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Monday, June 29, 2009 

Asking Rate

I recalled today that for over two years now I have been trying to get into an MBA program. I applied to a few places, spent a lot of money and here I am today at Lucknow. With around 50k spent in those 2 years and 1000k in the pipeline for the next 2, I realized that I have already gone behind the eight ball in terms of ROI. There are of course two types of returns you can look at from an MBA program – professional and personal. The former is much more a function of the institute you go to, the latter is pretty much within your control. So my main contention right now is the professional returns.

I have thought of why I am doing an MBA program a million times, trying to come up with colloquial excuses. One of them talks about learning and knowledge and another says structured approach and so on. The one thing that I perhaps need to reinforce having reached an MBA program is to not give it away. This program is not meant to be a break for two years, I am paying a huge amount of money for this and I better make a conscious effort of giving it the due seriousness and importance. It is like the many things in life that when you get for free you don’t care, but when you have to pay for it, suddenly you are more responsible.

For a major part of my affiliation with cricket at IIT, I was not very good with the bat. But after a certain point I just had to come up, I was the captain of the team the most experienced and I had to set standards. There is only one thing that I told myself ball after ball every time the bowler ran in, head down and get forward. I didn’t exactly set the field on fire, but I ended up with a decent show with the bat, one I can be proud of.

The present realization is bringing out the same type of action. It is time to realize that I have a responsibility on my hands and least I can do is to accept it and act on it. I think this time I know why I am in the middle and so I can see and seize the opportunity. The action plan will still not be to score a high CG. But to do simple things such as attend classes, try doing assignments, take an interest in the course. Of course I have never had great expectations from myself. As long as I can satisfy myself with my effort I will have nothing to be disappointed about.

By the way Lucknow is a real mixed bag. All my impressions about this place, the institute and people here can be premature but this place has some of the very bright to not so bright people. I have been amazed to see the kind of apprehension very experienced of people have here. It is not to say that they will not score good marks. Scoring marks is a different psychological paradigm. But the presentation skills, intellectual content and vision of life has been very good to very bad.

Take this for example, in our induction by the seniors (whatever you call it) we were asked some basic HR questions for a resume. One of them was around an ethical dilemma. One of the studs wrote – “there is white woman and black man in my company. White woman sue the black man for sexual harassment while the black man pressed charges of racism to the white woman. And I had to decide which one of them was right.” Stuff classics are made of. The other big problem here is that there are a lot of maddus here. No offence to these guys, they are individually a nice bunch of people. But they are just so many of them. And that tag is almost synonymous with IT. Not just that it kills diversity, it kills interaction as these guys and girls find comfort in forming their own groups. Picture this for example, one of our professors asked us to make groups of six which should be rich in diversity such as different institutes, companies, regions, cultures etc. I was walking out of class when I over heard a converstation between two girls. One asked – “hey did you get a diverse group?”. So the other replied – “Yes we got a pretty diverse group, but only thing is there is nobody from north India. Other wise one is from Bangalore, one Hyderabad….”. and you can imagine that when this is a group’s profile they must all be IT.

Before I signout for today, one last piece of information. Everyone must have heard of cp, acp, dcp and the likes. Well there might be a million better examples of acp than this, but the following is the best I have come across so far.
Prof. – In quantitative analysis we will have 4 quizzes, 2 normal and 2 surprise quizzes.

Student – Ma’m will these quizzes be written or oral? (Saucy!!!)


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