Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Discover Me

The admitted students have received some "homework" from Queen's university. This needs to be completed before the school session starts on May 02.We have an accounting assignment and a excel/business decision model CD that needs to be worked upon.(I haven't even opened the book yet !).

Besides this, the Business Career Centre (BCC) has asked us to do some activities.
This is a very interesting exercise.Reminds me of those days when I used to sit,introspect and write my B school essays.

The first activity was to take Myers Briggs - MBTI test.The MBA students would be put into different teams,and I guess,the results of this test will serve as valuable input for that.

The other test that I gave was was the HBDI™ Thinking Styles Assessment.We have also been asked to work on resume building exercise and get some feedback on it. (This I feel is a tough job!)

Last night, I gave the Career Leader test. Developed by Drs. Timothy Butler (Director of Career Development Programs at the Harvard Business School) and James Waldroop of Peregrine Partners,CareerLeader is an integrated approach to business career self-assessment.The test is used by over 260 top business schools and corporations worldwide to help guide their students' and employees' careers.

I gave the test and it was great to see some convincing results. A few of the things did surprise me.I agree to most of the conclusions.It was a good exercise to do- Itz a nice feeling when you realize that you answer a few questions and the tool displays your interests,abilities and motivators.

At first look, here are some discoveries/results from the

What are my career interests?

You have a notable interest in one core element of business work:
•Influence Through Language and Ideas
You're extremely interested in Influence through Language and Ideas, one of the core activities business work. You enjoy writing and talking to people -- with the specific goal of gaining their agreement on a particular topic.You'll probably enjoy work that gives you opportunities to: persuade someone to buy something, to support an initiative, or to contribute resources to a project.

You may have a preference for:
•Using oral versus written communication
•Talking to people individually or making presentations to large groups
•Engaging in short-term, quick interactions versus building long-term relationships.

But regardless of these preferences, you enjoy bringing people around to your point of view.You can express this interest through virtually any business career path. But clearly sales is a natural fit. Deal-oriented financial-services positions may also appeal strongly to you (if you also have an interest and some skill in Quantitative Analysis).

What are my strengths/abilities?
You have a number of strengths, including:
Creativity (the capacity to generate new ideas and approaches to issues and recognize new opportunities)
Persistence (having the tenacity to stay with a project until it is fully completed)
Strategic Thinking (able to grasp the big picture; work with a vision of the whole project and the long term)
Teamwork (the ability to be team player, cooperate with others, and work well as part of a group)

What motivates me?
You place a very high value on these rewards:
Altruism (the position offers the satisfaction of regularly helping others with their individual or business concerns)
Intellectual Challenge (the position offers consistent intellectual challenge)
Variety (the position offers a great deal of variety in the nature of the work performed)

What are the other motivators?
•Autonomy (the position offers considerable autonomy and independence)
•Lifestyle (the position allows ample time to pursue other important aspects of my lifestyle -- family, leisure activities, etc.)
•Positioning (the position offers experience and access to people and opportunities that will position me well for my next career move)

What do I need to be alert for?
Because you tend to have a strong, dominant personality, you may experience difficulty listening to other people and really hearing their ideas, concerns, or objections. At times, you may come on too strong, and be unable to take a back seat during a discussion or project and mesh with other members of a team. Without intending to, you may intimidate people who are less forceful than you are.
Habitually taking up too much "air time" can pose a danger in class discussions (if you're in school or in a workplace training seminar). This tendency can also hurt you during negotiations and on-the-job meetings. Be careful that you don't get a reputation for "sucking up all the oxygen in the room." And remember that sometimes the best thing to say, especially during a negotiation, is nothing.
Being excessively assertive can also pose problems in job interviews, where most interviewers want to lead the conversational "dance." If your interviewer is a bit shy or more introverted than you, you may feel even more tempted to dominate the discussion to an inappropriate degree. As you would with any personal asset, make sure you don't let these strengths become your undoing

What are my most Promising Career Paths?

