Wednesday, September 29, 2004

New Admission Policy

There are a lot of debates going on about new admission policy of accepting applications with CAT and GRE. I personally think this is a good policy. More number of aspirants will apply to ISB is they don't have the high application fee of 5000 and GMAT fee of 10000. The application fee has been reduced now and GMAT can be taken after getting the conditional admission. This will give more incentives to the aspirants.

Regarding the question on fees:

Books - We will be provided with the course material for all the courses. But in addition, we may have to purchase extra books also. We may have to buy 2 or 3 books per term. Some students also xerox the books though I don't prefer that.

Pay-per-meal - I don't have any idea what it could cost. My guess would be Rs 60 for breakfast and Rs 100 for Lunch and Dinner. Please don't take the figures as such. Just my guess.

Friday Movies

One of our professor, Johan Talbott, teaching Government, Society and Business arranges for movies every Friday. We had Sea-Biscuit, Master and the Commander and some office documentaries (comedy). This week we have Moulin Rouge.

Infrequent blogs

I understand that I am not blogging frequently. I will try to write more frequently. In addition, if you are tired of checking my blogs for updates, just mail me with the subject "Blog Update". I will send you mail whenever the blog is updated. This will save you from checking my blog for updates.

Friday, September 24, 2004

Next Year Admissions

This year ISB has come up with many surprises for the next year admissions. Main surprise is the decision to accept GRE and allowing applicants with CAT score. Applicants with CAT score will be given conditional offer that they have to take GMAT and get above 680. Fee structure has changed though the fee as such has not. Deadlines are earlier compared to the previous years. The number of admits will be 320 next year. Best of luck for the applicants and mail me for any clarifications / help (Don't try to get me in messenger - Please contact via mail).

My advice is to take GMAT as early as possible and apply ASAP. Mostly, the ISB admissions dept doesn't wait till the deadline to process the applications. They do it as and when they receive them.

Note : You can read my GMAT story from the link given below archives section.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Is it that difficult to Focus at this point of time?

It's a good question by Lee. Infact as a placement committee representative, I am persuading guys to make up their mind about their careers. I am focused on software and some of my friends who want to shift to finance also have already made their mind and are working hard on accumulating finance knowledge. There is no question on whether to focus. Focus is necessary to land on the dream job. I have eliminated finance career options (though I will take fin elective). I have also eliminated marketing but now the question is whether I have properly researched the marketing career options before deciding that it is not suitable for me. In sum, I am a software guy going back to IT. The previous blog was written in a state of confusion.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Experiential Learning Projects

At ISB, the ELPs are equivalent to the summer projectsof 2-year BSchools. The only difference is that the project will be done in the campus. Students bid for the ELPs they are interested in. I have got a proejct from Altair Engineering on marketing their Grid Computing Product.

My friends advise me that I am a guy suitable for marketing. They want me to focus on marketing rather than software companies. I was a guy focused on software industry from my school days. My friends' argument is that my creativity and reasoning skills would be more valuable in marketing and that marketing could give me more visibility than the software companies do. This has not persuaded me to shift my focus but atleast I have started thinking about it

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Spicing up the Resume ...

I think I shouldn't have used the word "spicing up". Anyway, what I meant was, to make the resume different so that the recruiter atleast sees it with a "What's This" factor. Have you heard the story of someone sending resume to Microsoft with a Giant Size cut-out ? And of course, he was short-listed.

Grades - Should they matter?

If there is an association against grades, I would be the first person to enroll in it. I am fed up of the arbit CPs and Exam fevers just for Grades. In US, ALL THE TOP BSCHOOLS have grade non-disclosure policy. Note that this is not a school policy (Even ISB has this policy in school level), but student policy. That is, Students will not disclose their grades to recruiters at any circumstances.

One argument against that is ISB is relatively new school and it lacks the bargaining power the US Bschools have. Are recruiters so immature to question a policy that has been put-forth by both school and students.

What is the advantage of not having grades? I am not going to elaborate on this. Think in this direction - If grades are not there, what will the mature students concentrating on?

Some links on grade policies ...



