Sunday, June 27, 2004

Diagnostic Test -Arco!

This is so frustrating. Gave a Arco Diagonstic Test at the website only to find out that it does not give you any results.! The same results can be found in the Arco book that I have but I don't have the patience to give the test again and calculate the results.Perhaps will sit on some other day and get the answers.

As of now, after writing 2 tests, I observed that I need

*To work hard in Verbal section esp Reading Comprehension stuff.

* Also, I should take more practice tests. Perhaps 2 over the weekend.They are a real test of stamina and concentration and the more I give, the better it becomes.

* To maximize my quant score and work hard on the verbal.
If I do not touch 700 in a practice test here, it would be difficult for me to get a target score in the main test.

Saturday, June 26, 2004

Diagonastic Score

Gave my first diagonastic score today.Gave it one week late.

Result:610 (84%ile) :(

Need to improve in Verbal a lot.
* Reading Comprehension (25% accuracy, could not even solve one complete question set in that time fram)
* Critical Reasoning
* Sentence Correction.

Have to workout on Maths more.

Friday, June 25, 2004

2 days late.Lot of disturbances today.Yet finished the OG SC section.Will do that again in mid july.Roomie leaves for India tomm. So get the whole room. Preperation should shift to higher gear. Best phase to study and do well.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

If everything goes well, tomm morning I should finish the OG SC questions.
Exactly 45 days to go.

Monday, June 21, 2004

Did not study today.Instead blogged. Time waste but yet no guilt feeling.Shucks !

Why tech should serve the poor

Why tech should serve the poor
Why should tech companies think about the poor? There are three good reasons.

First, countries that don't have existing infrastructures, legacy systems, or extant markets leaders can adopt radically innovative technologies more quickly than advanced nations. In colonial America, constant labor shortages encouraged entrepreneurs to adopt technologies much more rapidly than their Europe counterparts. The result could be seen in 19th century high-tech centers (the Lowell cotton mills, for example), and in a broader view of technology as a source of strategic advantage.

More recently, cell phones have taken off in countries that had poorly-developed or slow-moving, government-run phone systems; some countries may leapfrog landline systems completely, and go straight from word-of-mouth to short messaging service (SMS). Many alternative energy technologies in the U.S. are sold as "premium power" solutions for small functional niches, and don't try to compete against well-established utilities. In countries with poor or nonexistent power grids, in contrast, small-scale power generation, and wind power, biomass, and solar power are serious players.

Second, the best products created for these markets can have global reach. Chinese appliance manufacturer Galantz, for example, has created a large market by developing kitchen products for middle-class Chinese, whose kitchens are cramped and can't handle the power requirements of bigger Japanese, European, and American appliances. Those products fit in kitchens all over the world - and Galantz now has a 35 percent share of the global microwave market.

Third, companies serving the poor are going to be the future's lean, mean multinationals. In the 1950s, Japanese companies like Honda and Sony were producing products for what was essentially a third world country - their own domestic markets, which were still rebuilding after being destroyed in World War II. The products these companies created were cheap and robust, and provided the means for establishing a place in European and North American markets: they could sell proven goods there for prices far lower than better-known local companies.

Today, the wheels continue to turn. Japanese companies still do well in advanced markets, but are facing severe challenges in developing countries like India and Brazil. Korean giants Samsung and LG, for example, have proved serious competitors to Sony in consumer electronics and cellular phones - in part because until recently Korea was itself a developing country.

Sunday, June 20, 2004

I made a plan yesterday. I did not stick to it. I don't feel better.Am I not determined to do an MBA? Is there a lack of commitment from my end? I don't feel good.:(

Failure reminds you of only one thing -Your determination to succeed was not strong enough. Posted by Hello

ISB's fast-track courses a big earner

HYDERABAD: ISB hopes to rake in nearly Rs 30 crore through fast-track programmes for senior working executives in 2004-05 against Rs 15 crore earned last year.

In 2002-03, the institute earned Rs 6 crore on executive education. Starting from a small bouquet of 14 programmes in 2002-03, ISB scaled it up to 40 in 2003-04 and hopes to touch nearly 80-100 in 2004-05. ISB associate dean (executive education) Shyam Viswanathan says, "nearly 60% of our revenue is through repeat customers."

The institute has a portfolio of nearly 250 corporate clients who have sent their top honchos to the classroom from time to time.

