“Life does not give you second chance”. I consider myself to be a lucky person who proved this statement erroneous. 11 July 2016, I converted IIM Amritsar for the first time but due to financial problems, I couldn’t join at that time. I appeared second time for CAT and again I converted IIM Amritsar on 29 June 2017 and I was exhilarated to see my mail which read, “Congratulations! You have been offered admission to PGP at IIM Amritsar”. I joined IIM Amritsar on 10 July 2017 and since then it is a wonderful journey.
MBA was never my cup of cake. I had a dream to join defence services after my graduation. But in my second semester of Engineering, I met with an accident and I suffered from spinal cord injury which left me paraplegic. I was not ready to give up on my dream but fate has decided something else for me as I was not eligible for defence services anymore, this shattered my dreams, brought tears to my eyes and filled me with an emotion that what will I do now. I was afraid, to walk again, to run again was still my fantasy. I had to stand up, I had to find some motivation to move forward. To do something, to make proud my family. So how did CAT became my second choice? After my accident, I had to get fit so recovery was my first priority. My engineering college was inaccessible in hill terrain where medical facilities like physiotherapy were completely unavailable so I had to spend my half semester in my hometown which caused shortage of attendance and affected my grades and made GATE out of my reach. Thus I choose to do MBA.
During my recovery period I spent most of the time with my family so didn’t get a chance to experience hostel and classroom life like others and made my presence into antisocial I turned into a too much introvert guy as I don’t want to others to know about my accident and disability. But since the very first day at IIM Amritsar I was asked to do things which were not in my comfort zone. IIM Amritsar gave me an opportunity to explore my hidden talents. My first presentation was a complete disaster. My body was shivering while standing on the podium, all I could see was smiling creepy faces over me. But the rigorous curriculum of IIM Amritsar made me confident enough to take part in case study completion where I had to present in front of company’s founder herself (A case study competition organized by social club of IIM Amritsar during the annual festival of our college Aarunya’18).
Because of my low marks, I was having difficulty in placements during my graduation so the sole purpose of joining IIM Amritsar was placement. IIM Amritsar is the 3rd generation IIM that too with only 3 years of experience. My initial perception about placements at IIM Amritsar was frightful but as soon as summer placements began my perception also started to change. There were big industry companies like ICICI Lombard, BPCL, L&T etc and there were also startups like EVidyaloka which were providing a great learning experience. I was selected for my summer internship at Canara Bank. The first experience of going office in formals was amazing.
For any college, a faculty is a component which builds the brand image of the college since it’s inception. IIM Amritsar has both visiting and in-house faculty. We have visiting teachers from IIM Calcutta, IIM Kozhikode, and MDI Gurgaon. Apart from institutes like these, we have some faculties from industry also which gives you the opportunity to learn from industry experts. In-house faulty in IIM Amritsar is also very good. They have industry experience and they are the alumnus of institutes like IIM Lucknow, IIM Indore, and IIT Roorkee.
Then there is your annual cultural and management festival AARUNYA. The three day annual event gives us multiple opportunities to take part in several competition where students from others colleges come here at campus and take part in those events. It is the moment when you can practice those skills you learned in the classroom. It is not only about competition but you also make new friends like students from other colleges who stays in IIM Amritsar hostel during the three-day event. I also took part in a case study completion organized by our social club “Sankalp”. In the final round, we were asked to present a solution for a start-up and the founder herself was there in judge panel. Although we could not win but it was an amazing learning experience. Apart from case study competitions Aarunya also has events like a competition of band being a music lover it was a perfect treat for me. Other than bands we had some stats-up comedians who made that night wonderful. And the cherry on cake moment was the DJ performance to end the three days festival.
Even though the academic life at IIM Amritsar is very tough (In your first year there will be many sleepless nights with a lot of assignments and projects) but we still managed to take time and explore nearby places. I did not like traveling too much as it is a bit difficult for me as we all are aware of the conditions of public places when it comes about accessibility for disabled persons. But as my friends were doing it I also tried it and I really liked it. It happens when you have amazing friends and IIM Amritsar gave me friends like brothers. I had two opportunities which gave me a lifetime memorable moments. First was during environment course project work at third term. We went to Manawala village to ask villagers about their environmental issues. The people there were so humble I can’t even explain. The way they welcomed us was completely out of world experience. The second experience was my trip to Spiti Valley, Himachal Pradesh. After our summer internship, we went on a 6 day trip. Even though I belong to Uttarakhand where I have seen mountains since by birth but the experience I had in Spiti Valley was completely mesmerising. It was completely different type of adventure to have a journey on those roads. The trek to Chandra Taal (Moon Lake) was around 2 km, I know 2 km for any other person is nothing but for me who cannot walk properly and with help of crutch it was like 10 km to me. Still I was able to complete the trek somehow and I felt like I have achieved something great. The moment you see the foothill from the top of the mountain you feel everything is so small, you forget that such pity things can block your path. Next day I was confident enough to trek further and made it to the “Highest Village in the world” connected with the motorable road with an altitude of 4587 meters. Whenever I remember the moment holding cup of tea in that chilled freezing evening, the golden color of sundown with some amazing friends was the prizewinning feeling.
If you are joining IIM Amritsar there is a advice from my side that once in course time you should definitely visit Spiti Valley.
Life at IIM Amritsar is all about how you face challenges and win through it. Every morning there will be multiple tasks you have to finish by end of the day and every night you will be sleeping with the happiness that today you unlocked a new achievement in the game of life. I came here as paper which was not blank but the content on it was not competitive enough to win the success. IIM Amritsar helped me to improve myself as a person who has significant skills and is confident enough to make me believe that my disability is not weakness anymore, it is that strength that nobody possess. It made me believe that I can stand too, walk the highest grounds, run through the meadows impeccably.
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