Very High
Management of New Product Development
Advertising Account Management
Marketing and Marketing Management
Training and Organizational Development

High Match:
General Management
Public Relations and Communications
Management Consulting
Strategic Planning and Business Development

Monday, February 27, 2006

Happy Retirment Jeeves

During my engineering days, he was very helpful.I was new to the world of search engine and he taught me how to make best use of him. He got me the right information at the right time and helped me complete my assignment.

As Google became popular and I grew old,I almost stopped using his services.
And now, he has decided to seek retirement.

Ask.com's recognisable butler Jeeves has finally taken up retirement, as the search engine relaunches its image.

Jeeves was originally adopted in 1996 as a friendly face to endear users to the search engine, but was forced to face the encroaching dominance of Google as it headed into the new century.

Jeeves is the name of the "gentleman's gentleman" or valet (illustrated by Marcos Sorenson), supposed to be the person who fetches you the answers of any query you ask. The character is based on Jeeves, Bertie Wooster's fictional valet from the works of P. G. Wodehouse.

I'll always remember Jeeves as the loyal,friendly butler ! Thanks Jeeves.Good bye.

Read more here

The Code - Cut Copy Paste

Da Vinci Code 'copied book ideas'?
Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh say Mr Brown stole "the whole architecture" of research that went into their 1982 book The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail.
Both books contain the idea Jesus had a child. They are suing publisher Random House, which denies the allegation.
Mr Brown attended the court on Monday as a judge heard initial submissions.
More details here

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Lessons from Starbucks

You order a cup of coffee.
You sit at the place for hours completing assignments,discussing important events. You meet important people,take major decisions.
A lot really happens over coffee.

'Imagine a situation.You sit there for five hours with a single cup of coffee.
An MBA culture would never allow this -- it would be busy calculating the pathetic ROI on this customer loitering, analyzing the time value of the real estate, dividing it by the marginal cost of the coffee, and soon recommending that Starbucks charge by the hour, like a parking garage!!'

Yet, Starbucks is a success story.Isn't it?
Here are a few lessons we can learn from Starbucks.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Ted Turner exiting Time Warner board

Time Warner said Friday that Ted Turner, founder of the company's Turner cable networks and one of its largest shareholders, will not seek re-election to the company's board of directors.Read more here

iMac, iPod and iTunes Gift Card

One 20-inch iMac
Ten 60GB iPods (5 white/5 black)
One U.S. $10,000 iTunes Music Card (good for any media type)

Now what was that !!
Yeah, thatz the prize for Alex Ostrovsky, the lucky downloader of the 1 billionth i-tune.

The billionth song ”Speed of Sound” was purchased as part of Coldplay’s “X&Y” album by Alex Ostrovsky from West Bloomfield, Michigan and as the grand prize winner he will receive a 20-inch iMac, 10 fifth generation iPods and a $10,000 gift card good for any item on the iTunes Music Store. In addition, Apple will establish a scholarship to the world-renowned Juilliard School in his name to commemorate this milestone.

More information is available here

Software Crusher

Salesforce.com offers "customer relationship management" (CRM) software that allows businesses to track and analyse all dealings with customers in real-time. It can smooth workflows, flag up problems and speed up the sales process.

Salesforce's twist: It provides its software exclusively "on demand", through a web browser over the internet. Customers don't have to worry about installing and maintaining the software, database or technical infrastructure.Itz a service instead.

So, is the growth of Salesforce.com a threat to the IT Biggies like MS and Oracle.
Check out the article here

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Tintin in trouble

He wanted to save Snowy, but landed himself in trouble. Tintin, the young reporter made immortal by the late Belgian writer-illustrator Herge, is likely to be slammed by city animal rights activists over the way he kills and mistreats wild animals in ‘Tintin in the Congo’—the latest in the 24-part French comic series to be released in English worldwide.

Read more here and here

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Be true to yourself

"The softest pillow is a clear conscience."

