I, Me, Myself and ISB!!

This blog is about me and my life at ISB--Hence the name I,Me, Myself. Its just a chronicle of events as they unfold during my tenure here. No knowledge sharing, no talk about finance, public policy, economy or industry trends..(However that does'nt mean i dont know about all this stuff:))--This is a "gyan free" blog.Enjoy reading

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Life after ISB, updates

Once a blogger, always a blogger they say. (dont ask me "they" who!). I ve been asked by many ppl to continue to post. Also, some of my fellow bloggers are still posting. So heres one to get started.

Anyways, couple of things just cos i cant resist posting this---

The ISB alum community is stronger and geographically more wide spread that i thought. A bunch of alums got together in Zurich in the first week of June. To our surprise, Dean was visiting Switzerland and joined us. It was great to catch up about ISB life, although it left me feeling really nostalgic.

Class of 2008 seems to be getting into the grade race. Also, from the posts i got the feeling that some of the guys are carrying a heavy baggage of their past lives and past achievements and cant stop talking about it. Although, its nice to be able your past life to the stuff you learn at ISB, i think one benefits more if you start with a clean slate. Forget about whatever you did. Get used to being a student again. Its hard, but thats the way to optimise learning.

Also , avoid getting too much into the grade race. It might benefit some, but if you draw a normal curve, the population of ppl benefiting from exceptional grades, while there was nothing else on their profile is just the tapering portion of the tail in the one tailed test! (<5%)

So enjoy life and cherish each moment out there. And never mind alums who write unwanted blogposts.


Saturday, March 31, 2007


ISB has finally ended. We do have another 1 week which is known as” disorientation week”, but not much activity is expected. There will be some parties with the same booze and same music and is nothing really exciting as we have been overdoing it in the past month or so.

And now since my life at ISB has almost come to an end, it is about time to say goodbye to all the readers of this blog. Though I don’t know many, still I would like to say thanks for increasing my hit count. When I started out, I never thought I would reach 90 posts (BTW this is the 90th). Constant encouragement from readers both inside and outside of ISB has helped me put in 90 posts of random ramblings. Some 2008 batch guys have commented saying that this blog has helped them knowing the ISB life better. If that is even partially true, I am happy as the blog has served its purpose.

In future, I plan to start a photo-blog just like Manu’s. People have told me that the place I am going to be in is very picturesque so I plan to get a good camera and develop some photography skills. I am not sure if I will ever succeed, but if I do, I would post the link here and hope I get some traffic from this site.

If for some strange reason, anyone wants to get in touch with me, pls use my mail id in Orkut or fish out the details from the alumni website.

Good-bye, Auf Wiedersehen, Sayonara, Alvida, Ma'as salaama


Thursday, March 29, 2007

Last class

I will be attending my last class at ISB today. It seems like just yesterday we when we came to this place—a fascinating train journey from Mumbai. We already had loads of fun on our way. Then there was that journey through the terms: Core and electives, pain at times and mostly fun, those wild parties, those boozing sessions, those numerous night outs for assignments with no sense of day or night, the placement fever, the placement week and the post placement blast which still continues. The year has gone by at the speed of light.

A couple of days ago, a bunch of students got together and staged a skit portraying all the events and characters that stand for class of 2007. No one was spared and it was hilarious. One particular recruiter and some alum(s) associated with that recruiter were literally butchered. I was surprised to see how much can you screw up on your and your firm’s reputation by just subtle actions when nothing is really wrong with either. Just a lesson as to what one should (or rather should not) do as an alum. However, all was in good fun spirit and I hope it means nothing. I am sure a video would be available soon on You tube so “curious types” can figure out what I am talking about.

Graduation ceremony starts at 10.30ish on April 7th. Everyone has got two passes (plus a spouse pass, where applicable). But most people want everyone they know on planet earth to see them in graduation gown! Since extra passes are limited there is going to be a huge scene when they put them up for sale this evening.

Some of us are planning to take a vacation trip, the last one with ISB friends as ISB students for most of next week, since all coursework and exams would end by Saturday. ISB has come to agreement with Microsoft that they would let the WiN XP and MS office remain on our laptops. So there will be no reformatting of the machines. Only some un-installation of educational software. We get software worth Rs.18000 for free!

Section A got together for the last Section dunking yesterday. Here is probably our last pic in Section T shirts

(The Sec A gang in Sec Tees.(not everyone though!) The B'day girl Mansi can be seen with a cake all over her face and nicely dipped in the pool!)

Looking forward to graduation.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Buildup to Graduation

Now since India is out of the World Cup, we would be all the more jobless in next couple of weeks. The date of graduation has been fixed as April 7th. Next week is last week of classes and the week after that is "disorientation". All assignments, course work, exams etc are due by end of next week. Exit formalities would need to be completed.

