By Samreen Monga and Nimisha Kothari
Dr. Rupande Padaki, Director, The P&P Group, and Trustee at India Care Foundation, conducted an insightful workshop for Jaipuria students on the importance of focusing on learning beyond the classroom and through unstructured learning experiences.
This workshop was part of several others that the institute organizes throughout the year to offer varied exposure to students and groom them into well rounded individuals.
Dr. Prabhat Pankaj, a leading expert in the area of HRM & Operations and Director of the institute, started the proceedings by talking about the importance of learning beyond the classroom: “Too much structured learning is not a sign of healthy learning. There has to be effective learning apart from a structured learning; structured learning prepares a student for a job, whereas unstructured learning prepares a student for life.” With his impactful speech he set the tone for the special guest session and handed the dais over to Dr. Padaki.
In a bid to make things interesting and relevant for students, Dr. Padaki kept her talk interactive and focused on learnings in the field of management. She highlighted the example of IIMs and how only 50% of students get the job of their choice because of a lack of skills. “The growth of business houses has led to need for transformation from home business managers to professional managers,” she explained. “Cross border business in India is growing and people are supposed to work in different time zones, which require innovative learning methods.”
According to Dr. Padaki, some of the important aspects of learning that B Schools should focus on include integration into the needs of the industry, high quality skill sets for leadership roles, improvement in communication skills, and analytical and reasoning abilities. “Classroom learning is important but not sufficient. Learning should be of concepts, theories, framework and basic foundations, which have to be remembered through one’s life,” she continued. “Alternative learning methods have shown promising results.”
Dr. Padaki also talked about the type of exposure that should be on three levels. While the first level is of self-learning, level two is comprised of interpersonal skills, and the third level is about interacting with teams, groups and society. She then encouraged students to build a life kit that can help them achieve their goals.
As the talk came to an end, the students were made to take part in activities that had important lessons for them. First, the ‘Obituary Exercise’ required them to write how they should be remembered in their lives. It was a fun, yet thought provoking activity for Jaipuria student Benett, who said, “I am now looking forward to making my life worth it so that people remember me for good after my death.”
The other activity taught students all about teamwork and made its mark amongs students like Vandita who added, “Sessions like these really add to our classroom learning.” And that was the general consensus amongs the students who were going back home enlightened after the session and looking for “a life beyond the pines”.