I was going through Flat Point's blog when I noticed this shocking post.2 students of the Yale school of management were expelled from the school due to unethical practices.The reason: "A guy gave a softcopy of his assignment to a friend, who, prior to submission, made no changes to the document except to replace his friend's name with his own."

This is sad news.However,I feel that the action taken by the management sends a strong signal to all B schools students (who are going to be the future business leaders.)

Get your basics right!

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Lock Kiya Jaaye

A nice job. A good role.A decent salary.Home location.Would you still want to quit?

Change in profile. Change in responsibilities. Change of client.If we look into these parameters,would you still want to quit?

Problems with the team-onsite.Problems with management.Is this prompting you to quit.?

Get married. Why do u want to study further.Are you crazy to travel to a foreign land with a Rs 20 Lakh loan.You definitely want to study?

You know something-Getting back to studies is tough. I hope you have given some careful thought.?
Yes, I have!

Are you sure MBA at this stage of your career is the right decision.?
Yes,I believe this is an exciting step .!

Good Luck. We are sure that you'll do well. It'll be a tough year ahead but it is a good move.!
Thanks a ton. !

These were a few of the questions/responses that the management,team and colleagues at office asked me when I submitted my resignation.:)
BTW, herez a site that'll help you write your resignation letter.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Does your MBA degree suits market demand?
Archana Raheja

A nice article in Economic Times.

The corporate world is highly competitive. As an ordinary employee with nothing new or exceptional to offer, you can easily get lost in the crowd. However, an MBA tucked under your sleeve could open new doors of opportunity, giving you an edge as it arms you with additional knowledge and expertise.

But your MBA has to be with the right specialisation suited to market demands as well as your own aptitude. Various specialisation options are available to MBA students : marketing, finance, human resources, systems, international business and so on.

Each option carries its own weight. In this article we will explore finance as an MBA specialisation option.

Finance as a Specialisation

Careers in financial management generally require a Master’s degree or an MBA (Master’s of Business Administration). Some firms hiring financial analysts demand an MBA.

Obtaining a Master’s degree in finance is commonly done while working full time as a way to advance your professional credentials. Many serious would-be finance professionals do the Masters in conjunction with certifications like the Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Certified Management Accountant (CMA), or Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA).

You can obtain your MBA by attending a business school either full-time or part-time. MBA programmes with a Finance specialisation consistently update the curriculum to retain current market relevance.

What Is Finance All About?

Finance is about financial decisions. Basically, there are three major financial decisions that companies and investors have to take. These are:

How to invest: This requires an understanding of investment objectives, risk-return characteristics of various assets (eg, stocks, bonds, annuities and hybrid securities), asset valuation (eg, capital budgeting and various asset pricing models), and portfolio construction.

How to finance and manage investments: This Requires an understanding of how the capital markets work, the benefits and costs of various sources of funds (eg, debt vs equity), dividend policy, and what financial tools (ie, derivative securities and insurance) can be used to control risks.

How to manage day-to-day working capital: Requires an understanding of the benefits and costs of holding liquid assets such as cash, inventories and receivables.

Finance Curriculum In A Business School

A B-School’s offerings in finance are intended to help students make informed financial decisions. The objectives of a finance curriculum are two fold:

-Equip students with the knowledge of various finance topics and how they are linked together.

-Encourage students to develop their thinking and analytical skills.

With finance education a student will be equipped with the tools to understand the function and applications of financial markets, the acquisition and allocation of funds for public and private sectors in domestic and international organisations, and also learn to access and utilise financial information.

The teaching approach in any B-school is a mix of theory and application. Theory is an important foundation on which you can build coherent thinking and analytical skills. These can then be applied to real-life problems

Do You Have The Financial Aptitude?

Finance calls for a unique set of skills. It is ideally suited for you if you are outgoing and inquisitive by nature. You will use your mathematical aptitude and ability to take your organisation’s or individual client’s goals, resources and options into consideration while making suggestions for their continued financial growth.

