Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Marketing Stunner!!

Once the mid term was over, we had three subjects out of four for which the faculty changed. Marketing Management was one of those courses and the faculty we were expecting was Prof. Raju from Wharton. We had heard a lot about him from the alums... more than about his teaching skills and research ability, it was his cold calling which was talked about. Everyone was speculating as to what kind of treatment would one get if he or she does not know the answers, rather is dumbfounded on being cold called.. :) Our section is the first one to face the brunt of marketing every week, which meant every other section would be running after us asking about the experience of cold calling.

When Prof. Raju started off with his class, everyone was ready to duck under the desk. He started off with review questions from the material taught before the mid term. The situatin is somewhat like this:

The projector focuses exactly on the center of the white screen and the heading of the slide reads "Review of the last class". Everyone is the class is now all set for a bombbarding. There is just one guy, Mr. Vibhav Agarwal, who is reclining on his chair, least worried about being picked. Next scene, a question slides from the left side of the screen on to the center. Zoom comes a photograph of the person who is supposed to answer the question. Everyone shifts their focus from the screen to Mr. Vibhav. He is still not ready for it and still enjoying the reclining chair, when suddenly he figures that it was his photograph being flashed on the screen.. :) Now comes the million $$ expression and a million $$ comment from the professor. Vibhav looks as if he is suddenly pushed by the chair on to his desk, waking him up... and pop comes a comment from Prof. Raju: "So rahe the kya?".. The expression on Vibhav's face then was the toughest one to explain... noone could figure out whether it was because of the question asked on the screen or because of the comment passed by Prof. Raju.. :) He blurted out a couple of statements which further proved that he was zonked to the hilt. He became the talk of the week.. :)

But there on, everyone got ready for getting famous in every marketing class, which ended being beneficial as everyone ended up scrapping through the previous marketing class.. :)

PS: This blog could have come earlier as this happened more than a week back but today's is Vibhav's birthday and what better than today to publicize his feat.. :)

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Eggs crack ...

... and brain "jams" do happen just like traffic jams. This is what happens when you start using your brain a bit too much after it has been rusty for a very long time. Thats what I realised on Friday when our first ever academic exams at ISB got over. I was a completely different experience to see a huge crowd in the atrium ( at that moment. For the first time I saw almost the whole batch at an open place (sessions in the auditorium are common place now). Some tense faces, some people moving ahead after realising the truth, some ecstatic ones with a feeling that you get after finding out that you are one of the few who almost cracked the paper... :)

I loved the feeling after the exams, just like the one we used to have after our engineering semester exams. But the difference was that you had more studies following immediately after this exam.. :) But who would stop us from taking a days break. Saturday was a fun day.. We had an unofficial cricket match with Microsoft guys working opposite the ISB campus (obviously in the Microsoft campus). It was after a long time that I played a leather ball match on a ground with marked boundaries and with all players in cricketing whites. Nevertheless we lost the match but not because of having a bad team but because of bad planning and coordination... which was bound to happen as we were playing together for the first time as a team. One of my closest friends, Srikant, outperformed in my team with excellent display of some really good technical batting.. and some excellent wicketkeeping as well. I was as usual able to terrify the batsmen with my bowling (speedometer crusher as I have been named.. ;) )... still need to figure out how I end up wicketless after every match.. but its fine till the time I am the most economical bowler.. :)

Afternoon, I had a small power nap of 2 hrs.. ;) and then evening we had inter-section football tourney.. here again our section (Section B) guys had never played as a team and were lacking coordination, which is most important when it comes to football. We drew the first match against Section C, when we were actually winning the match 4-2. In the last few minutes we conceded 2 more goals and the match ended up in a draw.. :( We then played the strongest team amongst all sections, Section E. Mann.... think about coordination and class, you would see it oozing out when you see these guys play.. :) We lost to them 7-2.. But the star of Section B was again Srikant with some cool goal-keeping.. looks like the ball had some sort of attraction towards him and it ended up in his hands most of times when the opponents tried to score a goal. After a tiring Saturday, Sunday was bound to be tough.. with all assignments piled up.. :(

I just have managed to wrap up some of them and that was an incentive for me to pen down the happenings.. :) Will tomorrow be a new day... ?? I hope it is.. but have a strong feeling that its going to continue the same way... FUN blended with STUDIES!! Thats what ISB is all about. :)

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Egg jams

This is the normal breakfast I have every morning here at the "Goel" Dining Hall.. ?? Naa... Its the new fever running around on campus. Exams approaches... everyone involved reproaches.. :) Questions like.. "Why do we need exams in an MBA program..?? Isnt it all about networking, cross industry knowledge sharing etc etc.??" pops up in everyones mind. "Everyone" here does not include the janta who are a part of the "Maggu Club" who are ready for any academic exam anytime in their life.. ;) Just kidding.. :)

Most of the students here have been into the habit of enjoying a months preparation leave for the exams and at ISB, but when you come to know that everyone is in the same boat attending lectures till the day before exams, its FUN.. :) The schedule as of now goes like this:Breakfast.. Attend lectures.. Lunch.. Catch a wink.. Study... Break.. Study.. Dinner.. Study... Study Study STUDY!!!.. :) And the vicious cycle continues..

