Life from a saint's perspective

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Dhoom Machale in South Africa

Ah great……. The Indian team has found yet another guy on whom they can spend lakhs to score a couple of runs every match…. I feel bad for this guy actually… in the first place, he was treated like shit…. In spite of wearing the crown of thons quite comfortably for a while….. and now, when the whole team is staring at Pollock and his aides in crime like six year old boys staring at a prostitute….. sorry, I just meant to say clueless…. My emotions got in the way…yeah… so where was i? when the whole team is clueless, this guy is made the scapegoat… he fails in this series like all others, again they throw him out saying the chap has still not found his form…..

I say rather than spending so much on ganguly’s flight ticket and hotel accommodation, just parcel off the latest bollywood rage to south Africa… the D2 bad guy hrithik roshan…. Dint u watch the movie? Especially the part where he hits bullets with his skateboard???? finally, bolloywood has begun to appreciate the talents unearthed in the tamil film industry…. Sehwag could do with that kind of training….. forget a bullet… even if a baby threw a big pink plastic ball at him, sehwag wouldn’t be able to make contact…this is actually the right time to approach mr roshan.... i hear he is actively considering alternative career options after his exceptional performance in dhoom2....

Make batsmen bowl and bowlers bat….. the diversification strategy of chappell seems to be working real well…. now every player is an all rounder… the wicketkeeper doesn’t keep wickets, but is in the team for batting….. the openers don’t score any runs, and are made to bowl 5 over apiece so that they don’t fall asleep while the match is on…. The bowlers are being made to score all the runs….i have a feeling harbhajan singh or pathan might be the top scorer for India this season…..

In the meanwhile, why don’t u visit south Africa and find out how these people reacted to the news of ganguly’s inclusion in the team???

Gibbs: Isnt this the Indian spinner who comes running in from the boundary line to bowl?

Chappell: Hee hee hee… none of the Indians can ever score here… this guy is gonna score another string of zeroes… and then he will just be a photo on the walls of BCCI offices…

Ganguly: Finally….. an excuse to stay away from my wife!!!!!

Harbhajan Singh: Oh no, another guy to ask me batting tips in secret….

Dravid: I should make the bastard keep wickets!!!!

Sehwag: It’s been a long time since I hit a six…. Maybe I’ll beg him to bowl to me during practice….

Tendulkar: Finally, someone who has spent lesser time than me at the crease!!!! Yippee!


Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The significance of 5mm

As I opened the door to his room, saji was grinning from ear to ear….

“YES!!! I got SLIM”

“Er…..Congratulations, but I never thought u were fat… and also, nothing much has changed in the last 24 hours….”

“No u fool! I’m talking abt this really cool elective for term 6… Social Legislation for Indian Managers….”

“Oh, u amaze me… isn’t that all you guys have been doin for the last 2 years???”

“Yeah, but this is a revision course of all that we have learned so far….Our toppers specially requested for it….”

As I mulled over his words, reality struck me… Rewind to day 1 of XLRI… lots and lots of cute girls around, mostly seniors…. More importantly, mostly IRs… Summers… End of slot one… Placecomm chairman announces the updates…. “52 PMIRs and 63 BMmers placed….” You might think that’s not so bad… but in reverse, it reads 9 IRs and 63 BMmers still left in process….

I hate the guys in PMIR… they get all the hot project partners….. consult jobs and there is hardly any work… on both sides of the campus wall…. Just think about it… BMmers come back after an accounting midterm, and the IRs are leaving on a bike trip to Chandil dam… BMmers are all Xeroxing Gellar (what was that probability book???) and the IRs are clicking fotos of Tango puja!!!

Even at work, during summers, its damn hard to miss the contrast… first floor corporate banking… 50 year old men in suits, and me… grave faces, screaming at each other, pulling hairs, talking about sensex… for a moment I go to the second floor….HR… 30 year old girls…wearing jeans…. Planning birthday parties and signing cheques…. They suck even at that… I still haven’t got my cheque 6 months after my summers…..