This is one area where employment opportunities are influenced by your academic performance and previous professional environment success.

Careers Options For Finance Professionals

With an MBA and a specialisation in finance, opportunities in the corporate world are greatly enhanced. Employment prospects are very good and forecasts remain encouraging. Job prospects in finance are expected to grow faster than average for the next 10 years.

The opportunities with a finance degree span many areas including corporate and international financial management, personal financial planning and investment services.

Brokerage firms, commercial and investment banks, insurance companies, and other financial intermediary companies employ finance graduates. Graduates are typically found in five types of employment:

▪ Large and small sized industrial firms (which may be manufacturers of automobiles, steel, household appliances and electronic equipment)

▪ Service-oriented firms (electric power, real estate and retail firms)

▪ Financial institutions (banks, state and federally chartered savings and loan associations, and insurance companies)

▪ Non-profit enterprises (universities, labor unions and foundations) and private businesses.

The diversity of entry-level positions obtained by finance majors makes it difficult to describe a typical position. A major in finance does not limit his or her career potential to banking or to any single area of business.

A large number of individuals go to work for industrial companies in a variety of entry-level positions that allow them to transition into top decision-making profiles with those companies.

A significant number of chief executive officers and other top officers of corporations have followed the ‘finance path’ to the top.

Positions For Finance Professionals
Financial Analyst: Financial analysts play an integral role in competitive, world-wide, high-tech modern business. Since the 1970s, the crossover in finance and banking has flourished due to the increasing complexity of investment options.

A financial analyst will research a client’s or organisation’s financial status including their history, risk tolerance, current expenditures and investments. They make recommendations based on financial goals and the business environment.

Specialisations within the financial analyst trade include budget analyst, credit analyst, investment analyst, merger and acquisition analyst, money market analyst, ratings analyst, risk analyst, tax analyst, treasury analyst and personal financial advisors.

Financial Consultant: If you work in financial consulting, your main role will be to provide advice on securities pricing, strategies for creating shareholder value, business valuation, economic forecasts and analysis, and input into treasury management.

Finance Manager: As a finance manager, you will direct financial reporting, investment activities and cash management strategies at any number of professional or government organisations. Financial management calls on your creative thinking and your ability to see the broad business picture and then direct your team accordingly

Other Opportunities
Commercial Banking: You’ll find a tremendous range of opportunities in commercial banking. While the banking sector continues to consolidate, more people are employed in commercial banking than any other part of the financial services industry.

Corporate Finance: A career in corporate finance means you work for a company to find the money to run the business, grow the business, make acquisitions, plan for its financial future and manage any cash on hand. You might work for a large multinational company or a smaller firm with high growth prospects.

The key to performing well is to work with long-term goals and some would argue that corporate finance jobs are the most desirable in the field of finance. As a financial officer you concentrate on areas such as liquidity, flexibility, compliance with laws and regulatory support.

Investment Banking: Finance professionals may work within companies and governments to issue securities, help investors trade securities, manage financial assets and provide financial advice. Smaller firms may be oriented toward bond-trading, technical analysis or programme trading.

The key to being successful is discipline, be broad-minded and able to accept the successes and losses of investment decisions. Money managers must be proficient in the latest quantitative methodology.

Many people cross over into money management after years of experience in selling positions in investment banks. A background in portfolio theory and fixed income investments is required.

Financial Planning: Financial planners concentrate on helping individuals with their financial futures. This work requires excellent interpersonal skills. A good financial planner understands investments, taxes and knows how to listen.

Insurance: The demand within the insurance industry for finance degree graduates is also strong as our population gets older and wealthier. Jobs in insurance involve helping individuals and businesses manage risk to protect themselves from catastrophic losses and to anticipate potential risk areas. You help clients understand their insurance needs, explain their options to them and assist with the selection of appropriate policies.

The author is head, academics, Indian Retail School, New Delhi

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Gyaan from Pramath Sinha

I was going through the ISB Consulting blog and I found the 'notes from Pramath Sinha's visit very informative.

