Last day at ISB - Graduation Day '09

Today, 4th of April, 2009, was the Graduation Day at the Indian School of Business (ISB) for the class of 2009. Today also marked my last day at ISB as a spouse. Today, my wife, became an MBA, an ISM alumnus and my senior.

Today the campus was abuzz with high activity. Families have arrived on campus to attend the Graduation Day, people are busy packing their stuff as most would be leaving ISB in a day or two. Coming back to the G-day.

The Chief Guest of the evening was Arun Sarin, ex-CEO of Vodafone. The other distinguished guests were Rajat Gupta, chairman ISB and ex-McKinsey head and Dipak Jain, dean, Kellogg School of Management. The evening started with a speech by Ajit Rangnekar, current dean of ISB. He talked about what ISB has achieved in the 8 years of its existence, what ISB is all about and what ISB plans to achieve in the short and long term.

His speech was followed by the guest of honor, Arun Sarin. He talked at length about what leaders are, the importance of integrity in business, and what a dream job should be. Considering the gloomy placement scenario this year, he did motivate by asking the students to follow their dream and not just run after 'any' job. He also mentioned that luck is definitely a factor in your life. While everybody knew that they will get a job soon, it was good to hear it from someone and of course, a boost is required.

After Arun Sarin, came Rajat Gupta. Although he too talked about the same motivational thought leadership stuff, but he accompanied that with his story. Let me share it with you. He went to Harvard Business School right after undergrad from IIT. But the year he graduated was in the middle of an economic slowdown, so jobs for student visa holders were less. Since he was there with 0 experience, hardly any company offered him any interview. He heard from McKinsey, did 2 interviews with them but then was turned down because he had no experience. After a while, at a chat with one of his profs, he came to know that his prof was the McKinsey interviewer's past colleague. On knowing that Rajat did not get an offer, the prof wrote to McKinsey, asking them to interview Rajat, recommending him and thus Rajat secured a job with McKinsey. Rest everybody knows. It was quite motivational.

This was followed by the awards/certificate distribution ceremony.

At the end, Kellogg dean Dipak Jain came to speak. He also serves on the board of ISB. I must say his speech was the stealer of the night. I have never heard such an influential speaker in my life who can grab the attention of audience of all ages. He impressed not just me, not just hte students, but everyone sitting there including the parents. That man, is so humble that you will never feel small. He will connect with you and make you feel empowered. He shared with us stories of life and that was what made us connect with him. While talking about the economic recession, he also touched upon the luck aspect but accompanied with an analogy.

He said life is like a game of playing cards. You can get very bad cards every time they are dealt. But, if you know how to play them, you cna be a winner. A person with very good cards can also lose. So just know how to play your cards and you will do well in life. Moreover, talking about the mood of students which was obviously not very good, considering the placements, he gave another hit.

He said humans should follow the refrigerator principle in life. If things are kept cool, they stay fresh for a longer period of time.

Isnt that the ultimate mood booster? With that the ceremony came to an end and everybody had photo sessions and a sumptuous dinner.

It was not over yet. A late night party continues and is going on as I write. This party is required my everyone to say the final goodbyes. Tomorrow, I am also leaving the campus and will return when there will all be new faces to make new friends. I will go now to say my goodbye to the friends I have made over the year. ISB is just not a good school by itself; it is made good by its people, who are amazing. I am sure the next batch, my classmates are amazing too.

It is 1 am and I am off to the party now.


PARVEEN said...

A great article sir.Please continue your good work.

Vinit Garg said...

Good read, the INSIDER !! Thanks for sharing !

Anonymous said...

Don't you consider yourself lucky? To get to spend 2 years at ISB when most are fighting their way out for even 1 !! :) Wishing you all the best for your 'official' stint at ISB which begins soon!

Anonymous said...

The title caight me bu surprise, never knew that you're already an insider.. :-)
Anyways, the write-up was great. Hope u keep us updated about your experiences as a student too..

allthatmatters said...

I love ur write-ups but why do u call Deepak Jain a glib when u praise him at the same time?

The Teacher said...

Thanks Vinit and Parveen.

@trystwithmba: Of Course, I'm lucky. ;) I get to stay on the campus for 2 years. But on the other hand, the facilities and life on the campus has spoiled me. I don't know how will I get ready for the real world. Thanks for the wishes though. I don't know how the stay as a student will turn out to be.

@missionmba: Yes, insider as my wife is a current student. Thanks for the kind words. I will definitely keep updating my blog more often.

@rohan: Thanks for the catch. I corrected it.

Dino said...

That Dean Jain loves his refrigerator principle. He used it once to explain why living in cold, cold Chicago is not so bad.

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