My IIM Lucknow Experience!  

Posted by NoeL in , , , ,

I had gone to IIM Lucknow for my FPM interview and written test on April 14th - 18th 2008. Here is a detailed description on the various things that happened during the trip, things that went through my mind and details on the FPM selection process.

April 14th, 2008
I ironed my clothes, ran in search of a tie, scrambled all my (hard earned) certificates and was ready by 7.00PM… I had a train to catch at 7:45PM from Nashik Road Station, which is around 45-60min from where I stay. This time, I didn’t have my friends around to kick me out on time as usual.

In a few minutes, I was in the nearest Auto Stand. This time, I didn’t have time to bargain with anyone. So took the first Auto I saw and reached the station by around 7:50PM. Thanks to the Indian Railways for running the trains late. Else I would not have boarded the 2107 LUCKNOW SUP EXP to Lucknow.

In the train, I exchanged my seats with a lady for the Side Upper Berth… There I comfortably sat with my laptop and started reading one of my favorite books, The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum. I was going for an interview for which, I didn’t have a chance to convert. So thought… "Why to take the trouble of preparing in the train? I will do some reading and will relax too…"

April 15th, 2008
I landed at the Lucknow Station at around 5PM, 2hrs later than the scheduled arrival. The sensation I had while coming out of the 3rd AC compartment to the scorching sunlight outside was something I won’t forget for some time.

From there, I took an auto to IIML campus after bargaining with him because this time around, I had all the time with me… My fellow college mate who is a current student at IIML had told me not to give more than Rs.120/-. Lucknow Station to IIML, auto drive was THE AUTO RIDE of my life. All the way, I was remembering the Auto stunt that was shown in one of the James Bond movies… Finally, I reached IIML campus ‘SAFELY’ for Rs.125/- (Hmm... Not bad!!) and in less than 45min (approx. 20Km through busy streets!).

After reaching the campus, I got myself registered. I was allotted Room No. 259 at ‘Chanakya’ Guest house. It was an AC double room but was being given away for single occupancy. For the next 2days, this was where I was going to be. The accommodation was good.

After freshening up, by around 6:30PM, I thought of taking a stroll through the IIML campus. Meanwhile, I had met another fellow aspirant named Prasanna and we both decided to check out the canteen and shops in campus. We had a cup of coffee and together explored more of the campus. One good thing I would like to highlight here is the behavior of the people. All were very pleasant and accommodating. Even the shopkeepers…

At around 8PM, we came back to the guesthouse for dinner. I must say, the dinner was awesome. The preparation was something very different and later on I found out that, it was the Chinese Indian style. (Is there a style like that??) The cooks were all from Assam. Delicious Yummy food!! :)

During this time, I met few more of the fellow aspirants and we all started sharing our profiles with each other. It was a reinstating feeling… As I had thought earlier, I was at the wrong place. All were with PG and 5+ years of relevant work experience. Some of them where already into research and academics and few were JRFs (Junior Research Fellow of UGC). They were surprised when I shared my profile with them. I told them that I came just because I got the call and that I am not even dreaming of converting it… and that was the fact!…

I went back to my room by around 9:30PM and resumed reading the novel. I decided to finish it in this very sitting. So read, read and read. Finally when the novel was over, it was around 2:30AM. That is when the revelation stuck me… I have a written test to attend early in the morning. Thought I will prepare something for the interview after my written test. So kept alarm for 7:30AM and slept off.

April 16th 2008
I was supposed to report at the FPM office at 9:00AM and the breakfast was ready at 8:00AM. Mr. Murphy decided to be extra active, that very day! My alarm didn’t ring. And I was peacefully sleeping till 8:30AM. Thanks to Prasanna for waking me up. Finally, I reached the FPM office by around 9:10AM (Hmm.. not bad!) after completing my daily ablutions and breakfast, as the last reporting candidate.

There after registering my attendance and filling up the travel reimbursement forms, we were directed to an exam hall. There the RAT (Research Aptitude Test) was waiting for us. After the CAT, a RAT…! Details on the RAT can be read here.

We were initially told that the selection process was for 2 days. And so, conveniently I had assumed that my interview would be on 17th April 2008. But to my surprise, my interview was scheduled right after RAT.

I had applied for Finance (My Love!) and Human Resource Management (For the Heck of it… 2 options… so clicked on HR too while applying..!). I had both the calls. The finance interview was the one right after RAT. HR interview was scheduled for a later time, same day itself. Details on my FPM interview can be read here.

After my Finance Interview, I was asked to wait in a conference room at ‘SAMADHAN’. Before I could even finalize upon whether to attend the interview or not, I was asked to move on for the same. I was thinking of meeting the FPM Administrator to tell him that I am not interested. But I couldn’t. So entered the interview board, told them what I felt… and came out in 2-3min… They wished me all the best and told me that I had a very good chance for converting the FPM in finance… (I never believed them!)

So from 16th April 2008 afternoon, it was about spending/killing time @ IIML campus. My train was at 10:00PM on 17th April 2008. I slept for the whole afternoon. In the evening, found out a place where TT and caroms could be played. There, I had a few games with the fellow FPM aspirants till dinner time…

Later on, I got my laptop connected to the institute wireless LAN… I started browsing for the rest of the day… Finally, by around 11:00PM, I decided to call it a day.

17th April 2008.
I woke up around 10:00AM after almost 12hours of sound sleep. After having breakfast, I strolled into the FPM hostel looking for some FPM student. Met this guy from Strategic Management… A very nice fellow… He explained in depth and breadth what the FPM is all about and how the classes were conducted etc… I could learn quite a lot about the program from him. I am really grateful to him for that.

Rest of my day was spent playing TT and browsing the internet. We, fellow aspirants, also had plans of roaming around Lucknow but decided against because of the extremely HOT climate… (It was approx. 40◦C and at Lucknow, they say, it can even touch 48◦C -50◦C)

At around 8:00 PM, I boarded the bus from IIML Campus (there are Govt. buses plying between the campus and the city!) and reached Lucknow station at around 9:15PM… I finally boarded the train at around 10:00PM from Lucknow Junction. I bid goodbye to Lucknow and the people there, never knowing that I was bound to come back!

My take:-
IIML campus is very well maintained and is wonderful. The architect of the campus needs a very special mention here. The whole campus is connected with Wi-Fi and they have different networks (Faculty, Students, Guest etc.) over Wi-Fi… Even the guests are able to logon to the network and use the broadband internet for free. The internet speeds were well over couple of mbps. (I could download a file of 25MB in less than 2 minute.) The people I met, professors, FPM officers, one at the accounts section and the others at the mess, canteen and the shops, where all very accommodative and well behaved. The food was amazing at the guest house though the student might not be getting the same quality. The only problem (I should mention atleast one na?) I could find there was the climate. In short, IIML is a dream campus to be in. (I haven’t seen IIM A, B and C campuses. So I am not making any comparisons with those…)

Comments are welcome...


This entry was posted on Sunday, May 11, 2008 at Sunday, May 11, 2008 and is filed under , , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


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I study at European Business School, Oestrich-Winkel. The opinions expressed here are my own, and neither European Business School, Oestrich-Winkel nor any other party necessarily agrees with them.