Archive for February, 2005

Diary Feb 18th 2005

February 19, 05 by Bharani

The loneliness is slowly killing me…The enthusiasm on the work front is rapidly decreasing as the project is almost complete.

I have planned so many things and still they are not executed. Hoping to see off many things in the weekend. Need to buy some gift to my recommenders. Have to obtain reference letters from workplace and client, which will be helpful in job interviews. Have to book the flight ticket from chennai to hyderabad. Have to contact banks and find out more details regarding loans. Need to start cleaning up my place slowly….

Today, I got my application for google adsense approved. Let’s see if it brings me some pocket money…It’s almost 2:00 a.m and am still awake [Practising for the life ahead in ISB :-) ]..Time to hit bed..

Placement figures of IIMs…

February 17, 05 by Bharani

Foreign placements from IIMs surge 600%

“…Students at IIM-A and IIM-C were offered a total of 32 foreign placements in countries like US, European Union, Hong Kong, Singapore and mid-East this year as against a total foreign placement of just five last year.

Additionally, the pay-cheque being offered this year is impressive too, with maximum salary offered for foreign placement being $80,000 per annum to a student of IIM-C.

The highest domestic salary so far in the lateral placement is Rs 14.5 lakh per annum, which went to an IIM-A graduate. The laterals for any institute start much earlier than the finals since most of the placements are for middle and top management level and hence require longer duration…”

That’s impressive…Placement figures for ISB are expected to be out by the end of this month..

On the other side of the planet, more interesting things are happening. Read the following news article

Come home with US MBA & pay less.

“…A new scheme being devised by a number of America’s toniest business schools aims to do just that: a loan forgiveness programme specifically for students from emerging countries who want to return home and work, usually at pay scales much lower than the MBA average at such schools…”

Isn’t that encouraging? Definitely it will motivate more MBA aspirants to look up for American universities without financial fear…

Conflict Resolution

February 17, 05 by Bharani

Two days back, I had a duel with my driving instructor, due to his wrong instructions which almost led us to accident. I very clearly heard from him to go straight while we were waiting for a green signal. When the green signal came and I went straight ahead, he said “Hey, why do you go straight, I said turn left..”.We were almost hit by a vehicle because of the momentary confusion that followed. He never accepted that he told to me go straight. The entire session was filled with some misunderstandings. At the end of the class he was not happy with me, I was not happy with him.

Today, before beginning the class, I had a small talk with him and explained him clearly that I want his best effort to get me passed. I also granted him my complete trust on my part. This eased the cold-war and what followed was one of the best teaching I have ever had in my life. He even started giving me some valuable tips, which he never care to tell his students. His interest in getting me passed was appearing rather obvious in his face. There were couple of instances when he gave wrong instructions today, but he corrected it immediately. On my part, I put in some effort by re-learning all the traffic rules and imagining mentally various scenarios that can happen on the road. At the end of the class, he was happy and I was extremely happy.

Amazing what sorting out things can do!

Taj Mahal – 1944

February 16, 05 by Bharani

Somedays back, I received the link from one of my friend.

Digital South Asia Library.

“…The Hensley Collection is comprised of photographs taken during World War II by an American serviceman, Glenn S. Hensley. The photographs, numbering almost 600, were given to the University of Chicago Library by the photographer. The text accompanying the images is derived from notes written by Mr. Hensley.


The images include a rich array of photographs taken in Calcutta during 1943-44 by Mr. Hensley, a professional photographer participating in the surveillance of the Japanese in Burma for the U.S. Army. During his off-duty time Mr. Hensley used his ethnographer’s eye to capture daily life in a number of locations around India. The majority of the images are from Calcutta and its environs. Other locations in this collection are Madras, Kharagpur, Agra, and Burma. The photographs and notes were prepared by Hensley for his wife to use in teaching world history courses in Missouri during World War II…”

Impressive collection of photographs. The pictures of Madras, Calcutta were impressive and portrays the life of Indians in 1940’s..I admired the pictures of Tajmahal and vast empty land surrounding it…

A Visit to ISB – Insights from an admitted student.

February 16, 05 by Bharani

http://mbaideas.blogspot.com/2005/02/great-debate-is-settled.html.

Read on and you will find answers to many of your questions…

“..The debate is settled at least for me .

I have finally been able to gather some of my thoughts for this post. I guess I need to start from the beginning

Criteria for admit into ISB

1. Reasonably strong academic background
2. Demonstrated Leadership Potential.
3. Diversity in background and work-ex.
4. Quality of work -experience.