One of the first things I learned during my MBA was the “Theory of Misplaced Concreteness”… All this jargonesque stuff they teach you is actually shit and useless… Cook up fancy terms for the most frivolous of things….Just think about the courses that they have, and the futility of it all will strike you…

Snooping, for Dummies (Social Research Methods)

Sneak around people’s houses at night rummaging their garbage…..looking for porn…. on the pretext of studying patterns in the sexual satisfaction index and its correlation with crime rate against women….. well…… no comments….. just wondering if the porn does make its way back to the trash in the end….

Handbook of Interior Decoration (Human Resource Planning)

Who should sit next to the toilet? At what temperature should the AC run? Where should the cooler be kept?

Crystal Ball gazing (Neuro Linguistic Programming)

A lot of forecasting happens in a bschool….forecast sales, forecast stock prices, inventory requirements…. But what about HR manages? Poor people cant forecast strikes or employee unrests….. Hence, the training in crystal ball gazing….

Look at the person in front of you… if his eyeballs go up, he sees things… if his eyeballs go down, he feels things…. What bullcrap!!!

Close your eyes… think of your biggest weakness…. One of your body parts is creating this weakness…. Call it, communicate with it… find out what it wants….. Ok, now wouldn’t u judge me, leave alone call me a pervert, if I start talking to my body parts???

Best Birthday Parties Ever!: A Kid’s Do-It-Yourself Guide (Wage Determination & Administration)

This is like the biggest joke…. All that the IRs learn is law…. And they fix the wages and pay of employees who actually work in a profile these people don’t understand…. Administration of course refers to strenuous tasks like inviting employees, singing the birthday song and cutting the cake…..

How to split a cheque into 5? (Executive Compensation)

A BMmer gets hired by this company…. They say ok, your salary is 10 lakhs… The job of the HR manager is to split that in 5 ways… basic, dearness allowance, house rent allowance, etc etc… you call that work???

The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Art of Seduction (Selection)

It is a public secret that the weaker sex has usually stronger chance of cracking interviews and GDs…. The guys in IR crib about the discrimination in college, join a company, come back and repeat the exact same behavior…..this course ambitiously aims to refine the crass flirting we see on campus to more sophisticated levels….

FRAXing (Managerial Competencies & Career Development)

Watch other competent people working, and develop your own career in the process…..

The Art of keeping your Ass alive (Labour Law Applications)

What are two things nobody understands? And are scared of?

1. Medical terms…. We all remember the Lymphosocoma of the intestine that took away Rajesh Khanna in Anand

2. Legal terms…. They are especially drafted this way because the parliament is full of illiterate fools….they don’t want anyone to find mistakes in what they write…. And the judiciary tho earns its bread and butter trying to decipher and interpret whatever is written there.. it’s a misconception that parliament and judiciary cant stand each other… it’s a very symbiotic relationship from where I see it….

The HR managers learn a few of these legal terms to save their ass from the hardworking employees who dare to scream at them for FRAXing…

Gossip: Deal with It Before Word Gets Around (Managerial Counseling)

Most of the rumours in companies are started by HR managers….on the pretext of counseling of course…..

Khushwant Singh's Jokebook (Strategic HR)

strategy and HR? hee hee hee...Rotfl....

I wonder how mohanty wud take it if we were to go request for a course on "Finance for Indian Managers"..... and i regret missing the PMIR column by 5 mm in the XAT registration form.....

This article does not reflect the personal views of the author. Please do not spam his inbox with hate mails...


Saturday, November 25, 2006

Random Musings.....

been gettin a coupla fan mails.... thx a ton guys..... thts wht motivates budding writers like urs truly... keep spreading da word arnd... mebbe some publisher is out there somewhere..... to rescue me from the clutches of dull work monotony into the exciting world of self employment and bankruptcy....well, no harm in bein optimistic...

waise, one man i really envy is UD... he has everything in his life... office hrs till arnd 430 or so... after that, come back... sip on some beer and watch tv... no sweaty local trains... no screaming bosses... no complaining clients...just gotta c the faces of a few moronic students twice a week... i remember saha was also talkin abt this (not UD... but professions on these lines) in one of the few classes i managed to attend.... concept of floating professions or somethin.... like doctors, freelance journalists... who are not slaves to any one particular company or organization... this causes lack of resources... and so the organizations bid for them... this drives up the pay like crazy.... interesting concept... make ppl bid their pants off before u commit to work....


