The community at ISB is truly diverse and vibrant. Each year, people from a wide range of age groups, from all walks of life, become ISB students. The 1-year MBA program translates to a very hectic life on campus, leaving little scope for students to gradually settle into the unique ISB culture. Orientation Week acts as a bridge that assists new students to smoothly transition and adapt to the ISB way!
The Dean’s address kicks off the Orientation Week which is entirely organized and run by ISB alumni. To begin with, experienced alumni act as advisors to newbies, answering all questions related to registration, finance, legalities, signing up for a laptop, accommodations – everything that a new student needs to know to kick start their tenure.
Although the week starts on a formal note, what follows is a pleasant surprise! After advising them, the alumni discretely direct the new students towards Khemka, ISB’s well-known auditorium. Here the students face a group of alumni who playfully ‘grill’ them for information for about 15 to 20 minutes. This unique ice breaker is followed by an end of the day theme based party, which further helps nervous new students to let their hair down and enjoy themselves.
The second day marks the beginning of a blitzkrieg of activities. A treasure hunt is ISB’s novel way of giving newcomers a tour of the sprawling campus. In another activity, alumni paint a long canvas with depictions of their experiences at ISB as well as daily life – creating a colourful testimonial of sorts for new joinees to get a glimpse of what to expect. Incoming students also get to try their hand at the most popular sport at ISB. It’s not cricket, it’s not football – its frisby, a much loved part of the ISB culture!
Every new student would have heard about most of the 28 clubs at ISB. However, presentations made by the ex-presidents and core members of the clubs throughout the week give students an in-depth understanding about what each club is about, who can become a member and how they will benefit from being part of it. This is a great way to decide which club or clubs would best compliment a student’s academic direction and career aspirations.
What comes as a pleasant surprise to ISB students is the high quality accommodation it provides. They get introduced to this facet of life at ISB during the Orientation Week. ISB has hired a 4 star hotel to not only maintain the dormitory, but also provide housekeeping services – daily! This is not just an extra facility – it is ISB’s way of letting their students know what to expect from life after ISB. The housekeeping is also very considerate given that students have to invest time in study groups, club activities, and academic assignments. Knowing, at the very beginning, that they will not have to clean their rooms for a year surely reduces a bit of stress for students!
Talent night is possibly the biggest event of orientation week, with each of the eight sections at ISB giving musical performances, skits and a medley of other performances based on a common theme. There is also a day dedicated to outdoor camping, where alumni team up members from each section and have a day of fun team building activities such as trekking blindfolded. While Talent Night binds students within sections, camping day promotes inter-section bonding.
Throughout the week, new students realise that life at ISB will not be easy, but it sure will not be dull! Getting 4 to 5 hours of sleep a day, the Orientation Week sets the pace for the rest of the year, building stamina and rigour amongst newcomers. The week is not a mere knowledge sharing event, it is a ‘passing on the baton’ ceremony of sorts. Alumni welcome new students to the institution that has become a part of their own identity. After all, once an ISBian, always an ISBian!