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On the 15th of June, we got the opportunity to visit and shoot a video at Kolkata’s Calcutta Institute of Engineering & Management (CIEM). My colleague, Sumit Kumar Das, and I reached the campus around 10 AM.
The lush green campus is just a five-minute walk from the Netaji Metro Station. That surely must be time-saving for the students, I thought to myself. As we stepped into the campus premises, I couldn’t help but picture all the students who spent their early adulthood here, being trained for their professional lives.
After filling in our details at the reception, we made our way to the fourth floor, where the Management Studies department is located. On our way up, in the lift, we saw some nervous students talking about some pending work. Sumit and I looked at each other and smiled; it was a relief to be in college and not worry about assignments, exams and placement drives!
When we got off the lift we saw that every student was dressed sharply and there was a palpable tension all around. CIEM's enthusiastic Campus Manager, Puja, informs us that students have their placement drive today. We spotted Amit Halder, the Placements Head (Northeast), who is busy briefing a bunch of students before their interview.
There seem to be many familiar faces in the crowd of students. Soumoserr Mondal, who seemed extremely interactive during a webinar conducted earlier this year, greeted us like we were old friends. When we asked her if she was nervous before she went on for the interview, she said, “Of course! I am up for an interview with Zara. This is my dream company and if I get an opportunity to work here, my joy will know no bounds!” with a touch of excitement while her eyes sparkled with confidence.
After we shared a brief conversation with other students, we felt it would be wise to let the students be so that they are focused on their interviews and decided to take some shots of the campus. We had to taste the famous “lebu-chaa” (lemon tea) from the canteen after all.
To our astonishment, CIEM has two canteens, Delicious Canteen and My Canteen respectively. We headed towards the Delicious Canteen, as it was closest to the ground, and ordered two cups of tea.
While sipping our tea, we overhear a student talking to her guardian over the phone, telling them that the professors for BBA make the subjects interesting and that she couldn’t wait for the extracurricular activities. She hung up with a rushed goodbye as her order of noodles and chicken manchurian was ready.
Looking at her, we couldn’t help but wonder what period after class 12th is the age you don't get back, no matter what. Sumit and I reminisced over what life looked like post-class 12th when we regarded life in a more imaginative and less practical light. We agreed that this is the age, in college, where the right guidance and proper support can make you the best version of yourself.
In between these thoughts, we spotted a student sketching under a banyan tree. We recalled Puja telling us about Rana, a talented MBA aspirant who can make exceptional portraits in less than 15 minutes.
We walked up to the student, who confirms with a grin that he is the same Rana that we had heard so much about. We introduced ourselves before asking him something you too would be curious about. Why MBA? And pat came Rana’s reply, “No one can take my art away from me, but I wanted to learn how to manage my gift, via management studies.”
We are impressed with Rana’s astute sense of awareness and he overwhelms us with an offer to make a portrait of us. And true to his reputation, it was done in less than 15 minutes. We were amazed at his talent, to say the least.
We also met Aniket, another MBA aspirant (batch of 2021-23) who claimed that he loved learning new languages, and he knew Hindi, Bengali, English, Bhojpuri & Odia, and in future wants to learn more languages. There seems to be no dearth of talent at CIEM!
On our way out after shooting the video, we saw Soumoserr Mondal surrounded by five of her friends in the reception area. Curious about how her interview went, we ask whether she cleared it and with tears in her eyes she nodded. Her joy was infectious and it turned out that her friends also got an opportunity to work for the same.
Standing beside them, beaming with joy, was Amit Halder, providing individual feedback to the students around him, reminding us that Sunstone always wants what is best for students.
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