Thursday, November 23, 2006

Veggie Pains!

Like most people, I am a foodie… I eat for the pleasure of eating, and everything around me stops to accommodate the most important event of the day…. Yes, the whole Maslow’s hierarchy funda….But most unfortunately, I’m a vegetarian… one of the several iyer heritages that I am not very proud of… That slams like a lot of doors at yer face!!! Not that I haven’t tried…. Just that I start hearing small lambs cry whenever I stick a fork in my friend’s dinner plate…..Being a lover of small creatures, puppies or lambs, the prospect is not very attractive…

It was the pinnacle of my two years stay in bschool when the most beautiful girl around buzzed me…. Half an hour and an endearing conversation later, I was about to ask her if she wanted to go to mess….with me obviously…. My fone rang…Oh, thats nothing.. just airtel again… no one else called me for like a year now…
dude, we are all going out to celebrate josey’s bday… come to bodhi in 5 mins…
my best friend on the line… talk about timing….ok, now what excuse do I give him??? Ah, exploit his biggest weakness. The guy just cant wait for food….
da, gimme 10 mins… am chatting with my uncle here….” “OK”…
now, did I hear him straight???? Did he just say OK???? Aargh!!!! Its ok rishi, they’d leave…. U r not quite that important for even a big bunch of morons to wait for u….. 10 mins later, the fone rang again…..Now I was getting desperate…
er… da, temme this… I’m a veggie… will I get anything decent in the place yer goin?
yeah yeah… derz a big menu exclusively for veg

Great! Now what do I do? Horny and single on one hand….. versus a good friend on the other….. like all mortals, I yielded to the devil’s temptations….. said bye to the hot chick and headed off to bodhi to spend my perfect evening with the clowns!!! Still, all was not lost… at least I had some good food to look forward to…. Besides women, that is number 2 on the charts when it comes to men’s priorities…. Closely followed by AoE, movies, booze and cursing bald professors….

We got off at the tiny shack my friend clamed to be the best Chinese restaurant this side of the great wall…. Like any self respecting adult male, I asked for the menu leaving the petty rituals of settling into a seat to the lesser mortals… ok, first section… soups.. hmmm..
I’ll have an egg noodle soup please…. 1 by 2 with Kamit over there…
okie… now to the main course…. Chicken…. Pork…..goat….. snake……..hmm, no luck there… finally, I spotted the famous “exclusive veg section” sandwiched between Duck and Prawns…My best friend was happily ordering the entire gamut of the animal kingdom, oblivious of my misery…

The soup arrived… er… calling it a soup would be an exaggeration by any standards! I just saw carrots and cabbages in the bowl with some hot water…. “hello….er, boss? I don’t see any egg around… I ordered an egg noodle soup…” Kamit wasn’t too happy at the prospect of sacrificing the soup…. Soon, the same stuff arrived, this time with a bunch of hitherto unseen floating particles…I pretended not to take notice of kamit’s angry glances… The big fatty (I have stopped referring to him as my best friend) leans across and whispers, “Rishi, the key is to just drink the liquid…. Leave the floating particles alone...” FYI, the liquid is nothing but hot water, u moron!!!!

Soon the dinner table was laid with some rocks they claimed to be chilly paneer… don’t be mistaken, my friends had sympathy in their eyes….. once in a while…. But mostly it was hunger and greed! 7 inconsiderate pricks munching on, while I watched an entire zoo disappear from the table…. As we split the bill, someone muttered, “da rishi, bishudaz closed today…. So u might wanna wake up early morning if u want to catch some food at da mess….” Grrrrrr….you might be bigger and fatter than me.... but i can kick yer butt any day when u r distracted with food, and i'm attacking from behind!!!

