Monday, August 28, 2006

It's exam time here

All of us here are deeply nose-dived into studies. Yes! its exam time. Next two days we have Term 3 end term exams. Tomorrow (It will be today once I wake up in the morning) its Managerial Accounting, in the morning followed by Operations Management in the post noon session. On Tuesday, we have corporate finance and Entrepreneurship. We are allowed to carry 1 page cheat sheet in all exams, but one (it being open book). So the night time is busy in arranging for cheat sheet. There are many cheat sheets roaming around. I am not interested in studying further, just waiting for accounting cheat sheet to come from one of my friend (altruistic soul, the official cheat sheet maker) . He said he will be sending near 1am.

I am leaving for back home for my term end break. I would be at my home. It’s party time back at my home. My father has got a long awaited promotion. Promotion is a big event in government jobs, unlike the private jobs, where promotions are common news.

Best of luck to all my batch mates!!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Are marks in exam true representative of the knowledge one has ?

I don't know what's the answer to this question. But I am sure that it will not be right to say that they are the true representative. I have observed in many numbers of cases that people who know the subject well have scored less marks than the people who knew less. I am saying this after removing those occasional cases of silly mistakes. So what's the reason behind that? Are the exams are not designed to test the true knowledge? Isn't it possible to do that?

I don't know the answers to these questions. I will share what I think the reason is. Cracking an exam needs more than just knowledge. It requires the skill to solve the problem with the information provided by finding the correlation/pattern in the given information.

I need more thinking which I am unable to do at this hour of the day. Let me try to build on this some other time

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

I want more sleep!!

I am in serious dearth of sleep. I want to sleep few more hours/ minutes/ seconds. I know this is little bit exaggeration. But I am on the receiving side in terms of lack of sleep. This term I have classes in post noon session only, but today we had Managerial accounting and decision making (MADM) class in the morning at 8:15am. This sudden shift was hard for many of us to manage. I could manage to just land up in the class but 30% of the class was missing. Its hard to suddenly change your body clock and wake up early when other days your are sleeping from 4am to 9am. I was physically present in the class but took many small naps during the class. So after finishing the class I quickly had my breakfast, came back to my quad, went through the Entrepreneurship case in < 20 minutes before sleep took over me. I had the next class at 1:45pm, so I still had 2.5 hours to go. I set my alarm for 1pm but I woke up only at 2:10pm, shocked to find that I overslept and was late for the class. I was in shock for 1 minutes as this doesn’t happen with me generally. I decided to make a sprint to the class as an important case was to be discussed today and I don't want to miss that.

The case TBD was "Mittal Steels" one . The discussion went well. Several good things like "Why and how was LNM so successful", “Why TISCO couldn't go the Mittal way", " "Difference between Infosys and TATA" etc. Got good insight!! Decent day !.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Interesting weekend .. but tough week ahead...

This weekend went quite well. I stayed mostly away from the books except spending some time today evening ( rather yesterday evening) on two assigments that have to be submitted by 8am tmorrow morning.

The weekend went very interesting with two key highlights - WTO workshop and talk by Mahesh Murthy of Pinstorm.

The WTO workshop was taken by Shishir Priyardarshi, a WTO official and former Indian diplomat. He shared some very good insight and experiences. Experiences which are hard to know by reading any book. Some of the interesting things that came up besides the conventional topics were consensus based decision making process at WTO ( each member country having equal vote unlike any other international organization; thus US equaling Sudan) , green room meeting concepts, special duty and quota free rights to LDCs (on 97% products, the remaining 3% products being the ones in which these countries trade mostly- so a mockery!!). Usual stuff which was covered was dispute settlement process, multi-fiber agreement, most favored nation clause, anti-dumping rules etc. The session ended with the career opportunities in WTO. This topic came up on request of a fellow student.