One visit to ISB has made me realize how important the above four criteria really are .
My point of view is based specifically on the inputs and personal interview of students of the current batch.

1. ISB one-year course is intense and MBA curriculum is numbers driven, a lot of it involves number crunching and data interpretation. In fact you trained to make decisions on solid facts. Although different people may interpret the same data differently. So it is important to have some level of comfort with numbers and written English.

2. ISB is looking to create corporate world-leaders, so you at least need something to start with. It is really a very strong platform for the leap you might be intending to take. The kinds of roles and job-offers this year’s students have got is mind-boggling to say the least. They have some of the world-leading and up-coming corporates lining up at their doors. Quality is the key word here. Though in pursuit of quality some of it has become a little “GLAM” but then it is another USP for which the corporates are ready to pay that little extra in terms of higher salary.

3. Diversity in student body helps in a number of ways.
a) you can have a larger variety of corporates coming in with job offers.
b.) You are able to reach a wider audience in terms of industries and roles covered.( this helps in terms of alumni network).
c.) Helps a lot in learning through case studies, as you will have atleast one person with practical knowledge of the industry being talked about.
d.) As a manager you are supposed to manage all kinds of people and talent with different goals and diff. motivations.
e.) You learn to get less and less distracted by what others are doing.You learn to become focused and forge your own path.

Work- ex is important in a no. of ways too…

You will need to have lot of maturity in handling team situations here. This is because everybody here does come with some “ego”. Though, you later realize that there are always others better than you at everything.
Initially there will be lot of self- centered thinking, plotting , secretive studies, strategy, politics only because you feel highly competitive and want to get ahead of the rest. But, this will all be in vain as all yes ALL the activities at ISB are team based. Basically you swim with your team or you sink with your team. Individually you will not be able to survive literally. Sometimes you may be able to choose your team at others you will have to make do with what you have been assigned. The whole key to success will be managing people or rather team mates effectively.( isn’t that what managers are supposed to do effectively).
There are bound to be lot of emotional pressures also, which will need lot of maturity on your part to cope up with. (Hope fully your work-ex helps in this too).

Quality of work-ex is also another factor in landing right jobs. There is no shortcut to the top, so it is essential to have done hard-work and ground work before you become capable of leading people or organization.

More in my next post so keep visiting …………….

– Thought Leader

Part 2….

MBA == Exponential growth?

February 15, 05 by Bharani

Somedays back, a current Student, Tahseen Jamal of ISB ‘05, presented the following Analogy.

y = mx
y = e^x

He used this to emphasize the importance of MBA in one’s career. While y=mx represents a linear growth without MBA, y=e^x represents an exponential growth. What he effectively means is that MBA provides an oppurtunity for exponential growth (not just money, but responsibilities, roles, learnings etc.,). Even though the growth will be slow in the beginning with an MBA, the growth will be faster in the longer run.

I personally found his mathematical approach very interesting. But I would like to analyse it bit more deeply. Let’s assume that ‘y‘ represents the growth, ‘x‘ represents the number of years and the function/equation as such determines the growth pattern. Also let’s restrict the value of x to 60 [age until one retires].

In the case of y=mx, the ‘m‘ determines the growth potential. If ‘m‘ is high enough, then it might happen that y=e^x might never cross/overtake the y=mx pattern. There are certain cases in which the growth is super linear. E.g., Possessing a skill set which is very rare. ‘m‘ is determined by your skillset, passion, focus and other personal attributes. In the absence of MBA, these are the attributes that pulls one to great heights. This proves the cases of achievers who don’t have MBA.

On the other hand, MBA cannot necessarily be represented by y=e^x. Since ‘e’ represents euler number of 2.73 (a constant), I would modify the equation to make it y=m^x. Now, the value of ‘m’ is a variable. If the value of ‘m‘ turn out be less than 1, you can see that the growth retards! (This proves the case where a person with MBA turns out be a under-performer). In this case too, ‘m‘ determines the actual growth pattern. The personal attributes, vision, goal, passion and effort determines the ‘m‘. Well, what does this all mean?

MBA will give your results, only if you have your ‘m‘ factor right. If you blindly believe that MBA degree will give you a boost in your career, then you are doomed for sure. In the end, it’s YOU who is going to achieve. If you have the right ‘m’ factor and if you have an MBA, you will definitely achieve your goals and will be extremely successful.

