Feb 17, 2022

The most ignored aspect of MBA life is…

Anirvan Majumdar,   PGDM 2021-23

If I were to ask you the most sought-after phenomenon for an MBA student, I’m sure most of you would respond by saying – “getting a CV point”. Most activities beyond those that we are mandated to do are in the quest for CV points – be it case competitions or PORs. (On a personal note, I can assure you that I’m not writing this for a CV point!)

But this discussion is one that I’d like to have in person. This post intends to pen down my thoughts about the most ignored aspect of an MBA student.

And no, it is not sleep, though it’s a close contender. The most ignored object for an MBA student are the exhibits from the long pre-reads that you are expected to finish for the next day’s class.

The alienation is fundamental – the response to a question on the division group asking the length of a case ignores the page count of the exhibits by default. Don’t get me wrong; the pre-reads seldom contain crucial information about the case. Still, I believe it is my grudge against the author of the case, who, instead of summarizing stuff in 2 pages, has taken the liberty to elaborate the situation in 20-something pages, that keeps me from going over the exhibits. Adding to the misery, PDFs are locked in most cases, and it is impossible to copy text and data from them.

The aversion has reached a state that I’ll read an exhibit only under two circumstances:

  1. When a case is less than 7-8 pages long and not printed in two columns and
  2. When it is part of an assignment or the exam of a subject involving some quantitative operations. [Pro tip: You know the exhibit is super important only when an excel supplement is provided alongside!]

However, I do see an improvement in the general sentiments of my friends towards exhibits. As the courses get more interesting and problems require us to look at the situation through an amalgamation of all lenses, exhibits become more critical.

The more significant reason, though, is the collective knowledge sharing in completing a pre-read. One of the dividends of the increasingly strengthening bond among div-mates is that the Samaritans of the division not only make us aware of the very existence of this pre-read, but is also provides annotated versions of the case, and the more blessed people even summarize the case! This has always been helpful before approaching a dense case. I’ve been lucky to interact with a few friends who are willing to discuss the case thoroughly before the class discussions. Such friends have always motivated me to read the nuances of the case entirely, including the exhibits.

While in Term 3, dominated by subjects having limited quantitative analysis, I may be at the liberty of not scanning through the shunned exhibits, but I’m looking forward to not ignoring them anymore during my specialization terms.

We will soon be recognized by our specializations rather than by our divisions. So reading cases will get more demanding, especially when there’ll be multiple at a time. However, I’m always indebted to my div-mates for instilling in me the tenacity to read these cases and their exhibits. My Life@SPJIMR may have been marked by a hundred cases yet, but more importantly, by those thousand memories, we’ve made. I’m optimistic that the memories we made with our div-mates – online/ offline, during classes and assignments, in the academic block or in hostels – will continue to fill our hearts with nostalgia and joy in the times to come.

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