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Archive for the ‘Bschool’ Category

School is over :)

1 March 2007 2 comments

Today is my last day at Bschool and as most of you know, I’ll be in Bangalore in a couple of months. I have travelled quite a lot over the last two years, especially the last 6 months both in and out of India. Apart from that, it has been intentionally light learning. I am just hoping to have a nice time in my next stage of life! 🙂

PS: I must thank Shruthi for her mention on Blogbharti and Mridula for the duplicate mention (removed now).

PPS: Please expect less regular posts for some time.

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Categories: Bschool

Lessons from the Metroman

9 February 2007 1 comment

Guest lectures have been intellectually stimulating components of my Bschool life. This evening, we had a rather short talk from the Metroman of India, Dr. Sreedharan, the man behind the Delhi Metro (The Economist has done a piece on him last year). I liked his no-nonsense talk. He emphasised 4 things for a successful person.

  1. Punctuality (He says this is a courtesy to the others)
  2. Integrity (He says it is not only about honesty rather a sense of moral values)
  3. Knowledge (You guys know it…)
  4. Health (which in turn derives from 3 things – a. Balanced Diet b. Ample Sleep, Early-to-bed, early-to-rise c. Character)
Categories: Bschool, Society

My love story…

22 December 2006 2 comments

…with Bangalore will continue next June. It is the dream of every respectful collegian to get a job on his first campus interview! My dream stands fulfilled. Back to Bangalore, folks!

Categories: Bschool, Me

Exchange student life

2 November 2006 5 comments

Now that I read travel advisories about Fiji, I am indeed lucky that I won’t be travelling to Fiji later. These remind me that Fiji is worse known for its government instability and military coups. But I won’t talk about travel or books. Here I have been remarkably silent about the very purpose (?) of my stay in Auckland. One of my friends teased me if I am doing agriculture here. That’s a good option if I had come on a working holiday. But well, I don’t know if Indian passport-holders are allowed to have a gap year (http://gapyear.com – a very good site) or a working holiday anywhere. NZ has plenty of farms to choose from – sheep, dairy and surprisingly deer farms. Venison or deer meat is mighty popular in Germany, I am told.

So I am here for the study, a long stay (28 Aug to 12 Dec) at one of Auckland’s newest universities. It gives me my first proper international exposure (never mind the countless conference calls we geeks had with Americans and Canadians). One term back in Indore translates to two terms here. I take three courses each term. There is a week-long break between terms too. Classes happen thrice a week (one for each course) in the evening from 6 to 9. Each term runs for 7 weeks, the last week being assessment week. My first term classes ran from Tue to Thu and the second’s from Mon to Wed, giving me 4 free days. Now you can imagine how easy it is to travel on such a schedule. Of course, I can afford to miss one class per term per course. That means, I can take a whole week off. But I am a studious boy and have only missed one class in the first term. I plan to skip two this term.

Half the students in the class are Indians and the other half are Chinese. No, that is not true. But a large proportion (>75%) is Asian, leaving little space for the locals. Imagine escaping Hindi in Indore to encounter all of it here in Auckland! Education is a major source of export revenues for NZ and it definitely milks international students. The classes are quite small, with just about 20 people on an average. In India, evening classes means part-time courses. But here you can work and study full-time, attending these evening classes. Having come from a study-only environment, I cannot help feeling it is so easy and relaxed here. Assignments, presentations and exams are very light. Good for me, other universities must be different, I think.

The best part has been the teachers. They have amazing experience and are very good in their subjects. I have had a mixed bag of teachers – Sri Lankan, Kiwi and Chinese. The economics guy was a relative of Jayasuriya. Unfortunately I haven’t had any Indian teachers. The best thing about them is that they all have been giving me good grades, much better than what I got in Indore. Yes, my first term grades have come and have been excellent. Sadly the exchange program scorecard only will reflect the name of the course and a pass or fail and not my grades. That gives me less incentive to study.

