Test Testy

Friday, August 31, 2007

Marshall Goldsmith at ISB

Marshall Goldsmith, a top CEO coach spent some time at ISB recently. He has discussed his experience at ISB (and India) in the article below:

Marshall Goldsmith's article in Business Week

I was not one of the students who interacted with him :)

For those who are searching for guidelines on writing essays

This post is specifically for all those who have been googling to get some idea about how to approach the essays.

Some pointers that I can give about the essays are:

1. First: Remember how you approached GMAT AWA section, specifically the structure part of it

2. Second: Most important objective of the essays to portray yourself, your personality and your goals

3. Third: Take help from close friends who know you well. You can even take help of professionals and there is nothing unethical about it. No proessional would write the essays for you. They will help you in clarifying and organizing your thoughts

4. Last: Start working immediately. Essays may take a long time to evolve, so get started as early as possible.

As far as I can see, essays are very important part of your application and spending enough time on them is important

Meeting with Mr. Naidu

Finally I met Mr. Chandrababu Naidu today at his office. What motivated me to meet is something very idiosyncratic but I believe I had a reason.

I shall write in detail what was my motivation and how the interaction was.

Term 3 had been the most grilling till now but it also had a great deal of learning value in it. In fact it was built on the first two terms and we could see us making lot of progress.

I am still trying to figure out how to post audio files on the blog and will start doing so as soon as I find a way.

Today I visited Ivy Comptech and met some of my old colleagues. I was very hapy to hear from them that I had lost a lot of weight.

I had also been attending all the Spanish classes regularly and I think I made some good progress. Good to see that I am making progress on my non-academic goals too.

Placement related activity is getting started at ISB. The first recruitment activity would be by an International Consulting Firm and the Consulting club is gearing up with lots of activities with the help of alums.

There would be lot of activity during term 4 and I think I will be irregular during this term too but I will try be more active.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Term 3 blues

I never imagined that things can change so dramatically in one week. I had a feeling that my capacity has increased after going through Term 1 and 2 and started finding Term 3 pretty manageable despite having double the number of assignments.

But that was only till the Midterm. The moment we finished writing the Midterm exam, there was a flood of assignments waiting for us - individual and group, both. That whole weekend was spent in Bayview, Kota Fibres and Ops assignment. I couldn't even take few minutes out during the last weekend.

Only respite was the daawat hosted by Nidhi Reddy for the Hyderabadis. I got to meet the old buddies with whom I shared pre-ISB dreams. Now all of us are lost in the acads, grades, extra-curriculars, official and unofficial responsibilities, ELPs and Paevs.

But we definitely have some excellent professors. Bhagwan Chowdhry, Rama Velamuri and Sridharan are the three profs who impressed me a lot in this term. Each one of them is so different but only ommon thing is their zeal to understand and teach. Each of them has his own style.

This term has lot of value addition in terms of analytical ability. Even a course on Entrepreneurship is focused how do you analyze opportunities. Each case presents a unique way in which the entrepreneur made a venture successful. Sometime back I have read that reality is the most dramatic thing compared any of the man-written/made novels, stories or movies. God is definitely a better director. There are so many permutations and combinations possible that it is impossible to say with certainty that this is what is going to happen exactly. Both Economics and Business, though closely linked to each other, are so random that it is impossible to predict exactly what's gonna happen but you can say something only with a certain level of confidence. Your ability to interpret is based on past observed data, which is limited, that limits your accuracy.

I am thinking of converting this blog into a audio/video blog so that I don't loose my thoughts because of my busy schedules. If someone knows how to do it, let me know.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Term 3 Midterm

It's not blogger's block that has stopped me from posting but it's the amount of activities that are hapening at ISB.

In the last ten days we had Mr. Sudhir Kumar, IAS, Indian Railways, Mr. Jeffrey Sachs, Director - Earth Institute and Mr. Rajat Gupta, Chairman - ISB apart from many other speakers. But most importantly we have our term-3 midterm starting in another 45 min.

So, that's all for now. Keep waiting for the posts detailing all the happenings

Friday, August 3, 2007

Conversation with an ISB Co 09 aspirant

I have received a mail from an ISB Co 09 aspirant and I thought it may be useful to others with similar queries to post his queries and my replies in this post. Here it is:

His mail
Hi Kiran,

I got your mail-id from your blog while searching information about ISB. In your blog you have posted the communication between you and another aspirant so I'm taking my chance to get some opinions from you for my case.

I'm a hard core IT professional with expertise in highly technical domain and excellent professional record although the academics can only be rated as "not so bad". Total experience is 6+ years and my job does make me feel great. I have twice declined to leadership roles as my inclination has been towards Subject Matter Expertise. I have not yet attempted taking GMAT.

