SPJIMR Campus Life: There is never “Nothing to do” at SPJIMR, says Vasundhara Narang, PGDM Student
Vikas Gaur, 18 Dec 2018, #SPJIMR, Mumbai
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SPJIMR Mumbai Campus Life - It’s not just the studies that matter at a B-school, it’s the environment at the campus that leads to overall development of a student. SP Jain Institute of Management & Research (SPJIMR), one of the renowned B-schools in India, offer a life that creates a balance between academics and life. Located in Mumbai, the institute offers Post-Graduate Programme in Management. Vasundhara Narang, a PGDM student from 2018-20 batch tells about the life at SPJIMR campus. She explains the super engaging curriculum at the institute and how the environment inspires her and keeps her encouraged. Read on to know more.

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Careers360: How is the campus life at SPJIMR? What’s the daily routine? Is it all packed up in a routine or equally divided between fun and study? 
Vasundhara: The curriculum is designed in such a way that your life on campus is not just engaging, but that it grasps your mind space completely. There’s a synergy between the popular perception of MBA life, and the calmness there exists in green lush campus surroundings. For me personally, it is the best of both worlds. You are so engrossed in your academics, submissions, committee work, upcoming fests and events, the entire MBA journey of working and celebrating. But you also find moments to reflect on your learnings, your life path and taking out time to clear out a clouded thought process through very unique academic courses. 

We usually plan our next day a night before, at least, schedule our meetings according to our academic commitments, plan committee work and commitments according to the work we have chosen to be involved in. So, there is always a balance between being prepared for the industry through academic courses and exploring yourself for personal growth through clubs and initiatives.

There will be days when I sleep at 4 AM in the morning and get up early to attend the 8:30 AM lectures. There will be days when I have enough time to read a few pages of my favourite book. It is all about how to manage your time and channelize the limited energy we all have in the most optimal way. That is a key learning, which prepares us for corporate commitments in the best way possible.

Location plays a huge benefit to SPJIMR. Everything is accessible from the part of the city the campus is in, but it also gives you space and peace that isn’t easy to find in a busy city like Mumbai.

Careers360: Is there any club or committees at the campus? Are you a part of any club or committee? Share some of the activities and experience.
Vasundhara: Clubs and committees are a very essential part of learning and growing at SPJIMR, and highly encouraged. One committee falls in our curriculum which makes it very interesting because it gives us the window to reflect back on value addition from the work we have done. There are also voluntary clubs that you could be part of, depending on your interests. Or maybe start one if you wish like. The management and professors are very supportive of the initiatives taken by students and are highly involved in almost all of the events. 

I decided to be a part of GASP, as it was something I wanted to explore about myself. I also decided to be a part of the marketing team in the Sports Fest, Sprint’19. And the committee that I work for is Abhyudaya, which is a different enriching experience for me personally. So, I have been able to balance my choices according to my best sense. Similarly have other people here. There will be students trying to juggle time and play their favourite sport or instrument. SPJIMR is known for its diversity, and it is seen in the way students engage in their favourite hobbies and kind of initiatives they come up with. This also gives an opportunity to other people to explore a plethora of activities that they hadn’t experienced before. That is something everybody at SPJIMR is proud of, learning from Diversity. 

For me personally, clubs have been the source of great bonds I’ve formed, and the amazing conversations I’ve had with such diverse people, not just students but also our professors. The kind of experiences that the professors share with us and the learning from it is huge. And this is not a one-way learning; the enthusiasm with which they listen to our opinions and experiences is the key differentiator. The willingness to learn from the students and the humility that they possess because of sheer curiosity is commendable. Clubs usually end up being a box of beautiful memories for all of us here.

Careers360: What do you do when you are not studying or not attending the classes?
Vasundhara: There’s never “nothing to do” at SPJIMR, which is why it makes it the enriching experience it stands for. We’re either working with our committee teams for upcoming events, or club meetings discussing some initiatives or ideas that can be implemented in our student’s life or faculty’s life. We could be attending corporate competitions, or lining up for a talk or session by renowned industry speakers. We could also be working on upcoming projects or deadlines. A lot of people are found in the library getting their hands on their “To Read” book list.  A lot of them are involved in sports activity and will be seen on the ground practising. 

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There is a student-led Music club too. You will see some budding actors preparing for the flagship play of the year. There’s never a time where I’ve needed to find something to do, we always have to find time to do things, because there’s plenty of opportunities and experiences out there for us. The onus is on us to make the best decisions for ourselves, and align our priorities and time accordingly. That is why it is crucial to fail and learn from it fast enough, and realign in a better manner. It is a continuous process of self-improvement we are involved in.

Careers360: Tell us something about your college’s cultural fests, business/ sports competitions or other activities.
Vasundhara: We presently have 17 committees, and almost most of them are running some or the other event, related to their mission. There will be committees having multiple events throughout the year too, which gives us a rough idea about the number of events we have in one month. This does not include clubs, which are student-led initiatives, under the guidance of faculty, which have their events throughout the year too. Other than this, the flagship management and sports fest of SPJIMR, Ojas and Sprint, respectively, happen usually in January, and the preparation for the same starts months before. Also, the legacy of yearly play, which is run by GASP, also starts its preparation months before. Having enriching non-classroom programmes, like Abhyudaya, gives us the opportunity to understand urban poverty and form beautiful relationships with our mentee. These are some of the activities we are regularly involved in throughout the year. 

Other than this, every coveted Corporate competition opens up for SPJIMR, and the institute has a tremendous winning streak in these competitions. Corporate competitions are taken up very enthusiastically by students here, because of the exposure and rich learning experience they provide. The crucial decision one has to take in the middle of all this, is to choose which opportunity would be the most learning experience for them.

Careers360: Tell us something about hostel life? What makes it special from other hostels?
Vasundhara: I still remember the first time I came to the hostel. The walls were painted with beautiful graffiti and quotes. People had painted their favourite characters from movies and series. The place had a vibe to it before I had met anybody here. The most amazing part of life at SPJIMR are the hostels. It is the compulsory residential programme which makes life here as happening as it is. Be it birthday celebrations, or winning competitions, or “Adda” sessions, the key is the feeling of togetherness that runs in this community. Students willingly come forward to share their knowledge on their expertise subjects in the form of what is lovingly called “Adda”. 

The culture of hostels and even classrooms is such, that I can walk into a group of people and say “I do not know how to do XYZ” and there would be 10 hands willingly going up to offer help. But at the same time, it never turns into easy work or spoon feeding. You always have to do the hard work, but there will be enough hands to support you at the back. That is the synergy between collaboration and competition here. For me personally, I was extremely pleased by the infrastructure and services available at the hostel. The staff is super friendly and understanding, and the relationship of mutual respect I share with them is special in its own ways.

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