Monday, March 28, 2005

Flyaway - In US of A

Before I begin, I must request each one of you who is kind enough to visit my blog to post comment, if you can regarding the content, style of writing or anything you can think of. This would help me greatly to improve my writing and the readablility of the blog.

Over the past week my life has taken a sudden and drastic turn, but not an entirely unexpected one. On 21st morning just as I got out of bed and was thinking of preparing for XIMB interview coming up the next day, I received a call from my PM to head Onsite asap(meaning within the week). I wasn't that serious about XIMB or IITKGP for that matter and had been waiting for this, so I knew that I would be in US in no time.
I somehow did manage to attend the XIMB interview on 22nd and did reasonably well without any preparation(Lack of preparation did have an effect on my performance)
Wednesday, I was back in office and the next couple of days were messy, with me running around to make travel arrangements, get documents in order and take KT for the new project that I was going for. Friday evening and I managed to getting everything ready on time to catch the flight, including shopping and all the clothes and stuff.
My Itenariry read like this
with approx 24 hours of flight time and 36 hrs of travel time... and was that tiring. I didn't manage much sleep on the plane either, but ate well ;-)
I met stephen at the paris airport and he was heading in the opposite direction to mumbai from US. He had done his share of travelling and we had a nice conversation with him sharing his experiences.
I did manage a glimpse of effiel tower from the plane also a few photographs at the airport, I'll see if I can share them.
I reached safely and was received by my friends at airport. Haven't still got over my jet lag, didn't expect to get over that in 2-3 days anyway. My complexion is looking bit reddish(Like most americans up here and very unlike sub-continent folks) cause of the cold weather (10-15 celcius) which is considered the beginning of the summer and a very pleasant weather, relatively speaking cause it goes down to -20 to -30 C in winters!!
Well! its been a great couple of days since I landed here. I went to office today and also got my "laptop" and hence this post coming within couple of days of landing here. I'll write more about stuff here in detail.
btw i didnt get time to inform most of my friends, am doing that now.

Here are the Pictures

Paris Airport Posted by Hello

Cloud cover Posted by Hello

Minneapolis - Landing Posted by Hello

Sunday, March 13, 2005

VGSOM (IITKGP) Interview

I had My VGSOM interview yesterday and here is the gist of it.
My Interview was scheduled for 2 pm on 13/03/2005 at IISc Bangalore. Reporting time was 1 pm
My preparation
Last week before Interview: None
Day before: 1 hour - Read through my form, and thought about answers for standard questions.
On the day: Was watching a movie in the morning. 'How to lose a guy in 10 days' great movie. Very Romantic. Also helped me take my mind of the interview.
My attitude/Approach
If you have read my previous post, you'd know that I wasn't very keen on joining VGSOM but still wanted to clear the GD/PI. Way I figured it "They needed me more than I needed them"
Neat. Formal Attire with tie. Well ironed clothes. Nice trimmed hair and shining black shoes. Appearances are important!
P.S. Formal means light shirt with dark pants generally. I am saying this cos many ppl have a habit of wearing dark shirts to Interviews. For girls try wearing western formals, Alternatively sarees also appear formal.
Venue and time before Interview
I reached the venue at 12:30 and we had to wait till about 2:15 when a first year student took us through a presentation about the school and the interview process.
We were then escorted to another building for our Group discussion and Interview process. We were divided into 3 groups of 9-10 members each.
Group Discussion
This was a case study as follows:
Your company manufactures Water pumps for cars and presently has 3 big car manufacturers in India as customers. However you are overdependent on them and also your presence is restricted to certain locations in India. You need to come out with an advertising Strategy(TV/Sponsorship etc)
Format: 1 minute for opening comments, 10 mintues for discussions, then write down 3 salient points of the discussion.
Opening comments, I went first, it was based on seating arrangement.
The discussion went well and lot of good ideas came about. Everyone got a chance to speak and we had few different ideas to work with. However I felt everone was focussed on presenting his point and there was very little argument or contradiction on each other points. The GD went well and each of us felt satisfied with the oppurtunity we got to get our point across.
I was the first for the interview and was quite happy with that.
There was only one panelist for the interview, Associate Dean (same person who was in the GD). He was very nice and friendly guy and I felt really comfortable from the start.
He began by inquiring about my background. I spoke for about one minute about myself and he did ask me to elaborate on couple of points.
After that the focus shifted to co-curricular activities and he inquired about my exploits in cricket. This continued for another 2 minutes.
Now we were discussing my hobbies and somewhere in between I did mention about my interest in reading about finance and investing in stock markets. He posed me a hypothetical question which I was able to answer easily. This part went smoothely as I am well versed in Finance and I consult for about 20 guys at work about investing in stock markets!!
Rest of the discussion went like this -
Prof: What do you find challenging at work
Me : told him about the numerous challenges and also mentioned that I enjoy dealing with them.
Prof: Why do you have such a low rank? Do you know the only reason that we have called you is because of your profile and work ex??
Me: (I resisted a smile cos I knew he was bluffing. There were enough guys outside with lower rank and no work ex. Also I knew that my rank was at the higher end of the spectrum for this B-school. Anyways, I played along)
I know. I could have done much better(Truth) I wasn't able to focus on preparation due to work pressure(Truth)
Prof: Your form looks good, Your profile has everything. Are you Interested?
Me: Yes definetly.
Prof: Thats all from me. Anything you want to ask?
Me: I had a question about consulting placements. Geniune one. He replied with a generic answer.
Prof: How do you think your interview went?
Me: Good. I was satisfied.
Prof: What about GD?
Me: Good, but I thought most of us were focussing on presenting our ideas rather than discussing. It doesn't happen that way in real life.
Prof: Agree. You all were in presentation mode rather than critical mode. Thanks. Best of luck
Me: Thank you Sir.
Shook Hands and left
End of interview
I left with a feeling that I should get a call in all probability.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Reality Check

