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“You are the average of the five people you most associate with” : Tim Ferris

This is the second part of the two part interview with Kshitij Sanke from IIM Kolkata. If you have missed out on the first part you can find it here, <Part 1>

Me: Though every candidate has an answer to why they want to do an MBA, a lot of them don’t have the real reason for doing an MBA. What do you think a candidate should do during his/her course to find a real reason for doing MBA?
I would like to tell you that it is okay not have complete clarity with this one. As I said earlier as well, all you need is a broad understanding of what MBA is all about. All of self realisation comes when you are into the programme. That is what MBA is all about, it helps you understand yourself better. What is required of you is to keep an open mind. Don’t develop mental barriers like ‘Oh! I am a marketing student I don’t want to learn finance.’. Keep yourself open to finding where your strengths and interests lie. Don’t come with pre-concieved notions. Explore and then choose your path.
Me: I have known you to visit a lot of other campuses for reasons like table tennis competitions and otherwise too. What do you think is that one thing that makes IIM C different from its peers IIM B and IIM A?
There are two things that really stand out to make Joka special. It is gives you a lot freedom to find your own calling. Academics are one part of the learning but then it also gives you enough room to pursue other things too. This really makes a difference two years down the lane in the sense that you are well rounded as personality. Secondly, the curriculum has a lot of different subjects to pick from. I took this elective, ‘Managing self at business’. I gave innumerable psychometric tests just to know myself better. I discovered my strengths, behaviourial traits, weaknesses. Such courses are not available at all business schools.

Me: Lastly how is the interaction between the faculty and student? Is it still like the good old days where you share cigarette (or whatever you were smoking) and chai with a professor?
Haha. I have not seen a professor smoke on campus yet. I am keen to know where this is coming from.

Me: Oh I did my research. There was an article in Economic Times in 2011 by Vikram Doctor an IIM C alumnus which mentions this.
Well I would love to read more about those times. To answer your question, we have had chocolate sessions with professors. There is a lot of open interaction. The professors are very approachable though smoking with them seems a bit radical now.
Me: The underlying objective to asking you this question was to find out the degree of casualness that exists between the students and the faculty. I think I have gotten an answer to that. It was a pleasure to have you share your experience with us Kshitij. We wish you the very best in your career ahead of IIM C.

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