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7 things you must do at a B-school

Last updated on: August 4, 2011 14:50 IST

7 things you must do at a B-school

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Glen Dsouza

An alumnus from IIM-Ahmedabad suggests seven activities that management students should take up during their course of study at a management institute.

So you managed to get into the B-school of your choice? Congratulations and all the best for what would be the two most special years of your life.

As you settle down in your new 'home-away-from-home' and start attending lectures (especially for the people with prior work-experience), remember that there is much more to b-school life than lectures alone.

Here's a glimpse of what activities you can catch up on while doing your course at a B school.

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1. Join student clubs/council/interest groups

Every B-school has a host of student clubs and councils which conduct activities in a particular area/interest group like finance, consult, marketing, systems, etc.

While these clubs are popular on campus for the CV points, you should be joining a club with an aim to learn and contribute, not merely for decorating your CV.

Besides these career-oriented clubs, you would also find interest groups like the dance club, music club, theatre group, etc.

Joining such clubs not only give you a well-deserved break from the hectic routine of the first year, but will also give you a chance to showcase your talents and to shed those inhibitions of performing on stage.

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2. Volunteer for your college events/festivals

Almost every B-school has its own management and cultural festival.

Each event would have different cells public relations, logistics, media cell, corporate communications, events, etc.

Volunteer for working for those cells which you find interesting and challenging it will give you a good experience of handling crisis situations and working on very tough deadlines.

Moreover, it will help you when it's your turn to organise the event next year.

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3. Explore the city, culture and traditions

Every city in India has its own culture, traditions and places of interest. Staying within the campus might cut you off from the rest of the city.

Take some time out and enjoy the experience of the local cuisine, clothes, festivals and traditions.

Plan a bike trip over a weekend and set out to explore the city with your friends.

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4. Take up industry projects

Management is not just about grades and acing your business class.

While you may not to be confident about initiating a business project on your own, you may look for alternate options to prepare yourself in that direction.

Many small and medium sized companies might be looking out for opportunities to help out a local venture with its marketing research or helping out a new start-up with a business plan to attract angel investors and venture capitalists.

Keep an eye on such projects and opportunities and grab them when you can. This would give you a good opportunity to apply the principles of management learnt during your course and may even earn you some cash!

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5. Take up an independent project

You may be bogged with projects all round the year. Not all of them may cater to your area of interest. This is the time to do something for yourself.

Choose any particular topic you are interested in. It can be anything from business and education to as wide as sports or politics.

Identify any particular problem/trend and try to apply some management fundas to it.

Also try and get hold of a professor who is from (or has research interests) in that area, discuss the issue with him/her and go ahead with the project under the guidance of the professor.

Remember that it need not be a credited project. It is very important that you do something which interests you, not just for the grade!

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6. Identify and support a social cause

Some of you might have been associated with social causes in the past. Why not continue the same while in campus?

You could try and find out if you can teach poor kids from the neighbouring areas or work for the upliftment of certain sections of the society.

Most B-schools these days have courses which deal with such issues (IIM-A for example has a course called Socio-Cultural Environment of Business).

On second thoughts, you can also consider taking this activity as a part of the project for the course. While it will be a great learning experience for you, it will also bring a smile on someone's face and make a positive impact on society.

Think about it!

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7. Learn a new language/activity

It's never too late to learn a new language or pursue a new interest.

Many colleges have tie-ups/exchange programmes with foreign universities and it pays off if you know the language of the country where you will be spending a term.

Even if you do not have any plans of going on such an exchange programme, it wont harm you to learn to converse in a new language.

You may also consider taking up a completely new hobby/activity, or simply even go back to pursuing one of the interests you so proudly mentioned in your B-school interview.

And if you still feel that none of the above works for you, then... there's always an eighth activity you can consider.

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8. Knock on the door of a senior and start chatting!

Believe me, it's the best thing to do if nothing else works out!

Just knock on your friendly senior's door and ask him for some gyaan (B-school lingo for any advice given by the seniors).

The best thing about taking an MBA class is the diversity of students you get to interact with under one roof.

Talking to seniors will not only help you navigating the next two years of B-school life but might also give you the much needed guidance needed for choosing your career path ahead!



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