Thursday, December 30, 2004

Last year around this time I was in Paris. This year in Hyderabad, and I wonder where I would be next year. Tonight we have the father of all parties for celebrating New Year’s eve. Drinks are on the house, so the New Year will start with a hangover.
Some of our batchmates will leave tomorrow to join Kellogg and LBS for the exchange program. From 30 degrees celsius of Hyderabad, they’ll freeze at negative fahrenheits in Chicago area. LBS bound people have been advised to carry umbrellas!

Happy New Year to all!


Tuesday, December 28, 2004

I am applying like crazy to all the tech companies, some fin companies, some consulting companies and some others. I have almost reached the limit of 25 active applications. I guess I should have used discretion in applying.
This term is turning out to be the most relaxed one. The courses I have chosen give me ample time to enjoy life outside studies. So yesterday played badminton for two hours, and killed time chatting with friends. Incidentally I only have one exam this term, that too a very easy one. Tomorrow is the last day of classes for this term.


Monday, December 27, 2004

In the movie American Pie, there is this Eastern European girl student who undresses in front of a web camera, and is seen by the entire campus. That must have been high on her list of most embarrassing moments of life. In the movie she leaves the country permanently after the incident. Well, I too had an embarrassing moment yesterday, albeit of a different nature. We were supposed to download a personal data form, fill it in and attach resume, and then upload it to the site of KPMG in order to apply for their job posting. However, there was a bug in their site, which allowed the whole world to download the last uploaded form and resume. Unaware of this, I had uploaded my documents early in the night. After an hour I started getting calls from my batchmates about the blunder I had done. I immediately overwrote my document with a dummy one, but it was too late – probably half the campus had downloaded it by then. My personal data, including information about my parents, was now public! I now empathize with that American Pie girl, and wish I could leave the country and may be join her in Eastern Europe.

One of my batchmates has started a new blog, check it out at http://onmarinasandsinfullmoon.blogspot.com/


Friday, December 24, 2004

In the past four days, I have applied to four jobs in four different industries – tech, mgmt consulting, banking and general management. Intention is to talk to these people to explore the opportunities for MBAs in these industries.
Went out to the city tonight to unwind. Saw Ocean’s 12. Did some shopping for the interview season. And ate at Subway.
Time to listen to 12 Days of Christmas.


Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Finally all the PPTs are over. It was like an extra course this term.
Yesterday the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh visited ISB. Security forces were all over the campus. Instead of listening to him speak, I spent the time in the café chatting with friends. The President of India is supposed to be visiting next week, I’ll attend that.
The courses I took for next term are Capital Raising Strategies for Corporations, IT Enabled Services and Supply Chain Management. I am on my way to a Fin-Tech major, but I think I still have scope of changing it to Fin-Mktg by taking more Mktg courses in last term.
Placement policy this time restricts the number of job offers per student to 2. In addition, we can only have 25 active applications at any time. With so many good companies on campus, choosing which ones to apply to and which to finally join will be tough.
My interview with GS went well, and I have been short listed for the third and final round of interview. This will again be a telephone interview with their NY office in early Jan. Nothing like working for GS, so looking forward to it.


Monday, December 20, 2004

Have been short listed for second round of interview with Goldman Sachs! It’s going to be a telephone interview tomorrow evening. Looking forward to it!
Attended only one PPT today, that of Office Tiger. The CEO himself came to make the presentation. He’s an MBA from Harvard Business School, and was working with GS before starting this venture. The job would be one with lots of responsibility, and we will have to lead a team of about 200 graduates/CAs/MBAs/equity analysts right away. Within five years we would be among the top 5 people in the company. Looks promising.
Boston Consulting Group’s deadline is tomorrow I think, so need to work on the cover letter for them. Most of the other deadlines are on the 28th of December.
Bidding of next term’s courses happened today, and I got the ones I wanted. Now I have to start forming study groups.
Those of us who worked as volunteers for Poseidon, Solstice and ILS have been invited for a dinner with the deputy dean on the 23rd. The deputy dean also jokingly offered me a job – to join ISB, but he said he cannot pay me like GS!