I want to now take off tangentially and aspire to learn and pursue Investment Banking.

I know i'm thinking too radically but is it also irrational?
Does learning Business Administration essentially requires leadership skills?
Will my case stand a chance in ISB given i perform well in other requisites?
If I get an admission in ISB will my candidature be accepted in the industry (keeping in view the radical shift)?

Thanks a lot in advance

My Response
Hi Deepak,

You are welcome to write to me but I may not be able to reply imediately as I would be busy in many things.

Let me try and reply your queries one-by-one

I know i'm thinking too radically but is it also irrational?
- According me and from what I have learned and seen, there is nothing called irrational idea as long as someone rational has come up
with it. So nothing to worry about your idea

Does learning Business Administration essentially requires leadership skills?
- Leadership is necessary to survive. I know there are many people who would choose a technical expertise role but leadership is not about leading others. Leadership is rather leading self in a disciplined and determined way. Dealing with people is something you cannot avoid forever. Business, Finance, Technology and all other things exist because of people and therefore there is no running away from people. MBA prepares you to handle all aspects of business and people management is increasingly becoming an important part apart from everything else. So if you are planning to do an MBA to get into Investment Banking, I would rather suggest you to explore other specialized courses before freezing on MBA. So my answer to your question is, Yes, you need leadership skills to learn Business Administration.

Will my case stand a chance in ISB given i perform well in other requisites?
I don't see any reason why you don't stand a chance of getting into ISB. Just work on every aspect carefully but try and understand why you declined the growth opportunities. You should have some good reason and it shouldn't conflict with the reason you want to get in to ISB. What I'm saying is, you should not be communicating that I want to get into ISB as I want to grow but I declined many growth offers earlier as I didn't want to take the head ache of managing other people. You see both the statements contadict each other and will question your rationale. Think about it.

If I get an admission in ISB will my candidature be accepted in the industry (keeping in view the radical shift)?
I don't know. I can't say. I have made multiple career shifts such as Engineering to Business Development to Behavioral Training Design and Delivery to Training Function Management and fianlly now I am at ISB trying to get in to Consulting. If there is a logical connection ad if the company that you want to get in sees greater value in you than others who also want to get in. It's a question of what you have to offer and how that firm values that. If they are in sync you are accepted. I woul suggest do the following to get a better understanding:
1. Define what is Investment Banking based on your understanding (Do a swot)
2. What does I Banking mean to you, I mean what would it give you (rewards)
3. What it may take from you (sacrifices)
4. What if something doesn't go as per plan (are you confident)
5. Finally speak to someone who is already in I Banking. I know only few who are in trading and banks but not in I banking, so I really don't have a clue. I suggest you speak to someone who is successful and someone who is not and see how do you see your chances. Remember it's you who have to go through the whole thing so you have to take a call.

I hope I answered your queries. Best of luck.


Harry Potter series and why I liked it so much

I have been attracted to books since I was 7 years. My reading habit started with Chandamama - a Telugu story book. Then I got interested in Ramayana and Mahabharata. In our village every week a Brahmin Pujari used to read the Mahabharata and explain the meaning. I had no access to book so I used to go for these sessions without fail.

After I moved to Hyderabad I lost access to Chandamama too but my aunt used to read novels and I used to go to the book rental shop. I used to read the book on the way from home to the shop, though never completed a book. But I used to read all language books as if they were story books. My reading continued and I read lots of books in telugu, hindi and english.

One thing that troubled me with most of these books is the characterization of the main character or the so-called Hero. I always found this aspect of Heroism being attributed to one single character a difficult thing to understand. The central character is always shown as extreme. But in the Harry Potter series J.K.Rowling attempted to portray the main character Harry Potter in a balanced way. He is never the strongest or the best but the way he responds to situations and the decisions he takes are what that differentiate him from the evil character.

Every decision taken by Harry or Voldemort move up or down towards their goal. Another thing that I think I have discovered is that J.K.Rowling has characterised Hermione to portray her ownself. Look at the name - it is Her mi one, which indicates to me that her (the character) and me(the author) are one(the same), interesting, right!

Finally I have really enjoyed reading this series. Somewhere inside all of fans there is a liking for magic, we wish to change certain things at the wave of a wand. There are so many secrets in nature that we want to explore and we believe that danger is within us and our behavior and all the misery that we see outside is a reflection of what goes in our mind. There is goodness in everything and it takes the right vision (perception) to see he goodness.

The series gave me a good feeling about life. Everytime I was reading the book (one of them), I used to feel I am living in a magical world and was able to forget everything else around. Sometimes it feels great to get lost.