The Black Book Project or project work worth 100 marks in the BMS course comes up in semester 5 and is one of those once in a life time things about BMS that will stay with you forever and it was just the same for me. I wanted to create a project like no other and make this one of the best projects the external examiner will have seen, but I really didn’t know which subject should I opt for, the guidance lecture by our Coordinator had filled up my head with certain idea’s like this: project should be something in which you plan to make a career, it should showcase your knowledge of the field and also you capability to make such a good project, so keeping all three in mind I choose HR as my subject choice.
The mentor for me of course was my HR teacher that semester and I was lucky that she was quite kick ass in her knowledge of the university and what format it expects, because that is exactly where marks get cut and after making a lot of efforts many of my class mates were left with those sad smileys because they got less marks due to improper project format.
We started the project in September and were supposed to submit it in the month of December which was a fair amount of time at our disposal. My topic was Training Procedures and I chose a real estate brokerage firm’s example where I showed how they train their staff.
Now the logic behind selecting such an off-beat field was that I had contacts there because of my family background and so I did not have to chase companies for their time and it was a very different sort of company as compared to the ones regular HR projects are based on so I knew it will stay with the examiner for a long time.
I was kind of really excited about this project so I started will in advance by framing the Index of the project with the titles I wanted to take up in the process, of course my mentor corrected me and changed most of the stuff I had taken up, so it was a lot of effort but then I did it her way anyways, we enlisted a lot of matter about the company, about the HR processes of Training and then merged up the two by using examples to show how effective certain processes are and how most of them do not work in all set-ups.
I had to interview and collect information from the company and that was the tricky part, as the company belonged to my father’s friend but my dad was quite strict about these things so I got no direct matter via e-mail, I had to travel all the way to Thane every day till the time I got all the information I needed and I must admit it quite a lot of fun doing that.
I went and interviewed the owner of the firm and learnt so much from him about, how he had formed the company, how he trains his staff and what sort of work does a real estate broking firm actually do! There were so many things I was completely unaware of that I got to learn which I did not need to mention in my project but stayed with me anyway.
I spoke to the staff and they guided me, I also got a chance to attend one of their demo training sessions and it was a lot of fun doing that. Once I came back I wrote down all my findings and showed it to my professor who made me sit in the library and do a lot more research using books on HR and not direct matter from the internet. She was one of those anti-internet people and at that point of time it annoyed me to the core to actually read, make notes and then type them down but now when I look back I kind of appreciate it as that was how I learnt the process of actually doing a research project, not that I am pissed at her any less for making me go through all the effort!
Then we designed relevant diagrams where needed, relevant statistical back up where needed and a lot of formatting and college documents were added to the entire thing. It was huge, usually people do not make such huge projects it’s like a slim black book of about 200-300 pages and it ends there, but in my case all my efforts along with the huge color images, diagrams and the formatting pages became quite fat and I remember a lot of people calling me a nerd behind my back when they saw my project’s rough copy.
It was pretty annoying actually, I had done a lot of efforts and they had not; but instead of encouraging me all they did was call me a nerd and say stuff like “jaise ki bada 80 marks plus kisiko milta hai jo itna mota project banaya hai” and things like, “itna padhne k jagah party kiya hota toh kuch kaam ka memeores to banta TY ka iska kya fayda hua?” well it was pretty mean but they were wrong anyway, I’ll come to that part later.
So I showed my final copy to my mentor who again made a lot of changes to it; yes, annoying mentors should be put behind bars but no one listens to us students anyway, so I made the changes after quarreling with her a lot and then got my book printed. It does cost inside 500 INR these days, if it’s a tiny book and the images are black and white, but mine was well for future reference so I put in all the works, best quality paper, all images in color and all of that and ya it was kind of expensive.
Now when I look back, I wonder would it have been cheaper just to go and pay money to some ready made project creator who would have finished up the entire thing in 3 days flat with absolutely no efforts from my side? yes, such people do exist even the big Xerox shops give you copies of ready made projects you can change the name and use.
