Saturday, April 22, 2006

Elysium-2 Orientation

Well, on reaching ISB, the first thing that struck me was the Professionalism displayed by the Admissions office and the staff. We had reception desks lined in front of our Student Villages. We just had to sign in on a housing contract and the keys were handedover. The lady there was very affable and we had porters to carry our luggages to the respective rooms.

The quad (student apartments) are amazing - these are a 4 bedroom apartment with a living room, all equipped with sofas, TV, refrigerator, cutlery set and what not...The campus is so beautiful that every room can be called a 'room with a view'. From someone like me whose room in BITS was more comfortable to the rats and rodents than to me, this was a pleasant surprise. We have a House-keeping team that ensures that no matter how dishevelled you try your room to be, it would be spick and span when you come back after the classes...TAKEAWAY - ISB has all the resources and infrastructure that supports a holistic learning experience, you just have to remain focussed, all and sundry would be taken care of.

The registration was made as simple as it is humanly possible, the students had to just follow a circular path at the Learning Resource Center (LRC) ... This had the Admissions, Finance, Placement and IT counters lined up serially, the student is supposed to simply carry his/her documents and produce at the respective counters..TAKEAWAY - Life can be made really simple by organising and structuring things..Prepare well ahead and avoid confusion.

We had about 30 alums from the class of 2006 who stayed back and organised the Orientation Week for the class of 2007. These guys are amazing, ISB is a new school and I found these guys really passionate about ISB, it is as if everybody is a Brand Manager-ISB. The alums actually attended an outdoor training program to come up with many Group Activities and games for us.
This mutual relationship got strengthened when the Alums threw us a party and we reciprocated the same in a bigger way...

I was eager to meet the Bloggers of 2006 more than probably the Dean's address at ISB. I met RamKumar (ram's abode) and Vijay Mulgabal..Unfortunately couldnt meet Raghini Bharani and Ford Prefect..A few snippets about these guys in my next blog..!


Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Elysium 1 - Stepping on the sacrosanct premises

The Indian School of Business (ISB) is a Global Management institution in India.
It strives to provide research oriented world class education to professionals through an international faculty and a global curriculum reviewed and structured by its partner institutions - Kellogg, Wharton and the LBS.

Everything about this institute is amazing - thats the word for it... For the uninitiated, it is known for its world class residential housing and superb infrastructure and of course the mind boggling placement figures.

I reached the campus on 15th morning at about 930am. There was a help-desk at the entrance gate and the guard there informed me about my Student village (thats a hostel in other institutes) and my room no..As the cab reached my Student village, I was stunned on seeing the well laid out campus.. There is no way u can find such a campus in any institute in India, mark my words!

The Hindu mythology says that people who have been benevolent all throughot their life land up in Heaven, and those who have sinned land up in Hell...Heaven is supposed to be above us, somewhere in the sky with beautiful paris hopping about you...You would be lying on a bed and they would be feeding you grapes. Heaven on the other hand is below us and it has a huge pot with hot boiling oil; those who have sinned are burnt in it...Everybody has heard about this crap but nobody has ever experienced it...

This is probably a poor analogy, but the ISB campus is like Heaven, we see it in the info session photos, brochures and stuff but it is nothing when you see it in flesh and blood !

The campus is circular with the Academic center in the middle, this makes all the three student villages around the perimeter equidistant from the center...There is a faculty housing between SV 1 and 2 and a recreation centre between SV 2 & 3. It is green-carpeted and the student villages are like 3 star hotels! we have beautiful lawns in the SVs where we intend to host a number of parties.. The campus being in Hyd looks even more great because of the rocks and stones that lie intermittently...The architect has designed the campus as if they are intended and a part of the landscape...We have the MS campus just next to us and the best part is that all the planes to the Begumpet airport in Hyd fly over the campus!

The academic center has different levels and a giant atrium in the center..It is like you get up a small hill and then go down towards an atrium at the center...I recently learnt from an alum (more on those guys later) that the atrium is designed to create a Low Pressure in the center of the atrium, this ensures the wind blows in from all the 4 entrances to the atrium and the guys chilling out there really do chill out!!

As you walk down towards the atrium, you have the MF Hussains and Manjeet Bawas to your left and right..You walk past the Governance Board at ISB that includes the whos who of the Global corporate world...You have a photo of Rajat Gupta pondering over the campus model and a placque signed by the ex-PM ABVajpayee...

The campus takes a while to register onto your brains and you really have to pinch yourself to come to reality...

ISB rocks! Check the 2 photos on my blog - the first shows the birds eyeview of the campus and the second a student village..
FOREPLAY

Well, blogging after a Looooooong time..(The no of Os between L and g are indicative of that).
I was slated to join the ISB (the crorepati school in India) from 15th April 2006....Dont get me wrong on the title of this blog, it refers to the pre-ISB preparations that I went through..

The primary reason I couldnt blog was that I had to prepare (mentally and physically) before joining ISB...I resigned from my services (that was some fun) and came back to my Hometown Nagpur to take a 20 day long break before the grilling started. Jogged a lot in Ngp but wasnt able to reduce an ounce coz of my mom's delicacies. So my waist is still a 36"!!

I took up 2 modules of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) Certification in Financial Markets - one on Derivatives and one on Securities and Trading. A month long preparation was sufficient to sail through, and scored decently in the two tests. So now am a NSE certified Derivatives broker in India!! sounds coool huh?

Pre-ISB was a period of slight anxiety, lots of expectations and loads of enthusiasm...I had heard about it, read about it, met college seniors, read blogs, attended info sessions, paid the initial deposit to reserve my seat, but had no idea of what was about to hit me in the next few days!!