An interesting point he makes is that one should have an in-depth knowledge about two industries other than his original industry.
He suggests reading reading at least one business daily and two magazines per week so that one is in a position to talk about any issues that are of general importance.
More gyaan from him can be found here.

Is your CEO lying?

Last week,RadioShack Corp. chief executive officer David Edmondson admitted that he lied about his academic record on his resumé.!

What's the fallout when a senior executive is caught fudging a resumé? It's not just the individual whose reputation is at risk, but also the company's.

"The CEO is also the chief ethical officer. People aren't just looking at what he says, but also at what he does." says Peggy Cunningham, marketing and ethics professor at Queen's University.

"Up to 90 per cent of people have some kind of hyperbole in their resumé.But when individuals push the limits of hyperbole and lie, they need to recognize the impact of losing your integrity is not something that can easily be won back", Cunningham said.

"That's particularly true, if you are the chief executive officer."
Read the article here.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Nike sues Adidas over shoe patent

Nike has filed a patent infringement suit against Adidas-Salomon, claiming that a number of its rival's trainers copy its technology.US giant Nike said the Adidas shoes in question infringed its "SHOX cushioning" patents and is demanding damages from its German competitor. Read more here

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Canadian Study Permit Received!! :)

Sigh ! Am a relieved man today !I got my student visa for Canada today.:)

One of the challenges an Indian applicant faces after getting an admit to a international B school is getting the student visa.The visa process is a simple one.Yet,with the visa consulates assuming that every visitor to their country is a "potential immigrant", one can't be sure of his B school dreams unless he/she has the stamped visa in hand.Tickets cannot be booked,Resignation at work cannot be submitted. With all these worries,you definitely loose some sleep while working on getting the student visa.I got my the Canadian study permit today and am a relieved man !!For the benefit of other applicants, am writing the process that I followed to obtain a Canadain Student Visa:

There are three basic stages that one has to undergo (Applying for a Canadian Student Visa from India):
STAGE 1: Submission of necessary documents with passport.
STAGE 2: Medical Examination
STAGE 3: Resubmission of passport.

Time: It 'll take at least 3-4 weeks to obtain your student permit for Canada when you apply from India.I applied for my student visa on Jan 20th and got my Visa on Feb 16 .

Basic Queries

Where do I apply for the visa?
The student permit visa can be submitted at Canadian Visa Application Centres operated by VFS.The visa applications may be submitted at any of the nine application centers across India. All applications will be assessed at The Canadian High Commission, New Delhi or the one at Chandigarh.

The nine locations are:
New Delhi,Chennai,Mumbai

Where do I find the information?
Most of the details for the student visa is available at this site: http://www.vfs-canada.co.in
The address for the nine locations :http://www.vfs-canada.co.in/wheretoapply.html

Do I need an agent to get the visa ?
Not required. It is a simple process ( a lengthy one though!) and if you follow the website instructions,it should be an easy task.

What are the documents that I need to submit ?
Preparing the documents is a time consuming task. Ensure that all the necessary papers are in place.The forms required to be submmited can be downloaded from this site

You can either fill the forms or type them out on a PC and take a printout.
I preferred the second one as my handwriting is not good. Therefore, I created the forms in word document.

I submitted the following documents at the VFS center on Jan 20th.

a) Duly completed study permit application from with three photographs
b) Completed Personal Information form
c) Letter of acceptance from Queen’s University confirming my admission (Photostat copy)
d) TOEFL Waiver letter, 2000CAD confirmation amount letter.
d) Duly completed Questionnaire
e) Educational Certificates (Engineering, Secondary, Higher secondary)
f) Approved Study Loan sanction letter by the State Bank of India
g) Affidavit of Support from my father and mother along with the proof of funds. ( Photocopy of bonds, MIS, PPF, bank accounts etc)
h) Personal bank statements and proof of funds.(An excel sheet totaling the funds)
i) Proof of Work experience (letter, salary slip etc)
j) GMAT score sheet.
k) Updated Resume.

