The blue frothy waves crashed onto the shore again and again, never ending, never ceasing. I always preferred the solitude of the beach. The Marina beach is Asia’s longest and one of the most famous attractions in the city. Today, to my surprise, I found that I was the only one in the beach. I couldn’t spot a single other soul on the shore. Come to think of it, I could not see anyone else anywhere. Maybe, it’s my lucky day I figured and began to ponder about the many intricacies of the path that I had chosen. ‘Can I get you something sir’ the voice said, measured, smooth, calm. But there was no form to it. I looked around and spotted no one. ‘Sir? Excuse me sir?’ I snapped out of my reverie and found myself bang in the middle of a pretty airhostess’s inquiries on my general wellness state. ‘No, I’m good’ I replied. I would be at 30,000 feet mid-way between Chennai and Kolkata. I was on the way to Jamshedpur, or Jampot, as we lovingly call it. The end destination was XLRI Jamshedpur, the no.1 private B-School in the country.
The long journey
The journey to XLRI had been a long one and I had often dreamed of visiting the campus. I had decided that even if I had converted other institutes, I would make it a point to surely visit XLRI once for an academic or cultural competition. The one thing that distinguished XLRI wherever one goes is the mention of a culture. It is ever prevalent, ever present. XL Culture was spoken of in public online forums and among friends, but no one ever really knew what it really was except the students there themselves. My journey into XLRI itself was a highly comic one involving the only breakdown of my Honda Activa in a 7-year ownership period about 45 minutes before the test and subsequent breakdown of the autorickshaw I had hired after my scooters breakdown about 30 minutes before XAT 2013. I alone know the story of how I finally managed to reach the venue in time, regain some semblance of composure and get ready to give my all during those crucial hours inside the hall. But I got through. I had a good score and aced my GD/PI stage leading to a direct convert. I was finally on my way to my dream B-School and one of the very best at that. The journey from Chennai, other than for my occasional day dreaming, was fairly uneventful and a quick train hop later I was at Jampot. The immediate impression could be summed in one word: TATA. The Tata Group ensures that Jamshedpur is never short of anything. It is a beautifully maintained city. As the taxi rolled in to Circuit House Area, I stared wide-eyed like a kid in a candy store. I wanted to assimilate every moment and store in my mind’s hard drive. I knew this would be my home for 2 years. Once at the campus, I signed in to the MDP Residence block as I had arrived a couple of days prior to the official start when students could move in to the hostels. The MDP residence primarily functions as apartments for top executives who come to experience the very best of management education, compressed into a 4-day or week-long event. The facilities were wonderful and I quickly settled down.
The next day was mostly spent getting my documents in order. I roamed around the campus a lot, trying to understand the way to and fro different blocks. I spotted Dadu’s which had been around for almost as long as the institution itself. The hostel was maintained really well and to my surprise my room was among the largest in the entire block! Lucky me! The pride forever XLRI store was a definite surprise where one can get branded and quality XLRI merchandise ranging from photo frames to t-shirts. There are two convenience stores, one within campus and other just 2 minutes walk away for the benefit of the students. Overall, I was impressed by the huge expansive campus, with a world class library and fantastic gym. The facilities have all been provided. It is up to the student to manage his time everyday in an optimal manner and develop his own self into a well rounded personality adept at both physical activities and academics. During the first week of orientation here, I often ran into the Jesuit priests who run the college administration. Brought up in familiar waters back in Chennai, I built a good rapport with the priests here who are ever willing to come to the aid of the student community. The next day onwards, slowly students started settling in to the atmosphere. I made a lot of quick friends, thanks in part to our Facebook admits group because of which I already knew a lot of them.
The first week comprises of several orientation courses which brought us up to the speed with the case study methodology of learning. XLRI is indeed blessed with departments rich in learned and experienced professors stresses the importance of class participation. The case study method gives a real time experience of the problem in hand, the various options available , helps to create a decision matrix and to choose the best solution to the given problem .Of course one needs to make many assumptions and this helps to enhance learning. My experience has been that since students come from varied back grounds and profile one can learn from their experience and helps peer rating as well.
XLRI has been traditionally known for its various committees and the pioneering work they do in their respective areas. There are many to choose from according to one’s ability, skill and aptitude. These provide suitable launching pads for future managers. There are a number of Committees on campus aimed at fine tuning the leadership skills of students. The few notable ones are
FIRE@X(The Forum for Industrial Relations at XLRI) aimed at bringing about a greater level of interaction between students, faculty and the industry and to create awareness and passion about the field of industrial relations and labour laws.
MAXI(The Marketing Association of XLRI) the oldest committee on campus is designed at popularising the field of marketing at XLRI.
DRACULA (The Dramatic and Cultural Association at XLRI)hosts events providing high quality varied entertainment thereby stimulates the creative potential in the diverse student fraternity on the campus
The welcome ceremony on 14th June 2013 at the state of the art TATA Auditorium that can boast of a fine acoustic system and accommodates 1000 people was a solemn as well as an enriching experience for both students and parent’s community. The introduction of the faculty gave an insight into the diversity and experience XLRI faculty possess. The address by Fr E Abraham,SJ, Director was inspiring and thought provoking and outlined the road map for next two years.
Hectic and fast paced
Life moves at a fast pace at campus .Often 24 hrs is not sufficient to live a day. Yes, here one has to go miles and miles at this speed before one can sleep. I really enjoy this fast pace as there is no single dull moment and there is always something yet to be attempted and completed. Group discussions enhance learning and the joy and satisfaction one get when an idea or suggestion is accepted by the group is an achievement in itself. Of course one learns to accept divergent views and see others point of view.
Home away from home.
One quickly adjusts to hostel life on campus with excellent mess and kitchens with friendly seniors who are very approachable and very helpful. Every interaction is enriching and rewarding. The food is tasty and satisfying. The primary lessons of community living by sharing the available resources in this already shrinking universe and brotherhood is rewarding. The motto “ Service before Self” is best learned in such conditions.
Often one hears about ecology and greenery but fails to see these often. A visitor to the campus is at once thrilled by the sprawling and green campus in the idyllic setting of the Dalma Hills and TISCO. The long sightedness and long term planning of the institution’s founders and their worthy successors needs praise and needs to be emulated. The buildings are not mere concrete monsters but a blend of modern and traditional architecture. Good drainage system is in place to prevent water logging and flooding.
Sir Jehangir Ghandy Library is vast storehouse that caters to the information needs of all and is treasure house of literature related to labour laws and management.
XLRI has many sports and recreational facilities including a multi gym, Badminton, Basket, Football , Tennis , Volley Ball courts and a Recreation and TV Hall.
XLRI has excellent LAN and WIFI connectivity. Undoubtedly XLRI is the most e-enabled business school in our country.
Your Grace is enough
As a devout Catholic I consider myself lucky as there is a beautiful chapel close to my hostel where I can go anytime and spend time in the company of Jesus. Prayer and worship have come close like never before. Attending Sunday Mass has also become more convenient
In short Life is good
My experience is more rewarding as I have a very friendly and helpful room mate. My experience so far has been more than satisfying and rewarding. There are more events I look forward to .One such is the village programme. I have always believed that unless our semi urban and rural population is economically uplifted the battle is not won. Education and health care are the two focus areas where much needs to be done. To eradicate poverty our country should spend more on these two critical areas. Infrastructure spending need to be increased so that power and clean drinking water no more remains dreams for our villagers. Management schools have a lot to do in this area as future corporate executives need to understand where the soul of India lies .
Vinoo Kurian Thomas is from XLRI 2013-15 Batch and we appreciate him for taking out time for sharing his first week experience at XLRI with all of us.