Hey, but on the brighter side, I always get invited to booze parties…. Coz they know I wont touch their stuff… or booze….. @#$%


Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Seven Secrets of Survival....

“The real work starts AFTER you crack CAT… “ the words of my NITT senior came rushing back to me as I saw the academic schedule for the 15-day prep course… these people are mad! Classes on Sunday afternoons, quizzes starting at 10pm, all night workshops from 10pm to 4am, where the prof takes out all his bottled up anger at his wife on the clueless backbencher!!! After a long period of hibernation that I call final year engineering, such a hectic schedule can take its toll on any unprepared MBA student…. Especially in trichy, der are only temples and factories!!! And the movie halls are filled with rajinikanth… so leave alone acads, there is pretty much nothing for u to do for an entire year….

After an especially depressing strategy quiz full of accounting and taxes, we settled down to take out our vengeance on the unsuspecting birthday boy’s ass… “rishi tho fundoo hai… he doesn’t study anything, but still cracks the quizzes….” Ladies and gentlemen, that was the five shots of vodka in jack's belly talking…he was born jai kishen in a village in orissa.. but 4 years of living with arjun singhanias and roy mathews made him rechristen himself to jackson…. it’s a different matter that I stand 71st in a class of less than a hundred and this chap is marginally behind the topper… but I’ll let that pass for now…. Anyway, the comment got me thinking…. And I decided to take up on myself, the noble task of leaving my wisdom to generations of first year MBAs to follow….

Follow these thumb rules and u’ll be fine…

Make use of statistical tools… Empirical evidence has shown that the probability of a deadline extension is inversely proportional to the percentage of job completion by NTM (he is our class rep)….As a corollary, you can find a high correlation between number of submissions and NTM’s working hours…. Nowadays, has NTM started working is a bigger concern than when is the deadline or what is the deliverable…

Low self esteem… This is for people who think Fred Luthans is the guy who made tom & jerry and that Brealey Myers is the refined version of Duckworth Lewis… Do not hesitate to acknowledge ur friend’s wisdom… I’ve learned that talking to front benchers can get u much much more marks than reading those books…. U never know, they might even take pity on yer plight and be considerate enough to share some “probable questions” with you…. A result of their innumerable after-class doubt clearing sessions.

The theory of last impressions… everyone has a max of 5 bunks… do them at the beginning of the course… advantages? U wont have to bunk classes to give final touches to a grp assignment… “arre yaar, I’ve already bunked 5… u haven’t bunked any na? so why don’t u take the printout and submit?” another advantage is… u get to conserve all yer energy for most of the term… do some serious CP in the last 3-4 classes, and when the prof grades u, he’ll remember… but all those idiots who spoke in the first few classes would have left his consideration set looong looooong back…

Sheep mentality…. Your bschool profs will always encourage you to be leaders and not just followers…. Take that advice at your own peril… because the guy who submits assignments first is always despised by his friends…. And the prof is jobless for like another 2-3 days, so he goes thru ur assignment with a microscope…. I learnt all this the hard way in my first term… the only value add I got from the accounting course… If 95 people are doing fin-mar, u also do fin-mar… if junta is applying to all the companies for placements, u also do that… if u hold ur ego up high, yer not gonna get any of those shortlists….

Attend those wetnights… Membership to a zillion campus committees get fixed up at suttah-joints and wetnights…. Seniors cant be expected to remember the names of each and every junior…. Especially guy juniors… so if u wanna get selected, u may as well have a coupla drinks with them… committee memberships are a ticket to networking with the seniors and through them, a string of super seniors…

Flexibility… MBAs are not supposed to have firm opinions on anything.. keep ur options till the end… whether it is on electives, or rooms, or even CP…

Prof: “So… should this company have a high D/E or a low D/E?”
Dumbo # 1: “High… blah blah blah”
Dumbo # 2: “Low… blah blah blah”
Smarty: “It depends sir… without more data on the macroeconomic blah blah”