Sunday, December 19, 2004

Fidelity, IBM, Computer Sciences Corporation and Mahindra British Telecom – these are the four PPTs I attended today. It was an overdose of PPTs, but thankfully tomorrow is the last day for these presentations. I think there are more than 10 scheduled for tomorrow. Some of the big names for tomorrow are Novartis, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley etc. Will probably end up attending at least two tomorrow. We also need to decide on slotting of companies for interviews – which companies to invite on day 1 and so on. IBM and Microsoft will likely be the day 1 companies for tech, McK and ATK for consulting and so on.

It’s close to Christmas, and I can picture the festive atmosphere in the US and elsewhere. I wonder if it would be a white Christmas in NY this year. Thankfully here in Hyd we don’t have to worry about cleaning layers of snow from our cars during this time. In fact, wearing a T-shirt outdoors is enough right now, we don’t even need any winter clothing. All good things come to an end, and so will our ISB stay. I have a feeling I will be shoveling snow this time next year somewhere in the US.


Saturday, December 18, 2004

GE, Nokia, AT Kearney, Kanbay, Bank of America, Citibank, Castrol, TCS…the PPT list goes on. These days there are 5-6 PPTs each day. Since we will be out of placement process after two job offers, it is important to choose carefully the companies to apply to.
I am on the ISB Admissions Application Review team, so am supposed to be reviewing applications. Hadn’t done any for last few days, so did a bunch of them yesterday. All the applicants seem to be strong, at least the ones I have been reviewing. I think there is some kind of self-selection going on, wherein only the most accomplished people end up applying.
Went out to Pizza Hut tonight for dinner with friends. Wanted to go to Ocean’s 12 as well, but couldn’t. Instead, got a dvd of Snatch from the library and watched it at home.


Friday, December 17, 2004

Good to be back in campus. Bangalore has deteriorated since my last visit there few years ago. Too much traffic, crumbling infrastructure and a very small airport terminal. The experience was made worse by flight delays. Anyway, the GS interview was refreshing. It was mostly off the resume.
Missed Google’s PPT yesterday. They were giving away free T-shirts to everyone who attended! Deloitte also had a PPT yesterday. In fact these days there are almost 4-5 PPTs in the same evening every day. I am planning to attend Infosys PPT tonight, and may be also Kanbay.


Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Nothing to report. I am all set for the interview tomorrow in Bangalore. Meanwhile applied to a company called Sierra Atlantic, which was looking for account managers for their US operations. Mindtree Consulting is also looking for similar roles in the US, and I might apply.


Monday, December 13, 2004

I have been busy preparing for the interview. But also found time to attend the alumni get-together called Solstice. We had a rocking party until 6 in the morning on Friday, and a rock show by the band Euphoria on Saturday.
Meanwhile the press release that I had written for the ILS got published in papers like Economic Times and Hindu. It was an experience in itself to send the reports to them within minutes of the Summit getting over.
Meanwhile, many computers in the campus have been infected with the sasser virus. I am taking my laptop to the IT department tomorrow!


Friday, December 10, 2004

I skipped the dinner with the CEO, as I got busy with the ILS website at that time. ILS is the ISB Leadership Summit that was held today. I was fully involved in the website for it, which you can view at www.isbleadershipsummit.com . You can also see pics and event report by visiting www.isb.edu .
This year Goldman Sachs had posted an IT position too, based in London. I had applied for it, and was surprised to get a call today inviting me for an interview. Two of my closest friends got the call too. The interview will be in Bangalore on Dec 16th, and they’ll pay for the flight. Well, I’ll try my luck! My first MBA interview, that too with GS – my dream company!


