From smack-bang in the middle of the bell curve

Archive for February, 2006|Monthly archive page

term 8, fat ladies…

In ISB on February 28, 2006 at 7:59 pm

…and 4 new subjects, this time to form an assorted mix from each ‘value discipline’ (blame the HBR article I just read for tomorrow’s class). Marketing Strategy – familiar name, hopefully a recap of the other 7 electives I’d taken on marketing J Negotiation Analysis – had heard rave reviews about the course when it had been offered in term 6, the first class lived up to it. IT Services & Proj Mgmt – not the yawn-fest that the name might suggest and last but definitely not least Advanced Corporate Finance…yes…after backing out at the last minute in T7 with Business Valuation, bit the bullet this time and signed up for my first (and only) Fin elective…all I-bankers better watch out 😉

There’s a buzz around campus…apart from the usual caffeine/tobacco/assorted weed-laden kind that is. Probably coz the ‘ruler of the free world’ is likely to make an appearance at the ISB. Was surprised (only midly), as i was quietly reading in the library (yeah, i do that sometimes), to see a german-shepherd the size of a …well…huge, sniffing around my table.had me wondering…has it been that long since i came here to read?! not that it fazed me…thanks to my inherent fearless and animal-friendly nature…yeah…and to the harness firmly held by a burly cop. If you’re still wondering who…here’s a clue…the security detail on campus, dressed in all-black suits looks sharper than any of us did during placement week. I’ve always wondered about those white coiled earpieces that emanate from one ear and disappear down their collars…just what orifice are they plugged into?! I better ‘freeze! And desist’ before I’m ‘taken out’ as a precaution for having spiked their ‘threat assessment sensors’. Jokes apart…the whole dubya ‘visit’ thing…very exciting …YAAAWN…
Finally…a mention of the poignancy of this as the last of the 8 terms at the ISB…clichés shall abound…have already seen sneak-peeks of wistful posts on blogs of note. Me, am not tearing up just yet…but its only a matter of time…you can’t spend a year in this place and not be impacted by it…like it or not. ladies and gentlemen…the fat lady has made her appearance…and she has just cleared her throat…but the batch of ’06 is not quite done…not just yet…

when you can’t even sleep in ur dreams

In ISB on February 25, 2006 at 5:39 pm

Its like youre in a high-powered sports convertible. Its careering at high speed. For some reason, the steering wheel is locked in position and the gas pedal has been pressed to the floor. Nothing you can do about either. And yesin the distance, you see the edge of this ravinefast approaching. Its simple…I’m supposed to jump outbut am frozenin fear. Now that’s just one of the feelings I’ve had in the last week or sofor obvious reasonsits placement season. Times of uncertaintysecond-guessing myselfhigh stress. Realized its mainly coz of the myriad parallel trains of thoughts in my head…what do I want to do? Whatll make me happywish I had a clue...did I get that nickname right or what!

First, an update on G6 (I’d tell u what that meansbut then I’d have to kill you) and its extended family. SachinInfyES; KoshieWiproIT Strategy Consulting; Vishal & ClintCitiIT & Ops; ShammakKPMGSenior Consultant; Soups…Apollo/GodrejMarketing; JyotiTavantyoull read abt that one in the papers 😉

A recap of placement weekfrom the perspective without a clue. Started with infyinterviewed twicesecond time at 1amliked the ideabut didn’t get offered the role I’d be interested in. next in linehad 3 interviews lined up for Virtusa, ibm and cognizant. Had a good time in all of thosethe panels liked what they heard offers from all of them. Enjoyed the ibm interview the mostwhy? The first question I got was if I said that Steve Waugh is a better bat than Sachin, what would you say? Make a consultants argument J Weighed the rolespassed up a higher pay with V for some brand equity and role. Picked CTS; Assistant Manager Business Development.

Agonized endlessly over the veracity of my decisioninterviewed with a couple of othersrealized the pay didnt matter to me if the role wasnt up to scratch. the process has been mindnumbinghave regained some of my balance thoughmade the right decisionthis is just the beginning and theres plenty to doif I were meI’d back me 😉

safe or sorry

In ISB on February 16, 2006 at 6:49 pm

Wonder how many times this question raises itself in peoples lives. You know the safealmost too well actuallyits familiarits comfortablelike your favorite pair of jeans. That otheris none of those things. Its not very familiarnot quite comfortable. But at the same time you know something elseeven if you dont want to admit it to yourself. Its excitingunpredictableit’s a lot more than anything you thought youd ever encounter.