Branding… this provides your bread and butter through 2 yrs @ bschool…. Doesn’t matter if yer a back bencher whose highest grade ever is a modest B…. doesn’t matter if u graduated out of a god forsaken engg college no one has ever heard of…. Doesn’t matter if your so called workex is nothing more significant than tapping fingers at yer comp’s keyboard just like a million other people in bangalore’s software companies… if u can manage yer brand and act suave, u will still be called to give out pearls of wisdom at gyaan sessions and online forums…

I could have gone on… but adding an eighth funda would spoil the title of the blog…. :-D


Thursday, November 16, 2006

Look Busy, Do Nothing: The Tale of a FRAXer

In my class, opinion is divided on the subject of my sincerity....I think I am sincere and hardworking... everyone else thinks that I am a fraxer… For the uninitiated, that is XL lingo for free riders….. But I personally think that is highly paradoxical… because, the first rule of fraxing is never to give away that impression…. Look Busy, Do Nothing…. Regular visitors to this blog might recollect that I’ve mentioned it several times in the past….but never really got around to talk much about it…. Yeah, have been quite busy… ;-) I now give a sneak peek into my modus operandi….

Strategy 1: White Knight

Seek the help of a third party if threatened

“Rishi, yer free right? There is some work to be done for placements…”

“yeah dude, sure… be right back… am going to wake up this guy.. he has an interview in 5 minutes…… “

There is no guy….. there is no interview…. And nobody is coming back in 5 minutes ;-)

Pretty simple, uh?

Group Member: "dude, did u do ur part for the project?"
FRAXer: "Sorry yaar, kaam nahin kar saka..... Kal raat ko placecomm ki meeting thi"

Placecomm Chairman: "dude, come for da meeting today..."
FRAXer: "Sorry yaar, cant come.... group members busting my hump....presentation tom"

Strategy 2: Changing terms of engagement

Somebody thinks he can get work done out of you by just telling you… but you change the rules so that you don’t have to work unless he does some himself………..

“dude, can u please download this movie?”

“of course yaar.. that’s why I am in the movie committee….. just send a mail to b05044.”

Public has a very short memory… 2 advantages… neither will he remember the name of the movie, nor will he remember my id….

Strategy 3: Supply Chain Management Orientation

Kotler defines this as a strategic operation where you interface with other executives to build a seamless uninterrupted system from the raw materials to the finished goods stage.

Projects can be a little more tricky….. the key is never to form teams with the same guy for more than one subject….. this is of the utmost importance if you want to avoid detection… suppose there are 5 in the team… including you… in the first two weeks, send a lot of emails asking your team members to meet…. Do not fear, nobody is going to turn up anyway…. But it always builds up this mountain of guilt…. Poor Rishi.. he is so sincere.. has been calling meetings, but I’ve never turned up…. Then its time to go for the kill… divide project into 4 parts…. And go on the offensive!!!

“Dude Praveen!!!! U haven’t turned up even for a single meeting… now, sit and do part A… we are working on the rest…”Repeat the above procedure for Karn, Amal and Heera… done… sit back and relax while the project gets done and you emerge as the most hardworking guy in the group!!!!

Strategy 4: Leveraging Secondary Associations

Borrow brand identity from other entities that have their own associations…

This strategy is in case you are stuck with the same team member for two different projects… you obviously cant repeat the supply chain management orientation strategy… so you position yourself as a fin guy who doesn’t know shit about marketing or any other area, for that matter… This is highly effective in systems projects where your teammate is an IT workex guy….. But there is always a downside that he will never ever take u again in his team…

Strategy 5: Logistics Alliances

One company offers logistical services for another’s product

For committees, you need a whole new strategy… because there is no work anyway… so fraxing is natural… but even so, you should not appear to be lazing around.. so send a group mail and invite all your committee members to your room…. The host of meetings is never accused of fraxing…. And some arbit stuff will automatically get discussed anyway!!! Even if it is hurling obscenities at the quant professor……….

