Sunday, February 25, 2007

Aadi Ant Aarambh - Placement @ ISB

The start, the end and the new beginning - each a thrill, each a trial and each a prize.

It's the forty-sixth week at ISB now, and there remain five more before graduation. Let's start looking at a few things at ISB in backward slow motion.


One blessed week, when four hundred careers were sought after. Into the magical hat, each thrust his hand and pulled out a rabbit with a hue ranging from snowy white to dusty grey. It all started with a big bash of interviews of the MBAs by MBA (Mckinsey, BCG, ATKearney) on day 0, when months (weeks in my case) of case intervew preparation was brought to the altar and commanded to do the 4-beat jig of Define, Structure, Solve, Synthesize one last time. Well, I've always had two left feet when it comes to dancing, no Ash... so I fidgeted and faltered through the whole process. No worries though, what I've got is worth it's weight in gold... umm, which is not much gold, but is enough for life. For many fellow aspirants, the dream did materialize and as for the firms themselves, it was a bumper harvest as our best were handpicked and will soon be jet setting across the world carrying the ISB brand neat and high with them. Rock on, guys!

There are close to 200 companies visiting campus this season. Two hundred?!! ejaculated amazed a few friends back at Baroda, and struggled a bit to say the next word which was Wow. On campus, though, that doesn't mean a thing. We can't just take ANY job, we need what we want. But, were we able to wait for the right one? Not many of us, I hazard. The pressure was maybe telling on many a resolve to wait out for the dream company/sector/industry. Umm... TWI (Thomas Weisel) is today and I have signed out of the placement process. Surely not dream company... but dream industry?

The process, then.

  1. You register at the placement website and receive an id and a password
  2. As recruiter companies are bowled over by ISB Business Development team or by themselves, they register for placement
  3. PPT's happen throughout the month of January, upto 4/5 a day, where the hallowed firms brag and the less shiny ones pitch
  4. You pick a set that you find matches your capabilities, or aspirations, or rarely both, and apply online. Some of them also have a tedium of form-fillings. Others just have these:
  • The Resume: A contorted 'activized' picture of your professional life, where you struggle to not lose the prominence of what you did in those relevant necessary words.
  • The EoI: Expression of Interest... or for us career-switchers, an Endeavour to Overshadow Incompatibility. I tried hajaar and one creative bursts in those EoI paragraphs. I knew they don't matter much, but I felt good about making those 3 paragraphs as interesting as I could, possibly just in the hope that some cute HR in some company would read it, like it and note down the phone number at the top.
  1. Come the D-Day, and you scurry to the magic hats to pull out your rabbits.
  2. Shortlists and Interviews are often very much inter-twined almost as close together as a fresh couple on lonesome place besides a lake. You get one night to prepare... I got half a night for one of my fav companies.
  3. After you have managed to impress and prove that you had really 'pioneered the new perspective on' whatever technology, you get a 'Letter of Intent'
  4. LoI converts to offers the same or next day (a maximum of two offers across days, unlimited on the same day)...
  5. An excessively formal, but quite visibly self-conscious placement team member congratulates you.
  6. You pick your choice within the stipulated time (1-x days), sign at the bottom of the form and make a dotted line beneath if you wish.

    Umm... people who excel in the end are mostly people who have focus or who have ma fate. I had a little of both. "I accept the offer and am willing to opt out of the placement process."

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


Hello World,
I want an answer. I am not okay with Forty-two.
1) The Trinity Gods just looked at one line of the CV and selected me, while all others (8 thus far) looked at the whole thing and found me wanting in calibre in addition to wanting the job. i.e. my CV was the letdown.
2) The Fins thought I am IT, the tier-II Consults thought I am straddling between finance and telecom, the Medias would think I am nowhere.
3) Career switching is not possible or easy, and Cisco is my life savior... for now at least.
My head is 'eating circles' with What-if questions now. And it's just the beginning. I cant complain, I agree.

Dekho, wo aa gaya

Har kadam par hai naye mod ka aagaz, suno. Not necessarily though. Chalte chalte kadam thakne ko aaye the, tab kahin jaa kar ek right turn mila tha, teer ka nishaan bhi bana tha 'This Way'. Ab manzil pe aake dekh raha hoon to bade bade bold red aksharon mein likha hai 'Members Only'. Soch raha hoon kitne lagenge...
Three days to the start of the Rodent Derby at ISB! (to quote Mundi). Let's go stomp on the large pie, fellow rats and make it messier. Let's then fall on our bellies and eat belly-fulls of it.
Happiness to all, success to the deserving!

Friday, February 02, 2007

See'ed Saw'ed

When I was a kid, our house in Subhanpura, Baroda (Vadodara, or Banyan-in-the-tummy city) had a nice garden... To set expectations right, it was around 25 ft x 10 ft; not huge, but big enough to fuel a child's fantasy. Now, there was this seed peddler who used to come on a bicycle with a rectangular "hold-all" military green bag, full of white sachets of seeds, tied to the carrier. Nothing great, told my mind to me, boring looking sachets with tiny equally uninteresting seeds.

Then one day, he brought seed sachets, which had colorful pictures of the vegetable or flower that it promised to deliver in due course. It kick-started my curiosity and my fascination with those sachets. Mom would buy some 10-20 of them - tomatoes, peas, marigold, chillies... and stack them up on the rack besides the bed. At first opportunity, I'd take them out, lay them side by side on the bed, like you do a pack of cards, look at the bright pictures of flaming red tomatoes, seemingly innocuous green chillies, peacefully yellow marigolds and sunflowers, and wonder when our garden will bloom with such life and green.

Well, the garden remained largely the same. Those tiny lemons never tasted any better than bought ones. Brinjals never turned purple like the sachet had promised. The tomatoes were always the worst letdown - the plant never bore any tomatoes! I kept imagining for a while and then gave up. Mom kept buying for a while and then gave in. Dad went and hired a 'maali' who changed the garden over to lots of easy-to-grow greens and no vegetables - money plant, office flowers, and others that I don't know the name of. However, he knew his roses well... and boy, did we have one great winter when those five rose plants were on a roll churning out gifts by the dozen every week!

Agreed, there's no point. But, seeing those tiny seeds in splendid sachets gave me the kicks... and they were fun to play with.

I weed weed
I need seed
I did deed
I Saw'ed See'ed
(Shut up, stupid,
'ere you become a kid)