You are not in college now! Think of your self as being in Kindergarten.”-With these words, 39 young minds readied themselves for a journey they never could have imagined. Yes, this is the story of IGTC batch 2005 of which I was a part of and take immense pleasure to write about.

So we 39 “KG” goers did what our Marketing teacher (Mr. S. Prabhu) asked of us: Questioning everything as KG goers do, becoming as curious as KG kids can be and converting our minds into sponge, that could absorb every information, every teaching, every learning. Its amazing how in the end of it all we all remembered this first lecture of our academic life in IGTC (which commenced on 1st September, 2005).

Two weeks have past since we finished our formal education in IGTC, few of us already working in our respective companies. We had all met up last week at our usual “hangout”. In a journey called life where there are new people, new places and many new experiences, I am glad that some things remain constant. The same “hangout”, known friends, that feeling of belonging- I guess you can not blame anybody for getting nostalgic.

We were all remembering our days in IGTC. My good friend Darshana Choudhari shared her experience in Siemens (where she is working in the Corporate Finance Department). As much as she loves her new work place, she still considers IGTC to be her second home. Of course after spending 13 hours in college on more than one occasion, one does feel a change in postal address could be the next logical step. But I guess more than the long hours, the warmth of your friends, the support and encouragement of the administration staff and the wonderful feeling of comfort that we all felt at IGTC is the reason for us to call it our home.

To talk of home and not mention Stella Edwards is unthinkable. IGTC batch 2005 like the ones before it and the ones following it will come and go, but one thing is for sure, all will be drawn back to our beloved Stella. I am sure my Alumni would agree with me if I say that IGTC without Stella is unimaginable. My friend once told me: The ones dearest to our heart are the ones whom we yell at. This is because we care for them and would want the best of them. Well to tell you the truth, we loved to get a shouting or two from Stella, because we knew that it came from the care and concern she had for all of us. I envy Ashutosh for getting the most shoutings!

Ashutosh Apte, our very own Arts genius was remembering the perfect balance of fun and work that IGTC offered us. Our director Mrs. Radheika Mehta ensured that we do not end up like dull little Jack – all work and no play. Ashutosh particularly loved the Jaya Joshi’s empowerment workshop where actually got in touch with our selves. Work shops like MBTI mapping, Kursheed Merchant’s workshop and the empowerment work shop helped us all to understand ourselves better. They made us aware of our strengths, weaknesses, who we are and who we choose to be. All in all they helped us become better human beings. As Ashutosh repeated what Jaya Joshi had taught us – “Every one is empowered to choose things in your life-and that is what will make the difference” I understood why he the ‘Arts genius’ chose to work for DHL operations. He ‘chose’ this for his life.

This is the uniqueness of IGTC that we all admired. Things are not just on paper. Just as we implement our learnings from workshops in real life, all that was taught in theory i.e. on paper was what we observed and implemented in our practical trainings as well. Our teachers also admired this model of learning. So much so that our Costing teacher Mr. Hariharan (Savoire Faire) even recruited my colleague Jaidev Paranjape. It was a smooth transition for Jaidev from college to work since he could actually see Mr. Hariharan’s teachings in the class room being actually practiced in his work.

It was also a smooth transition for Vishwanath (lovingly called as Vishy). He had his practical training in MICO BOSCH (Bangaluru). During all three practical phases, MICO BOSCH was able to assess whether Vishy matched their company’s culture. And when MICO BOSCH offered Vishy the profile of his dreams, it was a match made in heaven. He said he will be missing Mumbai and IGTC; but as the old saying goes: Home is where the heart is…

Some of my colleagues from outside Mumbai have made Mumbai their home. Amol Bhutada for instance…He is our class’ reference book. He is our class topper and now works for Unity Infraprojects. He will always be grateful to Tamanna for helping him out during placements. Did I mention Tamanna, our Training co-ordinator who was more than a guiding force, a true friend to us. Her perseverance, hard work has taught lessons we would cherish for life.

This is what IGTC offered us. We were constantly supported in our endevour to make not only our selves but also our surroundings better. Ask Aniket Vaidya (placed with MAN Force Trucks Pvt. Ltd.) and he would tell you about our factory visits. An automobile engineer/lover was truly happy when we went to Daimler Chrysler and Bharat Forge in Pune for our factory visit. Aniket would always cherish the entire experience of IGTC as it gave him opportunities to meet new people and thus build his confidence which helped him in his job.

Talk about Pune and it brings happy memories for Varun. Varun Verencar would soon be calling Pune his home. He was reminded of the day when he went to Bajaj Allianz General Insurance interview to Pune. He can proudly say that he was one of the few chosen by Bajaj Allianz after a competitive all India selection process across colleges. He has mixed feelings about finishing his education with IGTC. Sure he is happy about his job but he will miss all the fun that we had together. The picnics (Gorai Beach, Alibaug, Neral to name a few), the movies, the outings and also the parties and treats. Most of all he would miss the treats because his was the last placement treat we enjoyed.

All the fun and joy was possible only thanks to Meghna Dadha. I do not mean she financed any of it (though we wished). All I mean is that it was her meticulous formulation of Time Table that gave us a perfect balance of Class room lectures and enough time for co-curricular activities and extra curricular activities. But more importantly, she understood us as we are- as students. May be it is because it was not long ago that she was one either. It just helped us to know that our activities were planned by some one who is able to judge what is necessary for students and what additional is “required” by them.

Observing all of us silently during our nostalgic confessions is Saurin Shah-the guide to all of us. His 17 years of experience in BASF surely shows the rich culture of BASF. He guided us and passed on to us whatever wisdom he gathered from his experience. He was truly a blessing in disguise for us. He confessed to us that it was totally a new experience to him to share the class with kids half his age! However, he has also taken a lesson from us to live the forever green at heart life. It also helped him bond with his daughters better. His one statement that can be truly framed and hung on every wall (according to me) is: “There is no re-exam in life”. No matter how many books you read or seminars you attend, but experience is the best teacher.

What I got out of IGTC? Well, friends I will cherish forever, experiences that have made me who I am and teachings that help me better mysef. But most of all and I think for every one in the world, it is important to be a KG goer. One must never stop learning. And that is the mantra I got from IGTC- a land of opportunities.

Aditi Patil
(Ex-Head Student Council, IGTC Batch 2005-2007)
(Now – Executive Asst. to All India Head and M.D. PBC Deutsche Bank)