Nov 20, 2020


Siddharth Vasu   PGDM 2020-22

Meteorological data confirms that October 2020 was the coldest in Delhi in 58 years. Psychological estimates predict that it shall get painstakingly difficult to attend 9:00 am lectures in the coming months. However, there is hope. There is hope because it is incredibly easy to reflect on the burgeoning theme that runs through this place.


Valentine’s Day 2020. Unaware of the impending pandemic that would restrict the PGDM batch of 2020-22 to its homes for their much-awaited back-to-school journey, candidates have gathered in droves. One could have vouched for the smell of nervousness in the air. And in keeping with it, the next few minutes fly by in frantic rustling of documents readying for verification, pens scraping over papers to finish the essays, and the psychometric evaluation within the allotted time. Then, moments of anticipation.

Waiting for your name to be called out and suddenly, you hear it. And suddenly, you’re seated in front of Professor Srivatsan and Professor Sampath for your first group interview. Your spine stiffer than an iron rod and a heartbeat touching 80 beats per minute. All of it is happening while you visualize your introduction. Tell us about yourself. You speak about a bunch of stuff and in the end, you mention how you have recently finished reading Camus. “Was Camus a nihilist?”

A smile crosses your face as you engage in the most insightful discussion you’ve had about one of your favorite authors in a long time. Phew. Calm. In just one fell swoop, nervousness disappears. You know you’re in the right place when a professor in finance has a philosophical discussion with you.

Hopeful that you will clear the first round, you wait with a patient skepticism for your name to be called, yet again. Fortunately, you make it. This time, you’re seated in front of the Dean and Professor Mody. The highlight of this interview was a question that emphasizes all that SPJIMR stands for. “What makes you smile?” It was immaterial what everyone’s answer was. The magic of this unassumingly genius question was beaming brightly on everyone’s face. All candidates and both the professors thinking about smiles and feeding off each other’s energy. That’s the beauty of SPJIMR. Remember? Warmth. 

That is how the PGDM batch of 2020-22 shall wake up every morning for those 9:00 am lectures. Some of us might be a bit groggy when cold-called, a little late to classes once in a while. Delay has been the theme of 2020 anyway. But I believe we’ll all make the best of what we get because we know what awaits us whenever we get there. Remember. Warmth.

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