Wednesday, October 12, 2011
IIM C is notorious for its inclination towards Finance. Also, the faculty is known to take a quantitative approach to all subjects possible. For instance, when I mention the subject as Human Resource Management, can you in your wildest dreams imagine that it is a totally mathematical subject? Well, to be fair, it has some game theory and probability also thrown in, fat consolation indeed! And to make things more interesting, the Finance profs are really cute. Look up the dictionary meaning of 'cute' to make sense of it. For instance, consider BBC - the prof who teaches us Derivatives. He follows a set routine for his sessions. He begins by asking the students to look at the course outline, and tell him what topic is scheduled for the day. The entire class waits with baited breath in great suspense while some sincere student, who cares enough to carry the syllabus to the class everyday, reveals the topic. Once the topic is disclosed, BBC spends the next 5 minutes lamenting on how simple the topic is. The look of disappointment on his face is so stark, we just cannot restrain ourselves from sympathizing with him. It is grave injustice on the part of the Institute to insult his genius by giving him such simplistic things to teach. And I am not sarcastic when I say genius. BBC had topped his batch when he was a student in the Institute and has his name firmly engraved on the revered board. Anyways, once he is able to get over his grief, he starts teaching, which involves running lecture slides @57/min, and telling us that there is really nothing in there which we cannot read from the book. Finally he likes some particular slide, and pauses there, spending around 23 seconds on explaining it. Also, he relates a couple of incidents, closely related to the subject to further deepen our understanding of derivatives. All his anecdotes invariably revolve around some or the other unfortunate student who flunked in his subject, and there are plenty of such student samples available given that he has been teaching for close to 20 years now. Most of the anecdotes end on a happy note. The student never passes that particular finance course, but goes on to become some highly successful executive once he finally manages to get out of the college. What he probably wants to impress upon the class is that you can never be too smart to fail an exam. And so each horror story end with some wise words - 'Study well and start now, else later, nothing can be done.' However, the class has taken his anecdotes very sportingly, and few plan to study. Contrary to the prof's expectation, his threats have a funny effect on us. We have actually come to believe that we would all land excellent placements and do exceedingly well in life if we can manage to flunk in at least one of the finance courses. Not that it is any difficult for us!