Strategy 6: Flexible Market Offering

Make use of discretionary options that people in different segments value…

Another trick is to understand the people you talk to and tailor your conversations… FYI, there are two types of people… type 1 never miss classes and hang out in the library… type 2 bunk classes and hang around the coffee lounge…. When you talk to type 1, throw in the names of a few competitions here and there… but when you talk to type 2, just tell them you are going to class… enough to make them feel you work hard!!!!

Strategy 7: Guerilla Tactics

On that sad day, my group members resolved to finally get some work done out of me.... 'chalo, we'll keep the meeting in rishi's room so that he is made to attend the meeting!!!"

Yes, it'd b quite easy for me to jus get out of ma room and go elsewhere... but naah... too lazy for better ideas.... jus dont open the door.. they'll bang ur door for like five minutes, curse you yet again, and presume tht u r especially well with the newly installed locks....

These are just seven of the few hundred strategies that I have picked up at bschool…. Would be great if you, the reader, can share some of your own with the fraternity…If you think about it, the jargons they teach you here have immense practical value, even if it’s not exactly in the way it was intended…. Just remember, the key is never to get detected… People should be so happy to work with you that you have enough time to play AoE in the solitude of your room……..


Friday, November 10, 2006

Those 48 hours...

Part 1: Then…

Once, a king and his small army were fleeing away from the enemy. So they decided to hide in this dark cave.. it had lots of these really sharp things that kept hurting the soldiers… nobody had a clue what it was…. One of them approached the king and asked him,

“Sire, what is this shit? Hurts my bum real bad…….” Okay, I don’t remember the exact words… I wasn’t there… but this was the gist of what he said anyway…..

The king replied, “Am not gonna tell u dude, u havta figure that out urself….but whether u take it with you or not, yer gonna feel lousy later on…”

So some people picked up a little out of curiosity, others just ignored it….

At night, these people get out of the cave and continue their journey… at dawn, when the soldiers took out the sharp things from their pockets, they had in their palm some of the most beautiful diamonds ever!!!

Part 2: Now…

The case of our protagonist, the 22 year old MBA, is not very different… to the outsider, placement day is one of the most glamorous things that can happen to a 22 year old… six figure salaries, foreign postings, ibanking jobs…. The world is your oyster… but the ramifications of his emotions during those 2 days is too tumultuous to comprehend….If he doesn’t get shortlisted by companies, he is sad that nobody gives a damn about him…. If on the other hand he gets shortlisted, he is either sad that he could have got more or that he has to put up with all those GDs and how hez gonna convert them…. The feeling just gets worse as the day progresses…..

Day 0… 6 am…. You ask yourself, “will I get that seven figure offer?” 180 candidates in suits…. One by one, the GDs happen…. The offers trickle in…. slowly, as dusk sets in, you take a breather and look around and what do you see? Over half of them are back in shorts…. Laughing and cracking jokes…. This is like one of the biggest ironies you can imagine… just a few hours ago, the bastard was asking me for solace and gyaan when he screwed up his GD… one good interview and BAM! He is in his shorts, mocking at us lesser mortals!!!!! Then the frustration sets in and you wonder, “will I get placed tonight itself?”

The poor guy in shorts wud be thinking… shit man, this sucks… my friend is so talented, still the bastards are not picking him up… even though I am placed, I should be with him throughout and give him company when he is down in the dumps….A lot happens involuntarily… the guy who is placed just cant hide his joy that for the rest of the day, he is talking loudly trying to infuse some of his optimism into the others still in process…. This in turn gives them the impression that he is showing off and pisses them off!

Really bizarre incidents have happened…. A senior was feeling really bad for a junior who had to go through some unusually long interviews… he made the capital mistake of consoling her…. “are u okay?” the retort came out in a flash! “don’t try to strike up a conversation with me!!!” well, the senior is also smart enough to study in her same college “I just hope u had something more constructive to say in your interviews!!!!”

