The Joy of Giving: Karma Yoga Session 1

The Joy of Giving: Karma Yoga Session 1

July 7th, 2018

“Don’t give to get. Give to inspire others to give.”

~ Simon Sinek

One such choice we made is to explore the side of our personality which allows us to be generous in giving, without expecting anything in return.

We, the students of PGPM 2019 – NINJAS, started our journey on 7th July 2018 with the same mission in mind. Red walls, lush green compound, enthusiastic students in the uniforms planting trees, joyful teachers; these are the visuals which welcomed us to the Primary Government School of Fazalwas, Haryana. It was euphoria all around; innocent faces, wide smiles, genuine conversations. We were elated by seeing the school kids deeply involved with themselves and maybe this is what it is called “being in present” or “mindfulness”.

After a quick introduction, we were pleased to witness various performances by students such as dancing, singing, and mimicry. Post the icebreaking session, we were quick in executing our plans for the day. Teaching tables through Vedic mathematics technique, unleashing the talent hidden in the students by asking different questions about their likes and interests, engaging them by playing games with them. We clapped, danced and laughed along with them and got lost in the moment forgetting all the worries, assignments or projects. There was a sense of belonging and blissfulness in those tiny classrooms with minimum facilities. It gave us immense pleasure to have connected with these kids when they were over the moon sharing with us their fantasies, friends, and little playful fights they had amidst strong bonding. At that moment, we felt there is a lot of selfishness in giving back to society which is the immense satisfaction and happiness you experience in the process.

Giving back to society not only makes us generous, it also adds purpose to our life and happiness in doing something for others who need it more. Giving back to society is de-stressing too, it helps us to realize our own self and manage our inner relationships to make us live a more balanced life, allowing us to keep a balance between our daily chaos and our need to become a more responsible citizen and an individual.

Seeing the sheer joy and happiness on the kids’ face and knowing that we have been a small reason behind those smiles has been an unparalleled experience. And we are forever in debt to the Karma Yoga initiative of Great Lakes, Gurgaon for introducing us to such joy.

“At the end of the day, it’s not about what you have or what you’ve accomplished. It’s all about who you’ve lifted up, who you’ve made better. It’s about what you’ve given back.”

~ Denzel Washington

Author: Urvi Sehrawat

PGPM, Class of 2019, Great Lakes, Gurgaon

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4th International Yoga Day Celebrations @ Great Lakes, Gurgaon

4th International Yoga Day Celebrations @ Great Lakes, Gurgaon

It was just another Thursday morning at an ultra-modern B-school campus, but something was different about it. Students were seen marching out of their hostel rooms in pyjamas and t-shirts at dawn. Such enthusiasm wasn’t a daily occurrence for these future managers when it came to waking up early. So, what was the occasion?

This was how Great Lakes Institute of Management, Gurgaon celebrated the 4th International Yoga Day on 21st June 2018. The event, spearheaded by Prof. S K Palhan, provided a glimpse of how traditional Indian values and practices still play an important role in our modern education system. Students gathered in numbers to attempt various Aasanas and realised the importance of a healthy body along with a healthy mind. Prof. S K Palhan addressed the students on how yoga can be instrumental in inculcating discipline in one’s life and how it could substantially improve individual productivity.

The initiative that started with Mr Narendra Modi delivering a speech at the United Nations General Assembly back in 2014, has become a revolution now. To quote Mr Modi, “Yoga is an invaluable gift of India’s ancient tradition. It embodies the unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfilment; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health and well-being. It is not just a form of exercise but a lifestyle pattern to discover the sense of oneness with oneself, the world and nature. By changing our lifestyle and creating consciousness, it can help in our well-being. Let us work towards adopting an International Yoga Day”. It garnered support from all around the globe and created history when a total of 177 nations co-sponsored the resolution, which is the highest number of co-sponsors ever for any United Nations proposition of such nature.

What does Yoga mean? It comes from a Sanskrit word ‘Yuja’, which means to bind and unify. Yoga embodies the concept of a consolidated entity. It suggests that one’s body and mind need to work in coordination to attain paramount intellect and spiritual strength. Scientific studies have further supported it by stating its effectiveness in curing diseases and ailments like cancer and arthritis. 21st June is the longest day in the Northern Hemisphere and shares a special significance in many other parts of the world, hence it was termed apt to be named as something so important and symbolic to Indian tradition.

