Sunday, October 07, 2012

Beginning of the Odyssey called PGSEM

Quarter 1 ... What? I think it was last year ... It just flew off in a flash ... 
Orientation, the journey began informally here. With a pre-orientation assignment which was required to be completed before we step into the campus. Surely wasn't the gate pass to enter it but was interesting as it had diverse cases to be solved in groups of 5. The first day @campus saw everyone happy & smiling having cracked into the premier institute for management and visualizing themselves 2.5yrs later in the convocation coat & hat and off-course with the degree. That is where the visual was blurred & everyone was woken up :) ... The word orientation actually meant 360deg brain twist which would align it to take the ride called PGSEM. The starter was "Books" which many of us would refer to as "once upon a time i used to study from...". And the binders were also given to us as top-ups which made everyone all the more happier ;-). Those 3 orientation days had seminar's which still rule the minds of many (Peak Oil), deliberate & intentional late night cases by seniors which helped us stay alert and awake all 3 days :P and off-course fun activities which acted as ice breaker for the batch-mates. The orientation ended on lot of gyan & maarg-darshan which formed the grounding base for us. Thanks to senior's for putting their days & nights out from the precious 1 month year break, in organizing the orientation program.

Q1 formally began 20days after the orientation. 3 Subjects in the quarter- Microeconomics which dealt with theory of supply & demand, Accounting to help us improve our knowledge about finance & Strategy Management which would give us insights into firms from various industries and how the CEO's form strategies to solve problems. The batch was high on energy and enthusiastic about learning though everyone took their own time in managing getting up early & staying awake in the lectures. Microeconomics was a web of graphs each one similar to the previous and adding to the confusion with every session. The Accounting Balance sheet & Income statement balanced everything except the confusions. Strategy was more or less a sleepy venture with energy levels on an all-time low. If we plot a graph of energy vs. time we'll get a "Bell curve", rising slowly from sleepy eyes in Microeconomics it peaked highest during Accounting (being a math based subject) & finally diminishing in Strategy. We were asked to form groups of 5 (thankfully) to solve cases which the professors insisted us to read/solve before coming to the lectures for our own good and getting more benefit from the discussions.

The Quarter had hardly begun and we had our first event organizing opportunity with "Pehel", kind of fresher party and a medium to felicitate the senior students who had done well in the program. Managing time for the event along with studies and work got even tougher. The enthu was high being the first event participation for all and the preps though began late were managed somehow. It was lot more interesting finalizing events, participants, practice sessions, teams for handling various sub-events and the volunteers. The program was well perceived by everyone and we pulled it off well.

The joyous mood of the event had not even ended that we realized the midterms sitting on our head. We were still to open our eyes from the sleepy early morning sessions & woke up only to find ourselves sitting after a long time in an "Exam" aka fight for grades. As a discount or thankfully we had midterm for only 2 subjects (Microeconomics & Accounting). The third subject was utilized to create exam strategy by everyone (How to give midterms). The exams format was unknown to all and for this the Profs helped us with some sample papers and hints on the type of questions. The midterms ended in mixed reactions with some calling it a disaster, some others leaving the exam room smiling and even before time (which only added to the tension of those still writing) and others with an average reaction on face and still others with reactions like "hogaye midterms bas...thats an achievement".

The midterms ended only to invite the Final exams which followed in a couple of weeks. All the more tension prevailed with the project submissions and presentation along with them. The projects got more complex every time we asked more details from the Professors. The expectations were high and we were all thinking would we be able to make justice with the projects. Finally we got an extra week after exams for project submissions and that was a huge relief as everyone could concentrate on the finals and mend the destruction done by the midterms. The final exams ended on a high note with people finally able to see the end of Quarter 1, and with only a week more of slogging for the project submissions. The projects were not an easy affair either with lot of thought process involved, gruelling late night discussions, trying to fit in the funda's we had learned in class. Finally the projects finished with people submitting their hard worked reports to the Professors with expectations in return. Expectation of what? That's what we call "GRADES" ... Waiting anxiously...

The 3 subjects not only formed the solid base for future quarters/subjects but also gave us immense learning in a short time span. Microeconomics helped us understand the consumer and the firms using demand and supply curves, Factors affecting these and how firms and consumers react. The Professor made us understand the subject in the most intuitive way i.e. by real economic scenarios. Accounting, more on playing with the numbers helped us understand how to look at a company’s financials (profit loss statements, balance sheet, cash flow statements) how to analyse them quickly and make conclusions. The cases, class discussions and the patience of the professor to handle all queries helped us immensely to grab the essence of the subject. Strategy opened a wide dimension to our knowledge with the sessions involving only real life cases addressing problems faced by the company and then forming strategies for the same. Learning various models (Porters Five forces, RBV analysis etc.) to form a strategy gave us a glimpse of how strategic analysis is done. In short the subjects though 3 gave us insights & knowledge no less than an encyclopaedia.
Managing studies, office projects, activities, family etc. or to say Real-time Multitasking was all the new experience for everyone in the batch. It was uncomfortable as the journey started but I guess everyone has got accustomed to it. Time management was one subject not included in the syllabus but I guess everyone learnt it the hard way (without a professor or a book) or are still trying to master it. The Quarter ended with an unmatched gain for everyone, though everyone took a big breathe of relief having bid Q1 adieu and thought to take a sleep after the gruelling 10 odd weeks but not yet... "picture abhi baaki hai mere dost....." 
Only to realize there's no sleep for another 11 Quarters ... Q2 begins next week and with a bang (Books & Binders already in hand) ... The Journey continues -> Q2


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