I reckon were all creatures of habitnot very keen on surprisesat least not unless we expect them. expected surprisean oxymoron if there ever was one. Not to brand our lot as wimpswe plunge from great heights at unbelievable speedstwisting and turninghurtling towards the ground only to seer away towards the sky while at the same flipping head-over-heels in a 360. if that’s not death-defying what is? But then think about itwould we still be in that seat had there not been a reinforced steel bar across our shouldersdouble-strength nylon strapsand a proven safety statistic that says youre more likely to hurt yourself sitting in a chair than in a rollercoaster? Fun?sure but

Sothe unknown is fineas long we know exactly what we dont know...

So its settledsafe is betterdefinitely. Now only if that other wouldnt set your pulse racingwouldnt get you to smile without even realizing itwouldnt make you feel as alive as the safe could only hope to in a lifetime

SafeorSorry? I do wonder how many ppl are thinking it right this momentare you?

Feature Presentation

In ISB on February 16, 2006 at 8:53 am

Added a cool superbowl commercial (scroll down and on the left).

Check it out…(needs broadband…click the ‘play’ button in the middle of the screen)

Splat..splatter…splattest!

In ISB on February 15, 2006 at 11:55 am

The not-shortlisted emails seem to be making a beeline for my inbox these days! They were all expected in a way, some more than others, considering the immense interest that the batch has in those particular jobsshown by the fact that they are all Day 1 companies. A couple of them were more disappointing than others though. My CAS page shows the unholy not shortlists to be leading the shortlists, 6-3. Itd be an overstatement to say that each one is a body blow, but, they do feel like banging your knee against furnituretoo many of thoseand youve got a broken foot/ankle/kneetake your pick.

My sunny disposition can also be partly attributed to yet making a shortlist but not going all the way. Can honestly say, I didn’t quite want to, but when fly-by-night IT companies decide not to interview you, you start to wonder. The VP Strategic solutions decided to shortlist a whole bunch of people and then subject us to group discussions to then pick the final few to be interviewed. The gd itself, my first, was a handy experience, made me mindful that the group youre in has a huge impact on your chances.

The real deal starts in 2 days (1 day for the Mck, BCG, ATK aspirants) and the feeling of being grossly unprepared is making its presence felt (anyone whos read previous posts is not allowed to comment J). Whats that they say about those who get going when the going gets tough? no…its not from an ad for a laxative

Note to self: Keep the faiththink positive thoughtsget beer J

snooze…

In ISB on February 12, 2006 at 6:37 pm

I dont know what the big deal is…I really dontthis placements business I mean. Everywhere, there are people scurrying from one meeting to another preparing for their interviews like their lives depended on it. Then theres mewatching my 3rd movie since term ended on Friday and got done with most assignments. Take today for examplespent the first half watching Australia pummel a hapless Lanka, something like what a heavyweight champion would do to a welter-weightwhos been hogtiedand yeah, the champs just been told that the lil fellas been making merry with the champs wife when hes away turning peoples faces into pulp with his fists. ouch! than made a pretence of working on a couple of applications that are due tomorrowthen there was musica napsurfingTV…all the good stuff.

The fact that I’m still wondering if theres a correlation between the amount of prep and the quality of shortlists/interviews/jobs, that pretty much explains why there are people wholl land the plum jobs and they aint me J With less than a week to go before the first interviews begin, a barrage of shortlisted/not-shortlisted emails is expected to hit mailboxes starting tomorrow. For all this bluster about being all chilled out, am myself kinda curious to see how I react once I’m aware that I have an interview slated for so-and-so date and time where I’ll be asked to convince some absolute strangers in the span of an hour or so why I’m their biggest find of the season. Will I overheat and explode at the first sign of stress or will I be able to stay composed and represent myself with some justiceonly the next few days will tell. Oh boyand how J (in case you noticed, am discounting the possibility of not being shortlisted at allif you haven’t already figuredam an optimist 😉

term 7 ends

In ISB on February 11, 2006 at 5:54 am

Yup, were into the last term break of our time here. Before lapsing into clichés about time and its inevitability, there is the small matter of placements on the minds of everyone right now. A week to go before companies are on campus, hunting (or scavenging) depending on what part of the food chain they emanate from. 7 has been the most standout term so far here, not necessarily in good ways. The interest in academics was almost non-existent which was quite a departure for many people around as most crammed their time with focus group meetings; some for the majors (fin, marketing et al) and others, slightly more minor…‘how to sit across from the interview with your jaw lined up just right for max impact. Maybe I exaggerate a lil J Slogged away on two yesterday and now left with just one more liability for the term (read assignment). Its kinda funny to imagine that very few people around campus have any idea where theyll be just a couple of months from now. That reminds me I really shouldnt be wasting time on posting inane details of my liferather attend focus grp meeting dedicated to modulate your voice just right to get that james earl jones baritone. Or maybe I’ll just go watch a movie (rang de basanti to be precise)

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In Uncategorized on February 8, 2006 at 6:21 pm

I must be dying

form is temporary…class is…

In Uncategorized on February 6, 2006 at 9:59 pm

Long dayenervating classesa couple of ad-hoc (but highly useful) sessionsassignments to completeapplications to submit. But this posts about something else, or rather, someone else.