International Yoga Day every year is no less than a festival. We have witnessed people and leaders gathering in masses to uphold the movement and represent our ingenious values on an international platform. Educational Institutions, alike, have contributed to creating awareness amongst our youth who are going to be future leaders, hence it becomes even more important to include them in this movement. Great Lakes Institute of Management, Gurgaon, is amongst those institutions that believe in ‘holding on tight to your core values in the pursuit of excellence’ and hence, the institute never fails to make a valuable contribution to such indigenous initiatives.

The Yoga session was very well received by everyone. Students collectively agreed that they found the experience quite rejuvenating. Many students shared their experiences. Some of the students, who attempted Yoga for the first time exclaimed gleefully “Yoga se hi hoga”.  Provided the hectic college schedule, others admitted it as being the most peaceful experience in their last 1 month. Prof. Palhan seemed happy looking at the students sharing their exhilarating experiences. He said that yoga should be a part of everyone’s routine and not just a one-time thing. He called for students to imbibe it in their habit and witness the difference for themselves.

Author: Prateek Gupta

PGPM, Class of 2019, Great Lakes, Gurgaon

Alumni Speak: “Switching from IT to Consultancy was a crucial step for my career, but making this transition wouldn’t have been possible without a formal business education.”

 

Freshly recruited by KPMG India as a Consultant in the IGH (Infrastructure, Government & Healthcare) domain, Sayan Chaudhuri (PGPM 2017-18), is experiencing a major shift in his career and enjoying the challenging new role. We got in touch with him recently to discuss his MBA experience. Here are a few excerpts from the interview.

Q1. Tell me about your professional background before joining Great Lakes, Gurgaon, and why did you decide to pursue an MBA?

Before joining Great Lakes, I was working as a Systems Engineer at Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) for more than 3 years. Even with a promising career trajectory at one of the highly acclaimed MNCs, I believed the time had come where I needed to upgrade my skills for moving up the corporate ladder and explore the strategical side of the business so that I could make a direct impact instead of just following orders. Acquiring an MBA degree from a tier I institute seemed like the right way to facilitate the career switch and Great Lakes, Gurgaon gave me the perfect platform to make it possible.

Q2. How did the one year at Great Lakes help you transform into the professional that you are today?

The journey from a hardcore IT profile of a Systems Engineer to a Strategy Consultant at one of the Big 4s was not an easy one, but Great Lakes ensured that I completed it with perfection. There was a lot to learn and the unwavering support of the acclaimed faculty at GL ensured thorough preparation for the corporate challenges that lie ahead. Most importantly, the ample practical learning opportunities that I received in the form of interactions with renowned industry experts helped me understand the day-to-day business challenges and prepared me for the job that I’m in today.

Q3. Mention three key highlights of your Great Lakes experience.

  • Inspiring & Esteemed Faculty
  • Unparalleled Exposure in the form of Corporate Lecture Series and Live Projects
  • The Ice Breaking trip to Rishikesh

Q4. Which faculty member/guest lecturer impacted your education the most?

Choosing one faculty member from a pool of such gifted mentors is next to impossible, to say the least. All the skills that I acquired in the last one year are a result of the collective effort of all the faculty members at Great Lakes, combined with all the esteemed corporate mentors and CXOs who took the time out of their busy schedules to interact and educate our young and eager minds. Therefore, selecting any one of them would be an unfair assessment on the same.

Q5. Tell me about your current organization and job role. How do you think going to a B-school has helped you in your career?

I’m currently working with KPMG India as a Consultant, tasked with catering to the needs of the IGH (Infrastructure, Government & Healthcare) clients of the firm.

As I mentioned earlier, switching from IT to Consultancy was a crucial step for my career, but it was the right one and without the help of a formal business education it would have been next to impossible to achieve the same.

Q6. What advice would you like to give to the future Great Lakers?

The one year at Great Lakes is filled with omnipresent learning opportunities. More than anything, your peer group is an untapped reservoir of knowledge. All your batch mates have come from diverse occupational backgrounds with a combined experience of 100+ years. So, use that. Learn from their experience, form lifelong bonds and as this is going to be your last academic year (most probably) don’t forget to have fun.

