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BW Businessworld

The Week And Its Firsts

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As the taxi entered the gates, a million questions were swirling in my brain. If this is a right decision? Will I fit in? Would I be able to cope with the competition? Did people around me have time for fun? Am I going to have any semblance of a social life? Going back to school after three years, that too, one of the most academically rigorous management programmes in the country, I was extremely apprehensive.

Dragging my heavy suitcase to my dorm, the maid commented that I seem to have brought all the possible clothes I would need for the next two years. Ha! That's where my last month's salary had gone. The last pay check I would see for a while. Leaving unpacking for later, I decided to take a walk around the campus admiring the much lauded red brick architecture and the green lawns.

As I walked past them, most people I saw seemed to know each other. Feeling a bit out of place, I decided to return making a mental note of the way to my dorm through the red brick maze. It was easy with a security guard standing outside the gate. Once in the dorm I saw one of rooms with lights on and entered inside. After some basic introduction we decided to tackle the registration process together the next day and then bond over every girl's first love - shopping!

I got to meet more people during the registration process and even saw familiar faces whom I had met during the interview. Talking to them I realised that whether others had come in as freshers or with work experience, they all shared my concerns. No one believed that they were as studious as they were meant to be, as competitive as they needed to be or as money minded as the outside world perceived them to be. Maybe I won't be as much of a misfit as I had thought. The welcome speech though focusing on the academics and the discipline of the programme helped allay my fears as I heard the questions which many parents asked in the Q&A session. Looks like I am not the only one worried. But I regretted acting grown up and not allowing my parents to come and drop me off. Maybe the Q&A session would have helped them as well.

As more people started trickling in the campus I met my dorm mates, and got to know some really fun people. Though gossips of course hadn't started building in the campus, we did have late night gossip sessions. We explored and got lost in campus together on our way to the introductory session. The session which stood out the most was our orientation to the case study method. All fourteen girls in our dorms sat and studied for the orientation case together. However, next day as the prof. took us through the case, it was an amazing experience as he picked up on points which all fourteen of us had missed out on. And though I had come in thinking that I know what I want from life, with goals to reshape my career, I realised that I have a lot to learn in order to become a more perceptive person.

Raising a (cold) drink to the next two transformational years of life ahead of me!

Atreyi Bose is a first year student of IIM Ahmedabad's PGP in management.