The key growth driver among executive education programmes is expected to be the tailor-made courses in which ISB develops and designs the content depending on the specific needs of an organisation. ISB offers courses in general management skills like strategy, leadership, and organisational transformation and in functional areas like marketing, finance, and technology.

These programmes are offered both on campus as well as at the client site. Several Indian public sector undertakings have opted for these tailor-made programmes to grow in the evolving marketplace.

ISB has clients like ONGC, GAIL, Corporation Bank and LIC who have sent several batches of senior management for training. Some of the private sector companies that have got tailor-made courses include TAFE, A V Birla Group and Emirates Bank.

Viswanathan said, these programmes are designed after close understanding of management objectives of the client company, its corporate culture and the marketplace. "A lot of effort goes into getting the courses designed, choosing faculty and post-training feedback. For instance, faculty for training senior personnel of ONGC would be someone well-versed with the global energy sector," he added.

The executive education programmes typically range from a few days to a few weeks. The four-day executive programme costs about Rs 1 lakh-1.25 lakh. The two-week programmes, ISB-Kellogg advanced global MBA and general management, cost Rs 7 lakh and Rs 4.25 lakh respectively. In the ISB-Kellogg programme, the student spends one week in ISB campus and the other at Kellogg. In the general management course, students spend one week at ISB and do the second module at INSEAD campus in France.

Countdown to GMAT: 49 days to go.
Mood: Bad.Good.Not sure.

Had plans of putting in 5 hrs of effort. Just sat for 2.5 hrs.
Only 40 SC from OG.
Wasted the morning taking my friend to shopping.He just came in from India and is looking for cars,cell connection etc.Had to help him.
Wasted some time in the evening by watching a movie.

* Have to give a diagonastic test tommorow.
* Make a chart of my stregnths and weaknesses.
* Draw a time line of when the OG gets over.

Friday, June 18, 2004

A tribute to Sumantra Ghosal Posted by Hello

Sumantra Ghoshal, reknowned management guru, was born in 1948 in Calcutta. He graduated from Delhi University with Physics major. Took a job at Indian Oil Corporation and rose through the management ranks before moving to the USA on a Fulbright Fellowship in 1981. There, he managed to produce two PhD dissertations at once, initially at MIT's Sloan School of Management, then also at Harvard Business School. Joined INSEAD Business School at France and wrote stream of influential articles and books. In 1994, he joined London Business School. Sumantra was a Fellow of the Advanced Institute of Management Research (AIM) in the U.K and a Professor of Strategic and International Management at the London Business School. He served as a member of The Committee of Overseers of the Harvard Business School and was the Founding Dean of the Indian School of Business in Hyderabad.

Professor Ghoshal published 10 books, over 70 articles and several award-winning case studies. Managing Across Borders: The Transnational Solution, a book he co-authored with Christopher Bartlett, has been listed in the Financial Times as one of the 50 most influential management books and has been translated into nine languages. The Differential Network: Organizing the Multinational Corporation for Value Creation, a book he co-authored with Nitin Nohria, won the George Terry Book Award in 1997. The Individualized Corporation, co-authored with Christopher Bartlett, won the Igor Ansoff Award in 1997, and has been translated into seven languages. His last book, Managing Radical Change, won the Management Book of the Year award in India. He was described by The Economist as 'Euroguru'.

He put forth the '525 rule'. The '525' rule meant that 25 per cent of a company's sales revenue should accrue from products launched during the last 5 years. He was recognised for his research and teaching on strategic, organisational and managerial issues confronting global companies.

Professor Ghoshal died of a brain haemorrhage on March,2004 at Hampstead, United Kingdom.

Sumantra Ghoshal ,Management Guru
 Posted by Hello

"The journey of a caterpillar being transformed into a butterfly is a romantic one,but the experience is not a pleasant for the caterpillar.In the process of that transformation,it goes blind,its arms and legs fall off,and its body is torn apart as the beautiful wings emerge"

Sumantra Ghoshal ,Management Guru on Leadership and Change

GMAT Countdown: 50 days to go.
Got up early today,and executed what was planned.
Better planning required.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

I have to win this mental battle !

51 Days to go before I take my GMAT.
GMAT Preperation: Lazy but spirits high,still in planning mode.

My current situation and promises I make today:

-I need to come to a situation wheere Iam commiting atleast 2-3 hrs on my preperation on weekdays and 6-7 hrs on weekends.