With all this said, I am sure about a couple of things which is bound to happen to me over the coming one year. I would have acquired skills on how to brush my teeth, complete the morning ritual, take a bath, shave, dress up and run for breakfast in 15 minutes flat.. :) If you talk about it in formal terms, its called Time Management skills.. :) I would be able to appreciate the value of time for sure.. :) Along with this skill, I would also be well equipped on how to present something in a way that seems convincing to others, even when you know that its actually BS.. :) Both the skills are a must for a manager.. and I am pretty sure I will be one after "post" graduating from this place.. :)

Ok.. time to get back to my study... next blog would be about my first experience with my first exams at my first stint at ISB.. :) I may have a second stint at ISB, WHO KNOWS??.. :)

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

COFFEE -- Addicted!!

SLEEP... what does this word mean? The dictionary meaning says: "A natural and periodic state of rest during which consciousness of the world is suspended." I am not an English laureate, so I wont be able to refute this meaning and going by my experience, my brain tells me to completely abide by it.. :) Sleep has become an important word in my life at ISB. You will definitely hear these two phrases here:

1) "I was not able to get enough SLEEP yesterday night!!"
2) "I was so very sleepy in class!!"

Now how does this sleep thingy talk about the title of this post? This directly relates to the second most common phrase that you would get to hear on campus.. :) Morning class induces sleep, especially when the stuff being taught rockets past you at a speed you cant even fathom.. :) Moreover, when you try to evaluate what was being discussed just now, you end up spending at least 5 minutes on it and what happens in the meantime? The prof has discussed some more topics which you completely missed when you were vagabonding in the world of some doubts which propped up earlier.... :) Now what has happened with all this? You are completely OUT of sync with respect to rest of class.. yeah... there will be a few other elite people who involuntarily joined you in this feat.. which you figure out later when you get out of the class.. :) This leads to something which is called SLEEP syndrome i.e. Out of sync system induces sleep in itself.. :)

Today itself I experienced the same when I was trying to put in a lot of effort to understand what was being taught and people sitting by my side in the class joined the elite club!!.. :) Fortunately I was addicted to coffee after habituating myself to carry a flask to class filled with the "serum".. I was able to stay awake... :) May be thats the reason Americans are so very addicted to Coffee...?? Now if we extrapolate this information, may be thats the reason they have propelled themselves to a place which they command right now? May be they are able to stay awake most of the time working for the country, which in turn is affecting their economy??... Looks like coffee addiction has caught up with India.. which indirectly is positively affecting its booming economy.. :)

You might have already figured out that the initial days at ISB has taken some toll on me and has lead me to make such weird conclusions... :) Came to know one more side effects of coffee addiction: You loose your brain cells and start thinking abnormally.. you thoughts ramble exactly the way the gist of this post has.. :)

Just kidding.. all said and done.. its fun getting adjusted to this "study" life with all this "study" pressures.. Next week, we have our first ever mid-term exams at ISB.. and everyone is gearing up for it.. so rather than continuing with this post.. I think I should sit and study.. :) Catch ya all soon!!.. :) With another of those weird posts.. ;)

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Assignments and Weekends - Hand in Hand!!

This seems to be the mantra of the first weekend after the core term has started!! Thursday was the last day when we had our classes for the last week.. everyone was aware of the load that was supposed to be taken care of over the weekend. But all said and done, everyone gate crashed as a bunch of crazy morons left unattended... almost the whole batch was unleashed into every part of the city to chill out. That is the kind of response you get when corporate people start attending classes after such a long stint with their functions in their industries.. :)

What happens next? I mean after the memorable Thursday evening??... You get goose bumps thinking about the assignments lined up for rest of the weekend.. :) Friday morning.. you dont see a soul roaming around in the campus.. you start wondering??.. "Where is everyone? Still in bed?" ... but later gator you find out that someone is either in the LRC fishing for books to complete the assignment... or someone has shut him/herself in their quads while pouring over the cases.. and thats when I realized that the BUG has caught up!!.. :) Its fun to see people around scratching their heads thinking where have I gone wrong on this problem.. and with honour code zooming past their ears all the time, no one even dares to ask assignment related questions outside their core study group.. :) You would not hear people asking questions - "Hey whats the answer to problem number ##?"... rather the questions would be like - "Man... did you finish that darned assignment?"... And if "Yes" comes the reply, then you witness an expression which makes you feel as if the world has fallen apart for that person.. :)

