On Friday, 13th March 2020, we finished our first general management phase. On Saturday, 14th March 2020, the lockdown was announced, and the school asked us to stay back where we were. A day later, on the 15th of March, we got the institute’s message – “We are going virtual in the next 2 days”.
Unknown to the students, all the faculty and associated staffs were getting acquainted and equipped to migrate to the online mode over the weekend. The semester began, and we soon realized that the new platform would be no cakewalk. There were moments of doubts and second thoughts since many top schools and brands had halted operations completely. But our institute stayed resolute. After weeks of continuous feedbacks and conversations between the students and the program management, we finally found our equilibrium. And we did not stop there – we took it a notch up. Club activities, competitions, placement preparations – every activity continued as scheduled. We adapted – all of us, together.
I had read once that ‘The true test of Leadership is how well you function in a crisis’. As I look back, I realize that we could have learnt business fundamentals from anywhere. But how many professors would have pushed us to think of the ethical and moral implications of our actions as future managers and leaders? How many would have gone out of their way to ensure their students understood the value of humility irrespective of knowledge and designation? How many Deans would have had earnest interactions with students to understand what their school could do better?
And how many institutes would have continued to do all these in a year like 2020?
Our school did. And we had the privilege to witness such leaders in action. From the Dean to the Administrative Staff, every member reinforced and portrayed the value system that the institute has stood by for decades. Our only regret is that we could not experience all of it in-person, for if the impact were so profound virtually, one could only imagine the influence it would have had had we been on campus through the year.
Nonetheless, the year left us with lessons for life, many of which could not have been learnt in a typical classroom. We move ahead with an assurance that if ever we need help or direction, there is always an anchor, a family we could come back to.