Yesterday we had the last PGP open forum. Most of the discussions were focused on the placement process and how to get things better next time. No system is perfect and there is always room for improvement. Also, the system doesn’t work equally well for all individuals. I feel as a batch as long as we have conveyed common concerns and they are taken care of , things should be fine. It is also important for the next batch to be aware of issues and work from the beginning with the authorities to set them right. Therefore it is important to pay rapt attention to all the gyan sessions during the orientation week and interact closely with the alumni.

It was mentioned by someone in the session that this year was perhaps the best year of our lives in terms of education and life. I echo that sentiment. ISB has been a wonderful experience over all. The amount of learning that happened, exposure to world class faculty, amazing peer group and a wonderful set of friends—the whole experience is overwhelming in retrospect.

The year book asked for the biggest takeaway from ISB. Beyond doubt, it’s the social network. Many potential business leaders of tomorrow are known to me. I am very confident that these contacts would certainly help me in one way or the other in future. Time will tell—

Two weeks is all that remains. Two weeks hence, we’ll not belong to this place any more. We’ll be history. Two weeks hence this place would await a new set of individuals who would come in with new set of hopes, aspirations and dreams, two weeks hence we’ ll be MBAs. Two weeks hence, we’ll be alumni. Last two weeks-------

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Dos and Don’ts

Dos and Don’ts

Few do's and don'ts at ISB:

1) Make a sincere effort to network. Now “networking” is a very fancy word, but if you ask me it just means knowing people. To quantify, make sure you know atleast 300 out of 400 ppl in the batch well enough to write them a mail in future asking for any kind of help—and they should be able to reach you as well. My greatest takeaway from Bschool is the network. People are going to different companies, different countries and you shall know a person every where—isnt that amazing? Also, spare no effort to reach out to alumni. It’s a small but growing community.
2) Focus on learning. Many of us will get lost in the mad rush to complete assignments, group work or prepare for a never ending barrage of exams. It is important to keep the bigger picture in mind. Learn the concepts—core subjects should become a part of your basic thinking where as the electives you take should help you build upon these.
3) If you are an entrepreneur or plan to start something on your own soon after ISB, come prepared with some kind of plan. You will receive excellent support at ISB and this can be used as a good ground to reach out to VCs, get funding and bounce your idea across to experts.
4) Try and use the LRC to the maximum. There are some amazing books and material in there. Although it is easier said that done in view of the coursework, I would still recommend spending time in LRC out of the course work.
5) Choose your reps very carefully. The Graduate student board would represent you in every aspect of life here at ISB. Moreover, the GSB office bearers in key positions and professional club presidents get a lot of personal mileage as holding these positions is viewed as a leadership trait. Ensure that whoever you are electing deserves it and would do the job well enough so as to not disappoint you.
6) ISB has excellent recreational facilities. Make sure you use the rec center to the maximum.


1) Don’t fight for every mark or class participation point. At certain times during our year here, it got really ugly. Blame it on the batch or the general impression passed on to us that grades make or break your career post ISB. This year there is more than enough evidence that grades don’t matter that much. In any case, I believe that a grade based on 6 weeks of classes and two exams says very little about your abilities. So don’t bother too much and concentrate on learning.
2) Don’t get influenced by hypes and hooplas. There are careers out of consulting and I banking that value an MBA.( I have nothing against either consulting or I banking). Some people tend to believe that just because they cannot get into consulting or I banking, they are doomed. This is not the case. Come prepared with a strong backup if you are gunning for these.
3) It is ok to be “not focused”. A lot of people would tend to disagree but my belief is that too much focus is a recipe for disaster. One can approach first four terms with open mind and decide at the end of it what you want to specialize in. Similarly one should rank the jobs he/she wants in the order or priority and prepare accordingly. However, it is important to know intuitively what is most important to you—Money/role/company/location or a combination of these.
4) Make love not war! Never pick up a fight or bad mouth any of your batch mates. As I mentioned upfront, this is your most important asset out of Bschool so take care of all your batchmates.

A lot of people have been asking on yahoo group as to what they should do in the buildup to ISB. Here are my suggestions in the order of preference

Eat, sleep, drink, make merry, meet friends, and spend time with spouse /significant other

Keep working as long as you can. Idle mind is devil’s workshop.

Read books you have wanted to read since long but could not

Make trips to places you have wanted to visit

Revise concepts in Statistics, accounting etc


Monday, March 05, 2007

Life at ISB : A snapshot

I was expecting to post a few holi pix but unfortunately, the people who have clicked pictures (read my pictures) have not uploaded them as yet and I don’t want to waste valuable google/ blogger space featuring random people. Nevertheless, holi was celebrated with great pomp and show at ISB. Madness prevailed (and so did bhang) and everyone had a really good time.

