Swimming against the current

Swim against the current?? It’s a suicide. I’m sure, these are going to be your first thoughts after reading the title. Recently, I was on a visit to a Management Institute for a student interaction. It was a newly instigated college in the heart of the city. My first impression was how could a college function in a very chaotic surrounding and frenzied atmosphere like this and how could it manage to survive amidst the historic institutions which have a huge saga of glory around. With these tangled contemplations I entered the premises of the Institution. But what happened for the next 2 hours changed my entire perspective of how a diverse thinking can change an outmoded system into a contemporary one.
I was taken directly inside the Chairman’s chamber where I was given a warm cordial welcome. His vision about the Institute was so astounding that I felt extremely happy for the students studying there.
“We as learners always have two options. The first is to swim in the direction of the current where you will be just flowing along with all other individuals. Here you will have many companions and well-wishers who will be with you. You will be very glad as you will have a large company and you just have to follow the trail. The second option is to choose to swim against the current where you will have criticisms and a lot of challenges to face. It will take some time to leave an impression. This is a very grim choice as you will have no one to accompany along. But swimming against the current will take you to greater heights and help you move into a new direction.” His words sounded more relevant after I concluded the interaction session. These students already knew the nuances of the trade and I found that they were 10 years ahead in their thinking when it comes to management philosophy.
Well how could this be possible? A three year old Institute grooming under-graduates is super- successful in mentoring its students as managers and entrepreneurs who are market-ready for any assignments. The institute has been swimming against the current which makes them a matchless establishment by incorporating and following an inimitable nhilosonhv with regards to their
modus operandi:
1. The institute runs classes from 9am to 1pm. Wait! If you are thinking that the students are at their leisure after the pre-fixed timings, then here is the true revelation. The institute has developed 3 start-ups and the students in the afternoon work on the new business ideas as full time and part time employees.

2. The infrastructure of these start-ups and incubation center is designed and maintained by the students themselves right from fabrication, painting, flooring, IT support etc. Well isn’t that something which will take these young entrepreneurs to the next level?

3. The institute follows a 60:40 concept as far as the curriculum delivery is concerned. Now this is where it becomes further interesting. The Institute spends 40% of the time on the syllabus prescribed by the University without compromising the standards. So how about the remaining 60%? The balance 60% includes a student-centric learning, designed by the Institute comprising practical assignments like client servicing, event-management, market survey and research where in the students get real exposure to the realities of the corporate world. The students are also allowed to work for different industries in and around so that they can better utilize the time.

4. Earn while you learn! Students are part of the startups and local firms, and as employees they go on to earn an average income between Rs.10,000 to 15,000 per month which is an out of the box move by the Institute.

5. Experts from the Industry, of the students regularly visit the Institute and interact with the young entrepreneurs discussing live case studies which enhance the learning curve of the young minds. While I was sitting back and admiring the vision of the leader of this Institute, I started recalling success stories of many individuals who have tried to swim against the current and reached greater heights, which I am sure the readers here would also have come across. Somewhere I felt how imprudent I have been all these years just trying to swim in the direction of the current without even trying out new trials so that I could stand apart from the crowd.
It is very easy to be one among the rest and just go with the flow, but standing alone without any backing needs a lot of audacity. We as individuals have been so accustomed to swim with the current that we hardly try to explore the new opportunities around. Today as we move on, we do need to ask these two questions to ourselves.

In which direction am I heading today? Am I moving along the flow with others or am I challenging my limits and pushing hard against the current?



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