Thursday, March 31, 2005

This is possibly my last post as an ISB student. It was one great year, and I have mixed feelings now as I leave this place. But one has to move on in life.
Thanks everyone for keeping up with my story, the ups and downs and the academic pressures and the late-night parties. The number of site visits has crossed the 30,000 mark – all of you visitors were very much a part of this ISB experience, though only through the web.


Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Today is Graduation Dinner. Time to bring out suits.
Meanwhile I got another offer from Wipro, this time for UK as Senior Business Analyst. The work would be to grow an existing account. But I am still in favor of Cognizant. I hope Cognizant lives up to my expectations!
I have decided to join Cognizant on the 18th of April itself. Would try to keep this blog updated at least weekly after joining work. Between now and then, I would be very irregular in blogging though.


Sunday, March 27, 2005

Chennai it is. Cognizant wants me to join them in Chennai on 18th April. I have requested them once again for Kolkata, and for a joining date in May. I think postponement of joining date will be possible, but not the location. So here I come Chennai!
My last exam will be in a few hours from now. That will wrap up my ISB educational experience. There will only be parties after that. My folks will join me on Wednesday, so eagerly looking forward to it. We also have our graduation dinner at a hotel here on Wednesday. This week is going to be crazy.


Thursday, March 24, 2005

Classes at ISB are over. No more classes! Today was the last. Don’t know whether to be happy or sad. I have an exam on Monday, but there is no preparation required for it. So I am basically done with my MBA!
Haven’t given it a thought as to what I will do here until I leave. Rather than meticulously plan my days, I will leave it to spur of the moment decisions. For instance, today I had planned to go swimming and then go out for dinner, but instead spent my time playing badminton, tennis and squash.
Yesterday also I decided to go to my section party at the very last minute. It was in a place called Dhola-ri-Dhani, which has a Rajasthani setting. They had cots under the sky, which afforded a view of the night sky. It felt so good to lie down and watch the stars!
The interview experience session was a flop show for me. I thought I was doing a good job giving great tips on how to bag IT jobs at ISB. When I finished speaking, I turned to the cameraman signaling him to stop recording. To my amazement, he had fallen asleep! Either he had a good lunch, or my lecture was boring enough. I have a feeling it’s the latter, because it was irrelevant for him. Anyway, now I know how difficult it is for professors to keep the class interesting.


Tuesday, March 22, 2005

10 days to graduation…and counting.

The dinner cruise organized by Admissions was great. But something very stupid happened on our way there. A bus was supposed to pick us up from ISB to take us there, and unknown to us, there was another bus at ISB to pick up the executive education people for some other destination. We thought it’s our bus, and had traveled quite some distance when the fuming director of exec education called up the driver. We had to return to campus because it was their bus. Our bus apparently had been canceled but nobody had informed us! We later took cabs.

Yesterday while shopping at the local convenience store, I was speechless for a moment when I saw Kleenex toilet tissue on display. I had to read the label to make sure it was not a fake. It’s amazing that we now have brands like Kleenex, Sun-maid Raisins, V8 vegetable juice and Gatorade, among others, available in India. Except for size, there is not much difference between Indian supermarkets and their US counterparts these days.

I will not be coming for orientation for next batch students, the reason being I am getting only one month break, which I want to spend with my family. However I might drop in for a day or two.

Tomorrow I will be videotaped by the placement office while I explain how I prepared for placement. These interview experiences will be used to help next batch students.

One of our profs, Jagmohan Raju, is currently teaching Marketing at Wharton, and is one of the most popular profs there. He uses a method of photo cold calling in Wharton (as well as at ISB), wherein a student’s photo will be shown on the board and that student will have to answer a question. Today another prof here took it one level further by cold calling a student who had not come to class. This student was telephoned from class and asked a question, while the rest of us listened in on speaker phone! It was just for fun though, and we enjoyed it so much!


Saturday, March 19, 2005

D-Day report, which is partly written by me, is now available at http://www.isb.edu/campussbuzz1/newz_dday.htm . Still to get the Goa report out, and there’s a new one on Net Impact’s activities that needs to be written about. Also have to bring out the last edition of Business Tech Club’s newsletter. Since there is no more studying to do except to attend a few classes, I guess I can take care of these write-ups.
The Admissions Team is taking some of us who helped with application evaluation to a cruise dinner on Monday night. It pays to volunteer for such activities!
As far as city of work is concerned, Chennai should be my first preference as that is where CTS is headquartered, meaning I get more exposure to top management. Also, my fellow batchmates who will be joining CTS will also opt for Chennai, so I will have company. Kolkata will not have anyone from my batch. But I have still given Kolkata as my first choice to CTS HR. Let’s see where I finally work. In any case, the HR said that I will be placed in the US within 3 months of joining. Although I don’t trust anything that HR says, the alums in CTS also confirmed this, so I shouldn’t bother too much about the city I am allotted.
Tonight there is a jam session at the student village. I heard them practicing on the drums, and was amazed at the talent we have here. And tomorrow morning we celebrate Holi!
Still deciding whether to go out to the city tonight or to stay put here and spend the time at the recreation center. Probably the latter.


Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Got hold of Brimful of Asha by Cornershop after a long time. Last time I heard this was in a disco in Boston about five years ago. I wonder what the band is up to these days.
I have been assigned with the task of writing something about the current mood on campus and the activities going on. This will be sent to the incoming batch. Writer’s block has made me look for others who can do it, but so far no luck.
This Friday I would be done with all my assignments and one end-term exam. Life will be cruising peacefully after that until graduation.
I still don’t know which city I would be working in. I was told that if I have a strong preference for any city, I will get it. But I can’t decide between Kolkata and Chennai.

Quote of the day: 42.7 percent of all statistics are made up on the spot


Sunday, March 13, 2005

We have received instructions to get our no-dues form signed by various departments, and to also get laptops formatted towards the end of this month. It serves as a gentle reminder that our days here are numbered. Life will be so different just a month from now. It will be back to basics – 9 to 5 Mon to Fri jobs, driving through city traffic, watching TV at home and making all new friends in the new company. One has to move on in life.
Current Mood: Poignant
Current Music: MLTR – That’s Why You Go Away


Friday, March 11, 2005

There is a circular road around the academic center here at ISB. This road is one-way, but you would almost everyday see vehicles going the wrong way at breakneck speeds. An accident is waiting to happen. The road sign was displayed at such a place that many vehicles missed it. So I spoke to the deputy dean about it. He asked the operations people to get it fixed as per my suggestions immediately. I used this opportunity to push for US style road signs and painting of shoulders etc. I don’t think all my wishes can be implemented, but at least the one-way problem should get fixed, thanks to the responsive administration.
Of course as soon as we step out of ISB campus, traffic rules go for a toss. One way or not, traffic will be coming at you from every possible direction. Thankfully there are still no accidents because of the low speeds of the vehicles.
These days I am inundated with case studies. Had to read three cases today, all of which require write-ups to be submitted. Enjoyed two of them, Booz Allen & Hamilton and Cathay Pacific. But the third one was on a ceramic company, a good contender for the title of the most boring case ever. Still got time to play a few badminton games and to watch the movie, Girl Next Door.
Tomorrow night we have a beer and kebab party at ISB. So my plans to go out to the city nightclubs on a Saturday night will have to wait one more week.
Have an 8:30 am class in the morning, that too on a Saturday!


Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Attended a two hour meeting today with the powers-that-be of ISB to discuss the admissions strategy for the class of 2007. Two of my suggestions were noted, one of which is to tie-up with the Indian Army to get quality military applicants, and the second is to place online ads in places like businessweek.com until we enter ourselves into rankings.
Also looked at the statistics of the class of 2006, and was happy to note all-round improvements, be it the average GMAT score, the number of applicants or the number of women.


Monday, March 07, 2005

As predicted, we lost the semi final match by a big margin, that too when the state level player was limping due to an injury. They deserve to be in the finals.
Today in one class we had a case discussion on ITC’s e-choupal case, and the CIO of ITC himself showed up in class to give his insights. The next case is on Infosys, and then on Wipro.
Incidentally, last week Wipro offered me the role of Business Analyst within their Microsoft account, to be based out of Seattle. It was a long term onsite role that needed to be filled immediately after I graduated from here. I declined the offer for a couple of reasons, one being I wish to work in the NYC region, not West Coast. The other reason of course is my desire to work on biz development, while this role had only 30% account mining component.
In the latest crash tests in Detroit, most small cars fared poorly. Only two small cars, Toyota Corolla and Chevy Cobalt performed well enough to earn the second highest rating of “acceptable”. The worst small car was Dodge Neon. Corolla is already in India, while Cobalt will soon be here. I am sure their marketing team would be working overtime on emphasizing the safety factor in their future ads.
I don’t have any class tomorrow, so I can peacefully watch cricket all day.


Sunday, March 06, 2005

Four days just went by. The amount of unread emails is still unmanageable. The only thing I have done is to play, play and play some more. We won the first round of Men’s doubles in badminton, but lost in second round to a batchmate who has played at national level. I am happy we won at least one game against him in the best-of-three match.
Today was mixed doubles, where we narrowly beat one team to enter the semifinals. The semifinal is against someone who has played at state level, and the final would be against another national level player. I am sure I will lose the semifinals, the only thing I am concerned about is by how big a margin!
Saturday night I had big plans. We were to first have dinner in a place called Copper Chimney, then head to a pub, Ten Downing Street, for coffee, and finally to the discotheque T2 in Taj Krishna for drinks and music. But eventually only the first pit stop could be accomplished. Will try next Saturday again.
My two weeks in Chennai after graduation might be cut short by a week as I might go to Singapore with my family for a short visit. Have to start looking at travel websites for things to see there.


Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Yesterday was extremely busy, I had to read three cases and finish two assignments, all in the space of 24 hours. I also squeezed in badminton playing time somehow. And today I had to attend three classes, one of which was in the evening from 7-9 pm. Again included badminton in my schedule! There is an intra-ISB badminton competition from tomorrow, so looking forward to some intense games. I am pretty sure of losing in first round in mixed doubles, but men’s double should be a different story.
Next four days I have no classes, so will be able to catch up with my last couple of days’ unread emails, which currently stand at about 600, mostly thanks to yahoo group mails.


Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Uploaded couple of b’day pics.


Post Dunking


Beer bath


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