BITS Pilani had been a wonderful experience and I was just hoping that ISB would be better...
IT IS!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

LIFE

An excerpt from a passage by Robert Hastings:

'Tucked away in our subconscious is an idyllic vision. We see ourselves on a long trip that spans the continent. We are travelling by train. Out the windows we drink in the passing scene of cars on nearby highways, of children waving at a crossing, of cattle grazing on a distant hillside, of smoke pouring from a power plant, of row upon row of corn, and wheat, of flatlands and valleys, of mountains and rolling hillsides, of city skylines and village halls.But uppermost in our minds is the final destination. On a certain day at a certain hour we will pull into the Station. Bands will be playing and flags waving. Once we get there so many wonderful dreams will come true and the pieces of our lives will fit together like a completed jigsaw puzzle. How restlessly we pace the aisles, daming the minutes for loitering - waiting, waiting, waiting for the Station."When we reach the Station, that will be it!" we cry. "When I'm eighteen." "When I buy a new 450 SL Mercedes Benz!" "When I put the last kid through college." "When I have paid off the mortgage!" "When I get a promotion!" "When I reach retirement, I shall live happily ever after!"Sooner or later we must realize there is no Station, no one place to arrive at once and for all. The true joy of life is the trip. The Station is only a dream. It constantly outdistances us.So, stop pacing the aisles and counting the miles. Instead, climb more mountains, eat more ice cream, go barefoot more often, swim more rivers, watch more sunsets, laugh more, cry less. Life must be lived as we go along. The Station will come soon enough.'

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Education

Offlate, my 34 size Levis has been yearning for some rest, urging for the 36 to take over. This can be attributed to the (a) sumptuos lunch at office (b) the chicken egg roles off it.

But I am determined to reduce the extra kilos and enter ISB in perfect shape.

Yesterday was like any other chilly Delhi 6 a.m. I was puffing and gasping on my way home after a 30min jog. I saw a few kids (probably aged 5 or 6) wearing tiny red school uniforms and monkey-caps. They were waiting for the school-bus with one of the kids' mom seeing them off. I was pitying those little souls for carrying such heavy school bags so early in the morning...adults like us would be enjoying their mid-night dream at such an hour...!

Just then, a group of 4 corpulent punjabi aunties marched down the road from the opposite side..Their exhalations could be heard from a distance and they were walking parallel to each other, hardly leaving any space for the doodhwala on cycle to pass thru..Just as I crossed the aunties and the kids on the footpath, one of them cried "Auntie, please walk in a file, you may get hit by a vehicle from behind. Ritu Miss says that you should always form a queue while boarding a bus or walking on a busy road"...

The aunties were agaped, the other kids staring as if they all felt the same way, their mother a bit embarassed and I could barely stop myself from giggling.. As I turned back, the aunties were actually walking one behind other. Probably they were missing out on some "kyuki saas bhi kabhi bahu thi" (and other soaps) chat, but they would never dare take a chance again!

Our schools are doing pretty good huh..?

What if these kids continue learning and practising such values.? Definitely some optimism!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Rang De Basanti

Rang De Basanti is a MUST SEE for all Indians, especially the youth.

I would categorize its implications as:

1> After all its a movie: Bollywood is definitely improving. Gone are the days when we had the protagonist as a coolie or a labourer falling in love with a millionaire's daughter - this petite young amrika returned gal. The antagonist (right, the heroines father) would have this name "KK" or "JJ" and would indulge in all sorts of drug dealings "aaj raat ko maal ane wala hai" etc..The hero would finally break all class barriers and after some dishum dishum nahiiiiiiiiii maaaaaaaaaaaa and of course 'the dancing around the trees' ritual would emerge as the winner.

Comes movies like Yuva, Swades and Rang de Basanti. Not only do these kinda movies reflect this new 'hat - ke' and 'professional' breed of directors /producers, but also do they signify an "educated" and "kuch karna hai" hoi polloi sitting in front of the 70mm. Movies have a very strong influence on the audience (though temporary). You can have this auntie sitting next to you and sobbing horribly when Manisha Koirala looses her leg in Mann or Kkkkkhan is convincing Kajol's onscreen mother in DDLJ with his puckered lips. But this new genre MWM (movies with message) helps you to carry this vicarious feeling even after you leave the hall.

2> Should we do something about it?: Yup! Dont go on shooting the corrupt poiliticians - that's not the message, neither is that a solution...Do the best you can,say
(a) dont spit / throw rubbish at public places
(b) always ask for a bill , even from the mom-and-pop store
(c) if you can afford, contribute to organisations like CRY, India Today's efforts to support war-widows
(d) if you are a professional, try to take sometime off on weekends and teach at a local NGO school. There are some great NGOs - like Aid (started by Indian students studying in the US, initially as a monetary contribution - forfeiting a week's pizza expense!) Teaching at the grass-root level would have far reaching benefits.
(e) only when every citizen at every nook and corner of this country becomes aware and educated, can he/she actually exercise his/her right to vote in a correct way. Uneducated massess have and will elect what we have today. Its now choosng the lesser worst amongst the lot, but there can be someday when we actually get to select the best among the better ones.

3> Amir Khan is the undisputed Bollywood hero...amazing facial expressions! I guess he must have actually wept while shooting that scene in the movie.

Well, lets really do something...

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Odyssey

Hi! I graduated with an MSc in Economics and a BE in Electrical and Electronics from BITS, Pilani.
Currently am designing microchips for mobile and automotive applications at STMicroelectronics, India.

I am glad to have an admission offer from the Indian School of Business (ISB), Hyderabad and plan to join the PGP-2006-07.

As I embark on this odyssey, this blog shall fulfill three main objectives: (Its always three!)
1. As a log-book of my ISB and post-MBA activities, would try to make it informative and amusing for all!
2. Network with current / prospective ISB students and the distinguished alumni
3. my alter ego

Take me down to the paradise city...