Dr Filomina Parayil George of SCMS-COCHIN is not your usual, run-of-the-mill Dean. She wears the multiple hats of Dean, Academic Administration and Professor in the Department of Finance, SCMS-COCHIN, rather effortlessly. Dr Filomina has this charming way of beginning all her answers with an open smile, bordering on laughter; and if you are a new entrant to SCMS-COCHIN, with a lot on your mind, she has all the time in the world to help you sort things out.
“Introspect on how you spend your day at SCMS-COCHIN,” she is bound to advise you with her characteristic smile.”If you are not performing well, chalk out your schedule. You’ll realise a lot of invisibles eat up your time. If you are getting up at 6.30 and waiting in a bathroom queue, beat the queue by getting up 10 minutes earlier. After classes in the evening, when the day is cooling down and things are quieter, get going. Don’t wait for post dinner. Develop a passion for a subject, and chase it up like you’d chase your girlfriends/boyfriend!” she chuckles. “Don’t plan for a whole day or an entire afternoon as one block . Break it into smaller time slots. After 3-4 years of damage during graduation, you’ve got to start looking distinct. Going along with the crowd will get you nowhere.”
Dr Filomina, now with SCMS-COCHIN for 16 years, has been the motive power behind many of SCMS-COCHIN’s philosophies. She strongly believes there is immense potential latent in each student . At SCMS the faculty tries and help them to unleash this potential and to demonstrate their best without forgetting the bottom half students of the class, which needs much more focus .
“They study, but they don’t learn. They see, but don’t perceive. It’s a major counseling need to make them understand that there is much more knowledge out there which they need to grasp – especially with those who intend floating along at SCMS-COCHIN. I often hear the line that ‘Ma’am you are not happy, you want it still better’. I say ‘yes, and that’s because you have the potential to do better.’ They may not realise it immediately at SCMS-COCHIN, but it will remain with them to introspect.”
Dr Filomina George, a Masters in Business Administration, a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, UK, and a Fellow Member of Zambian Institute of Certified Accountant, has served the Zambian Railways with distinction as Chief Management Accountant till 1996. Her husband too was well-ensconced high up in the Zambian corporate hierarchy. It was at this point that fate decreed her long-lasting union with SCMS-COCHIN.
“When our daughter moved to standard 8, we had to take a call on a foreign or Indian education for her. My husband’s vision was that we should not be too old when we come back. Apart from having individual career goal, there has to be optimization with family ambitions as well.”
Over the years, Dr Filomina George has brought in her international corporate exposure to transform SCMS-COCHIN, starting with her own department. Rather than take technical book examples, SCMS-COCHIN began picking up annual reports, accounting and balance sheets of globally recognized companies like Infosys, DBS etc.
“When I joined SCMS-COCHIN, the curriculum was mostly academics. With time, we created a counsel group in which I could realize my co-curricular programme for SCMS-COCHIN. The group was very heterogenous in terms of academic background, gender etc. We would identify problems, be it communications, awareness etc. and address them pretty much on the ‘quest’ and ‘big fight’ format. Slowly I exposed the management of SCMS-COCHIN to the scope of learning beyond the reaches of a classroom. Finally around 2004, we were able to institutionalize this as the Integrated Managerial Learning Programme of SCMS-COCHIN. This was extremely gratifying.”
Dr Filomina has a simple success formula – be a learner always.
“I burn my midnight – and even early morning – candles, when something interesting comes my way. I also do not believe things are impossible. I just keep working. Just like in SCMS-COCHIN, I have always worked to establish systems and institution; not individuals.”