Harvard ( Please see the link to recruitment policies)

Berkeley HAAS

Chicago GSB
(Note that Chicago GSB has adopted nondisclosure policy this year ->

Kellogg – The only Exception

Even in Kellogg, you can find the grade nondisclosure initiative for this year ->

Saturday, September 11, 2004

As I have already said, this term has only one theory subject - Investment Analysis and all other subjects are relatively "soft". So there would be a lot of free time available in this term and students are planning to use this term to prepare for interviews.

CAS has initiated meetings with students to advise them to start work towards recruitment. It is possible to get any recruiter we want to the campus. But what is the use of getting a company if the students are not prepared enough to crack the company's interview and boost the reputation of the ISB. CAS is thinking in this direction.

Some students are working on getting good grades. Grades are an important component for Investment Banks or top consulting companies. But what about students like me who want to go back to IT? Mostly, IT firms don't look at grades. So we should be working towards building our soft skills, revising the management concepts, learning about the companies and working on puzzles (for companies like Microsoft). I am planning to start in this direction. I have found that my resume currently looks very dull and vague. I am searching for things to spice up my resume, but I am unable to find any.

The campus interview starts on January 10th and would probably end in a month.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

I have already mentioned that the owner of Alacrity Housing, Chennai, was at ISB during a case discussion about Alacrity in entrepreneurship class. Alacrity is not in a good position now. Our final presentation in the class was to give suggestions to him about how he could come out of the present difficult situation.

He said that he was impressed by the presentations and he is coming again to ISB to see if anyone is willing to join his company in the future. Prof has warned that it is going to be an uphill task to turn-over the company. Lets see if anyone would take the deal.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

MBA for IT Professionals

First let me clarify my stand about MBA for IT professionals. I recommend ISB for experienced professionals but this is not necessarily from the salary perspective. This is a golden period for IT professionals with salary reaching new heights. I don't think an MBA is necessary to get a good immediate pay-hike. MBA is a long-time strategy. In salary and position, difference could be seen after eight or ten years.

I believe that experience gives maturity (thought not in all cases :)). I have learnt a lot from my peers though this may not be true with all ISBians.

For freshers, IIM is the ideal choice. Fifteen lakh loan while starting the career is not a good idea. Secondly, IIMs could give a stronger theoritical foundation which is necessary for freshers.

Fourth Term Starts ...

The fourth term starts from Tomorrow. Except Investments, all the other courses doesn't seem to have extensive theory. I am planing to start my interview preperations from this term.

Colloborative Blog

A new collaborative blog ( has been started by some ISBians. Check it out !!

Clarification on Exams

Someone has asked whether exams are online or pen-based. Mostly pen-based and some are project-based. No online exams !!

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Is MBA a good choice for IT guys?

I get a lot of mails asking whether I recommend ISB. Most of them are with IT background. Before answering this question, lets think why an MBA is necessary. In salary perspective, MBA might be attractive for freshers. Even there, the gap is reducing. Recently, I read an article in Economic times about the hike in salary for IT engineers, especially in entry level. Engineers are getting as high as 9 lakes per annum and even IIM MBA cannot give more than that.

For laterals, especially for people getting more than 8 lakes and with around 5 years of experience, MBA is not going to give a big salary hike. For those who go back to the company they worked for, there could be a good hike and promotion, but that is not just because of MBA but mainly because of their proven track record. Typically, your boss may not be able to give you hike and promotions as much as he wishes due to company policies. He would be able to decide on the salary part for lateral entrants, but he may not prefer to give them more salary as he doesn't know about them. When you go back, he is betting on a known horse, with added qualifications.

For laterals making a career shift salary could even be lower than they were getting. Then why MBA? MBA is a long-term strategy. Your growth will find an impasse after ten or twelve years. That time, salary will not be the only thing that matters. You might have ego problems in reporting to the new CEO/COO younger than you. MBA is just letting others know that you know to manage and that you are certified for your managerial skills. If you are keen about learning, then MBA gives t o time and tools to rethink about your management style.

For laterals, learning comes mostly from the peers. That is the reason ISB is becoming an ideal place for experienced professionals. I don't recommend ISB for freshers. IIM is ideal for them. First, they start their career with a huge burden of 15 lakh loan. This makes them risk-averse. Second, they don't have the maturity to learn from peers.