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Saturday, April 22, 2006

Career perspectives...

This was the topic of an open forum at ISB today - with 5 esteemed speakers giving us advice and their perspectives on career building and MBA. I guess this is the first forum in which I have stayed wide awake thru out for 2.5hrs!! The session was just amazing and very informative. I won't disclose the profiles of the speakers here , but they were people who held posts like VP, COO, CEO's etc - very successful entrepreneurs and each one had a wealth of experience in their bags.

One of the speakers was explaining the importance of "brands" in today's world. He gave a very nice example...
Speaker : What is Kingfisher?
Students: (Immediate answers) ..Beer, Airlines, etc etc
Speaker: It is a bird :)
This shows that we remember Kingfisher first as a product and not a bird...It speaks volumes about what branding is all about today!! Any thoughts?

Some of the key take aways and learnings I have from this session .....

- Intuition is very important. MBA makes u dependant on the left side of the brain. Try to go by your gut feel too.
- Never let ego come in way of self-interest
- There is only so much u can plan. Be open for various opportunities that knock your door. One cannot have a definite plan in life, but have a general direction. Being at the right place at the right time really matters.
- Be careful of what you measure in life. Check how much happiness u are able to derive. Are you happy with what u are?
- Life is an optimization of compromises. It is full of trade-offs.
- Management is not science. You cannot replicate the learnings (like experiments) and get the same results everytime. Take the learnings with a pinch of salt.
- 3 important aspects in your job : Role, Superior, Colleagues - Even if one of them is a turn down there is no point in pursuing that job...
- Sticking to one company is a better idea than shifting bases often - Rolling stones gather no momentum.
- Networking is the most important aspect in a B-school education.
- Continuous learning is critical

Friday, April 21, 2006

Me @ ISB - Part II

Continuing from my previous post....The orientation for our batch started on sunday, with a welcome note by the dean and the asst dean, followed by a speech from the GSB (graduate student board) president. One common thing about all speeches here is the emphasis on the importance of "honour code". These are certain rules and ethics that every student here has to adhere to and they have scared us enough about this already :)

It rained heavily on sunday afternoon and the campus, with greenery everywhere, was a treat to our eyes!! One can feel very close to nature here with peace and quiet everywhere and a pleasant sight to see. The rains brought the temperature down drastically and the weather was awesome! Sunday night there was a 'welcome dinner' hosted by the alums ,followed by a party at the pool side - the rains didnt make any difference here! The party was a lot of fun - with dance, music and booze :) I heard the party went on till 4.30 am but I could hang on in that rain till 12.30 or so... One luxury of being in a hostel - can stay out late nite, go back to the apt and no one to question! (but I do miss my parents calling me now and then to find out where I am :( ) I guess we always tend to long for things which we dont have!

Rest of the 3 days were really busy with lots of activities. We had a lot of 'gyan sessions' every nite going on till midnite - about finance, marketing, consulting etc etc! Now I at least know what each field is all about !!! We also had "section gyans" where the seniors passed down the section traditions....and it was a lot of fun sitting in a classroom after 2 years !!! Our batch gave a farewell party for the alums in campus - sad that I couldnt attend this coz the party began only at 12.30 am .... I was in deep sleep by then..

We also had a community service activity yesterday - visited a few government schools and each of us created a profile of the kids there - this was for a scholarship which wud be offered by an NGO, here in hyd. It was a very touching scene at the school there and a nice experience playing with the kids and talking to them. I would want to do more of this in the next 1 year of my stay here...

Today was a relatively free day - with some quizz sessions and the most interesting inter-section cricket and frisbee matches. And our section kept up the tradition of winning :) I could finally find time to unpack and arrange my stuff. It has been just 5 days since I landed here but feels like ages! I am still little home sick but I hope to be fine soon - once I get busy with studies..

It hasnt rained again after sunday...so its back to scorching heat. Just cant live without an AC here!!