Another event about which I heard a lot was speaker series session by Mahesh Murthy, founder and CEO of Pinstorm, a search engine marketing specialist company. I couldn't attend it because of WTO workshop being in the same slot. I tried to gather about it from my friends. They told the guy was very unconventional and had a tangential line of thought. He criticzes Kotler, believes MBA education and any such education conditions one's mind and make one just an employee and not a employer. In response to one of the question asked by ~P about what 3 things he will suggest ISB students to do now, he responded saying that damage has already been done and only 3 things can be done now - Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll.

Want to write more.. but got to sleep.. Cya!!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

What I missed on 15 August this year?

I regret a lot of not doing one thing this Independence day which is not being able to participate in "Bandan" organiszed at ISB by NetImpact club. From what I heard, this was an awesome event. Nearly 200 children from various NGO visited ISB to meet us all. These children put up a great show. Some of blind students were Sidhartha Basu of tomorrow, absolutely Quizzing Guru. They gave a tough time to even the Quizmaster. It was amazing to hear that these blind children had phenomenal knowledge about things around them in-spite of not everything accessible/suitable for them to read. I also heard that few deaf children danced marvelously to the tune of the Rang de Basanti. Its just unbelievable!!. From what I came to know from a friend of mine who actually saw them doing this magic was that at the beginning of the song, they were getting told that a particular song is going to start now and then they will dance by internally counting 1,2,3,4,... 1,2,3,4 repeatedly to figure out what dance step to take and also to synchronize their steps among themselves. This was the way they have learnt about the song. They truly enjoyed performing it and were the stars of the event.

This confirms an important point that the one enjoys music not because of lyrics or tune of the song but the feeling of it, which to some may come through lyrics/tune.

I regret of not being part of it and I know this regret is not ephemeral.

Absolutely craZy life at the moment....

Things have been really craZy for me here. I am not sure whether there are really too many things for me to do or I am missing on the time management skills. Before coming to ISB and also in the first term, I used to hear from my friends that I am good at time management. But it’s hard for anyone to say the same now. I have mostly preferred to sleep by 1 am in the night with some exceptions of a day or two in a month, but this term3 is weird (Yes! I am in term 3 and its right that I haven't written my blog since the end of Term1...). It’s the other way round now. It’s just only few days in this term that I could have managed to sleep by then. I have been working till the sunrise and sleeping then only for couple of hours. Every day there are assignments that need to be submitted before the professor wakes up. A very interesting thing happened on one of such nights. I was feeling very sleepy but there was an important assignment to be completed that night. I had done the calculations in the Excel and was in the process of coping them into Word to prepare report. I pressed CTRL+C to copy from excel with the intention to press CTRL+V in the word file, but I crashed immediately after pressing CTRL+C. It was only after some time that my groupees came in and say my condition that they suggested that I return to my quad and take sleep.

Various questions haunt me! Have my skills gone for a toss with increasing pressure or I am facing commonly shared problem. I have to think and work out a new strategy. I have taken off today from all the assignments etc to spend sometime thinking about this.

Few things I plan to do

- Control the time I spend here and there doing gossiping.
- Try to inculcate the theory of "let it go". One cannot drive everything to perfection. Build a natural ability to evaluate effort from the marginal benefit perspective. This in simple words could mean Pareto law (80/20 rule).
- Focus on key things only. One cannot work on everything. One need to find important levers and work on them.

I will be doing more of thinking on this front.

Lots of things have happened in last few weeks about which I want to blog. Let me see how soon I will be able to do that.

Happy Janmashtmi fellow Krishna Devotees!!

Monday, June 12, 2006

How it feels to be 12.5% MBA? - Part 1

I know I have been more than irregular in writing my blog. I have been trying for sometime to be really inspired by alums of the last batch who have been more than regular in doing so, but things haven't worked that great for me in Term 1 in those respects. Yes, my term 1 has ended, though final results are awaited. I expect to pass in all so I should call myself a 12.5% MBA. I know its dangerous as half knowledge is worse than no knowledge.