Any useful tips?

Yes, there are quite a few.

1. When you compile all the papers, it becomes too messy. Use a thread and punch them all together. DO NOT staple the sheets. The VFS folks would verify the papers again and arrange it in a particular order.

2. As there are too many documents and pages, use a highlighter to mark important points.For eg: In the admission letter, highlight the words " admitted to the Queen's University for the program starting May 02,2006".
I did the highlighting stuff for all the documents. The Visa officer will get hundreds of application and by providing all the relevant info to him you are making his work a bit easier.

3. Use 'Post It Notes' to demarcate different sections.For eg: Put a "Educational records" sticky on all your educational certificates put together. "Student Loans", "Finance-Fixed Assets","Liquid Assets" were a few of the other POST IT notes

4. The form asks you to submit the original letter of acceptance. But, DO NOT do that.If you submit that you are unlikely to get that back. I took the original letter with me but the lady at the counter asked me to submit a photocopy.

5. Take sufficient cash for the payment required to be done for visa. The amount mentioned in the website changes. So, carry atleast Rs 6000 in cash and preferably make the payment in cash. The total amount would include your visa processing fees,your VFS charges etc. Don’t bother about making a DD and taking it along with you. I made a DD of incorrect amount, paid by cash and had to cancel it later !!

6. The VFS counters open at 08.00 am on weekdays. The place is usually not crowded but it'll be great if you reach there early.(by 09am).The VFS executives would be fresh and have a close look at your application.The officials there are very friendly. You can introduce urself in 1-2 lines ( “I am XX, work for ABC, and want to apply for a student permit to Canada as I have been admitted to XYZ”)

7. If you have worked outside India and have Tax returns there, it'll be nice if you add them too.

8. Photographs can be taken at the VFS counter itself. However, you don't want to take last minute chances.The photo specifications are at the website( http://www.vfs-canada.co.in/photospecifications.html). If possible, get a analog picture taken as you would have to provide the negative of a photograph during the X-Ray Medical test later.( I did not do this though !!)

9. After you submit the application, you are given a reference number. You can track the status of your application through SMS or the website. This is something that I found extremely useful.!

10. I was under the impression that the study loan is a Mandatory item. However, it is not. If your sponsor can show that he has the cash reserves , that should be be it.Also, a notarized affidavit of support is NOT mandatory. But I had got one done.


After submitting the docs, when do you get to hear about the medical test.?
Within a week after submitting the application at the VFS office,you get a letter from the Canadian High Commision that will have your passport and a letter.
The letter would ask for any documents that are missing. If everything looks fine, you would be asked to undergo a medical examination.The doctors list too would be there.There are usually 3 doctors per location.

What are the tests done in the medical examination?
1. Physical Examination ( Height,weight,BP,Eye sight)
2. Chest X ray ( The negative of the photograph would be required here)
3. Blood Sample - Test for HIV and other STD.
4. Urine Sample.

What does one need to carry for the medical test:
2.The letter from the consulate
3. Negative of the photograph
4. Approx Rs 1500 for the medical test.

Any useful tips?

1. Take an appointment with the doctor.(Phone number would be provided in the sheet).If you have a busy schedule, ask him if a sunday is okay.

2. Follow up with the doctor after 2 days to check if the reports were okay,and if he has sent the reports to the Embassy.He might ask you for the courier fees

3. Ask the doctor for a certificate which states that the medical examination has been done.


What happens after the medical test?
After about 10 working days of the Medical examination ,resubmit your passport at the same VFS counter.Take a photocopy of the first page of your passport.

Is my presence necessary for the resubmission of the passport?
No. In fact, an uncle of mine was kind enough to travel to the VFS office and submit it on my behalf.

How long is the visa valid?
Usually itz valid from the date the visa is stamped to a couple of months after you graduate.