-I have been just working on SC concepts and exercises. Need to move from here to the other sections also.

-Even after sitting and working out for an hour,I somehow don't feel happy with myprogress. Somewhere, something is missing.

-Inspite of repeated promises to me, I am not able to wake up everyday at 4 am. I have to be in the office by 07.30 am and I want to put in atleast two hrs of study in the morning before Iam in office. I get up somedays at 5am , 6am and sometimes don't study at all.

- I need to keep visiting the MBA blogs, the discussion forums and other stuff to make sure that the fire within me still exists.

- I have to take a mock GMAT this weekend.
Perhaps a Kaplan Diagonastic test this weekend.

-I have to do it.Remember all the factors for which you are taking the GMAT. And yep!

Strategy for GMAT.

Here is a strategy that I found on the BW forum.

Two Months prior to GMAT

-Bought all the prep books I could get my hands on. (Kaplan GMAT, Kaplan GMAT Verbal and Math Workbooks, Princeton Review GMAT, ARCO GMAT)

-Downloaded the POWERPREP Software

-Took one diagnostic test from each of the prep books as well as the first POWERPREP CAT

-Identified weak areas

-Read through of all the "strategy" portions of the prep books and started memorizing the random factoids required for success on the GMAT (Idioms, number properties/definitions, etc)

-Took at least one pen & paper practice test a week(saved the CAT tests for later)

-I devoted about five hrs/week to preps in this period. (1-2 hrs/day, 3-5 days/week)

One Month Prior to GMAT

-Started taking at least one CAT test per week(I had quite a few available--most of the companies either bundle CDs with their books or give you access to online tests)

-Continued memorizing random factoids

-Developed a general feel for timing on CAT tests (If your ego won't allow you to guess on early questions, be prepared to work and guess like a madman in the last 10 minutes of the CAT.) I tended to go very slowly in the beginning and shift into efficiency/speed mode in the last third of the test.

-I probably spent about 10-15 hrs/week in this period. Gave up a weekend or two.

One week prior to GMAT

-Crisis mode: spent 3-5 hours a day finishing every last practice problem available to me and reviewing all that I had learned in the past two months.

-Took the second POWERPREP test

-Reread the KAPLAN Verbal and Math Workbooks(lots of good factoids in both of them).

-Took a couple AWAs (I had usually skippped these in the preceding weeks.)

One day prior to GMAT/Day of GMAT

-stayed up late reading B-week discussion boards(scheduled an afternoon test)

-tossed and turned all night, feeling like I was back in high school getting ready to take my AP tests

-woke up before my alarm clock went off, hopped in the car.

-crammed idioms and number properties while riding the ferry across the Sound.

-Arrived about an hour early, had a small brunch, took the test.

Test center regs are pretty strict: apparently even putting a hand in your pocket during the test constitutes "cheating" and provides grounds for dismissal. They got the 1984-style video surveillance going on and the proctors will walk around looking at everyone significantly at half-hour intervals. So don't mess with the GMAT Nazis...

Anyhow, my goal was to score over 750 and I managed to accomplish it (thank god). I actually scored much better than I had on any of my practice tests, so don't read to much into low diagnostic scores--constant grinding away at those practice problems is the only way to go.

Staying at home on Friday nights like a monster freak toolbox loser worked for me, and it can for you too!

As day progresses, my interest in getting an admission to B-Schools is increasing. Iam doing a good amount of research on schools. I need to get a good GMATG score to avail the scholarships offered by these B Schools. All the best.

Monday, June 14, 2004

Iam pretty sure that the B-Schools would give you a lot of work. Work that your hands and minds are full and perhaps a stage where you would feel that the kind of work that is being given cannot be simply done by humans. Well, the bottom line here is that the B-schools want to teach you two things .
a) They want to make you seek out help from other students, generally thru study groups. This sort of team formation is exactly what business expect of their employees,so you should aim for a win-win situation. A B-school teaches you how to learn to learn.
b) Prioritize and Time Management: As an executive in the future, the potential work facing you greatly exceeds your time available to do it.You have to learn what is the most important thing to do and focus on them. A minor goal here would be to master time management.