Term 1 went well with some very excellent faculty teaching us. The insight in to the Game Theory was just awesome. The content of the subject, teaching pedagogy, the faculty's delivery just enthralled us. On the last day, when we were asked to fill feedback forms, I just peeped into some of the filled forms and found that most of the students have rated him 7 out of 7 on all major aspects. He was certainly remarkable. The extra lecture he took on the acution theory, his main area of interest and study, was very enlightening as we gained insight into the historical origin of auctioning and various types of auctioning - English Ascending, Sealed Bid 2nd Price, Dutch Descending and Sealed bid 1st price. One of the important learning was that in conventional auctions, second highest value is the final bid value. It was a quite surprise that even in a bid the auctioned item doesn't get the highest value but the second highest value.

There were some great learnings in other subjects as well which I have to move to the part -2 of this blog in the interest of my time.

I should now better get down to the pre-reading for the competitve strategy course. The pre-reading is colossal for this course with nearly 100 pages to be read for the first class. Its going to be a challenge for a ultra slow reader like me. But I know one thing that I would be able to finish this before the class tomorrow because I am good at finding short-cuts and I will find one.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Life kick-starts @ ISB

My sojourn @ ISB has kick-started with the beginning of this month and its not unexpected to find that its very very busy. Lot has been heard from the outgoing batch about the busyness at ISB and so it is. Since the beginning of this month, the life is getting exponentially busy and its just 9 days in the term 1 that I have finally decided to write. Thanks to motivation I got from S.

First it was just the pre-reads that were needed, then came the assignments of all the courses, then quizzes and then slowly backlog of everything get building up and you happen to realize late enough to really do justice to everything. Then you look for short cuts. Like instead of reading the entire chapter of Marketing Management book, read just the summary given at the end of each chapter or just download some ppt slides of the chapter concerned and go through it. I am sure lot such techniques will get added to my archery in the course of time.

There is unlimited opportunity to pursue whatever you want. If you want to do maggai* all day you can do that, if you want to play then you have an excellent REC centre where you can play and enjoy whatever game you want to do. If you want to do masti and party around all days, you will find some where or the other a party going on every night. You can ample reasons to celebrate, so no dearth of opportunities and like minded/ interested people. So you gotta decide where your balancing line has to come.....

Lot to happen as things move... As is said "Trauma transforms".

Monday, February 06, 2006

Info on HIV / AIDS

Source: AID Delhi Group

What is HIV?
HIV is the human immunodeficiency virus that causes AIDS. A member of a group of viruses called retroviruses, HIV infects human cells and uses the energy and nutrients provided by those cells to grow and reproduce.

What is AIDS?
AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) is a disease in which the body's immune system breaks down and is unable to fight off certain infections, known as "opportunistic infections," and other illnesses that take advantage of a weakened immune system.
When a person is infected with HIV, the virus enters the body and lives and multiplies primarily in the white blood cells. These are the immune cells that normally protect us from disease. The hallmark of HIV infection is the progressive loss of a specific type of immune cell called T-helper or CD4 cells.

How is HIV transmitted?
A person who is HIV-infected carries the virus in certain body fluids, including blood, semen, vaginal secretions, and breast milk. The virus can be transmitted only if such HIV-infected fluids enter the bloodstream of another person. This kind of direct entry can occur (1) through the linings of the vagina, rectum, mouth, and the opening at the tip of the penis; (2) through intravenous injection with a syringe; or (3) through a break in the skin, such as a cut or sore.

How do I know if I'm infected?
Immediately after infection, some people may develop mild, temporary flu-like symptoms or persistently swollen glands. Even if you look and feel healthy, you may be infected. The only way to know your HIV status for sure is to be tested for HIV antibodies, that is, proteins the body produces in an effort to fight off infection. This usually requires a blood sample. If your blood has HIV antibodies, that means you are infected.

How is HIV not transmitted?

HIV is not an easy virus to pass from one person to another. It is not transmitted through food or air (for instance, by coughing or sneezing). There has never been a case where a person was infected by a household member, relative, co-worker, or friend through casual or everyday contact such as sharing eating utensils and bathroom facilities, or hugging and kissing. (Most scientists agree that while HIV transmission through deep or prolonged "French" kissing may be possible, it would be extremely unlikely).