What feels like easy & unimportant in college, becomes really hard stuff in career, saysDr Shalini Lal, at the 26th VJIM Convocation!


Hyderabad, March 2021Vignana Jyothi Institute of Management (VJIM), hosted the 26th Convocation with solemn grandeur at the Bachupally campus of the Institute. Dr. Shalini Lal, CEO UNQBE and Infinite OD; was the Chief Guest on the occasion. She delivered the Convocation Address and later presented medals and prizes to meritorious students. Also present on the occasion were Dr D. N. Rao, President, Vignana Jyothi; Shri K. Harishchandra Prasad, General Secretary, Vignana Jyothi & Chairman Governing Counsel, Vignana Jyothi Institute of Management; Dr. Ch. S. Durga Prasad, Director, VJIM; and Shri Kode Durga Prasad, Joint Secretary, VJIM.

Delivering the convocation address, Dr. Shalini Lal, began by sharing a secret, which she said often takes years or even decades to understand. What feels like the ‘hard stuff’ in college, the financial modeling, the advanced quantitative methods, the econometrics and all, will eventually become the easy stuff.

They become easy because these are areas where you can develop a fair amount of technical expertise, as they are logical and the science behind them is getting clearer by the day.

By the time you are well into your careers, the heavy lifting here is done by technology and perhaps your role will largely be in understanding and interpreting the outcomes and recommendations made by technology.Instead, what feels like the easy, or even unimportant stuff in college, like understanding yourself better, getting better at building relationships, understanding how people behave when they interact with one another; will become the really “hard stuff.”

She emphasised on the need to gain a grasp of the organisational dynamics to avoid becoming a pawn in the power struggle between leaders. No amount of expertise with 5-point Likert scales or technical skills at instrument design were anywhere nearly as important as understanding the dynamics of the organisation.

Not to understand organisational politics and human dynamics can often be suicidal. In the scheme of things understanding the softer dimensions of an organisation is often far more powerful than technical or functional expertise.

Yet unlike technical expertise, the job of understanding the human dynamics in any situation is entirely on us, with no formulas or models to guide us. Over time, the biggest differentiator between the leaders who have successful careers and others is their grasp and understanding of this soft and frankly invisible stuff, she said.

She cited the experiments of a Stanford psychology professor, Pilipp Zimbardo to understand what happens when good people are placed in bad situations temporarily and said, people respond to situations far more similarly than we imagine.

When many people are behaving in a similar way in a situation, there is usually something about the situation that is bringing out that side of them. Whenever leaders complain about the way people behave, I ask them to think of what in the situation is encouraging that behaviour and that is hard. She concluded by revealing a secret to the students graduating, by saying, I am sharing a secret that can give you an unfair advantage over others graduating today, ‘Remember, the soft stuff is the hard stuff.

The President, Vignana Jyothi, Dr. D.N. Rao in his presidential address said,today’s convocation ceremony is a celebration of graduating students and their achievements. This ceremony is also called “Commencement: which could also refer to the beginning of true education and life-long learning. T

rue learning starts once you leave the portals of institute and step into a world that is experiencing unprecedented and turbulent times. We are plagued with issues such as food security, global warming and climate change, loss of biodiversity, habitat destruction, water and air pollution, pandemics, cyber terrorism, triggering potential danger to the universe.

On the brighter side, we are at the cusp of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) which is ushering in powerful technologies that are helping us mitigate if not eliminate such calamities. Machine Learning based models, trained on specific biomolecules have offered inexpensive and rapid implementation methods for the discovery of effective viral therapies and vaccines for CoVid-19.

He said with the relentless march of new technologies and with robots, AI-controlled gadgets and autonomous cars, it is quite natural for people to be apprehensive of a future scenario in which machines will make humans obsolete. He said domain expertise may be replaced by robots and AI, machines capable of performing creative tasks, however, seems implausible at least in the foreseeable future.

Dr. Ch. S. Durga Prasad, Director, VJIM, outlined the steady progress made by the institution from the time of its inception 28 years ago to the present day having grown in volume from 17 students graduated from the first batch of this institution and today 228 students are graduating. 

The teaching learning process of VJIM is guided by a very strong academic board comprising of both learned academicians and corporate representatives from different functional areas. VJIM is an innovation driven B-School where the innovations range from curriculum to pedagogy.

We follow the educational theory of Outcome Based Education (OBE). OBE bases each part of an educational system around goals (outcomes). Though the pandemic wreaked havoc across all sectors, we were amongst the first B-School in the country to ensure that the academic sessions of the students do not get affected and we adopted the online mode of teaching learning almost literally after the lockdown was announced.

He also briefed the PGDM programs of the Institution to the audience. He said, VJIM has introduced a new concept called Mentorship, where the students will take up short live companies on specific topics and areas. The students would work under the guidance of mentors. The students of VJIM are also encouraged to take up field visits and field assignments which will help them apply their conceptual knowledge. VJIM has active academic collaborations with North Texas University, USA and also introduced a Ph.D. program in collaboration with Lincoln University College, Malaysia, he said.

The Chief Guest Dr. Shalini Lal gave away the Gold Medals and prizes to the students. Sri P. Punnaiah Gold Medal in Marketing was awarded to Ms. Kommi Divya Supraja and the Second Merit award in Marketing was presented to Ms. Boddu Shreya. The First Merit Award in HR was received by Mr. Kampa Gopi and the Second Merit Award received by Ms. V. Veda Srujana. In Business AnalyticsMs. Kommi Divya Supraja received First Merit Award and the Second Merit Award was received by M. Harshita Reddy. Alumni Gold Medal for the Best Summer Internship was awarded to Ms. Swati Hiware. The Alumni Sponsored Award for excellence in Finance, was received by Ms. Kandra Nimisha, who was a second topper in Finance. Dr. Tummala Madhava Rao Gold Medal in Operations Management was received by Ms. T. Vishnu Priya.


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