Mumbai: Now, besides all the obvious things—such as soap, clothes, laptop, a good suit and so on—these are a few things you might want to carry while packing for business school, or buy as soon as you land.
Common washing machines, half-decent laundrywallahs and hectic schedules means that you get little time to organize and maintain your wardrobe. A good bottle of fabric softener can help you through all-night study sessions without too much discomfort. Even repeat wears are now a pleasure. Almost.
Really loud alarm clock
In most business school, they tend to impart a whole lot of information in a single class. You don’t want to miss any. Wake up on time. An even better option, if you have a computer, is to get Banshee Screamer, a program that automatically wakes you up with an infernal racket over your speakers.
Life on campus: Students of the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad’s one year course in their dorm roomand IIMA students brush up on their notes the night before placement interviews. Madhu Kapparath / Mint
Medium-sized insulated casserole
Business school students tend to order in food—a LOT. Cold food sucks. Use the casserole to order in food or preserve some grub from the mess/canteen. Brilliant for late night study sessions. Friends will gravitate towards you.
Unsophisticated audio recorder
Get one that directly saves your audio recording as an MP3 or WAV file. Use it to record lecture sessions that can go over your head. Then transfer it to your iPod and catch up on your classes in leisure. Do it discreetly. Some profs don’t dig being recorded.
A portable hard drive
Even if you land on campus with a souped up laptop, you probably want to have a good portable hard drive to quickly carry around information. Your LAN connection probably won’t get activated for a while. Writing CDs is so 1990s. Get one of those drives with a single wire that does not need a power source separately.
Or Horlicks or Complan or any other premix food drink that can quickly be whipped up in the morning or late at night. Yes, it sounds wimpy. Yes, it works. Think of yourself as an academic athlete who needs the nutrients.
Books of yore
Business school is a superb place to offload some of your old, dog-eared books for some brand new authors. You will find people with all sorts of tastes in books. So be open to reading anything from Eco to Cruz Smith to Lustbader. But please leave all the Forsythes, Ludlums and such like at home.
Yes, yes you need a scientific calculator for all those quantitative methods and statistics courses. And do yourself a favour by trying out a number of different models before settling on one. Not all business calculators work in the same way. Also, go get one of those large, big-keyed shopkeeper calculators for your accounting courses. You need to do nothing more than add and subtract and you don’t want to waste time squinting at keys and display when a whole balance sheet stares you in the face. And yes, monogram them prominently. Calculators disappear like socks once you start school.
Besides the academic occupation, business school also gives a great chance to get some serious travelling done with buddies. So get yourself a nice, big sturdy backpack for quick weekend trips to the nearest hill station. Spend some money and get something with a little padding in all the right places. It’ll be worth it when you land up in Mt Abu and need to sleep in your jeep over the weekend.
Architecture, friends, love interest, concerts, dorm incidents, birthdays and so on and so forth provide plenty of opportunities to draw up a huge library of photos. Don’t land up on campus without a half-decent camera. You will rue it later. Trust me.