One of the major goals that you learn at a B school is to develop skills and knowledge that are vital to your career, These traits are difficult to develop outside a B-School.A B-school not only teaches you softer skills like negotiation ,oral and written communication but also gives u the basics of the harder skills like the ability to price money,analyze currency risk,cash flow models etc. In addition, opportunites to build your skills in extra curricular settings will teach a lot.

Although academics are a substantial part of your MBA experience,there is more to the experience. Learning how to structure teams,motivate ppl,manage differences with ppl, and lead are all parts of the MBA exp.

The foundation for important relationshiops,,both for businnes and friendship,evolve not only during the teow years of school but over one's life time.

A portion of the time is spent in dialogues with professors and business executive that extend beyond the classroom presentation to meaningful exchange of ideas,opportuniteis and so on.This is a time in life to get the maximim of ur 2 year investment.Learning a language,exploring areas of interest that have clamored for attention and even travelling to new markets,insititute through exchange programs are some of the benefits,

In short, the long term goal is to make sure that it is just not academics that is worth the investment of ur time and money

Flash News from ISB

*Vinoo Urs heads back home. ISB will miss him.
*Padmaja also quits.This means that the adcom will have a new team.
*The intake for the next batch is 420.This means that my admission chances are high but there is a doubt now if the quality of education would suffer.

Anyway, now that my friends have come to my place and we have seen all the nearby places, it is time for me to shift gears and move on to the fast lane.
Countdown starts : 55 days to go.

Blogs from ISB

Sunday, June 06, 2004

Applying to a B-school ( Article from Economic Times)

Over a hundred years old, the Chicago Graduate School of Business prides itself on grounding students in the fundamentals of business. The school, ranked in the top 10 by every B-schools ranking , was also the first US Ivy League to venture in the Asian market with its Singapore centre, which offers the executive MBA.

Last year, Chicago GSB admitted 1,112 students to its full-time MBA. Candice Zachariahs asked senior associate director of admissions at Chicago, Kurt Ahlm for a few pointers on applying to B-schools .

When should a B-school aspirant begin the application process? How much time should one give oneself and is it beneficial to have the application in by the first set of deadlines?

It is never too early to begin the application process. Most schools make their applications available to the public starting in August, giving applicants a few months to work on their applications prior to their first round of deadlines.

It is hard to quantify how much time an applicant can expect to work on completing an application. Requirements vary from school to school, and most information, particularly answers to essays, is not transferable from one application to the next.

I would recommend an applicant spend some time familiarising themselves with the school before answering any application questions. Schools not only want to find out about you, but also your knowledge and interest in their programme so do not complete an application with generic answers.

Applying early can convey an applicant’s strong desire to attend a given programme. Applicants typically get their applications to their top choice schools first so they can either celebrate an early admission or reassess their options should they not be admitted.

Also, it is important to know that many schools make decisions on a rolling basis and spots within a class can fill by the time a third deadline occurs. Therefore, it is best to begin the process of researching and applying to schools early rather than wait until the last minute.

There is a caveat to this however; never submit an application that is mediocre just to get it in early. A weak application will not be overlooked because it was submitted early. The best rule of thumb for applying to a school is: early is good but prepared is better.

Given the effort that each application package requires, how many schools would you advise a student to apply to?

The optimal number depends on the applicant... the typical and most manageable number lies somewhere in the 4-5 range. Applicants need to do their research before applying to schools, and they should apply to schools that best meet their wants and needs.

Do not apply to schools solely based on reputation, each B-school is different and attracts different students. Select a school that meets all expectations; academic, social and professional.

Could you indicate some of the more effective ways to go about researching B-schools.

Start with the internet. Schools are investing a great deal of money into developing their websites and making them comprehensive informational resources. Much of what you want to know about any given programme you can find online.

Talk to alumni. Chances are many applicants work with a plethora of B-school alums, most of whom are more than ready to share information about their experience.

Attend B-school forums and informational sessions. Most schools participate in forums and/or sponsor school-specific information sessions and receptions in cities all over the world. These events are ideal for talking with staff and alumni and getting specific questions answered about a given programme.

Visit the school. This can be a costly endeavour for many international applicants, but there is truly no greater exercise in research than the campus visit. This allows someone access to the classroom, the students, the faculty etc and gives an applicant a first-hand account of the entire educational experience at a particular school.

Interview if it is encouraged by the programme. Many schools encourage interviews, and this is an excellent opportunity to spend 30-45 minutes with a representative from a school telling them your story and asking tough questions about their programme.

