Doing Liberal Arts in a Business School

Doing Liberal Arts in a Business School

In and around the huge IBA campus, you might have noticed some students giving you strange looks when you are solving your Accounting assignment, or learning the four Ps of Marketing. These students then wait for you to break into a conversation so they can tell you exactly how your degree is totally stupid. They are none other than *drumroll * the Social Sciences and Liberal Arts (SSLA) students.

Most people at IBA see us as a cult – of freaks living in their own world. That’s partly true – we sure are obsessed with what we do, totally in love with it as well. We can make every conversation take an intellectual turn, even if it’s about Bollywood and Kajol’s uni-brow (But it is really about defying societal beauty standards. I stand with you, Kajol). It is however, tough to be a Liberal Arts student in a university catering to students looking to pursue Business Administration. Following are 5 such note-worthy instances that make us want to yank our hair out –- metaphorically!

1. When you enroll in the program by your own choice!

“Wow, you’re in IBA? That’s amazing. How do you like the BBA program?”

“Umm…I’m actually doing Social Sciences from IBA…”
“ What sciences?”


People most often assume that if in IBA, we must be there for BBA, and I don’t blame them. The university is famous for its BBA program, and SSLA is a recent addition to the academics. It is when the conversation moves on to ”Oh, so you didn’t get into BBA?”, that makes our nostrils flare with rage. No, we got in BBA, ACF, and all the other programs as well. We can do math, some of us also got into competitive sciences programs in the country and abroad. We CHOSE our program. Some of us also CHOSE to transfer. Stop thinking otherwise. We don’t need your pity!

  1. When asked about our courses

One of the most difficult tasks is to explain our courses and/or majors to friends and family. Anthropology, Sociology, this, that, it all seems similar. Half of our time is spent in trying to explain people exactly what we are doing. It all goes in vain when someone comments, “so, what exactly is the point of this course?”

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  1. When people forget that you exist.

 Most of the time; our existence is totally ignored. It is like we don’t really belong.

Overheard during a session:

“This is a business school. You see people doing Accounting or Calculus assignments in groups, but you never see people discussing books and writing and things like that”

It’s conversations like these that’s like a stab in the heart. Hello, there is a whole set of students doing just that. We might be a minority (60 in a batch compared to 500 business students), but we are not THAT invisible. You should definitely hang out with us more often!



  1. When labeled as a spoilsports

Yes, we do question conventional understandings and purposes of … EVERYTHING! From celebrations to social events, to even community service. Trying to hold onto conversations without attempting to get our point across gets difficult with the continuous labeling. Cynics, skeptics, killjoys, and whatnot! We’re not that bad, guys, just a tad bit different in our opinions!

  1. While discussing career prospects

A common misconception us SSLA students face is about career aspirations. Our blood boils when after all the intense all-nighters pulled, all we hear is how easy and/or useless this degree is. Sorry to burst your bubble guys, but this is not a ‘soft’ major! Have you seen the sheer size of our reading packs? We’re in it for good – not doing it for an easy way into marriage and ‘gol rotis’.

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 * Sigh *. Them feels!


About The Author

Sadia Amin Godil: A narcissistic weirdo; beware of random babble.
  • Saba Aslam

    Hey! After reading this, I am actually very surprised because the value and recognition SSLA Program has received, no other program has received at the IBA. I am final a year student, and after having spoken to faculty members, students and my peers, we feel that this program has great potential!! So these claims are so not relatable to us.

    • Sadia Amin Godil

      Saba, there is no doubt about what you said, the program has great potential. However, being a transfer studenf myself, I have to defend my choice several times a day (and I proudly do so too) This was just written to shed light onto some absurd instances we face everyday, and this is all coming from real experiences, both inside and outside IBA. The attitude people have towards this program has made some potential students doubt the program itself, which is ridiculous. I personally know people shying away from doing SS cuz well, log kia kahengay, job nai milaygi, permission nai hai. So ya :p

  • Hasan Hameed

    A fine article. The social sciences people are the ones who make the system and shape the society; the engineers, doctors, and businessmen and businesswomen then simply help run that system. In fact, this aversion to the social sciences is perhaps a major reason for the social problems that we face today. I wish you and all the other social sciences students at IBA the very best in the future and hope that you can help turn the fortunes of this institute and this country, despite the difficulties you face.

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