 

Life @ Great Lakes Institute of Management, Gurgaon

Life @ Great Lakes Institute of Management, Gurgaon

“Memories are the Timeless Treasures of the Heart….”

The Initiation

It seems as if it was just yesterday when I received an offer letter from Great Lakes and now, in just a blink of an eye, this beautiful journey has come to an end. The Gladiators (PGPM 2017-18 batch) are now well equipped with paramount insights and knowledge to enter the corporate life again with a new and improved outlook. I remember the day when I anxiously stepped into the campus for the first time, feeling like a pond fish that has crossed rivers to land up in a mighty ocean, wondering how I will adjust to this new environment.

Offsite – Rishikesh

The thought of living in a hostel at an entirely alien place with 120 unfamiliar faces gave me jitters. But the ice-breaking offsite trip to Rishikesh, organized by the institute along with Prof. S.K. Palhan, completely erased all my inhibitions. In a matter of just three days, the entire batch of 120 strangers formed an indestructible bond of friendship. All due credits to white water rafting, rappelling and various other team building exercises of which we all were a part of during our trip.

The Fabulous Faculty

Entering a classroom after working for 3+ years was a grilling experience, to say the least, but with less than 365 days on our Great Lakes calendar, there was no rest for the wicked. And thankfully, the faculty did a brilliant job at educating us with their extremely innovative and interactive teaching methods and techniques.

From Professor Umashankar’s quirky and witty marketing classes to learning the concepts of balance sheets and P&L statements with Dr Preeti, the months just flew by. Dr Poornima made the HR classes fascinating by adding a gaming element with lifelines and it was mandatory to go through pre-reads before entering Dr Jones’ classes which coupled with countless other assignments and projects felt exhausting at that time but helped grasp the key concepts in an effortless manner.

Lectures

Being from a software development background, I never imagined I’ll have anything to do with economics in my entire life but our esteemed Dr VP Singh made its concepts clear as a crystal by helping us create a small start-up and run the same in college for 20 days. The exercise turned the entire campus into a carnival. Everyone had their businesses up and running ranging from serving Nimbu-Pani and Bhel-Puri to Gaming zones and grocery delivery units. Later on, we analysed the revenue generated, break-even points etc.

Walking with the Giants

There was more than just classroom learning to Great Lakes as the industry interactions and CXO talks kept us busy throughout the weekends as well. People with extensive industry experience visited the campus and a lot of synergy took place. Being in the same room and interacting with some of the most celebrated names of the corporate world was like a dream come true for us.

Mr Pramod Sadarjoshi – Senior Director, HCM Strategy & Transformation, Asia- Pacific, ORACLE

Though inside the campus but never separated from the business world, we got ample opportunities to discuss the latest upcoming technologies and changes in the global framework of organizations. We participated in various conclaves related to SMAC, Human Resource, Marketing, operations and Finance where we had panel discussions among CXOs of different organizations to get an in-depth knowledge of the industry.

Committees, Clubs & Chaos

During the committee interviews, the entire campus was in chaos. We were all trying to find our strengths and decide where we fit in. Whether we’ll be a good fit for guiding prospective students for admissions or strengthening the brand of our institute? Whether organizing events was our cup of tea or assisting the institute with placements?

Admissions and BPR Committee

With a lot of preparation and cracking a grilling interview, I ended up in the Admissions and BPR committee. I was actively involved in the branding of the institute, writing blogs, handling the social media channels, volunteering for the admission process, answering queries of prospective students on Quora, guiding new admits under the flagship of Buddy Program and travelling to different locations for the same. This has given me a lot of exposure, and today, I am a completely changed and confident personality altogether.

Annual Events

We, as students, were responsible for organizing the events like TEDx, Crest (annual management fest), Sapience (annual management conclave), Foundation Day, Alumni Meet, and Dr Bala’s Birthday etc. Moreover, as a part of the Great lakes family, we also celebrated all the festivals from Onam, Lohri and Ganesh Chaturthi to Independence Day, Christmas and Holi with the same zeal and enthusiasm. Moreover, there were DJ nights, Fresher’s party, Halloween and a lot more parties which were organized to perfection by our student council.

