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..

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...