Sydenham College of Commerce & Economics glory days are gone
by Deepak Satre
It has been a fair time since I passed out and I hope that the landscape must have changed. If you are someone who wants a job after B. Com or BMS then go for entrance test of Symbiosis or NM as they can guarantee you a job but not Sydenham. However, one thing that I would like to share is that they can get you campus placements alright, but their fees is quite high too. At Sydenham, we paid peanuts and graduated. Yes, without a job but when I had MBA in my plans rather than spending money in graduation, I spent that for MBA coaching and got admitted to one of the famous MBA colleges of the country. The harsh reality about the college is that no one cares. Whoever has taken the mettle to market the college are the worst people because Sydenham Alumni base is so strong and it should immediately show them on the web. It’s not the case though and even Wikipedia page of the college is quite poor.
Not just Sydenham but almost all the colleges of Mumbai University don't care on who attends the college and who bunks. Living in the suburbs, I hardly went to the college during monsoons. Sessions used to start from July but my session started after 15th August when the monsoon would ease out in Mumbai and the clear weather permitted me to travel easily. After attending some lectures and meeting some of my classmates, I realized that attending lecture will be of no help and most of joined coaching for some of the subjects. During our time there were two practical exams every year and it was like copying from one’s assignment and submitting it.
I don’t even know how many faculty we had. The only thing I could recall is that faculties were always smiling and even though I wasn’t a regular, my faculties never showed any surprise when they saw that I am attending because out of 120-130, they were used to seeing at least 20-30 new faces daily.
One of the most renowned institutes of the University of Mumbai and located at one of the posh localities of Mumbai doesn’t offer any placements to its B. Com students was displeasing. Even BMS students found it tough to get placed from the campus and some students who went on their own only managed to find selling insurance policies or account opening jobs. Job scenario in India is such that you need have to best degree to get best jobs and B. Com is probably a course that has left no credibility in front of employers.
The college has a boy’s hostel for around 200 students next to the campus and like many other have their quota of seats at other hostels. In this regard, Sydenham is the only college among the nearby colleges that have hostel facilities. Staying in Church Gate or nearby area can be quite expensive as a PG would cost no less than 20-25k for a single bed in a room that is shared by 2 or 3.
Making infrastructure terrible has become a professional thing for Mumbai colleges it seems. Sydenham has made interiors world-class but the outer remains the same and that is a century old building with some British Architect. It would have been appreciated few decades from here but today there are universities that spent a lot on their infrastructure and if getting a new building is essential the college should try and get one because the inside facilities hardly matters if the exterior is not good. One can say that a better heart is better than a good face but the reality is one first look at the face and then reaches the heart. There was a library that was well stocked an activity room and a little playing area which was always full of students playing and some hooting for them.
There were some societies which would plan future at the campus. I was glad that there wasn’t a match making society because a group of students was highly interested in that as well. The Sports club of church gate would have cricket teams of each college and we had no choice but to go and play there because at campus playing volleyball was an uphill task and cricket was obviously next to impossible. There was no such thing that actually made me fell in love with the campus and also I hardly made friends as most of the students that studied were from town and they usually stay away from the people staying in suburbs.
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