Fortunately for me, my core group, which includes, Anshul, Murali, Sreeja, Sonali and Rahul, are dedicated enough (unlike me??!!).. and agreed to have Sunday almost free, before we plunge into the world of Stats, Eco.. SEEKHO!!! on Monday. We finished discussing the cases and problems by Saturday night... and pssst!! do you want to know a surprise?.. WE ARRIVED AT A CONSENSUS!!.. :) That's what is team work all about.. getting to a consensus instead of being strong headed. Anyways, philosophy does not sound good, especially when it comes from me.. ;)

Now with the whole of Sunday looming large over me, I am wondering what to do... loads of interesting options you see... Stats self study, Eco problem practice, Accounting fundaes, Marketing myself. But I think I will go ahead with an uninteresting end to the weekend... READ A FICTION, GET INTO MY PLUSH BED, SLEEP AND DREAM ABOUT THE MOST BEAUTIFUL GIRL HANGING AROUND WITH ME IN THE CAMPUS! Hmmm.. the last part seems to be a bit unrealistic, so I better keep it to my dreams.. ;) If a lightning strucks or a genie comes by with a wish, you might see my next blog realizing that dream.. ;) Catch ya with more details next week.. :)

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

My Daily Life @ ISB - AS OF NOW!!

By mentioning this as the name of my blog, I hope I am not building any notions here.. :) This is going to be a pure "personal" perspective for the initial days of our core terms. Now when I say perspective, one thing definitely rings in my mind... seems this is one of the most important words you will hear when you are doing an MBA. It all depends on a perspective that you hold for any business case that was cracked years back!!.. :) Now before I start discussing one here, I would rather pen down my experience of the core terms till now.

With the kinda hype created by people around that its gruelling and you undergo a trauma through this one year, one had to give it a thought. But now with some experience behind my back, I feel its all about how you manage to handle the pressure. Its about being smart, its about being concise in your approach. When the faculty mentions that you need to preread stuff before the class and lists a whole of chapters and references, everyone ends up assuming that its a must to "mag" all the stuff and plunges deep into it for rest of the day. But if you are smart enough, you would definitely realize that its about making yourself aware of the concepts and not about the statements verbatim.. :) Now let me put down my daily schedule (as of now) by the hour.

7:00AM - My alarm goes off and I look around for the snooze button... and snooze it.
7:10AM - Snooze again.
7:20AM - Drag myself out of my bed, trying it to make it as involuntary as possible.. :)
8:00AM - Walk down from my Quad to the Acad centre, which does something to me which a bath was not able to... WAKING ME UP!!
8:15AM - Start with a heavy breakfast... which is something out of my control. By the end of it, I feel I pity myself, as it might result in me going to sleep in the class.. :) Thats when a big cup of coffee does the trick.
8:45AM - The battle starts!!
10:45AM - First battle successfully ends!!
10:45AM-11:15AM - Chill out. Go for a smoke or may be another coffee or a small snack!!
11:15AM - Second battle starts!!
1:15PM - This one, most of time, ends somewhat unsuccessfully!!.. :) Run for the dining hall, you have exhausted most of your breakfast, using your brains over the past few hours.. :) Ok I know that the brain is no where physically related to your stomach, but mann its not my fault that its works that way for me.. :)
2:00PM - Go back to my quad. Log on to the network, figure out whats in store for tomorrow. Get complacent that it would be easy and that I do deserve some sleep.. :)
2:30PM - 5:00PM - DEEP SLUMBER!!!.. :)
5:00PM - 7:30PM - Run through one of the pre reads for the next day. Feel happy as if I have achieved something great, beyond anyone's comprehension.. :)
7:30PM - 8:30PM - Flaunt your body around in the gym.. ;)
8:30PM - 9:30PM - Dinner!! SLURP!!.. :)
9:30PM - Quad again!! Figure out that you still have loads to study.. problems to solve.. bang your head against it for a couple of hours...
11:30PM - You get a call from your friend asking if I want to join for a BEER!!.. Ummm.. Ok... one bottle wont matter much.. I run for it..
12:30AM - I get back.. and with a feeling (after the discussion that normally happens only over a bottle of beer) that I can crack the prereads... and voila!! By 1:30-2:00 I am done with all thats needed for the next day.
1:30AM - Get into the bed with a book of my choice.. now now dont get any ideas.. I was talking about fiction books like the one I am reading as of now.. The Fountainhead.. :)
2:00AM - My system switches off!!

Next day morning, the same story is repeated. This has been happening for last 3 days.. but from what I can forebode, its going to get tougher with group assignments and exams and quizzes flowing into the schedule. Also with all the battles mentioned earlier in my schedule, I need to mention some comments about our faculty. It is definitely world class, with these folks having a whole lot to offer, each one of them definitely holds an immense baggage of knowledge. Its upto you on how you manage to extract the most out of them.

All said and done, jokes apart, I feel this one year at ISB is going to be purely your take on time management skills you possess. Its how you get that special talent out.. :) I am in no mood to write another blog on my schedule here... so I hope I am able to keep up with the above schedule even when all those future action items come into place... ;) Just kidding.. as usual!!.. :) wait for the next one.. about my first weekend after core terms started!!