Coming to the end of the ramblings, I would like to present another set of equations presented by the same student.

MBA – Passion – Effort = Stamped Paper in hand

MBA + Passion + Effort = True MBA

Strong Passion + Effort + Hardwork + Commitment = Raw Experience

True MBA > (Strong Passion + Effort + Hardwork + Commitment) >> Stamped Paper in Hand

I am aware that this is a debatable topic, so please feel free to bombard the post with your comment missiles..

Diary Feb 14th 2005.

February 14, 05 by Bharani

“Easy on your break..Easy on your pedal..Go to 4th gear now..Look over your shoulders…Don’t ride on your pedals…Watch for pedestrians from your right..”. Typical instructions that any instructor from driving school would give. When I went back to start off my remaining lessons, I found that the previous instructor has left his job (received a better offer from rival school!) and a new instructor has been assigned to me. The new one was from Scotland who has settled in Belgium, so English was in his genes. But the teaching styles are so different, that I felt like starting from scratch. To add salt to the wound, the vehicle that I practiced 6 months before is not available anymore. The new car has totally different layout in terms of gear shifting, indicators, lights etc., At the end of 2 hours, I find myself wanting in practice. Actually, I don’t have problems in driving as such..But the problem lies in interacting with real world, remembering the rules, doing many things at a time ‘fluently’ and ofcourse in finding the correct ‘biting’ point of clutch..I have left my hopes..Will just take up the remaining classes for fun!

Couple of interesting things happened during the lesson. He was telling me, “Use indicators when going to the road from parking or overtaking”. Immediately a person from behind me overtook without using his indicators! Instructor handled that by saying “He is flunked” :-) . On another occasion, he was telling me to keep on the right and not to cross the middle line. Immeidately, a car came from the 90 degree turn on the wrong side. Again his comment was “He should have been flunked”. 5 such similar contradictions happened. It was fun..

I couldn’t make it to the office by 6:30 a.m. By the time, I reached the office it was almost 8:00 a.m. Just told my boss that I will compensate by working extra hours this week..

On the ISB front, I received an email from Admission committee urging students to apply for loans by March 5th. They also provided contact information for each banks. But I am planning to fill the initial installment from my savings. I will take the loan only for the second installment, in September.

I also received my membership for the “The Colloborative blog of ISB” (Thanks Sumit). You can expect my scribblings soon in the quasi-official blog of ISB.

I remembered that today was Valentine’s day only after seeing couple of forwards from my friends. Incidentally, I went to office in a green shirt and laughed to myself ;-)

Just noticed that I have been blogging almost for every single day since January 24th. Let’s see how far I can go….

Tech Job Opportunities

February 13, 05 by Bharani

Pasting this link from Sumit Dhar’sblog.

http://sumitdhar.blogspot.com/2005/02/tech-job-opportunities.html.

For all the techies out there, awesome job opportunities at the Technology Division of a top US based Financial Services Company. I can personally vouch for the opportunity and the company. If your resume matches the details given below and you are willing to relocate to Bombay, please send me your resume at sumit.dhar at gmail.com. The resume should NOT be longer than two pages.

Position: Technical Project Manager


Responsibilities

Handle delivery of single/multiple mission critical apps.
Responsible for interfacing with other teams, business users.
Should be hands on and technical.
Must be able to question and review scalability, high availability, transaction related issues.
Must have a good grasp of distributed computing issues and environments, good understanding of messaging systems and enterprise computing.
Responsible for resource allocation and basic project management.
NOTE – Must be hands on technical.
Experience: 7+ years

Technology/Knowledge

Java, J2EE, UML/design, UI development in Swing

Design Patterns, UML (Not mandatory), Methodology (familiarity required), Interfaces, Classes etc.
Mandatory: Core Java, Exception Handling, Runtime & system, IO, Threads, Net, Utils, JDBC. J2EE concepts, ClassLoading
Optional – Java J2EE, WebServices, EJB, Messaging, Monitoring JMX, XML, Debugging/Deployment of distributed applications, JMS/Messaging using Tibco/MQ Series
Operating Systems: Familiarity with Linux, Windows and Solaris
Good to have: Version control systems, build systems such as ant, Testing tools (Junit etc), Debugging experience
Finance (Not mandatory): Fixed Income, Equities, Derivatives, Risk Management
Resume Format:

Core skills at the beginning of resume
Work done & responsibilities in bullet points for every project
Tools – core toolset and ones familiar with (IDEs, debuggers etc)
Number of years of work experience
Current role description
If you know a friend who matches this profile, please feel free to email this link to a friend.

