St. Joseph’s Institute of Management (SJIM) Bangalore held its Twenty Third Annual Convocation on 17th April 2021. This year marks the 25th Anniversary of SJIM receiving AICTE approval for its flagship 2 year full time PGDM program, which is recognized as equivalent to MBA. 368 young people from the batches passing out in 2020 and 2021 were conferred with their PGDM degree during the celebration, with some students attending in person while others attended virtually.
The evening began with the lighting of the lamp and the ecumenical readings from different religious scriptures. Rev. Dr. Manoj D’Souza SJ, Director, in his presentation of presenting the annual report, outlined how the past year turned out to be an extraordinary one that posed unique challenges for both students and the institute. The COVID-related circumstances that caused the postponement of last year’s convocation persist. Still, he said, the institute exceeded all expectations and managed to seamlessly conduct all its activities and operations online. Meanwhile, the institute continued to invest in infrastructure, and its on-campus women’s hostel has been inaugurated and will be fully functioning from this academic year. Notably, Fr. Manoj observed that even in the current feeble job market scenario, the institute is on track to achieve 100 percent placements.
The Chief Guest, Mr. Sanjeev Singh, Chief Operations Officer of Wipro Ltd, acknowledged that SJIM was one of the many prestigious educational institutes that the Jesuit fathers ran globally, along with others like XLRI Jamshedpur and St. Xavier’s Mumbai. He appreciated the institute’s emphasis on values and service. In his keynote address to the convocating students, he emphasized five points for a successful career. First, he suggested that a positive constructive attitude – not just personality, knowledge or skill – is essential. Second, he asserted that if a career is important to a young graduate, he or she should be willing to work extremely hard for at least ten to fifteen years. Third, he stressed that a successful career lies at the intersection of a person’s passion, talent and the professional expectations on the person. Fourth, he said that in the end, outcomes count and must be delivered. Finally, he advised the students to uphold their character and credibility even if it hurts them in the short run. He rounded off his eloquent address with an exhortation to the convocating students that the world had invested in them till now, and that henceforth, they will have to give back to those who invested in them.
After the conferring of diplomas, the prize winners present were felicitated. Neil Tauro and Brendan D’Sa were the first and third rank holders overall in the 2018-20 batch, while Romal Mascarenhas and Annie Alex won the first and second rank in the 2019-21 batch. Prizes were also conferred by specialization. Awardees included Arun Thottan (Finance, 1st rank), Nikhitha J (HR, 1st rank), Stephin Janvel (Operations, 1st rank), Shruthi S (Operations, 2nd rank) and Shwetha Menon (Operations, 2nd rank). The institute warmly honoured two professors – Dr. R Narasimhan and Dr. Rashmi Nakra – who are superannuating this year. They were felicitated in the traditional manner and received a shawl, a citation and a symbolic fruit basket, as the institute, led by senior professor Suresh Herur, reminisced about their invaluable contributions over the years.
In his address, Rev. Fr. Dionysius Vaz SJ, Provincial of the Karnataka Jesuits and President of SJIM’s Governing Council, said that the evening was a first and foremost a celebration of gratitude, both for the convocation and for its two superannuating members. He reminded the graduating business school students that SJIM had served as a landscape to mold them into men and women for others, which is the Jesuit aim of education. Now, he said, they have been given the roots of responsibility with which to use their wings of independence in the business world.
In his Vote of Thanks, the Dean, Dr. Narasimhan thanked the students in this year of the pandemic and virtuality for their cooperation, and indeed, for the opportunity the faculty had to co-learn, along with the students, how to deal with the new normal. The convocation ended with the National Anthem.