Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Exams over! What a relief!
Will be boarding Deccan Air in a few hours. This will be my first time on this airline, and the first time in Chennai.
Chennai, here I come...


Sunday, August 29, 2004

Exams start tomorrow, and I am not even halfway through the preparations. I think I got carried away with above average marks that I got in mid-term exams, and neglected preparing for the finals. We have three exams, two on Monday and one on Tuesday. Entrepreneurship exam was of the take-home variety. Yesterday night we worked until 5 am on it. It’s pretty much a consulting assignment, where we have to provide a turnaround strategy to a real-world firm.

Until last week I thought I would major in Tech and Marketing, but when we filled in the elective bidding form a few days back, I gave Tech and Finance as my choices. The driving force was to take courses that I would never again take or use in life. Hence Finance.

I may not be accessing the internet for next one week while I relax in Chennai on term break. So talk to you a week from now.


Wednesday, August 25, 2004

I think I had four hours of sleep in the last 40 or so hours. Yesterday our entrepreneurship group meeting started at 5 pm, and ended at 5 am, with a half hour dinner break in between. There was another meeting in the morning on managerial accounting. Then classes, and then extra classes. The result is I am dead tired, and just a few keystrokes away from sleep.

I would be in Chennai from 1st Sep to 5th Sep. If anyone living in Chennai would like to know more about ISB, let me know, and we can have a prospective students’ “group meeting”.

A new issue of Newz@ISB is out. I have started writing a fortnightly student diary at that site for the benefit of prospective students. You might want to check it out at http://www.isb.edu/Newz@Isb/new/aug2304/snapshot.html

I don’t know how true it is, but Economic Times published a story today that Hooters would be opening up in India! I can imagine how long the queues would be of men wanting to get in. I have been to two Hooters, one in Baltimore and the other in New Jersey, and loved the experience. The food was good too!

Some ISB students have started a collaborative blog at http://isblife.blogspot.com/ , so that will give you another perspective of life or something like that at ISB.


Sunday, August 22, 2004

Not much happened over the weekend. We had a group meeting to discuss four business plans. In Wednesday’s class we will have to present our pitch so that our classmates fund our plan. This is part of the Entrepreneur coursework this term.

Saturday there was a talk on sustaining competitive advantage in the IT industry. Speakers from four Indian IT companies, Wipro, Infosys, TCS and Satyam were part of the panel.

I saw three DVDs in two days – Kill Bill 2, Barbarians at the Gate and Wall Street. Tuesday’s Corporate Finance class will be on Nabisco, which is the subject of the Barbarian movie.

Apart from this, I had to read a case study, looked at two assignments, and played badminton and squash. That kind of sums up the weekend.

One more week before the storm called End Term Exam hits us. This is so like Florida!


Thursday, August 19, 2004

Well, let me recollect the events of the past few days. There were case studies and assignments galore, and loads of readings. Yesterday night we were swamped with too many things. I was lucky to go to bed by 3 am, giving me lots of hours of sleep before the 8:30 am class. Many others kept on working all night.

Tuesday I attended a meeting of the website team, and had a sneak peek of the new ISB site. I gave my inputs on look and feel, navigation, menus etc. Today I attended the second meeting, and saw many of the suggested changes had already been incorporated. Final meeting is on Monday. The site should be launched by Sep 10th.

One course I have started admiring is Operations. Today we studied how Vancouver airport had reduced congestion at security checkpoints using concepts that we are currently studying, like throughput, bottleneck etc.

Tomorrow we have to bid for elective courses. This is actually a test run of a new bidding software. This will give a sense of which courses are most sought after. Actual biddings will begin next term onwards. Each of us has 4000 points of beginning balance, which we have to divide between four terms/16 courses. Negotiation Analysis is one course that every student wants, so the bids will be high for that. Rest of them should be average.

Today we also had a session about ELP, which is the internship substitute here. Right after our term break, we have to give preferences of projects we want.

Finally, on Monday we have an entrepreneurship case study on a Chennai, India based company called Alacrity. The founder-CEO will himself be present in the class to give us his perspectives. Now that’s cool.


Tuesday, August 17, 2004

This week and the next are going to be tough. There are lots of assignments to submit, and four business plans to review. Once we get through these difficulties, the end-term exam will greet us.

Today our Finance club started a mock trading session. One of my classmates wrote the software himself. The stock prices are polled live from the actual stock exchanges, and we have to buy or sell stocks and make imaginary money.

Some of the club newsletters have been uploaded to http://www.isb.edu/Newz@Isb/new/aug1004/newz.html , so anyone interested can read them.

I finally dropped out of the tennis lessons due to paucity of time. But I have got a hang of it by now, and can practise it at my leisure later.


Sunday, August 15, 2004

The time since the mid-term exams has been one of the most carefree at ISB. Yesterday early morning (8 am) I got myself up from the bed and pulled my body to the auditorium for the Indo-China talks. The speakers were from McKinsey, Deutsche Bank, McDonald’s, HBS, Planning Commision, etc. Interesting discussions, bringing up the good and bad sides of both India and China. Came to know about Pudong near Shanghai in China, which looks like any other Western city, with great roads, flyovers, skyscrapers etc.

In the night we had a theme party for Indian Independence Day. Everyone was in ethnic wear, dressed to kill. The food was awesome, and the party rocking.

