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ISB: Aikya - Your family away from home

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In this post, we’ll cover the first major event of the year where a few clubs come together to organize it and set the ball rolling for the year- The Aikya Launch.
 
Aikya is a unique initiative by ISB to connect students with the local business community in Mohali and Hyderabad. Although the ‘business’ in those ‘connections’ is very limited. The idea is to provide “a home away from home” since a number of students do feel the need for the warmth of a family setting. The Aikya families or (parents as they are fondly called) act as ‘foster’ families of students when they’re away from home, local guardians in a sense.
 
The idea of the launch event is to introduce the families and students to each other and take the relationship forward. The event is like the 2nd Talent Night for the year after the o-week. The Music and Dance clubs usually perform their gigs and in a few cases the Theatre club also organizes a skit. The performances are followed by dinner and more conversations (and selfies) follow through the evening.

Then, the families and students carry forward their relationship throughout the year over a number of meetings and house-visits (which include lip smacking food!). A few large business houses have offered jobs to the students but that is not the intent of the program. This bond continues post-ISB as well and the students stay in touch with their Aikya parents.
 
Like all other initiatives, Aikya is a student-led initiative. An Aikya Coordinator is selected and she orchestrates the whole initiative, right from allotting families to students to working with the Marketing & Communication Council (MCC) to create buzz to organizing the launch event - collaborating with other social clubs. Since it’s the first major Student Life Council (SLC) event, it also acts as an ice-breaker with various departments at ISB such as Operations, Finance, Media team, etc. 
 
For your essays: If you have organized large scale events in the past, you can mention that you’d like to continue the trend and get selected as the Aikya Coordinator to run the show. A lot of applicants do not mention this initiative in their essays so this could act as a differentiator.
 
Alum speak: “I instantly felt a connection with my Aikya family during the launch event. It didn’t seem as if we were meeting for the first time. We had a number of interactions during the year and I make it a point to visit them whenever I’m visiting the campus for alumni events”  Abhishek Chawla, ISB alumnus and Co-founder, Strategy4GMAT


As always, some videos of past Aikya events for you:
 
Aikya Launch- Dance 2016
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ZS0z0QB4E8
 
Aikya Launch- Music Performance at ISB, Mohali campus
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rKmjv57x43M