there are no seniors (or juniors) that you can learn from and interact with. So the first ever EPGP reunion was a chance to reconnect and strengthen the ties with our seniors. A lot of hard work had gone into the preparation of the event with extensive efforts to spread the message among the dispersed senior batch. Nitin, Rajesh and a few other students of the organizing committee had put in considerable efforts in coordinating the entire event. A facebook page was created, the professors were invited, the venue was booked and the entire logistics for the event was planned and executed despite the stress of the beginning of our placement season. It was indeed a tribute to their efforts that it turned out to be a well organized show.

The event started out with Dr Pankaj Chandra speaking about the genesis of the programme and his thoughts on how it has evolved. This was followed up with L Prasad, the EPGP chairperson, giving his views on the programme and requesting that the batches help mould the programme when the first three year programme review comes up. The faculty present also gave us their views and as usual Professor Krishnanurthy had the audience in splits with his witty remarks. This was followed by the senior batch members sharing their thoughts on how the one year that they spent at this programme had shaped their outlook. The frank and disarming manner in which the seniors spoke helped break the formality of the atmosphere. Our batch consists of folks with top notch intellectual skills, and it takes considerable effort and dedication to be among the best in the class The top 5 of our batch academically (Vikas, Vishnu, Anirban, Nitin, Ankur) were recognized by the chairperson and it was great to see Nitin go up to receive his prize accompanied by his wife and son.

The rest of the evening flew by in a fun filled blur. During the break the senior and junior batches mingled discussing the one topic that all MBA students talk about most of the time – Jobs and salaries. It was a great time to renew and form new connects. The venue of MDC woods formed a scenic backdrop and soon it was time for the one and only ‘Bopps’ to start the fun voting event that he had come up with. ‘Bops’ is a very cool and no nonsense chap (though for the un- initiated, he can be very intimidating- he must be the only person in IIMB to have his entire name displayed in capital letters!) He set up a multiple round voting contest in which the audience voted for a few selected nominees in various categories. The categories varied from the best ‘Dostana couple’ to the ‘coolest’ person in the batch. The loud cheer as each nominee’s photo came up on screen was as much fun to hear as was the sight of slightly embarrassed nominees’ reacting to the cheers.

The evening drew to a close with a relaxing dinner. The short time left to us before we graduate, brought a subtle poignancy to the atmosphere. Most of us would soon be dispersed across the world and few of us could say with certainty as to where the turbulent currents of life would take us. However the tradition that we started that day would sure be the nucleus that would help us keep alive the connect and the bonds with the institute and with each other.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Term VI - Paradigm Shift

The electives and placements posed a significant trade-off in Term-VI, and priorities shifted quite visibly towards the latter. The placement committee, the placement policy document, associated processes, career counselling sessions, email invitations, cold calls etc were the terms bandied about within the class. It helped that some of the professors offering electives were open to formulating the evaluation criteria based on the class’ opinion – and it so happened that few of our batchmates had only one end-term examination, while majority of the people had multiple project submissions. So that gave us some breathing space in terms of getting things going on the placement front.

Preparations are also on for the inaugural EPGP reunion in mid-December, which is primarily being driven by the IIM-B alumni association (IIMBAA). The alumni office also arranged for a photo session (which for once, didn’t require a pinstripe suiting up) for the annual yearbook that would feature all the graduates of 2011 from IIM-B.

The much awaited director’s merit list (top 5 students from the first three core terms) was also announced, which carries a scholarship amount of Rs.5 Lakhs. Kudos to the deserving winners, who showed tremendous focus and enterprise in coming up trumps. The class is counting on a few parties from these hotshots over the next couple of months.

The academics committee, in response to fervent calls to get more electives offered, went into an overdrive. Now, the number of electives on offer for Term-VII has been quite mind-boggling and one has to make a conscious choice of balancing the final project (Comprehensive project-CP), the placements, exams and project submissions. There is a heavy overdose of finance courses on offer in Term-VII, and this sure would send some shivers down the spine of “finaphobics”.

The placement brochure was finally out and is being sent out to various firms, over email and regular post. The early signs of placement have been very encouraging, thanks to the students as well as faculty pulling their weight in making a collective effort to improve upon last year’s placements. Meanwhile, the official word on last year’s placements are out and could be found at http://epgp.in/EPGP%202009-10%20Placements%20Snapshot.pdf

Term-V - The Beginning

With an option to choose between 4-6 electives (credit courses) from a list of 13 for Term-V, one was spoilt for choice to say the least. Students could also take up non-credit courses which will also require the mandatory attendance, exams, assignments etc and even grades; the difference being that the non-credit grades will appear in the final grade sheet but wont be factored for arriving at the CGPA. The non-credit option helps students to take as many electives as they want, given the constraint on maximum of 18 credit electives one can take.

Another notable feature is the option of auditing courses (except for visiting faculty in most cases) offered by various professors, who offer a course only when there are minimum of 10 takers. Unfortunately there were few courses where we couldnt muster the required number and hopefully these would be offered again in one of the remaining terms.

There was a mad-cap rush to identify our faculty guide for the Comprehensive Project (CP) and submit a signed project proposal to EPGP office before the fixed deadline. Inspite of a divided house, we saw the inception of "Preferred" group formation this term, given the fact that the entire 65 weren't going to take the same set of courses.