IIM Calcutta : Life Beyond Placements & Academics - Riddhiman Dass, IIMC
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Riddhiman Dass is currently pursuing his PGDM from IIM Calcutta. He did his engineering from IIEST, Shibpur and cracked CAT 2014 with a score of 99.75 percentile. He likes reading fiction, history, and enjoy quizzing. He is an active member of IIM C Dramatics Cell.
IIM Calcutta is known for many things. People know it as one of the best places to get a management education, and the institute is one of the greatest in the world when it comes to Finance. It is also known for its mathematical rigour, vast alumni network, and unique culture. IIM Calcutta, or Joka, as many fondly call it, is an exciting and challenging place to be in. You will be surrounded by incredibly accomplished academicians and peers, who will broaden your horizons. Academically, you will have your hands full with things to learn. When you are not discussing the nuances of corporate strategy with the professors and students in the class, you will be in the library with your team mates working on a project on rural marketing, or perhaps burning the midnight oil reading and solving the case for the next day’s Operations Management session.
However, Joka is not all work and no play. Part of what sets the institute apart from all others is the freedom given to students to mould their business school experience according to their own interests. If you so wish, you can choose to engage in sports, music, or be part of the student council (which, in many ways, runs the campus). As said by all students and alumni of IIM Calcutta, we are treated as adults here, and given both freedom and responsibility. So, let me introduce you to the various experiences that you may have, if you choose to be a part of Joka.
The first one, which happens to be my most favourite, is dramatics. The Dramatics Cell organizes four plays throughout an academic year, entirely led by students. That means that you would get to display your skills in acting and direction, as well as learn how to manage the production. I myself am a member of the Dramatics Cell, and those late night practice sessions provided me with a perfect foil to the stress of the academic workload. Dramatics isn’t the only performing art practised on campus, however. If you enjoy dancing, the Choreography Club would be right up your alley. You can get to be a part of spectacular dance shows and flash mobs in various events. For those of you with a passion for art and design, there are opportunities to showcase that by designing artwork for the plethora of events and festivals held throughout the two years on campus.
One of the most important extracurricular activities here is sports. There are several opportunities for students to engage in sports. Sporting events run the entire gamut from impromptu matches between friends, to inter-section tournaments, all the way to inter-IIM sports meets. An important tournament is Sangharsh, the sports meet with IIM Ahmedabad, IIM Bangalore and IIM Lucknow. But the greatest of all tournaments at IIM Calcutta is undoubtedly the IIMC-XLRI Sports Meet. The rivalry is of legendary proportions, and this is when the spirit of the ‘Joka Tribe’ comes alive in all its glory.
One of the greatest sources of pride for IIM Calcutta is Intaglio, the international business summit of IIM Calcutta. It is the largest of its kind in Asia, and one of the most prestigious as well. It has seen participation from the world’s great business schools like Wharton and NUS. Just being a member of the organizing team of Intaglio gives one a taste of management and leadership.
Finally, there is Carpe Diem, our fest, for which we wait throughout the year. This is when we all get to take a break from the gruelling life in a business school, and enjoy the events that are lined up over the weekend. Whether you’re a part of the organizing team, or just there to experience the shows, you are sure to have a great time.
The campus itself is unmatched in its natural beauty, with verdant greenery and gorgeous lakes occupying the vast majority of the real estate. After a hectic day of classes and meetings, you get to relax on the Jetty, that most loved of hangout spots, enjoying the serenity of the lake, or watch the sunset from the Mini-Howrah Bridge. The 135-acre campus also happens to be a bird sanctuary, and in the winters, the bird-watching enthusiasts can spot rare birds that migrate from far away lands, other than the more common ones. I myself boast about seeing plenty of Woodpeckers and a few Kingfishers as well! Sometimes, if you get lucky, you can spot Monty, our resident Monitor Lizard.
In a nutshell, life at IIM Calcutta is all about freedom. If you wish to study and learn as much as you can, you have some of the finest of Indian academia to learn from. If you wish to experience a well-rounded lifestyle with a balance of academics and extracurricular activities, even then you are spoilt for choice. You will be living among people who will go on to become future leaders of our country and industries, with many of whom you will form lifelong friendships. You will get to build a treasure trove of memories. No wonder then, as the saying goes, “Joka is not a place, it’s an experience.”