Tuesday, June 29, 2004

The Feel Good factor

I am feeling pretty good this term and even my friends feel so. Excellent Profs, Interesting ubjects, lot of free time, Interesting Markstrat game and No strangling assignments ... It is the profs who decide the fate of the term. Usually profs who teach excellently don't trouble students with intimidating assignments. We have one assignment this term but that can be done in pairs and the assignment is also designed to be interesting. Overall ... A great Term !! We are relaxed - still learning is pretty good.

Placom Representative

I was elected as the Placom rep in the re-election. I should try to do my best to build the image of the ISB in terms of placements.

I am giving some of my election campaign mails below:


Saturday, June 26, 2004

Election results were out and I am in tie with other candidate. Reelections are over and the results may be out by Monday.

Grades are out for Marketing and Accounting and I am just average ! I have got good marks in individual assignments but group assignments lowered my grade in Marketing! At the same time, I am bad in Accounting and group assignments saved me ! Thats the trade off!

This term was very relaxing but now grades would send energy waves to students to start studying ! The mid-term is on Thursday !

Yesterday, there was a talk by Deepak Jain! All I could say is "very impressive"! He was supposed to be the dean of ISB but Kellogg lured him by making him the dean of kellogg. ISB has lost a very good dean !

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Though this term is supposed to be as hectic as the last term, I have started relaxing. Yesterday, I was just sitting and watching TV. I am also noticing that most of the students have started relaxing. They might have understood that running like this till the end of the year is not a good strategy. This week might be free and next week comes the mid-term. We have mid-term for only one subject, Macro Economics.

When I say free or relaxing, don't assume that students are having a good 8 hours sleep. Markstrat takes care that students spend most of the time in it. The advantage in Markstrat is that though you put a lot of time in it, it won't be as tiring or boring as going through the book.

Monday, June 21, 2004

Sorry Gentleman ! I was so busy yesterday with Markstrat that I was not able to blog. Even the simplest decisions require hell a lot of time as everyone in the group has to be convinced. In my group, we have a good understanding and so even if we fight like wrestlers during the discussions, it does not affect relationships. I don't know how it goes in other groups.

I sent a mail yesterdar for election campaign. I came up with three different mails and asked my friends to choose one. They opted for the simplest one and I sent it. The mail just had two lines. The subject of the mail was "I was Pregnant!" Inside the mail, there was a photo of a pregnant man (yes man!) with caption "Have conceived many ideas! Give me a chance to deliver !!". Lets see whether this campaign works !! The screenprint of the mail can be found in "http://us.share.geocities.com/sujayath/campaignmail.bmp".

Saturday, June 19, 2004

Yesterday I slept at 4:00 AM. As expected, the Markstrat discussion went on and on and finally we made some decisions at 3:30 AM ( We started at 7:00 PM). Our group lacks experienced candidates in operations and so we almost have to reinvent each and every concept.

I have decided to stand for election as Placement Committee representative. We will have 12 representatives and there are 27 contestants. I wanted to be in Placement or Admissions committee as these are the two aspects that decide the ISB brand image. I think I can contribute to ISB more if I am in these committees.

Class participation is becoming a head-ache for me. For example, Competitive Strategy has 25% marks for CP (Class participation) and so each and everyone wants to speak something in the class. Mostly it ends up with the same point repeated 4 or 5 times and students giving very vague and very evident comments. This is reducing the energy level in the class.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Yesterday there was a session on how to use the MARKSTRAT software. It is a simulation game where the students compete against each other and this constitutes significant portion of the grade. Seniors have warned that this game is addictive and could consume a lot of time. My groupies are so enthusiastic about the game and I can see sleepless nights awaiting me. Yet I see this as an interesting platform to test our competitive skills without causing much damage (Grade damage is there but we can afford it). Lets see how it goes.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

What to get out of MBA?

Somehow I have landed in the MBA land, without having much idea of what to get out of this MBA. I was never a die-hard MBA aspirant, but just landed here by accident. Students who were dreaming of their MBA from their school days might enjoy the learning here. I am still contemplating about what to get out of this MBA.

Atleast after one term, I should have got an idea of what MBA tries to convey to me. This MBA has taught me the art of being with books. Even when I watch TV, I have a book in my lap. MBA has taught me the art of regretting. I chat and watch TV for one hour and regret about it for two hours. MBA has taught me the art of raising hands. I should say it is trying to teach me the art of raising hands. Even when the prof coughs, students raise their hands and try to explain the reason why he coughed. Still, I am very naive at this art. I don't raise my hand even when I know what the answer is. I should change this behaviour in this term atleast. MBA has taught me the art of using Buzzwords. Good example -> Some yesterday told me - "You have illusion of control. Don't stick to your prior hypothesis belief. Try to change your locus of control".