More Help
I am still confused and need some more help. ?
Canadian Education Center provides both onsite and long distance help and guidance.
They charge Rs 2000 and provide quality support.As I had no idea about the process and needed some guidance, I opted for the long distance counselling.
Deepali, a lady there was very helpful. The details are given below:

Ms. Deepali Singh
Online-Education Counselor
Canadian Education Centre-India
12th Floor,
Gopal Das Bhawan, 28 Barakhamba Road,
New Delhi -110001.
Tel: 91 11 5151 5560; 91 11 5151 5561
Fax: 91 11 5151 5558
Website: www.studycanada.ca/india
Email: deepali.singh@cecnetwork.ca

Any general tips?
Get in touch with folks who have got their visa.Tips from folks who have "been there and done that" is extremely helpful.Stay cool and ensure that you have all the papers in place.Queen's university is a reputed school,the chances of visa rejection is very low. Have faith in your B school dreams and stay positive. :)

I am thankful to Sameer,Ashok from the class of 2007 and Rama for the class of 2005 for the tips....Am definitely a relieved man today ! :)

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

The B School Interview

Tell us about yourself.
Why do you want to do this course?
Where do you see yourself five years from now?
Who is your role model and why?
What do you think about the current economic/political situation?
What are your hobbies?
What are your strengths and weaknesses?
If not selected, what will you do?
Questions about your background and academic record.
Questions about your habits, likes and dislikes.

Interviews are the only touch point where a candidate comes in face-to-face contact with the panel. You get an opportunity to impress the panel and justify why you should be selected.

Have a look at this article.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Queen's alumni magazine nabs a digital first

Using an innovative software technology called LinkPath, which was developed by Ironstone Media (Pickering, Ontario, Canada) Queen's University has launched a digital version of Alumni Review plus an on-line only supplement with a difference: they look and handle like real magazines.
You can turn digital pages with the click of a mouse, print pages, search words, download content, e-mail articles, and much more. The Review is the first university magazine in the world to adopt this cutting-edge approach, which promises to change the way you read magazines and access information on-line.

Check out the first digital issue here

The Queen's School of Business alumni magazine is called Inquiry .

Saturday, February 11, 2006

The Smart Manager -- How to motivate bad employees

A nice article published in Forbes.com (and reproduced in Rediff.com) talks about 'How to motivate employees'.As I read through the article,a lot of things made sense to me.

A few tips that I noticed in the article:
-Try to avoid bad employees by hiring carefully.
-If you made a mistake in hiring, then you have to understand why the employee isn't performing well. It can be a lack of training, a poorly defined role, lack of feedback, shifting organizational priorities or something deeper,

Micromanaging is frustrating
I remember when I started my career as a software trainee,I had a supervisor who sat next to me as I wrote the lines of code.I found the Micromanaging to be extremely frustrating.!
Micromanaging is the surest way to kill an employee's enthusiasm. To succeed, employees need to know that they're trusted and their work is valued.

A smart manager:
-Is responsible for the finished product.Good managers quickly learn how to concentrate on outcome and leave the process to others.

-Sets goals and lets employees perform within clearly defined parameters. Gushy praise is instantly recognized as fake and won't cut it.

-Thanks his employee individually for his or her contribution and repeat the thanks at a staff meeting.He makes sure that he always uses outstanding performance to jump to the larger issue:"Here's how we solved the problem, or here's how we beat the competition."

-Rewards top performers with more challenging assignments. Many managers fall into this trap: Top performers are inundated with routine tasks because the work will be handled quickly and well. That soon becomes a disincentive to excel.

Remember,Employees need to know that their contributions are noticed, valued and part of expanding the enterprise. .

Friday, February 10, 2006

One Night@ Call Center

-The book is about one night at the Call Center.The call center industry is booming in India.

-The book is aimed at the youth.
Itz about six characters who work at a call center,and get a call from GOD one night.