After a long time the Independence Day has fallen on a Sunday. This means New Yorkers will be able to have India Day parade on the 15th itself. I had attended it four times, and every time it was a few days off because it had to be on a Sunday.

Today woke up after 10 am, had a huge breakfast, and realized I had missed Kellogg’s Dean’s address, which was at 9:30 am. Afterwards some of us went to a part of the campus we had never seen – the lake and dam area. It was beautiful. Now after lunch, some of us will spend the lazy afternoon visiting the nearby IIIT (Indian Institute of Information Technology). Hope they have women studying there.

Tonight I will have to get back to the world of Corp Fin, Operations, Accounting and Entrepreneurship. I don’t even know what all needs to be done for Monday.

I wish all weekends at ISB were this fun.


Friday, August 13, 2004

Probably for the first time since coming to ISB, I could attempt all questions in an examination, and that too, I believe, correctly. This was in the Operations Management mid-term today. However, even if I score 99, there would be scores of others who would score 100, relegating me to lower grades.

Corporate Finance was a different story. I was in troubled waters from the first question itself. This is a sign that I am not meant for a Finance career!

Later in the evening, some of us went out to a movie – “I, Robot”. It was brilliant in my opinion. A must-see for all sci-fi and Matrix fans.

Tomorrow I will be attending the India-China conference in our auditorium. There would be big-name speakers, so it will be time well spent.

Got to hit the bed now, had only about 4 hours of sleep in the past 40 hours.


Thursday, August 12, 2004

A new edition of the fortnightly newsletter Newz@ISB is out. You can read it at


Wednesday, August 11, 2004

I came to ISB with the intention of returning to the IT industry. But the marketing class in term 2 was so good that I started having thoughts about a marketing career. Then in term 3 came entrepreneurship, which simply took my breath away. Now I have plans to found my own thing. But tomorrow’s Corporate Finance class will probably get me motivated to work in the most dashing of all careers, Finance. We haven’t had any courses in IT so far. Next term when we have it, I’ll have come a full circle, back to square one. I have a feeling that IT is where I am meant to be, notwithstanding my likings for other fields.

Today we published our student newsletter, Harbinger. I have been receiving good feedback from everyone about it, so all the hard work paid off.

Tomorrow we have mid-term exams, so I am off to studying.


Tuesday, August 10, 2004

One of my classmates, who’s also my neighbor in the student village, just received an admission offer from INSEAD, France for their MBA program. INSEAD is widely believed to be the best MBA program outside the US. He has decided to stay with ISB.


Monday, August 09, 2004

The placement season will begin in January, with Pre-placement talks in Nov and Dec. We are supposed to start working on our resume from now itself. But I still have no clue as to what I want to do after my MBA. I haven’t even thought about what I want to major in. For now my plan is to take tech and marketing and try for business development roles in IT companies, preferably in the US. I also have the option of returning to my company, but it depends on what role I am offered there.
Headed to class now.


Saturday, August 07, 2004

My section lost the cricket and squash inter-section matches as well. Talk about consistency in losing!

Yesterday I was supposed to have given a minister from Maldives a tour of the campus, but had to go to a quiz contest in the city at the same time. Thankfully one of my classmates agreed to do the tour for me, and I could go. I didn’t do too well in the quiz either, so it was a lacklustre day for me.

I submitted my wish list to career services office yesterday. I named a gamut of IT companies, from Accenture to IBM to EDS to CGEY. I will have to do research later on to see which company would be a good fit for me.


Friday, August 06, 2004

Applications for the exchange program with Kellogg and London Business School are due Monday, and am in two minds whether to apply or not. Going there would mean losing out on placements, as the exchange program runs parallel with the recruiting season at ISB. I think I won’t be applying. There would be opportunities later in life for short executive programs at those places.

Next week we have talks by prominent people. The details are available here: http://www.isb.edu/isbwebconf/html/conferences/conferences.html

Since our classes end at 1 pm on Thursdays and start again at 2:30 pm on Mondays, all our weekends this term are long weekends. Yesterday night some of us went to a Hindi movie, “Mujhse Shaadi Karogi”. It was ‘Meet the Parents’ meets ‘Baywatch’. After enduring utter nonsense for three hours, we returned well past midnight. The thing is that the multiplex was not screening any other good movie. It would have been so nice to see The Village, but we have to wait for it to be released in India.

Tomorrow I would be going to the city again to participate in a quiz contest.


Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Hyderabad has become Seattle, as far as rain is concerned. It rains every day now. Thankfully it has brought down the temperatures.

One good news is that one of my batchmates has won a case contest. It’s the All B-School TCS Smart Manager Case contest.

If you guys have any suggestions about the ISB website, let me know. I am on the website team, and would be working on improving the website. One of the things I want to get done is to have a student diary section.


Monday, August 02, 2004

I have really started liking the entrepreneurship classes. The cases studies are very interesting and the professor is great. Today we read about one HBS alum who made a million within a year by selling a TV Guide Trivia game.

We are designing a T-shirt for our section. Two other sections have chosen red and black colors, so we might go for blue.

Yesterday my German classmate took German class for some of us. The only thing I remember now is Guten Abend, meaning Good Evening!
So guten abend, and I’ll catch you later.


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