One more term, two more exams and two more beautiful South Island trips will make this exchange program the best 100 days of my life, not including my school days. It’s been one helluva learning experience! 🙂

Categories: Bschool

Going south…

2 August 2006 4 comments

This must be my worst kept secret. After 7 years of inactivity, the pages of my passport are being filled for a destination that boasts of the southernmost capital in the world. I am doing my Term 5 in Tamaki Makau Rau, Aotearoa – a period of 14 weeks to be precise, with a trip to its sister city Bris Vegas thrown in the October break. Tamaki Makau Rau and Aotearoa are Maori names for Auckland and New Zealand respectively, whereas Bris Vegas is the pet name for Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. I am excited, no doubt. Going international is the fad(!) with Bschools here and ours is no exception. The hitch is all the expenses are mine and that is the prime reason why I got selected. In any case, the tuition fees are waived and that is a huge portion of education costs abroad.

Student discounts shall sustain me, I hope with my ISIC. The site says “You are a student only once, enjoy!” The selection happened in March and put an end to my family’s plans of visiting me in Indore and touring Rajasthan. After customary hassles associated with planning a trip, I am reasonably sure about the details. My flight tickets are done, thanks to the father of a classmate, who runs a travel agency in Jalandhar, Punjab (where he tells me international travel is huge). I have a rather tight schedule, with just 10 hours to say tata to Amma, Abi and the rest in Madras where I will take the Singapore flight. I hardly have any time there and I would keep flying to my destination. On my way back, I will have a 6 hour halt in Hong Kong, where everything seems expensive. I wonder how I will study. It seems to be the last priority for me there. I have taken my first loan in life for this exchange and I have to use it to the fullest.

I got lucky with my stay as one MBA student there and her hubby offered me (in an extremely nice gesture) accommodation at a nominal fee, saving me quite some money. Also, the couple are fond of travel just like me. I hope to make the maximum out of their NZ knowledge. NZ became enticing to me, thanks to Madhan‘s bushwalking photos and hearty recommendation some time back. We had to choose between France, NZ and China. France is where every one else is headed. France opens avenues to the whole of Europe. But I had two reasons. I have a strong feeling I shall go to Europe some time in my life and Europe would be cold during this period. It will be spring to start with in NZ and a pleasant summer to finish. Of course, Madhan is at his usual generous best with an invitation for me to spend a week with him, all expenses paid of course. I would have to just arrange the flights.

Also, the NZ sites are a wealth of info. In fact, there is so much of it that I am finding it difficult to remember it all. I have made most of my enquiries online and what a pleasure it is to do business with folks who respond over email so promptly. When I was at this, I came upon this great Indian flights metasearch site, which looks so deceptively simple. I booked on it and found it to be easy to use and having the best fares. The delivery was quicker, with AFL. Now, all I have to do is sit back and wait for a few weeks when I will find myself in the original God’s Own Country.

Categories: Bschool, Travel

Playing wordly games

16 July 2006 5 comments

One of the many things I wish I were introduced a little earlier in my life is word games. My dad’s office had a recreation club (for its staff NOT the officers), often wrongly associated to the club dances that appeared in the movies of those years. I was a regular patron to the club, chiefly because it had magazines, novels, cable TV (we subscribed after Abi’s class 12), a TT table and a shuttle court. It was one of the major means of entertainment for my friends and me. I could write episodes of the events that used to happen there. Before I get off track, Scrabble was purchased by the club when I was in Class 8. No one there knew how to use it. We, the knowledgeable English medium kids, read the rules and regulations of the game and interpreted it to the best of our abilities. We didn’t insist on the connections between successive plays. We could use the bonus squares as often as we could. This often led to a rush for the triple word scores. This lasted for a year till we found knowledgeable partners.

The next word game that comes to my mind is Hangman in Class 9, which we had to program for a state wide contest held in Anna University. Guru in my team did the coding that time. Mooku and his team won the first prize and we lost out in the semis. Hangman was very addictive and we developed many derivative games. There is the popular World Cup 1992 game, where we had to guess the full names of the cricket players. Like book cricket, this game was more often played in class. It must be Meera who got me introduced to this word game where each player should start a word which ends with the last letter of the previous player’s word. This made me mug up the words starting in ‘y’. Such games are very nice to be played in small gatherings, when you have run out of topics to talk. It goes without saying that the players have to feel for the word.

