Friday, March 5, 2010

'Nanta' and 'Sa-bal-shik' time for Batch 2 at KUBS!

After Shanghai did an appreciative job ‘orienting’ us, I thought there couldn’t be a more structured way of carrying out the Orientation process. Fudan did very well for the end result. We pretty much knew everyone in our batch by the end of those three hectic, but very helpful days.

2nd batch of S3 Asia MBA students
Learning "Nanta" - The traditional Korean performance

When I came to know that there is going to be another Orientation activity at KUBS, frankly, I wasn’t all that excited. Getting acquainted with the school’s processes is a separate thing, but there was nothing new we could know about each other after spending a semester together. Well, that’s what I had thought!

We had a great time learning and performing Nanta at Oak Valley. But what came later just seemed to have taken everyone by surprise and given a few shivers too. Sa-Bal-Shik. Not that we hadn’t heard of the ceremony from the previous batch, but the magnanimity of the event could never have been transpired. And there was no way we could have conspired against it either! All doors were closed and the staff made sure we didn’t escape the activity. As a matter of fact, I am pretty sure no one really wanted to miss the event. The staff needn’t have been there ;)

First taste of "Makkuli" (Fermented Rice Wine)... Definitely not the last!

Well, calling it an activity is actually an understatement. As it progressed, Sa-Bal-Shik was nothing less than an exhilarating and adrenaline pumping mega event. The roars of other KU MBA students and the rhymes of KU Business School cheer leaders were frightening and melancholic, respectively. Such was the atmosphere that I saw a lot of my classmates petrified.

The echoes of ‘An neyong ha ship ni kka?’, Min-Jok-Go-Dae!’ and ‘Ae-Kuk Kyong-Young!’ could have well been easily heard in the whole of Oak Valley. Such was the energy and passion. Well, I was just started to be proven wrong in thinking what else an orientation be like!

Prof. Jaehwan Kim and our dearest Bina, had already started having pale faces awaiting Asia MBA’s batch turn. They had every right to believe that we would be the under-performers! But then, we weren’t going to let them down, at least not Bina who had done everything possible to make every arrangement perfect. Prof, Kim would appreciate this too, as he got a nice suite at the hotel, which seemed unlikely, after he deviated from Bina’s ‘commands’ for a while but was soon back in line ;)

The S3 "family" is created by an alumnus, Lee Dae Young and family at Oak Valley

The first fear was the fear of drinking, but the roaring part clearly took over it. And just when I thought I knew my batch-mates well enough, I saw the wilder side of them. The passion, the vigor and the energy are just mild words. The tiger happens to be the symbol of Korea University Business School, and I saw each one of us roar like one. It was an amazing and unforgettable experience for me, I guess for all. Worth a mention, our Korean friends led the way and the rest followed. Prof. Kim would be proud that none of the Asia MBA students had to ‘repeat the performance’, which is gallantry by the high KU standards.

Well, anyone who had thought you needn’t have another orientation at KU would have had to rethink like I did. And for the batches to come, the ceremony is one of the biggest parts of Asia MBA life. You can see the promise that KUBS makes and makes you make! You start to feel the friendship and love as the most important things with your batch-mates and this is where it stops to be just an MBA degree. It becomes a family!

Akshat Kumar Singh (Indian)
Class of 2011


  1. very well-written, Akshat...I could remember every bit of our orientation vividly while reading your article!

    Great going!

  2. Thx Ashwin...that's a good farewell to you then, sorry we couldn't get together for one :)