What has MBA taught me in this one term? It has changed my thought process. It has made me realize that it is not the outcome that is important, but the way how we reach that outcome is important. I believe this is the valuable lesson I get out of MBA. I have learned to question the basic assumptions. This forms the basis for any out-of-box thinking. I have started analyzing whatever I read in magazine or watch in TV and try to find the reason behind it. MBA has taught me to give importance to thought process and this lesson is what I learned in the first term.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Second Term Starts ...

The first class was by Jagmohan Raju from Wharton. The first class was impressive. But that doesn't mean no one slept in the class. While asking questions in the class, he displayed the photo of the student in the screen to whom the question is targetted. His chronological way of connecting warfare with Porter impressed me. His class has raised expectations for this term.

Whats the deal with "700+"

I think I confused you with my previous post while talking about GMAT score. What I meant was there are candidates with good GMAT scores (say 700+) but with less impressive Extra curriculars or leadership aspects. ISB mostly rejects these candidates however high the score is (Say 750+). Now with increased intake, ISB cannot do the same as it needs high GMAT score to sustain the average at 690. I never meant that 750+ are not preferred.Of course, they are preferred but they too have to show some extra-curricular aspects.

Monday, June 14, 2004

And Now Padmaja Leaves...
After the shocking news of Vinoo leaving, we received the next shock that Padmaja is also leaving. For those who don't know - Vinoo and Padmaja did the entire screening and interview for admissions till last year. There was a farewell party for them yesterday night.

The hottest debate going on in the campus is whether the increased intake is the reason for adcom people leaving. I met an alumni yesterday who said that they tried to convince the management not to increase the intake, but all in vain.

Yesterday I read an article in Business World about Great Lakes Institute of Management coming up in Chennai. The article was criticizing ISB for investing too much in infrastructure and passing the financial burden to the students. I have personally visited the institute in Chennai, spoke with the dean and deputy dean there. Though I am a well wisher of that Institute ( Two reasons - I like Bala and I love Chennai), at this point of time, the institute is barely an attraction for quality MBA aspirants. The article noted that the best faculty who visited the campus on the first and second year are not coming this year. It hardly matters to us. For me, the faculty list is impressive this year and the new professors (visiting ISB for the first time) who came for the first term, especially the Stats profs did a tremendous job.

The second term starts today. I have afternoon classes. The first class is by Jagmohan Raju. He has been voted the best prof for the core courses last year. I am eagerly awaiting his class.

Saturday, June 12, 2004

Intake 420?

The management wants to increase the intake to more than 400, likely to be 420. The number is not fixed - It would vary depending on the number of applications. The fee is not likely to be raised.

I would have said that the number will be 420 and fee will not be raised but this one and half month course has taught me to use the words such as "likely" and "probably".

Personally, I don't feel ISB is ready to increase the intake at this dramatic rate. Infrastructure wise, yes, ISB can handle far more than 400. Faculty - they can hire more visiting faculty. But the issue is quality placements. Just because the intake is 420, Mckinsey or Goldman is not going to hire in bunch of 20 or 30. Most of the extra intake would be going to companies such as Infosys or TCS, who do bulk recruiting. I am not saying that these companies are inferior, but the ISB should first prove itself by increasing the average salary, international placements etc before increasing the intake.

The management had to increase either fee or intake and it has decided to increase the latter. But management has made sure that if the number of applications is not as high as expected, the intake would be reduced. The happy part is that probably there would be no fee hike.

My worry is that the ISB should not become a haven for all those with 700+ GMAT. ISB has rejected many applications with 750+ GMAT and that privilege should not be sacrificed for increased intake.

The good news for us is that there will be more effort towards placements as they have to prove that the school can guarantee 400+ placements. I hope this year there would be more international placements as they have assigned a separate manager for International Placements. I am not interested in international placements but it is necessary to build the brand name.

MBA aspirants who read my blog can give their thoughts whether the increase in intake would have any negative effect on ISB brand.

The link not working..

The blog whose link is not working was supposedly found to contain some harmful information about the ISB girls and the anonymous author has deleted the blog owing to threats from the ISB patriots.

Friday, June 11, 2004

Vinoo Urs Leaves the ISB

Vinoo Urs, the Director of Admissions, is leaving the ISB. He would be looking after his family business. I can understand that his family members would be missing him as he has to keep travelling all the time starting from October till April. I admire his commitment and dedication. He makes sure that each and every student entering the ISB is diverse, capable and mature. Lets wish him good luck for his new ventures.

With Vinoo leaving and with the responsibility of hiring 420 students next year, Admissions department would have a tough time.

What is the strength of ISB?