Thursday, December 09, 2004

Attended PPTs by Cognizant Technologies and Satyam Computers. They were as boring as any other PPT. Both of them are ready to hire as many as possible, for various roles, and negotiable salaries. I don’t feel like applying to Satyam, but will probably apply to Cognizant.
I am among a handful of students selected to dine with the CEO of vCustomer tonight. I would have preferred to dine with some lady instead, but will go ahead – he might have a daughter too!
Then later tonight there are two PPTs – Sasken and ICICI Prudential. If I have nothing better to do, I might drop in at those too.
Tomorrow is ISB Leadership Summit. I have been involved in it to some extent, and currently working on fine-tuning its website. Weekend is Solstice, which is the annual alumni reunion. There is a soccer match between current students and alums at the adjacent Gachibowli stadium, parties and stuff.
I still carry all my US credit cards, hoping that my credit history will not suffer. But in India it’s best to use Indian cards, so I applied for an ICICI-ISB card. There is a pic of ISB on the card, so it made sense to go for it. This weekend ICICI will come out with another card for ISB Alums. Cool!


Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Have been unable to get time to do ISB application reviews so far, hope to do a few tomorrow.
Attended PPTs by Amazon.com and Computer Associates. It’s hard to decide which companies to apply to, and which to finally join. Anyway, I applied to a stretch company today – Goldman Sachs. They are probably laughing at my resume right now.


Saturday, December 04, 2004

Had a very embarrassing situation today. The six sigma training turned out to be a damp squib, and a couple of us were showering the choicest abuses on the instructor when we were in the restroom. Suddenly we realized there was someone in the stall, and out came the instructor himself. The next hour of training was spent trying to avoid eye contact with him!
Attended an Admissions meeting today, where application evaluation criteria was discussed. Have to get cracking on the applications from Monday.
Due to the training, I missed Verizon’s PPT, where alum Ramki had come. In the evening went out to a friend’s place for home-cooked Bengali dinner. That’s it for tonight. Have a long day ahead of me tomorrow.


Friday, December 03, 2004

Applied Portfolio Management class today talked about arbitrage opportunities in the company RJR Nabisco. This company keeps coming up in many Fin courses because of its famous Leveraged Buy Out. If you haven’t seen the movie Barbarians at the Gate, see it to get a sense of the drama behind this company’s LBO. In fact, many professors became seriously rich using arbitrage opportunities that they were able to spot.
McKinsey’s PPT was pretty good, as one would expect from them. Their average work hours are 60-70 a week, which is less than in investment banks. In any case an MBA prepares us to work endlessly, so working 70 hours would be a respite for us. We were also provided high tea after the presentation, and given a McK logoed coffee mug. I have a feeling this is my last brush with this company, although they said they would also look at people not in top 5% of the class.
Tomorrow we have Verizon and ITC Infotech lined up. I am going to miss both because of Six Sigma training and dinner engagement. I have this Six Sigma Green Belt training all day Sat and Sun. Conducted by KPMG, it is a paid program not related to ISB, but conducted at ISB for those interested.


Wednesday, December 01, 2004

PPTs galore! Attended Yahoo’s ppt today. CEO of Yahoo India himself gave the presentation. Microsoft is tomorrow. McKinsey is day after and so on. Almost every day there is at least one PPT.
So while the courses this time are light, it is still difficult to find time. I had beaten a batchmate in badminton, and he had challenged me to a game of tennis. This was one month ago, we are yet to find the time to play each other.
One of the courses this time, Tech Ent, has pretty interesting case studies. Last class was about the rise of eBay, while the next one will be on amazon.
Negotiation is also a useful course. A good way to negotiate is to use trade-offs and focus on the relative importance of issues. For example, when Israel and Egypt met at Camp David, both wanted ownership of Sinai, and thus there was a deadlock in the talks. However, the negotiation was resolved when both parties gained a better understanding of their underlying interests – land ownership for Egypt and military security for Israel. The solution that emerged traded off these two issues – Israel returned Sinai to Egypt in exchange for assurances of a demilitarized zone.
There is also the concept of BATNA (Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement). If you know what the fallback option is, you can bargain keeping that in mind. Then there is the theory of anchor price. If you start bargaining from a very high price, you are likely to get a better deal. All this stuff will help not only in salary and corporate negotiations but also in regular life going ahead.


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