Naah! Somehow all my efforts then helped me learn a lot of things so it paid off well, the efforts were worth it! Now came the time when everything was ready, all formats and layouts attached and the project was finally complete. So we were asked to make a power point presentation which we were to give to the external examiner and prepare for the viva questions that he/she would ask us post the presentation.
Usually I was the best speaker of the class and my presentations were appreciated but not this time! My super annoying mentor rejected all of my efforts in front of the whole class and I felt that I was going to get really bad grades after so much of efforts and expenses. She made me re-do it three times and the grueling questions she asked about the industry and the project literally made me cry.
The cherry on the cake was the date slot for the exam declared by the University that year was between 8-15 December and our I.V to four awesome places Chandigarh, Shimla, Kullu and Manali had been fixed for 9-15 December and the bookings were made like two months in advance so we were literally stuck, the last year I.V is the most memorable one and the places were like mind blowing so it was super depressing as it is plus my awesome mentor made life worse with her constant grilling questions and criticism to the project even after it had been printed and the PPT prepared, so well you could simply say life sucked to the core at that time.
Then of course whatever happened, happened for good and the college contacted the external examiner allotted to us and luckily he was one of our guest faculties who knew us personally so when he was told about the I.V dilemma he immediately agreed to take the Viva on the 8th for all the I.V students. So suddenly from a stage of I.V Canned we were on a phase of today Viva and tomorrow I.V and it was pretty confusing whether to worry for the Viva or Jump in favor of the I.V.
We did both anyway and finally the day of the Viva dawned, I was third in line and the response I had seen of the ones before me was heart breaking as they came out and told me how badly they had been at a loss of words and had received a lot of criticism from the examiner.
Then came my turn, the examiner was furious after the past two students and his mood was really volatile but lucky for me he saw the size of my project and thought that three were some efforts die so he calmed down, then began the PPT where touch wood I did not stammer and explained everything using my three times reworked slides which he found truly impressive, but that backfired as he felt that if I have made so much of efforts I would know my project well and decided to ask me really tough questions.
Now my Hitler mentor had me prepared for all of those but somehow he had a liking for real estate so he decided to ask more and remember all that extra information I had learnt at the office but could not use in the project, that came handy and sometimes I wonder what would have happened if I would have simply gotten ready made information from the internet would I have been able to answer all of those questions?
He gave me awesome marks, awesome means above 80 for all those who said, “80 ke upar nai milta!!” Go die people, I am not a nerd and I managed all of it and there is only hard work to credit for that. Yes credit also goes to the Hitler mentor who kicked my ass in order to prove that she was kickass, my dad who again kicked my ass and made me travel every freaking day so far off for this project, to the printout uncle who gave me discounted prices because it was a, “mehnat kiya hua mota kitab” that I wanted printed, by the way there are many shops in station area, I mean whichever area you stay in, the railway station area of that part where you will get highly discounted print outs and Xeroxes and believe me you will need all of those discounts so locate them in advance and try to go with friends so that you can ask for group discounts.
And of course I had a freaking awesome time at the I.V but you can read all about that I.V and why should you go to I.V if you are a T.Y student right Here! You will also need some help with keeping your spirits up in the course of the project, for that there is this post I have written down n the T.Y talk section which you cant read HERE, because it will help you a lot.
The most important things come at the end and HERE is a complete guide on how to prepare the project format from scratch, it has everything you need in detail and by far the best guide I have come across, in fact I had used the same one when I was in my T.Y to create my project.
We also have a list of project topics and ready made projects; in case you don’t have the time or wish to take the easier route in life you can access them tight HERE!
This project according to me should be legendary because these memories and experiences are as valuable as the ones of parties, events and I.V’s and when you are given an opportunity to prove you capability as a Business Student I think you should go all out and prove it to everyone how good you can be!
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