Day 1... 6 am....The whole thing can be described in one single word…. Pandemonium!!! Sometimes the whole world around you is moving so fast that you think everything is in a standstill…. Beyond a point, everything seems irrelevant… innumerable shortlists later, you are not even bothered which company is being announced…. Your lines in the interviews start sounding cliché… start recollecting the exact same words you used for the six interviews you used before this one…. Irrespective of whether it is coke or pepsi, p&g or hll, u feed them the same reasons about why you think a career in sales is interesting and challenging…. The women have an added headache… in addition to some distastefully drooling interviewers, they also have to negotiate with their 6 foot long sarees which just refuse to listen. Things just don’t get better when there are enemies in your own camp! By this time, leave alone seven figure salaries and placement in a day 0 company, you begin to wonder whether you will get placed at all…. As the results of yet another company are announced and you find your name missing as usual, your jaw and your confidence drop down like the sensex on black Monday!

It can also be really awkward to the guy who is placed… what do you tell your friend when he asks you, “da, why am I not getting any shortlists?” You have interacted with him for two years; you know he is made of real stuff….. how do you handle the delicate conflict between the role of a friend and the role of a competitor who beats him to his favorite job? In many weird ways, I have felt the concept of friendship evolving over time… from primary school…. To boarding school…. To engineering college…. And to bschool…. Was it for better or for worse? I don’t know……..


Tuesday, November 07, 2006

MBAs: Commodities pushed into a cattle market

March 2005……”Congratulations! You have been selected for the Business Management (BM) programme” As the words flashed across the computer screen, yet another person rose up from faded obscurity to a shining hope of being counted among the highest echelons of the business society. Within minutes, two hundred students across batches and departments showered their best wishes on the lanky bespectacled lad in the computer lab… the “chhapa” of XLRI on my resume was supposed to be a one way ticket to fame and riches… my ambitions were much less pretentious… a job I love where I don’t get bored of dull monotony…. Just enough money to ensure that I don’t lose sleep over financial problems….

Come November, and the only buzzword on bschool campuses across India is summers…. Students across India come to bschools for a brand value and quality education, and the placement process in the college itself is designed to portray the students as commodities…. How is this different from a cattle market? Really silly things can happen in the runup to the process....

Make the juniors sit through endless hours of company PPTs which invariably start with the formation of the company in 1847! The star of these PPTs is invariably an alumnus who passed out like 2 years ago from the same college... He walks up and talks about how fruitful the whole experience has been!!! They all end up giving the same speech, and by the time the juniors reach PPT # 10, they have mugged it up perfectly...... just in case they have to blurt it out to their own juniors.....

the seniors also come and go, indulging in their own feeble marketing endeavours.

"My company was the best.... foreign offers in Timbuktoo" it is totally a different matter whether the company would still exist in april when u land there for the internship....

“Peck my company higher. They offer a lot of stipend… “

“No peck mine higher! Excellent project profiles….”

“My company has the best brand name” yeah, it doesn’t matter if all you do there is sell credit cards or organize parties…

You get to hear all reasons ranging from location preferences to birthday celebrations, booze parties and hot chick bosses!!!! Ridiculous!!! Did any of these seniors bother to delve into the thoroughly confused junior’s skill set and find out what his interests were?

I can hardly think of anything more embarrassing than the ramp walk…. Bunch of people sit and ask the juniors to walk the ramp, shouting their names…. “so that they can remember the juniors”…. Yes, each senior sitting there has cracked innumerable memory tests specially designed to remember 250 names in less than 10 minutes!!! And this certainly is a better way to remember names than looking up the juniors on the college website… If the seniors have peanut sized brains, lets jus not talk about the juniors who bend over and do exactly as they are instructed!!!!

Are we FMCGs to be packed in one room and taken to 30 different companies in a single day? Why do colleges have this insatiable need to showcase their brand value to the outside world using a metric as ridiculous as the time it takes to place students? My neighbour is majoring in marketing. He did his summer internship in ICICI Bank…. The secretary of finance club in our college went to HLL… Who are the real stakeholders here? The public which reads about bschools in the front page of Times of India? What do they care? Just a few comments to their spouses over morning coffee about how well the economy is booming and fat paychecks for kids in these colleges…. End of story…

The real stakeholders are students here… they dont give a hoot whether the process gets over in 2 days or 3 months!!! as far as they are concerned, they want to work on a good project in an industry of their choice.... the 2 month summer internship programme is an excellent opportunity for them (many of them without any significant industry experience) to get some practical insights in the field of their interest. What happens to them? They are being made innocent bystanders in the battles of bschool egos across the country….

