Five hundred and thirty four students sat in front of their device screens, with backgrounds green with envy!
This was it. This was the day they had waited for. Having tied their hopes to the one big dream, they were finally going to get oriented to their dream campus.
In that brief moment before the lighting of the lamp, they reflected on the efforts, the dedication and the will it took to get here. IIM Bangalore to them was their Hogwarts! A magical place, with its tapestry of dynamic experiences, and a chapter from their book, they were yet to write. The excitement, the rush, it was all dream-like.
But somehow, it still felt incomplete. Who would have thought their induction to the ‘Place to B’ would happen from their homes.
Their collective disappointment was incredibly visible through the rectangles on the screen, with every speaker, mentor, faculty urging them to stay upbeat, and find comfort in new experiences. But it was tough! It felt as though they had rightfully won the lottery, but fate had snatched their prize.
It has been three weeks since that glorious yet wistful day. Did these students give up?
Absolutely not! Nothing was worth giving up on this beautiful journey, not even the pandemic!
Each of them made efforts to absorb every story that made their way. They turned into artists, expanding their imagination and creating experiences from tales that did not even belong to them. It was mesmerizing and beautiful.
Guided by the hands of tough love, the seniors became their rescuers. From giving them stories of L square to Unmaad, from classroom anecdotes to the banter at the night canteen, each new adventure invoked feelings of a better tomorrow.
Today, as they sit in their third week of online classes, they value personal connections more than any facet of this new MBA life. Zoom is their new hangout destination; raising hands has a new synonym, and appreciating their peers takes the form of a digital applause.
They have even learned to sing together, dance together, and pull off an entire fest together, all of this while not being together physically, although definitely in spirit.
Even in these unusual circumstances, building a community was of paramount importance to them.
As I pen these thoughts on behalf of my cohort, I feel genuinely inspired by our progress and the support received from everyone who is part of the IIMB fraternity.
No barriers can stop the talent here from raising the bar of this legacy, because as they say “Help will always be available at the Place to B”!