"GIM's CSR initiative 'Give Goa' was my first opportunity to work closely with an organization involved in active social change," says Dikshant Bag, GIM Alumnus, Class of 2013.
Academics, placements and sometimes the social scene are being considered the most defining experiences at a B-school. Occasionally, a more altruistic purpose helps complete the whole experience. GIM -2013 alumnus Dikshant Bag, currently working with IMRB as a Senior Research Manager at PQR (the qualitative wing), reminisces about his GIM days.
On his defining learning experiences at GIM
For me, the most defining learning experience has been something that extends beyond this excellent academic understanding – GIM’s CSR initiative, the ‘Give Goa’ program. Under the aegis of this program I and 5 other students were associated with Sethu for a year. Sethu is a non-profit NGO thatdeals with creating awareness about autism.
Working with Sethu involved creating an MIS for them to manage their work and to volunteer in their special care schools. This experience was the most defining precisely because it was something I had not expected at the time of my GIM admittance. ‘How to give back to the community’ is a question that B-schools across the world are focused on. It is intensely rewarding not only at a personal level, but lately due to the growing CSR concern all over the world. Professionally, this experience is of immense importance.
This was the first time I got the chance to work closely with an organization involved in active social change. This experience taught me compassion and empathy, but most of all it taught me how non-profit organizations are sustaining themselves with unconventional 'business models' while achieving very high effectiveness. This kind of practical, hands-on learning is unmatched and invaluable.
On how GIM was different from any prior academic experience
GIM strives to maintain a high level of diversity in its batch profile. There is representation from almost all strata - culturally and socio-economically. I've had peers who I was intimidated by initially due to theirprior industry experience; but, after a while, I eventually became very close with them. These 2 years also introduced me to many slices of different cultures from across India that I was unfamiliar with. These interactions (celebrating festivals, social events, cultural exchanges) are predominantly managed by the students, but actively encouraged by the management.
Such a diverse mix ensures there is a close, consistent interaction between the students and faculty, not only on classroom topics but also on the larger societal context. We are exposed to different ideas and opinions, and we learn to hear them, understand them and then appreciate or critique them.
This kind of learning is essential for any individual who wants to be successful in modern-day corporate India, which again is, in most cases, composed of a very diverse workforce.
On Continuous Learning @ GIM
Thankfully, the course is structured in a way that integrates theoretical learning with practical, hands-on experience. Everyday work involves reading about unusual business cases, imagining innovative solutions, presenting our solutions to our peers and listening to theirs, attacking, defending and finally engineering the best way forward. I remember people becoming so engrossed in discussions that they would carry on all the way to lunch and after!
We had 2 real-time business simulation papers: Capstone and Markstrat. These two papersensured the learning never stopped, blurring the difference between even work and play!
Posted on 09th December 2015