Hes been around so long, that, as supporters of the team wearing blue, we claim a certain ownership; almost as if he was this huge corporation, of which there are over 1 billion shareholders (even more if you count the lovers of the game worldover). And a hugely profitable corporation at that. If an ad were to be made; the famous mastercard storyboard would go something like, cable connectionRs. x/month, time off from work/schoolRs. Ywatching Sachin batpriceless!

Be it ever so simple as that. In the test series, Sachin got out to Shoaib, fending a short one down the legside. Moin Khan indicated in his syndicated column that this was the beginning of the end for the only man who could probably make the verifiable claim that John Lennon made decades ago about how the Beatles were more popular than you-know-who. The Pakistani wicketkeeper, who, going by his article, having had questionable levels of education, and was also allegedly part of the noble clan of match-fixers went on to suggest that Sachin was in fact not out, but walked because of his fear of the fast bowler. To be fair, you cant blame the guy, hes only trying to make a buck, albeit by using sensationalism as opposed to by underperforming to lose matches for his country. But, I digress.

That dismissal was followed by two when he was needed to get big scores in the Karachi test. One was a casual shot, the other, a bit of bad luck, but maybe he shouldve been playing forward. The daggers came out, the point of discussion on every channel that can afford to rent bandwidth on a satellite, was if Sachin was nearing his best-sold-by date as a cricketer. Experts (read as former players), most of whom, had distinguished themselves by warming benches on tours and having batting averages in the single digits started reasoning why he is no more the player that he was and that its time to retire.

And then Sachin went and ruined it for them. In the first one-dayer, he scored an even 100, his 39th in one-dayers. Before the volte-face articles by those same journalists extolling how he was comparable only to Bradman come out, I’ll state that I didn’t get a lot of pleasure from watching him bat in the early overs (the rest of the time was spent in class). He was unsure about his feet, playing and missing, incutters thudding into pad and then he was also bowled on 20 (off a no-ball). not something that should happen with such alarming regularity to a top batsman, leave alone, someone on the all-time greats list. My point is, it was an innings far below his standards, and I state this in spite of the 8 fours and 1 six. So, have I sold my soul and joined the lot who think hes done.

Hell no! the very point I’m making is that the man does not owe his stature as a cricketer to trifling innings on featherbed pitches. Hes far bigger than inane series averages and attention-seeking pseudo-journalists. Those whove been paying attention, would know, that he stills scampers around boundary ropes diving to save runs, that his face still contorts in agony when he misses a potential direct-hit run-out, that he still jumps with the glee of a 19 year old when one of his teammates takes an important wicket. That he has been wearing that Indian crest in the same manner for over 15 yearswith pride. That’s what makes him the cricketer, naythe person that he is. And hence, he could play for 5 more years and not make a run, for me, hed still be the best that ever will be. YupSachin not score runslike that’s gonna happen 😉 guess that’s why we have clichés Form is temporaryclassis permanent

p.s: if youre a Sachin fan, feel free to commentif youre notI dare u to 😉

I’m so ‘tier’ed…

In ISB on February 3, 2006 at 7:01 pm

May you live in interesting times ancient Chinese curse

Oft-quoted, but never has it been as true as it is in the times at the ISB these days. Placement fever gripped campus at the start of term 7, but it touched new heights in the last few days with a zillion job postings downloading themselves into every mailbox from the optimistically named placements@isb.edu email id. If the urgency with which people open those emails followed by visiting the websites of the respective companies is anything to go by, the webmasters of these companies must surely be paid overtime come placement season in b-schools because of the spike in http requests to their servers. Ok, I gotta admit, I just used up all the tech jargon I have. Today was even more special though, the results came outyeah, those of the tiering process. Seems like only yesterday that the campus was abuzz when the results of the bidding in the first elective term came outhell! It was yesterday! The list of companies, from days, 1 to 8 was announced. While most of them were the usual suspects (read consulting), there were some that raised eyebrows with their favorable position in the pecking order (Infy on day 2?!!). The reason it’s a big deal is simple, if companies A, B and C are my preference in descending order and if the order that theyre coming to campus is in fact C, B and A, then I’m the unenviable position of having to choose between (1) be braverefuse C or B counting on A making me an offer. Downside, I end up with none of the three or (2) play it safeaccept one of C and B at which point I’m out of the process and resigned to my fate (well not quite that dramatic maybe). Of course, considering that most people have more than just the three companies on their list, the permutations are endless.

To use one quote is weak writing, but to use two is plain sacrilege, but one would agree, as would the queen (or was it the duchess) and the tin manwith the way most ppl on campus feel right now

Hold on Dorothycoz..Kansasis going bye bye! in The Matrix

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