Many of my friends ask me this question. There are good answers such as Visiting Faculty from premier Bschools, Diverse students but the best answer would be "System". In ISB, there is a system in place for everything.

CAS, Library, Admission, House keeping, IT - every department has a well-built system. You go to a library staff and ask about a book at 2:00 AM in the night, he will search for the book, explain the key features of the book and recommend other books in that area. CAS team initiates discussions with you, help you in identifying the career path suitable for you and helps you in achieving that. There is a system for inviting visiting faculty.

This system ensures that the ISB is not dependent on any individual. Even if Vinoo leaves, this system gives hope that his leaving would not affect next year’s admissions.

There is a professional touch in everything and every staff behaves professionally. But the students here don't match the professionalism that staffs have. Students coming late, murmuring in the class, forgetting to switch off cell phones etc do happen in the ISB. Many have realized that these activities could spoil the student image and have sent mails asking the students to maintain the professionalism. Lets see how the next term goes.

Other Blogs from ISB

There is no particular profile that HSBC was interested in while short listing for scholarships. The short listed candidates are from diverse backgrounds ranging from IT to Finance.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

A Fine Morning ...

I went for a walk and didn't return that day. I went to a friend's room and was seeing some movies. Suddenly, there was a heavy downpour and I couldn't return to my room. There was a party amidst the rain. Guys and Gals were drenching in the rain, shouting and enjoying. A lot of booze was keeping the energy up.

Yesterday, HSBC shortlisted 16 students for their scholarship interview. Two of 16 students will be offerred full scholarship. They have to sign a three year bond with them. The job will be on commercial banking side.

I am watching a lot of movies. Yesterday I watched "A few Dollars More" and "Vertigo". Today I have got "Lion King". Our Library has a good collection of DVDs.

I got up early today. Sitting near the window just staring at the birds with nothing to do was a dream for me. It has come true today.

There are some five or six blogs from ISB students. One of the blogs had some harmful content about the ISB girls and it was creating a turmoil last weekend.

Thats it for now. Let me enjoy this morning.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

< Good Bye Term 1>

Finally, the first term comes to an end. The next term starts from Monday. Most of the students are leaving for their home town but I have preferred to stay.

One line about today's exams - Today's stat exam was very easy. Marketing was a bouncer.

I have to mention about the stats professor, Rakesh Vohra, from Kellogg. I admire his teaching style very much. When I am in his class, I feel what it means to be at the ISB. I never studied for the exam and it was not required. Thanks Rakesh !

I will go for a walk around the campus, relax and will continue the blog after coming back.

Monday, June 07, 2004

A disaster and a Relaxed day

Today evening was pretty relaxed. I and my friends were roaming around the campus and were chatting amidst the rocks. Now time is 10:15 PM and I am yet to start studying for Tomorrow's exams.

What about today's exams ? I did economics pretty well than expected. Accounting was a bouncer. Two of four questions were so tough. It was an open book exam and I spent most of the time reading the chapters which I haven't read before. I felt bad to write answers which I was sure to be wrong. But I didn't have anyother way to kill time and fill sheets. These questions were supposed to be in the MIT end-term exam and were removed at the last minute as the prof thought it was too difficult. Poor ISBians had to solve them in the test.

I personally prefer tough exams than easier ones, though I suffer a lot in the exam hall.

Thursday, June 03, 2004

I wanted to blog once before I start my exam preparation. There are four subjects to study and three days left. On my engineering days, i used to hate the exam days. Here, it doesn't make much difference. In fact, I am more relaxed now than on other days.

I had a meeting yesterday with the admissions committee as an IT focus group member. I cannot disclose the subjects discussed but one news is that the ISB intake next year would be 420. Its a good news for next year aspirants as the number of seats have increased. I think there will not be any fee hike for next year. Again all these are unofficial.

In the meeting and also in many other situations, the question of comparison with IIM arises. I have my own reasons for favouring the ISB but elaborating about that could add bias to my blog. But I want to clarify about the high fee charged here. For those earning a fairly good salary, opportunity cost at IIM would be more than in ISB. In addition, the ISB gives one year additional experience when compared with two year MBAs.

Is one year sufficient for MBA ? We had a debate over these in Leadership Development class. I will write about that discussion, more about LDP class, and about "Seven Samurai", a movie screened in the LDP class etc after my exams.

I gotta run ...

Note: I know that I make hell a lot of spelling and grammar mistakes in my blog. From the next time, I will make sure to read once before posting.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Term 1 is over by Tomorrow

I am planing to bunk the class today. I have an assignment to be completed before today afternoon. I could have done it yesterday but I was in a relaxed mood then and so were my friends. We spent the entire day roaming around the campus, speaking about the childhood days, girls we came across etc etc. The exams are on Monday and Tuesday and still I don't know how I am going to make through it !!