-The language used in the book is quite informal.
The author claims justifies this by stating that "We live in an age where everyone talks via SMS"

-The author,Chetan Bhagat ,an IIT-IIM graduate,is seen giving some thoughtful interviews to the electronic and print media.

-The book is reasonably priced at around Rs 100.You can get it at the nearby bookstore that stores magazines and even at the A.H Wheelers at Railway station.

-The quality of print and font is good-something that makes reading a comfortable experience.

The book was the bestseller of 2005 and is still topping the charts.
I don't read fiction much..But with the hype the book has been getting, I went ahead and read this book.I felt that the story sounded like a bollywood flick.:)

And now....Ramesh Sippy,the maker of recent bollywood hit Bluff Master is all set to make a film on the novel.Sippy has bought the film rights for Chetan Bhagat’s latest novel One Night @ The Call Center.

Don't be surprised if the movie goes on to be a big hit.Read more here

Jamaican honour for Marley home

The Jamaican home of reggae legend Bob Marley is to be declared a national monument, 25 years after his death. Read more here

Air legend Sir Freddie Laker dies

Sir Freddie, who introduced cheap air travel to the world in the 1970s, died of undisclosed causes in Miami, a family friend said.
At its peak, Laker Airways offered London to New York tickets for £118, but was forced out of business in 1982.

Read the article here and his obituary

Last post for the telegram?

The age of e-mail, instant messaging and internet telephony has ended the 150-year-old era of the American telegram.
Last week, Western Union - which for a century and a half brought news of joy, sorrow and success in distinctive, hand-delivered, yellow envelopes - quietly ceased its service.

Read the complete article here

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Buffett stars in children's toon

US investment guru Warren Buffett, dubbed The Sage of Omaha, will feature in an animated series produced by brand management firm DIC Entertainment.

He is the world's second richest man, said to be worth $40bn (£22.6bn).

Now he is to feature as a financial mentor for children in a series called The Secret Millionaire's Club.

It will feature the voice and likeness of Mr Buffett, known for his folksy style and ukulele playing.

Read more here

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Queen's MBA for Science and Technology Yahoo Group

This yahoo group is created for all the prospective,current and former students of the Queen's MBA for Science and Technology program. The purpose of the group is to exchange views,share ideas and get answers to your questions about the MBAst Program. Please note that the opinions expressed here are personal.

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Click to join queensmba

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Sets the mood

The picture that you see below has been taken by an amateur photographer. We have a Leisure section in our organization where employees send the photos that they have shot. This photograph, shot by Rajkumar Bansal was declared as the "Photo of the Month".Isn't it excellent?

I do not know why but I found this photograph extremely soothing to the eyes. Sitting on a bench all alone, watching the waves, you could relive every moment of life. The scenery is so spectacular that none of us would mind being in the old man's shoes.

I emailed the guy to ask the details of where he took this picture and this is what he had to say.- ‘This is the Great Ocean Road near Melbourne, Australia. The ultimate destination is 12 Apostles but mostly, the drive to the destination is more famous/ popular. The place is a sea beach but shot in a manner than it looks the man is sitting on the edge of the seabed. Must see/visit if one goes to Australia !’

Phew ! If the picture could influence me so much, imagine how much the location would have an impact on me…! :)

Anyway, herez some interesting information that I read recently

Six tools you should use to build an effective team

If you are setting up a project team, here are six quick steps at the outset to increase effectiveness, from Jerry Garfield and Ken Stanton in Harvard Management Update:

1.Share personal histories about work, to reveal competencies, generate respect, and foster co-operation.

2.Ask: "What has worked for you in the past?" This signals experiences are valued and builds commitment.

3.Describe how the team will work together -- the problem to be solved, the expected improvements, and a detailed plan of action.

4.Make assignments that take advantage of everyone's strengths.

5.Establish norms for making decisions, notably what decisions team members can make on their own and what falls to the team leader, as well as how conflict will be handled.

6.Establish communications processes to ensure a free flow of information between team members.>