STUDENTS fresh from their junior college or schools and making their first professional move, that too by joining a rigorous professional program like the bachelors in business administration are definitely different from the masses. Sheer excitement, zeal and enthusiasm, aspiring to reach for the stars are personality traits defining this lot of youngsters. The selection process (personal interview) where the faculties shook up the aspirants was the first indication of the things to come or a proverbial tip of the BBA iceberg.
It's after all the first impression a student makes after joining a course of study in a specific school or college, that radiates in his approach, in turn making him realize the nuances of converting the dream into a reality. Opines, Prof. Lalit Khullar, Director, TIME, Nagpur, `a professional approach by the management of the college percolates very well through the employees to the students, their parents and the society at large'. This is primarily the reason why year after year students flock handful few institutes to pursue fast track careers in management, be it at the undergraduate or at the postgraduate level. Bridging the yawning gap between the hope, aspiration, dreams and the harsh world of reality is what the doctor orders for a professional college or a business school.
Box Office Response
The response to a typical advertisement to join a professional program, offered by a reputed institute has to be a box office hit. However, not everyone is fortunate to avail a ticket to see this film running for three and two years respectively (BBA and MBA). It's because the intake capacity is limited. A run of the mill theater can very well accommodate audiences more than their capacity, however, multiplexes are highly choosy in filtering their audience as they mean quality over quantity. In fact that's what differentiates a film, where Aamir Khan happens to be the main cast vis-a-vis a number of Saif Ali Khan. Adds Prof. Sanjay Kavishwar, Dean, TIME, `for a professional college its a toss between numbers in the short run or quality in the long run. We always prefer to go for the later'.
First day first show
The fresh enthusiastic minds and souls dressed up in their favorite attire were ready to make the statement of their arrival at the college stage on day one of the orientation program. However, much to their and their parents chagrin a record number of twelve students were not allowed to enter the premises of the campus only because they landed five minutes behind schedule. Discipline in charge, Prof. Satyendra Patniak and Prof. Yogesh Garpude directed the office staff to close the collapsible shutter on time as usual, reminding one of the Scotland yards posted in front of the mansion of the queen. Screaming voices, sullen faces and humble requests could not waive their fines for late coming. They were politely but firmly asked to join the week-long orientation program a day late, only if they mend their approach and work on their discipline and time management skills. Few parents tried to interfere when the faculties reprimanded undisciplined students, but soon they realized that it's for the betterment of the future citizens (the students0 that their words are being treated with an iron fist. It's always better to set the ball rolling from day zero instead of making them remain in their comfort zones (courtesy the adulation from parents). Voice prof. Medha Dixit, faculty, TIME, `the need for challenging the conventional mindset right from day zero has been a practice at TIME. It shows up very wel in a transformed individual when they work out of the college after completing the program'. Adherence to discipline and organized way of life has to be cultivated right from the word go. It is this phase when the resistance on the part of the students is the most as they are reluctant to compromise on their zone of comfort created over the years. Putting the students on course even if it means some harsh behaviour on the part of the trainers and faculties is accepted, as this is the time to send across the right signal. It's either adhering or calling it quits.
Learning, Fund and Frolic
The class of 09 of BBA-I might have felt that the process of selections is all over. Formal admission into the program might have ended with that interview, however, the process of personality and knowledge mapping started after the head of the department and faculties took the formal orientation session followed by other exercises. TMAT (Tirpude Management Aptitude Test) was conducted to gauze the abilities of students in various disciplines like overall aptitude, attitude, logical thinking, verbal ability, and communication skills. Prof. Radhika Deshpande, faculty, TIME, feels this exercise is of paramount importance as it helps faculties understand their protege better. The acceptance to the theory of all work and no play makes jack a dull by was best portrayed through the talent hunt contest, which brought to the fore many latent abilities of the students. Amazing performances by the raw talents, might have given the likes of Hrithik Roshan, Michael Jackson, Elton John, Amitabh Bacchan, Shekhar Suman to name a few, creased forehead as they (students0 showcased their abilities with panache. It made the students realize that this is the place where they can not only harness their professional talent, build on their personality traits, but can also fulfill the dream of becoming the next Indian idol. Who knows, the nest Shahrukh khan or Sachin Tendulkar might be hidden amongst these bubbly faces. As rightly said by prof. Praveen Mustoor, faculty, TIME, Nagpur, professional learning takes place only when it is holistic in nature. Fun and learn should go hand in hand. That's what good professional colleges follow. The real battle starts now.
-by Manishankar Chakraborty
Author is Faculty Management at Tirpude Institute of management Education- TIME, Nagpur.