So coming back to the main point—I would divide ISB life into five parts—Term 1, Terms 2, 3 and 4, Term 5 and 6, Term 7, and Term 8 (well you may say that there are just 8 terms so you might as well have 8 parts but simplicity my friends is not the forte of an MBA since we exist to make and keep thing complex—hence 5 parts )

This post would provide a snap shot on which we will build upon later (notice the “WE” like WE the people of India ----)

Part 1: Term 1

Acads: Everyone and his/her cousin at ISB is out there to triumph the world in term 1. When you step in, you would believe,( I mean really believe and its true for 90% of the junta) that you would be in top 10 or atleast in the dean’s list (This would be your worst case scenario). You would do assignments and study like there is no tomorrow.

Life: You would make a lot of friends (sometimes girlfriends and boyfriends), discuss stuff, receive and give gyan, think and boast that you were the best in your company, give shitloads of gyan if you have been a consultant or I banker with lesser mortals gazing at you waiting for pearls of wisdom. In a nut shell you will get settled and before you know, it will be over

Part 2: Terms 2,3,4

Acads: Atleast 417 and a half ppl out of 418 would agree that the best word to describe this period is “Rape” (apologies for the lingo but I can’t think of a better word). The workload will be killing and no Professor would spare you of it. This period would become particular stressful for those who are seriously considering Consulting as they would really need to work on their grades. Other average/ below average types like me would be trying to avoid that frightening B neg or C to salvage some pride. Tons of MBA fundas would be fed into you and by the end of it you would feel as if you are very close to nirvana.

Life: A mixed bag. In our batch it was more of a getaway from assignments and work. Some people would continue to work hard, some would work on networking, some others would give up and some would curse the day they decided to do an MBA and that too a one year version. Friendships and bonds would strengthen, section bonding will increase, groups will become comfy with each other and life would seem more or less settled.

Part 3 Term 5 and 6

Acads: Would take a lil bit of backseat though not fully. Some subjects you would do would be really awesome and hence may be for the first time you would study for learning and not just grades. Grades would certainly stop making a difference as you would know they are not going to be out before placements. Advanced subjects would require a lot of mugging and understanding from technical interview standpoint.

Life: Placement pressure would start building. You would seriously start worrying about where you are going to land up. If you will get that coveted shortlist etc etc. In our batch there were very few parties during this time. Comfy of core group would have gone and you would juggle to keep up with million groups and a billion schedule clashes. If you were not a nocturnal creature already you would surely become one now for completing the coursework

Part 4 Term 7

Acads: Take a complete backseat. Only thing you study is whatever is relevant for interviews. Courses would exist just by the way. Most people would take just bare minimum courses and work like crazy towards placements.

Life: wont exist.

Others: Most intl companies would have final rounds in Term 7. Consulting shortlists would be out. Campus would go crazy. Many surprises would come up. As the placement week approaches it will get really tense. Placement week would be one crazy period. However, it would end well and one fine day you will find that all your near and dear ones are placed. A huge sigh of relief---now its party time

Part 5: Term 8

Acads: Yeh kya hota hai?

Life: Well what can I say---- it has just started and I don’t want it to end—

Some more insights soon.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Best Dayz

These are truly the best days at ISB. There is nothing more to do than laze around the whole day, talk about random stuff that doesn’t even make sense, get out of campus as often as possible (mostly courtesy—Herbie) and basically be a burden on the planet earth!

When else in life would you get up at 11.30, go to gym at 12, have lunch at 2 and laze around in atrium till 5, play squash at 6, go out at 8, come back at 12 and booze around with random ppl till 3 –all this on a weekday!! Damn cool isn’t it! Well ,after slogging like donkeys for last 11 months and in my case the fact that I have only a 20 day break after ISB before I start off my job again, everything seems justifiable. And yes, btw classes also happen. Some of us still attend cos we want to graduate. Assignments are of such inferior quality that if our employers happen to see them they will withdraw the offers----

I cannot help thinking about the same time last year, when we were so called new admits. With lot of anxiety as well as anticipation and basking in the glory of having made it to ISB (was a miracle in my case) we came to this place in April. I am sure, the class of 2008 (which I hear is full of kick assiest ppl) will be having the same expectations and aspirations.

Now since I am not going to be here for orientation week (unfortunate—but I cant screw up my tiny 20 day break), and like any ISB student/ alum I have this irresistible urge to give “gyan” I will be posting whatever I feel the next batch should know for next couple of weeks. However, don’t expect everything here or in the orientation week. There has to be an element of surprise.

Watch out for next couple of posts---