The One Year

This is the story of one year as the calendar goes, but time is relative isn’t it? I feel I lived a lifetime in that one year and was reincarnated – a new me, a different me. That one year packed in so many new and exciting experiences that the journey was one of true discovery – of not only ideas and concepts, but a discovery of friends, a discovery of the self, and a discovery of my beliefs.

The one year at the ISB has been and will continue to be well documented by different people – the maddening pace, the diversity, the excellent faculty, the classroom experience, the study groups, the time management, arbit CPs, the incredible facilities, the fun times, the friends. These are but pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. What is the final picture like? At the end of an action-packed one year – as I sat back and reminisced – I realized that the events, the roller coaster as most of my class called it, added up to a neat algebraic equation with the right hand side being equal to a different me. A different me, who was able to make the leap from the mindset of a techie to that of a business manager. A different me, who now realised, valued and treasured things and ideas I considered inconsequential earlier - the small things, the little joys, the little stumbles and tumbles on the journey of life.

But then of course, nothing is ever a neat algebraic equation (one of the bigger takeaways from ISB). There is always that epsilon. In this case what is that epsilon? What is it about this place that makes it so special and makes me so attached to it? Why do I feel like a different person? Me who has always found it easy to move ahead, why did I find it so difficult to do so? It definitely was not getting back to the uncertainty and tediousness of regular life. I searched and searched, I probed my consciousness high and low. And yet, I still can’t pin point it. I was skeptical when an alum told me at the start of the year – “this will be the best year of your life, you will be a changed person when you leave”. It’s true – all of it. And what caused that? What brought about the attachments? Why am I always in awe every time I enter the campus? With the day drawing to a close I finally settled with the answer of “the ISB experience”. It’s an esoteric concept, it cannot be pin pointed – but this place changes you and changes you for the better.

And then in true MBA style – I came up with a framework. It looks like the cover of Floyd’s “dark side of the moon”. There is this nebulous entity in the centre - “the ISB experience”. Entering it is a monochrome ray of light – the pre-ISB approach to life, work and play with a limited perspective. Coming out is a multi-color array – the different you, ready to take on the world, with head held high but feet firmly planted on the ground, with broad horizons and perspectives that will shape your destiny and the people around you for the better. Yes, ISB changes you and we ISBians will make a difference!

Abhimanyu Verma, Class of 2004

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