TEDx GLIM Gurgaon

The Endgame

Lastly, not to forget, the point we all were here for – The Placement Process. The CCS team along with Placecom put in a lot of efforts in terms of interview preparation, GDs, resume review etc. Personal effectiveness sessions were conducted and mentors were allocated to students to have a smooth process. The proud feeling of getting placed and celebrating the placements of our friends was priceless.

This journey has been fantabulous and completely phenomenal amidst sleepless nights, group projects, assignments, exams, co-curricular activities and much more. The guidance and mentorship provided by faculty members and the staff paved our way for a better tomorrow. All of us have made friends, who will last a lifetime. The beautiful impressions will stay in our hearts forever. I would sum up this beautiful journey by saying,

“I’m really gonna miss this place, I am gonna miss my college days”

 

Author: Sakshi Khurana

PGPM, Class of 2018, Great Lakes, Gurgaon

What does Great Lakes Institute of Management look for in a Candidate

What does Great Lakes Institute of Management look for in a Candidate

“Do I possess the qualities required to get into a top B-School?”

This is the question that goes through the minds of all professionals a few years into their careers. Great Lakes Institute of Management goes through thousands of applications each year and only a select few get accepted.

So, what differentiates the selected applicants from the rejected ones?

Before answering this question, one must understand the fact that entrance exams like CAT, XAT, GMAT, etc. are just the tools for primary filtration. If a good test score is the only weapon in your arsenal then you’re in for a surprise as the final selection depends on a candidate’s performance in the subsequent stages that include PI, essays, group discussions etc. The basic idea behind such a rigorous admission process is that a candidate must be able to justify his/her test score with something more substantial.

The Great Lakes admissions committee is always on the lookout for that one factor in the applicants which makes them stand out from the crowd and if you possess even one of the following qualities, you’ll gain a significant advantage over rest of the applicants.

Potential to drive Business Impact through Leadership

Leadership potential is the top box to check when you apply to Great Lakes. We want to invest in an applicant who’ll go out and make an actual difference in the real world. Therefore, you will have to demonstrate that you possess what it takes to be a leader either in your work experience, academic life, extracurricular activities or elsewhere.

Demonstrated Track Record of Achievement

We keenly seek applicants who have a demonstrable record of achievement. We truly believe that achievement can manifest in many forms, from academic excellence to college extracurricular activities to professional accomplishments, to personal wins.

We value demonstrated achievement irrespective of its scale and sphere; whether you’ve started up a company, headed a project at work, captained a sports team or organized a relief fund, we consider all these as examples of achievement.

Interpersonal and Communication Skills

As an MBA Grad, you’d be expected to not just be good at what you do but also effectively portray that you are good. You need to be able to market yourself and effective communication and interpersonal skills are the key to do that. If you are a brilliant professional but can’t make a pitch for your ideas and opinions or can’t convince others about your potential, then you probably aren’t ready for the big leagues. The essays and personal interviews are the stages of the admission process where you can showcase your communication skills.

Relevant Work Experience

Work experience of minimum 24 months is a mandatory eligibility criterion for applying to the PGPM program. But more than your career choice, you’ll be assessed on the basis of the progress you made professionally vis-a-vis your earlier self. The factors that make you stand out are the consistent upward movement of our career graph, roles & responsibilities on the job, team-building, managerial tasks and proactive approach.

Thought Clarity & Career Aspirations

When you’re applying to Great Lakes, you must have a few choices to help you lay down a foundation. Whether you wish to achieve a leadership role or switch careers or become an entrepreneur post your graduation, you must be able to clearly communicate it to the Admissions Committee. Remember, it’s not just about securing a place in a B-school, it is more about what difference you want to make in the real world and neither is possible without aspirations and ambitions.

Right Fit with the Program

All MBA programs have a personality. For example, the PGPM at Great Lakes is best suited for professionals who have proved their mettle in the industry and are now looking for an accelerated growth. The PGDM, on the other hand, has a completely different approach as it prepares the individuals to face the real world business challenges for the first time. In order to secure a place in Great Lakes or any other B-School, you’ll have to effectively justify that you’re not just compatible with the program but with the culture of the school as well.

We at Great Lakes are looking forward to meeting you. So, Good Luck and May the odds be ever in your favour.

