ISB Hyderabad. Almost every Indian MBA applicants aspires to get into this top ranked MBA institute. And why not? It is not just management education that you go his institute for. It is an experience in its own.
Arani Roy, an ISB Alum and a GyanOne ISB Application Review client, shares his experience and insights on Life at ISB: Campus, Teaching, Placements and Peers. Over to you Arani!
“This will be the best year in your lives, this we can promise’ keeping the microphone on the stand the 5 feet 10 inches figure in his blue kurta turned away from the apprehensive eyes set on him.
A huge cheer broke the silence from behind, the spontaneous shout came from his 30 odd classmates.”
And he was right. Best year can appear to mean a year of never-experienced fun or a year so constructive that there was no looking back since or it can be of making best friends…ISB was all of these and more. For the skeptic I have nothing to say but read along to see if I am exaggerating.
Campus: ‘One school, two campuses’ is what was reiterated time and time again during the earlier days to get it through to our stubborn heads that both the Hyderabad and Mohali campuses have exact modus operandi.
And gradually we got to see that the professors teaching in Mohali travels to Hyderabad for the next term and vice versa to keep the academics seemingly indistinguishable.
I know there are a whole lot of state of the art campuses in India, but ISB campuses are beyond the lifeless buildings shining under careful investment…it is an example of flawless operations and most humane maintenance system some 770 individual will agree on never seeing before every year.
A campus that is buzzing 24X7 seemed to have been maintained by invisible workforce to keep the grass from growing unevenly and the rain from staining the walls. And this is just the regular stuff; fun begins with the squash court and continues through the music room to the swimming pool.
The fabled pressure of assignments demands refreshment from the exhausted ‘brainstormers’ and the campus is the very support that nurtures them.
Medical support or late night coffee and burgers might not look like essential ingredients to become what ISB promises to deliver end of the year, but one can only realize the value of a 5 star room service or a 3D video conference facility when he or she doesn’t have to deal with the glitches. The campus promises students to do what they are supposed to and takes care of the rest and sticks to it.
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Teaching: I have always had the feeling that I’m the kind of a person who can avoid doing classes if I study the materials well, yeah I know it sounds cocky but reality is I ain’t alone.
ISB slaps at this faith system so hard that you thrive to meet the prof after class also. Professors come from the best B schools on the planet and they make you realize that how 2 hours of a session can reconstruct the views on how a person conceptualized a market.
I remember how Prof Achal took an extra session till 11 at night and then again started 7 am next morning for another extra class to make sure every student is satisfied.
This is not about money. It’s the knowledge; humility and something we can’t explain that created the atmosphere where even engineers (like me) want to do classes and don’t get the Monday morning blues.
When you look at the profile of Prof Anindya Ghoshe you wonder how passionate can a legend in his field be when he’s teaching newbies, but then after 5 sessions when everyone gives a thought to become a digital marketer you realize why he became a legend.
And it’s not about the quality of professors also as much as it is about the way of teaching and the case studies chosen.
The sessions are interactive yet never out of bounds, it essentially is a continuous learning environment where your peers and you yourself are actually contributing only for the prof to consolidate it to productivity. The social behavioral experiments conducted by Prof Tanuka , inspired us
to read on the topic and think differently rather than stereotyping consumers. And if this sounds touchy feely to you then wait till it gets crazy; we were taught backward induction through the Joker’s (read Heath Ledger) plans in the movie ‘The Dark Knight’, we got to make full scale movie B plans only to realize where the ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’s deserve the added applauds.
Placements: I won’t talk about companies that came to recruit, as ISB has a pretty good website for that. But I can tell you that the application for jobs or the placement process cannot get smoother.
The resumes get reviewed by alums several times like the minimum reviewed resume would have gone through 20 redrafting exercises. From mock interviews to pre placement talk’s transparency has been the order of days making students absolutely focused on what they want and most importantly what they don’t.
it will be an understatement to say that ISB offers a world class placement, so if this is the most important thing for you, then believe me that you will not get a better opportunity to shift your function or industry, nor will you get an opportunity to appear in front of so many giants across industries, unless you go through the experience we did.
Peers: This is where it tops everything you have done, thought of and want to do. You get to make friends with India’s top minds from an incredible diverse background. One of my quad-mate was a Captain from Indian Army another was a B Tech from IIT Madras.
Now truth be told I was overawed by the roles and the companies I was hearing my classmates were from in the earlier days. Then gradually we all realized the kind of knowledge sharing that happened in the groups was on a different dimension all together just cause of the diversity.
We had entrepreneurs from Singapore, brand managers from the set of popular TV reality shows, authors, editors from fashion magazines and quintessential ops, sales, finance and marketing people.
A popular argument is whatever you learn in MBA you start forgetting as soon as your salary starts getting credited. But no apprehension has ever been concerned over the network of friends one can make.
If you ever think of starting up something you will know whom to call, if you get stuck in your job you’ll know whom to ping, you want to switch you know whom to dial. And all these are the materialistic parts.
The time we spent over arguments, assignments, presentations, and parties and night outs can never be evaluated on value. ISB gave me the friends to keep, carry and have faith in…but you never know you might be able to double your family ‘ISB income’ if you know what I’m saying.