At college, the GRE preparations had all folks playing word games, apart from reading the normal Norman Lewis. One popular game used to be called GHOST. Each player had to say one letter, without completing the word. If he completes a word, he gets a letter from GHOST. If he gets all letters of GHOST, he becomes a GHOST. This continues till there is just one non-GHOST. Our classmates were fanatics of the game. In our room, we used to play late in the night after the lights have been switched off. I got introduced to Bulls and Cows somewhere during this time. Most of my trips back home used to be with the MIT boys. In one such trip, we played word games non-stop till Erode came and the wordly girl had to get down. Memorable games are played in the train for sure 🙂

Bschool has a set of logophiles (word lovers). My neighbour and I played Bulls & Cows in the first year when we could not stand the class. In a year, I have grown wiser that I have invented/discovered a word game in yesterday’s class. It does not seem very clever, but it is original and fun to play.

Here it goes: The first player writes a word. From its last letter, the next player has to start his word. The catch is his word should not end in a letter that has been the last letter in any of the earlier rounds. This restricts the number of rounds to 26 and so the game gets over fast. Anyone who repeats a last letter is penalised. This rule and the whole game I cooked up in a flash of brilliance. I was trying to make the rules midway because I started the game while trying to kill time and the game just followed. My partner suggests an improvisation that in case of any mistake, the next player should start with the first letter of the previous word. How quickly the game evolves! Our first game ends when my partner is stuck with a word that needs to start in i and end in b,q,v,u,j. In the next game, we start scoring ourselves based on the length of the words and the penalty is a stiff negative of 10 points. This gives the player a bonus to think longer for longer words. One more evolution and lo, the game is formed. We need to think of a time limit for every play and the game would be complete.

Just two games have been played and it seems promising. Do play it and let me know how you like it. I hope I have been able to explain the game. Let me illustrate it with the first game we played.

P1: serendipity P2: yacht P1: tyrant P2: nepotism P1:masculine P1: empirical P2: lure (-1 This is when I framed the rule!) P1: earth P2: hunk P1: Keep P2: peer P1: road P2: darling P1: garlic P2: carton (-1) P1: nebula P2: allow P1: waltz P2: zeal (-1 My partner’s suggestion here) P1: zoo P2: octopus P1: stiff P2: fund (-1) P1: foci

Categories: Bschool, Me

One year up

16 June 2006 2 comments

It's almost a year since we joined here. The initial excitement of an MBA disappeared long back. I live a student's life without feeling like one. When I was asked by Abi's managers on what I do, I hesitated before I replied to being a student. It has to do with that detached way I've been leading my life ever since school.

Unlike some people who have a definite idea of what they should do with their MBAs and their lives, I live by accident. No wonder, I really didn't know what I wanted with the degree. Of course, anything distant and unknown appears so wonderful. "What do they teach at Bschool?" was the attitude I had when I joined here and I still wonder about that query. Some come here to switch their careers. Yes, if you work hard or are not stereotyped to be from a background. Some are here to put their careers on a fast track. I am not sure about what will happen to me. My experiment was more fun and less work.

Everyone's favourite question this year is "What is your specialization?". I try to escape saying the truth — the IIMs give a general degree. But when they insist, I just blabber. Hardcore finance requires analysis, woe to me. Also, I seem to have developed a resistance for numbers lately. Marketing even after two terms conjures strange visions in my mind. IT is a case of "been there, done that". As for HR, how can one possibly study it? It's all in my detached mind. I will end up doing a mix of most things.

Yes, I lack seriousness. I lack (hard) work. I lack passion. If there is one thing I keep learning, it's my sarcasm. I'm a natural. Between football on the ground and on the TV, our 2nd year has started and the destination is still as hazy as ever. Well, who cares about the roadmap, as long as the journey is delightful?

Categories: Bschool