 

Team Admissions

XAT 2018 – Last Minute Tips and Strategies

XAT 2018 – Last Minute Tips and Strategies

With less than 72 hours to go for Xavier Aptitude Test (XAT 2018), you must be well prepared for one of the most coveted B-School entrance exams held in the country. In these crucial last few hours, there is no point in cramming up new things. What you need to do now is work towards revising and retaining what you have already studied in the past months.

Now that XAT is just around the corner, here are a few last minute tips that will keep you calm and help you do better on the D-day.

Get Acquainted with the New Test Pattern

XAT 2018 is going online for the first time in the history of XAT and therefore, it will be wise to get acquainted with the new pattern. This will help in saving crucial minutes when you sit for the actual test. You can get familiarised with the new XAT test pattern on www.xatonline.in. The link for the mock test is available on the tickr at the top of the home page.

Revision

This is the time when you need to focus heavily on revisions and treat your short notes as The Bible. Revise all important concepts, facts, dates and formulae. Don’t waste your time in starting new topics at this stage. Instead, devote your time on clearing confusions and strengthening what you have already prepared.

Speed & Accuracy

Your performance in the upcoming XAT 2018 is highly dependent on what you have prepared and how good your command is over the topics you consider to be your strengths. Remember the fact that speed and accuracy matter more than anything else. There is a negative marking of 0.25 marks for each wrong answer and a penalty of 0.05 marks per question if you skip more than 12 questions. But XAT is a low scoring exam, so focus on accuracy is extremely important to ensure that you don’t lose hard earned marks. If you can’t answer a question, it is better to lose 0.05 marks for not attempting as compared to losing 0.25 marks for a wrong answer.

Formulate an Exam Strategy

Entering the exam centre without a sound strategy is like going to a gunfight with a wooden sword. If you want to score well on the exam, you need to finalise a strategy and then stick to it during the test. It is advisable that you set aside 45 minutes for each section of Part 1 of the exam and use the remaining 35 minutes to revisit tricky questions from each section. While working on Part 2 of XAT, get done with the General Awareness section in the initial 10 minutes and then focus on the essay for the remainder of the time.

Don’t be in a Hurry with RCs

Reading Comprehensions are the trickiest part of the paper and hence, take your time with them. Read the paragraphs carefully and follow an elimination approach while attempting the questions. Do not over attempt the questions and revise topics like Active Passive, Direct Indirect, Jumbled Sentences and Figures of Speech before entering the test centre.

Decision Making

Decision Making is a unique section of XAT. But, if you are weak in Quantitative Ability, then you can make up for that in this section. Questions in DM can be a little mind boggling and you might feel that all the options sound like the right one. Hence, be careful, read the questions wisely, and practice a lot of examples. Also, revise all the tips and tricks religiously to keep them fresh in your head while taking the exam.

Don’t worry too much about General Awareness

General Awareness section’s marks are not a part of your XAT percentile calculation and your performance in this section doesn’t matter if you are aspiring for any B-school other than XLRI. Even for XLRI, scoring 5-6 marks here will be enough to counter any negative perception.

Stay Composed and Determined but most of all, DON’T PANIC

If you have prepared well and have given your 100 per cent till now, then there is no reason to fret. Stay calm and confident during the exam. Don’t panic even if you are unable to answer the first couple of questions. Remember that you’ve got this, you’ve prepared well for it!!

Good Luck!!

The Success Mantra for Start-Ups: Great Lakes Guest Lecture Series

The Success Mantra for Start-Ups: Great Lakes Guest Lecture Series

GREAT LAKES GUEST LECTURE SERIES – Mr DEEPAK GOEL

CEO – KARMACIRCLES

“Do. Or Do Not. There is no try” – Yoda, Jedi Master

Understanding of the above quote is an important pre-requisite for an entrepreneur to be successful. The path of Entrepreneurship is the one that is filled with utmost uncertainties that one can face compared to the other naturally progressing career options.

Being an aspiring entrepreneur, Great Lakes, offered me ample opportunities to interact and learn directly from the masters of this trade. As the campus is located in the corporate hub of the country, Great Lakes, Gurgaon enables extensive industry engagement with entrepreneurs, CXOs and industry experts as they visit the campus regularly to share their perspectives with the future business leaders of the nation. That’s how our batch (PGDM 2017-19) got to meet Mr Deepak Goel, CEO & Founder Karmacircles.

