Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Probability Woes

What is the probability of my getting through Business Statistics with at least a D, given everyone else manage to score at least C?
Frankly, not much, although the actual answer would require a lot of application of the Bayes’ Theorem for revised probability.

Well, this is basically how our probability cases have been. The question in the case seems pretty simple, but the answer turns out to be usually bizarre. And so far, I haven’t had too much luck in comprehending the complicated probability cases. To make things worse, I bumped into a fellow-student who rattled off all the answers even before I could blink. Apparently, the subject is not too tough. It’s just my brains that are too inadequate to handle them.

The funny thing though, is that all these problems are part of the pre-term course, which is an optional course. In fact, the school expects the students to have at least the basic knowledge of these concepts to be able to dabble in more complicated problems during the core terms.

Somehow, I am already feeling overwhelmed by the high expectations that ISB has of its students. Is there a chance for normal (read as not specially gifted) guys like me to survive the ISB regimen?
Well, if 400 others can, then so can I. That’s my magic mantra.
The Herd Mentality.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Study Groups at ISB

Our study group finally met up yesterday. After a lot of deliberation due to schedule mismatch, we finally got together for a casual “ice-breaking” session. Needless to say, there were lots of inputs from all quarters as to how we could maximize our potentials through the study group.

However, since most of us have studied only in India, and our education system does not quite encourage study groups, it remains to be seen if we manage to really use the group to our advantages. Also, since some of us, including myself, have never done a case-analysis, the need to work in a group is all the more essential.

Luckily, diversity will never be a problem within this group, since we have 3 IT guys, 1 Automobile engineer, a CA, and a marketing UG from Wharton (!!!). Hopefully, there will be a good exchange of knowledge between the engineers and the non-engineers.

Although we have been clearly told that we have to work with our study groups, whether we like it or not, it remains to be seen how these groups are going to work together. These are early days, and hopefully, D2 should come through in flying colors. Just like every other group.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

To Blog or not to Blog

The blogging community at ISB have had a couple of meetings already. I have, not surprisingly, missed all of them. As much as I would like to be a part of the official ISB blog, the idea of a censored blog does not quite appeal to me. Also, I am told that one needs to continuously keep churning out posts after posts to keep the blog ticking. Unfortunately, I have a very rigid mind, which at times, refuses to budge from its position of non-creativity. And during such phases, I strictly stay away from blogging.
If I were a more serious and even slightly credible writer, I could even have called my condition “Writer’s Block”.
Coming back to the point about censored blogs, the very spirit of blogging lies in the fact that you write what you chose. If I had to write based on topics that someone else chooses or approves, and also adhere to certain guidelines on the content and structure, then I would have become a scribe instead.
Blogging, for me, is strictly personal, and is totally in my own creative control. Maybe, I could write an article or two for the ISB blogs as a guest columnist, if there is such a provision.

It's Party Time

There was yet another party last night. The third party within my first week at ISB. From the mails that followed the party, I believe it was a rocking affair. I was, however, busy snoring away on my first and, probably, the last relatively stress-free weekend.
That’s not to say I am not a party animal. I am, and quite a wild one at that. However, last night, I preferred to start and finish my party well before midnight. A couple of beers, in the confines of my studio, with a friend for company, over intellectually stimulating conversation summed up my party last night. At the end of it all, I was not much for another wild time at the section party, and decided to give it the slip.
But for all my section mates who turned out in their best party manners, and even braved the dunking sessions, “Go D Go!”.
And if you’re still down with hangover, my silent prayers are with your “D-Partied” soul.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

The ISB Orientation

It’s been exactly a week since I arrived at the ISB, Hyderabad. And am already stressed out. If this is a sign of things to come, God help me.
The first week at ISB has been a mixed bag of sorts. When I came in here, I had lofty expectations of what this school can do to my career. Consulting and I-Banks were where I was hoping to head right after ISB. Somewhere at the back of my mind, I even harbored hopes of becoming the next crorepati from ISB.
One week down the line, I have been cut down to size by the innumerable gyan sessions that our alums conducted ever so enthusiastically for us. There were lots of gyan that were given away, but the biggest takeaway, for me, has been the realization, in no unclear terms, that career shifts don’t happen that easily in a one-year MBA program. McKinsey and the likes will shortlist only the top 30 students, while I-Banks rarely ever look outside of the pool of people with prior experience in finance. I don’t expect to make it to the top 30, and I have no prior experience in finance.
Guess that leaves me with the only obvious option. IT. Which is where I came from, throwing away a decent package and several lucrative opportunities. The irony, as revealed by the alum who conducted the session for the IT club, is that 75% of IT placements offer salaries lower than the school’s average of around 12 L INR. Now compare that to the 12 L plus salary that I could easily have commanded and got if I continued being a techie. Also consider the fact that I would not have a monstrous 15 Lac loan hanging heavy on my head.
Suddenly, I almost feel foolish for throwing it all away to chase a dream. The B-school dream.
The only comforting thought, as someone put
The value of a B-school education is not just financial”.
Sour grapes, as most of my ex-colleagues with bulging pockets must be thinking, with wicked smiles pasted all over their faces.
However, the school has been absolutely forthright about what to expect and what not to expect. Miracles rarely happen within a year. Hopefully, in the long run, I will realize the true value of an MBA at the ISB.
Till such time, and atleast for the next one year, it's going to be a stressful time.