Monday, April 17, 2006

Me @ ISB - Part I

I still haven't got my laptop but managed to find an hour of free time- so here I am at the computer lab at ISB - too eager to pen down my experiences. The post will get too long, so I decided to split them into parts :)

As I mentioned, I reached ISB on saturday early morning, with dad. It was a short flight and a pleasant drive to the campus. Hyderabad has a great infrastructure - true to what I had heard! Got my apt keys and unpacked quickly. Met 2 of my quad mates, the 4th one still hasnt arrived!Tried to find some familiar faces around (had met a few batchmates from bangalore). Was not too happy with my room coz it faces the backside of the campus, not a great view (ISB has an awesome landscape) and it's at the second floor (too hot and AC is the only saving grace!!). Tried to get it changed but decided against it just to avoid the hassles. Had a quick bfast and went for the registration. It was a LONG process - coz I had missed out a few documents and had to run around a lot :( The campus is so huge that i need to walk about a km to reach the main building from my SV (student village). I dont think I need any additional physical activity here !!!!!! Finished the registration in 2 hours and went to grab lunch. The cafe has great quality and variety of food- I hope to put on a lot of weight around here !!

After lunch, it was time for dad to head back to b'lore :( I felt I was left all alone in a place surrounded by strangers. Started feeling very homesick, and I still continue to.... Got to know more people around and tried hard to remember names. It was soon time for dinner and back to the apt. I was extremely exhausted, depressed and dazed but manged to get some sleep....

Sunday was the beginning of the orientation- lots of sessions and games and parties and fun!!. Will continue in my next post...

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Disconnected....

Title sounds confusing?? Well...thats how I feel now...totally disconnected from the rest of the world. I reached ISB yesterday and my cell doesnt work- realized I had to activate roaming in advance! :(. So this means I cannot receive or make any calls. Secondly, my laptop is being formatted. Will get it back only on tuesday!! Added to this - new city, new set of people, new lifestyle.....am so dazed and still figuring out my existence here! My only solace is that I have a computer lab which is abt 1/2 a km away from my apt and i can get to be online!! Now I realize how much I am dependant on technology :)

Will write about my experience @ ISB once I get my laptop....

Monday, April 10, 2006

Monday Blues?!?!

Life is so strange. Over the last 2 years, today is the first time on a Monday morning that I really wished I could go to work. Every monday, my mom would get tired yelling from the kitchen, asking me to get out of the bed but today I was up all by myself at 7am just wishing I had a reason to get ready and leave home! I used to have really bad monday morning blues - actually it would set in as early as Sunday evening and I would so wish I could stay at home and never go to office. And its nothing different today - I still have the blues - just the reason is on the flip side :(

As they say - "You always realize the value of something when you don't possess it". I guess it's just human nature. We tend to crave for things which we dont have and take it for granted and crib about it when it is all there!!

Thursday, April 6, 2006

Last day at work....

"...For everything you have missed, you have gained something else; and for everything you gain, you lose something else.."

Today I know how it exactly feels to be unemployed. I am solely responsible for this decision. I chose to do this but here I am feeling sad and confused about it..... only time can tell me if I did the right thing...

I have never felt so low and depressed ever. Yesterday was my last day at work. I had to quit to join ISB. The depression had set in about 2 months back but it kept disappearing now and then. The fact is -no one can ever be really prepared for such things. You need to deal with it when it acutally happens. I dont know whether to be happy about doing something new and exciting or feel sad about leaving some really precious things behind. Tried my best to stay at work as long as possible after getting my admissions. But the time has come now. I had no choice but to quit coz my course starts in 9 days.

I just didnt want yesterday to end but ironically it just flew by. Had so much paper work to finish that I hardly found any time to say even good bye to people personally. Went out for lunch with the team- had fun taking around 30-40 pics in half hour transit to pizza hut! "P" was driving and I remember he almost made it my "last day" not just last day at work! Back to office and I finished my exit interview and it was time to wrap up and say adieus. The day just flew and I just have memories of it to cherish now.

When I woke up today morning (not that I slept last nite) and I had no reasons to get ready, I realized what I am missing - the realization that I can never get to be around with the people I gel'd so well, have 2 breakfasts, play TT, take coffee breaks, have those stupid time pass conversations on IM and try to do some work in between !!

It has hit me so hard that I have still not come to terms with the fact that life will no longer be the same...