Making Managers out of Students at GRDIM

Generally, students doing their MBA course and leaving the portals of their Alma Mater, join organisations to become future managers. But here is a college that moulds its students in a different manner.

The GRD Institute of Management of Dr. G.R. Damodaran College of Science offers industry exposure to their students not by sending them to the industry.

They bring the industry to the students. Face – to – Face, CEO Word Series, Creative Streaks, Offbeat, Boot camp, T – 10, and Horizons, are interventions that the institute uses to groom its student – managers and make them industry – ready even while studying.

What’s more, these precepts are not restricted to students of management studies but are extended to those in Master of International Business, Commerce and Corporate Secretaryship courses.

With the motto that “education, coupled with interventions of life experiences, is a potent and ideal combination”, the institute has devised these programmes for its students, said director K.K. Ramachandran.

Though some of these programmes might be a common feature in other B – schools (business schools), what makes them unique here is their frequency.

Face – to – Face is held once a month. Personalities from the fields of sports, politics, administration, film and business, have an interaction with the students.

It is usually a question – answer session, where the students ask questions and the celebrities answer them, based on the experiences they faced in their respective fields.

CEO Word Series is also a monthly fixture. But this is different in that it has the CEO or managing director of a company speaking to the students on a particular topic selected by the students.

Creative Streaks is a window display competition while Offbeat is a forum where students get to showcase their talents. T – 10 is a 10 – over match the students play against an external team.

Boot camp involves adventure learning. It is a three – day camp where students learn management and life skills in an open atmosphere. Horizons takes the students on a seven – day trip to Mumbai where they visit important economic zones and end their trip with a convention.

The most popular programme, according to Mr. Ramachandran and the institute’s students, is Face – to – Face. The institute has seen celebrities such as P. Chidambaram, Kamal Haasan, R. Madhavan, Kapil Dev, Shobaa De, Nandita Das, Alvin Saldanha, Sudha Murthy, Vijay Amritraj, Robin Singh and Kiran Bedi.
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Students are, obviously, a more than content lot. Realising that they are expected to derive maximum learning from these programmes rather than from books, they do exactly that.

A cross – section of them felt that the direct interface they have with celebrities and CEOs makes them understand that they are also people who have come up the hard way and have succeeded by managing their lives well. “When we hear it from them it registers well,” some students said.

The students feel that they not only learn by listening to and observing the celebrities, but also by preparing for such events. The students are involved right from selecting a celebrity, deciding on a date, making travel and accommodation arrangements, local hospitality, and so on. The ones who do it regularly even call themselves ‘amateur event managers!’

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