I satisfy almost all of the requirements except for experience part (6 years). Looks like the technical specs are tailor-made for me…Would have made it to the top-shortlist, If only I didn’t receive this ISB Admit ;-)

Back to school…

February 12, 05 by Bharani

It’s scary to think that I will not be earning for the next one year. My heart will find it tough to believe that salary will not be credited at the beginning of each month. I might send even a reminder note to my boss asking him to credit the salary :-)

It’s been almost 6 years since I have held the pen for 3 hours non-stop. Today, the most I use my pen is during the meetings and while working out some logic. My beautiful handwriting has fallen in quality. My wonderful note taking techniques, which almost took me to hall-of-fame in my undergraduation, is in hibernation (or lost in the ocean?).

I will not blink the eyes, yawn, or show any signs of boredom during my under-graduate days, even if the lecturer is such a sleep-provoking God. Today, I cannot sit in the meetings for more than an hour without yawning :-) . I am wondering how I can control these during my one-year study. Hopefully the diverse and colourful student profiles, thought provoking class participation and stunning faculty will keep my harmones energized and alive..

It’s been quite a while since I had the pre-exam tensions and the buzz of the millions of butterflies in the stomach just as the D-day arrives. Thankfully my GMAT experience has rejuvenated those butterflies…The live examinations, sound of pen torturing the papers amidst pin-drop silence and a few blank faces wondering how to fill the sheets all brings back the pleasant memories of good old days. Ofcourse, exams are just a small part of Management education, but that doesn’t subdue these feelings.

My mind is still busy doing lot of financial calculations, planning, identifying things to do, separating items to be disposed etc., Oh yeah, I have to brush up the driving book before I start my first of the remaining driving lessons on Monday. The class is scheduled from 15:00-17:00, which means I have to make to office by 6:30 a.m, so that I can fill my 7-and-half hours quota for the day by 14:30…

My last working day in Belgium would be 22nd of March 2005. I am flying back home on March 24th. Received the tickets yesterday…

Bad start, Good finish.

February 11, 05 by Bharani

Today was one of those days, when my patience was challenged, when things didn’t go as expected. I had many problems to address and many holes to fill in the workfront. The first task that I picked for the day, happend to be a time-consuming job. After doing all the changes, when I was ready to test, the system complained a compilation problem. Someone had changed a code yesterday and forgot to check-in (damn!). Got it fixed and took the fresh code and did the whole process again. This time the Virus scanner which was scheduled to run on Fridays, starting scanning my system, absorbing all the strength of my PC. It took me sometime to figure out the reason. Stopped it and then proceeded with my work again. This time the complete build process went fine, good. When I deployed, my Application server complained that database has some tables missing! Someone has modified the database schema..Got it fixed. Looked at the clock, it was already lunch time. Great! I haven’t done anything yet and the morning sessions is over..Whom should I curse? myself?? my PC?? or the situation?? I had my lunch and planned my activities for the afternoon while munching the usual vegetable sandwich that I have 5 days a week, 12 months a year! I decided to leave the troubling task and get on with other tasks..Came back and started off with the remaining work. 6 out of 7 tasks were over like a breeze in an hour. Then, I took the menacing task and everything went fine this time. I have completed the tasks for which 3 days were allotted! The day which started off on a bad note ended in a good note. I feel very satisfying and am looking forward for the weekend as a reward.

One of my bad habits in the past is that I tend to take problems as a challenge to my intellectual capacity and never leave it until the job is completed. Many a times, I have suffered heavily, as I had to work longer hours. I didn’t change until it affected me in a big way.

From then on, I follow a simple principle. I leave the job that is troubling me momentarily and take up some job which will yield positive results in a shorter time frame. The satisfaction gives me the badly needed mood-shift and provides some enthusiasm. I take up more of such tasks. Finally when I am done with all the jobs, I take up the time-consuming job which tests my patience. Exactly the same happened today.

My fellow IT counterparts can relate to what I am talking about. Also, at times a seemingly simple problem completely drains our energy by evading all our debugging skills. Being on the IT field, these are the kind of challenges that one faces, day-in and day-out. All these will be fun for the first few years, but will slowly turn out to frustration and a state of desparation. These are the minor moments which sometimes make me hate my profession, which has otherwise been fantastic so far.