A fortnight and millions of deliberations later, the juniors end up applying to each and every company that comes down, irrespective of whether they are interested in the field or not….. why? Or else you will be the only one left without an internship offer after 2 days! One simple question here……. So???? So what???? What if I am the only one left after two days??? peck XYZ Ltd on top… whatever happens…..No, I refuse! They offer marketing projects and I wanna major in finance … it doesn’t fit in with my long term goals…..neither do I want to sell credit cards for a bank just because they offer fat stipends… This is only a 2 month internship process…. Who is here to judge me? I will do whatever excites me without giving a shit about what society thinks…. If good companies are refused just because they give a small stipend, I will apply personally to these companies…. I will take my fate in my own hands instead of letting my ego hijack my future….


Sunday, November 05, 2006

The entertainment called bschool committees

Q: Is an MBA student more intelligent and educated than a neta who failed 6th grade?
Ans: Definitely...........

Q: does that mean a bunch of MBA students are more intelligent than a bunch of netas?
Ans: er.... tougher question.......

What is the single biggest excuse for blowing time on bschool campuses? GBM… wins hands down… yeah, I know it sounds savvy… but the reality couldn’t be further away… these are the student meetings convened by student committees whose sole motto in life is “Look Busy, Do Nothing…” First, they stand for elections..…this in itself is a pain considering that there are like a zillion committees encompassing each and every foreseeable student need from mess food to movies to booze…..well, that’s the official reason for havin so many committees… the unofficial version goes something like this…

FLASHBACK…. we once had an especially depressing mock GD session prior to summers… the seniors decided that the juniors had no chance at this rate and that their CVs needed a boost…so they got together and conjectured committees out of thin air by jumbling some letters here and there…. I am guessing there were two panels, bcos of the two distinct style in naming the committees… one set has an X… FLIX, MAXI, FINAX, AXIOM…. Another set has a com… libcomm, sportscomm, placecomm, messcomm…..etc etc…

I don’t know the name of the guy standing up there giving his speech. But in less than 10 minutes, I have to decide if he is a marketing god…. Btw….what is marketing? Something about segmentation…… No idea, the professor hasn’t reached that point yet… Anyway, somehow each and every one on campus manages to win at least one of these elections…… the commoners like me settle down to our business of doing nothing all day, comfortable in the knowledge that there will be no more GBMs….

But no…. the committees have no real work…. there are even committees where one of the members is a chairman and everyone else is a CEO... But none of the committees want to be seen as jobless…. So they fall back on the motto “activity is a substitute for achievement”….. so the movie committee guy spams the whole college with mails about screenings (where he is the only audience apart from the guard who is eager to lock the room as soon as he leaves), the systems committee points at the new printer installed by the director and passes it off as his own blood and sweat…. Another committee begs the students union president to beg the admin for a wetnight, their own work restricted to putting up a poster and overcharging the public for precious drops of nectar so that they can drink free….library committee guy siding with the profs in begging the students to check out the place once in a while… studcom, the students union, cant take credit for anything bcos everything in college falls under the purview of some committee or the other.... so they devised a "Studcom Strategic Group" (must congratulate them for the fancy name)

And my personal favorite… placement committee calls juniors to a GBM and scares the shit out of them....You must understand that serious matters get discussed at these GBMs!!! There is a covert agenda for convening each of these meetings… in one, they ask juniors to submit cvs…. In another they ask seniors not to go home… in another they announce the names of the companies… yes, these are sophisticated matters that cannot obviously be captured in primitive means of communication like email…. Even the director communicates by sending group messages, but 20 year old kids have to preside over GBMs!!!

Moral of the story: As ntm likes to put it, "when people get together in groups, their average IQ plummets..."