Interviews, whether conducted on campus or with alumni in a given area, are excellent opportunities to delve into the specifics of a programme and find out if a school is the right fit. Applicants should check with each school they are applying to and see what their policies are for interviews.

Could you outline the admission process at Chicago? What are the most important elements?

We evaluate candidates’ applications in the following areas: length and breadth of work experience, academic profile, extracurricular and community service involvement, evidence of leadership potential, communication ability and motivation to attend the GSB.

There is not one particular area that can make or break an application. Rather, we are looking for people who are well-rounded and can demonstrate strengths in many if not all of these areas.

Many Indian applicants tend to be very young, with work experience of a year or two. What other areas can aspirants focus on to exhibit the qualities that an admission panel looks for?

In my opinion the issue of work experience is not so much about length as it is about quality and focus. Many applicants are admitted to B-school programmes with one-two years of experience because they are able to demonstrate a rich overall professional experience and convey a strong argument for why they need an MBA.

Many younger applicants see an MBA as the next logical step and can not clearly articulate how an MBA will impact their future or even more overlook how they will impact an MBA community. Applicants who can demonstrate a rich professional experience and a clear vision for an MBA programme’s impact on their future have the greatest chance of being recognised in the application process.

What are the common mistakes applicants make?
The most common mistake applicants make is they do not create a compelling story about who they are as a person. Applicants tend to focus solely on the professional aspect of their lives and neglect to reveal enough about themselves in other aspects. Successful applicants not only have the credentials but they tell a compelling and well-rounded personal story through their application.

Creating that story amidst the many restrictions of an application is why this process is such an arduous one, and why applicants must take the time to prepare. B-schools are not just looking for successful professionals but dynamic human beings.

Another frustrating day.No preperation.Iam a looser!

Saturday, June 05, 2004

Why I want a good GMAT score
Anything over a 700 is an acceptable score for me. That would be my aim. I know this is a difficult task for me , but Iam known for sometimes beating my own expectations.I remember the engineering days, when I got a 60% in my first semester and then went on t to get 87% in the final sem.

The key is to stay focused,strategize and understand my strengths and weakness.

A good score will help me in getting aid.
A good score will help me in regain my lost confidence.
A good score will help me prove myself.

This is perhaps the last opportunity for me to go for higher studies.I have been planning to do an MBA since I was 20.Time and again, because of a decision or certain circumstances, I have not been able to do it.

Friday, June 04, 2004

I gotta do it!
This is turning out to be more of a confession blog than a pereperation one. Am not happy with things going around. I have adequate time in hand. It is just that I don't feel motivated enough to study.
I need to pump myself, motivate myself.
C'mon B. Think about those moments in office when u hated urself for being there.Think about ur family and what you want to do for them.
Think of those friends whom you think have done well in life and you want to be like them. You have one life. One dream and I would definitely want to see myself live that dream.

Also, Iam becoming more and more clear of the kind of B-School that I would like to attend. Iam aiming for a 1yr course. The B-Schools in US have a 2 yr course. I don't think I have so much money to do a 2 yr course.
I also aim to be connected to India. Therfore, the Indian School of Business should be my first choice.
Therefore, as of now, the list of B-Schools that I would be applying for are.

Indian School of Business (Dream)
Queens school of MBA
INSEAD (Singapore)
Carnegie Mellon University

I'll post the next blog only when I feel Iam doing justice to my preperation.Yo!!

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Why an MBA?

Read this in Raja's blog today. An interesting reason for the need to do an MBA?
a)The compelling reason for most is a promotion into a managerial role. For instance, at the ISB, there are many IT professionals, who had been doing extremely well in their technical jobs. These people also have great soft skills. They would like to move up the ladder into middle and senior management. ISB intends to produce future leaders. So the MBAs would move up to head major corporations one day. To do that, one needs to know concepts of general management, which an MBA program teaches.

b)An MBA also gives us a great network of batchmates and alumni. For some, MBA is the vehicle of choice for a career shift. For example, an MBA helps an Army officer or a marine engineer to enter the corporate world for a desk job. In many careers, an MBA is a rite of passage. Investment banks typically expect their Analysts to get an MBA before promoting them as Associates.

c) Of course, higher salary is also a good reason to do an MBA. Many people double their salaries after this one-year MBA.