Where I am right now?
I am 24, Single, working in a software company (like thousands other in Bangalore). So what does differentiate me from the rest? or am I just 'Another brick in the wall'
I have been doing some thinking about my career and personal goals lately, primarily because I thought MBA was a good option for me, and hence I decided to apply for Best B-schools. So one of things I needed to figure out was where I was going and how I plan to get there.
Past few months have been with their ups and downs. With the hectic work load, I still managed a decent preparation for 'CAT' but didn't write it that well. I did do considerably better in my other exams. However when results came out, one thing was clear - IIMs were out, I had to settle for the 2nd best now. I got SP Jain call and I thought I did okay but was kicked out in Round -1. (Still trying to figure out that one). All is not lost, I still have two more calls from VGSOM(IITKGP) and XIMB(Ranked 15th and 10th in India according to BW)
However I have been asking myself on why I should settle for second best. I am confident that I can make it to the IIMs if I write again next year or even try for an US MBA. The logistics and Financial constraints for a Foreign MBA do pose a huge challenge and this had left me in a dilemma.
Now, after couple of weeks of hard thinking and turmoil, I am more or less certain that I am upto the challenge for a foreign MBA. Life is all about taking risk isn't it? If I do not venture, what will I discover!
Hence I am writing this blog instead of preparing for the interviews coming up next week.
I do plan to attend the Interviews and hopefully clear them (Just in case I change my mind or something else comes up that compels me to take up these offers)
I know that many students from India have made it to US B-schools, I mean the best ones like Harvard and Stanford, but something tells me that this doesnt make it any easier for me. Actually I somehow relate to 'Green days' latest song, which goes -

I walk a lonely road
The only one that I have ever known
Don't know where it goes
But it's home to me and I walk alone
I walk this empty street
On the Boulevard of Broken Dreams
Where the city sleeps
and I'm the only one and I walk alone
"Boulevard Of Broken Dreams" by Green day.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Here I am, this is me

This is meant to track my journey through life, my hopes and aspirations and my search for the true meaning of life.

Here is a bit of Intro about myself.
I am 24 yr old guy living in Bangalore and working in IT services company. I love sports, adventure, traveling trekking reading and loads of other stuff.
I guess you’ll get to know me better as the story unfolds.
This should give you an idea of what I am thinking

Searching an infinite Where,
Probing a bottomless When,
Dreamfully wandering,
Ceaselessly pondering,
What is the Wherefore of men:
Bartering life for a There,
Selling his soul for a Then,
Baffling obscurity,
Conning futurity,
Usefulest, wisest of men!
Grasping the Present of Life,
Seizing a definite Now,
Labouring thornfully,
Banishing scornfully
Doubts of his Whither and How:
Spending his substance in Strife,
Working a practical How,
Letting obscurity
Rest on futurity,
Usefuler, wiser, I trow.

This was "The Philosopher and the Philanthropist" by James Kenneth Stephen
More later.......

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