Mr Deepak Goel’s Guest Lecture at Great Lakes Institute of Management, Gurgaon was a compilation of his life and thought processes that aimed at providing the students with a more Entrepreneurial viewpoint of life rather than just living in terms of pay packages. An IIT-Delhi educated techie who went on to live the “American Dream” with his job at Microsoft to pursuing his MBA at UC, Berkeley to working at multiple companies from scratch with an entrepreneurial spirit and making them grow to where they are today, he has worn multiple hats because of his multi-faceted skill sets. This is what differentiates him from the other bunch of entrepreneurs, at least in the Indian context. He truly learnt the art of Entrepreneurship in and out, theoretically and practically to be able to follow his life calling of creating Karmacircles.

The lecture was a mix of Startup Organizational Culture, Valuation of Startups, General Principles of Success and quite an insightful bunch of advice to the multiple questions asked by the Students.

At the start of the lecture, he laid a very simple formula for a successful startup involving just four steps. (1) Identify the problem you want to solve, (2) Solve the problem, (3) Monetize the Solution created and then (4) go for more money to scale up the solution. A rather simple algorithm which in reality is really difficult to follow as even developing/handling that one simple product/solution is quite complex. This is what calls for the Product Management Concept. Explaining his understanding and experiences in Product Management, he expressed dissatisfaction of how Product Management is done or pursued by organizations in India as it still remains to be a highly misunderstood concept in the country. Being a seasoned professional in the field, he emphasized how the concept can help in building successful products within a company, going on to creating multiple successful companies within a big company, like Google. Working at Microsoft, he knew much more about Google and its processes than Microsoft which earned him the name of “The Google Guy.” He then shared some insights as to how Google managed its Product Line and has grown from a Search Engine to the huge yet entrepreneurial tech-conglomerate it is today.

He then went on to share his learning experiences under the guidance of Eric Ries of the Lean Startup fame and even Eric Ries’ Guru Steve Blank. The two major concepts he learnt were The Value Hypothesis and Growth Hypothesis. When these philosophies are incorporated in a company in its ideation phase, it significantly enhances its probability of achieving long-term success, thereby, ensuring value and growth creation.

Explaining Value Hypothesis, Mr. Goel talked in detail how companies can create value. Not just in monetary terms, but value that customers can relate to. But for doing so, the companies must have an eagle eye vision of the solution of the problem that they set out to tackle. Giving real examples from the start-up and corporate world, he differentiated how certain companies create value straight away to companies that create value over time.

Constantly comparing his Valley experience to his Indian experience, he stated that Indian start-ups and new-age companies mainly focus only on creating monetary value but not the intangible value and many of those companies go on to create initial momentum, to a great extent monetize it, but keep pushing their goalposts for the value creation. One of the main questions he raised during the lecture was whether these companies will be able to continue the momentum once the cash inflow slows down.

Explaining Growth Hypothesis, he talked about continuously doing what you do best and create personal and home-ground advantage in areas as such to create a true product that can grow sustainably over time.

Commenting on the Indian attitude of approaching jobs, he shared his story further and explained how he took several pay cuts in order to expand his learning curve, something he finds lacking in the Indian scenario. Linking the topic, he shared the factors one should consider while taking up a new job and said that the person you are going to work for, is the most important factor. Not being completely driven by package but rather through the group one is going to work with and the learning outcome one has out of the job as other major factors. He advised students to be ethical and act professionally when it comes to working in organizations.

In the last few minutes of the lecture, he gave a brief glimpse of his passions which include, Social Networks, Mentoring, and creating valuable products that solve problems. Being an aspiring entrepreneur myself, I found this session to be the most illuminating.

Such interactions with industry stalwarts prepare the students for the challenges of the business world and Great Lakes gives utmost importance to these guest lectures as they are the most crucial ingredient for developing business ready managers. The importance of these interactions is evident with the fact that 150 plus industry leaders, entrepreneurs and CXOs have visited Great Lakes last year and shared their valuable insights with the students to prepare them for what’s to come.

Author: S SnehanshN

PGDM, Class of 2019, Great Lakes, Gurgaon