To be or not to be…

” To be, or not to be: that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them?”

I don’t intend to get as serious as Shakespeare when he carved these lines in Hamlet. I just couldn’t stop relating to these lines and will try to justify this as an analogy to my life as a second year MBA student!
The MBA program in itself does not force you to take more than 3 classes per trimester in second year. But I think I have volunteered to make my life difficult by taking 5 classes in this trimester. And then, there are applications for on-campus jobs, interviews, and  assistantship work that come as an icing on the cake (and yes, I am being sarcastic!). Oh yeah, and I forgot to add the cherry on top of icing – the networking involved in the info sessions of the companies that come to campus.
At times, it is fascinating to imagine doing all this together. At times, it feels as if the mind is indeed suffering the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. Now the important question: Is it noble? Or should I take arms against the sea of trouble by taking just 3 electives (or dropping out, which doesn’t seem a feasible option having come so far).
I would say that there is just a thin line that is stopping me from taking the easy route. What makes the pain noble is my friends that I have made in this program (and by friends, I mean the ones that care about you; not just hang out with you during the “happy hours”). Friends are the greatest stress-buster during the classes because they help you joke about almost everything – assignments, applications, grades, careers, and the grind during weekends!
Although all this seems a little overwhelming right now, I am sure that it will be worth numerous laughs in future. As of now, I am going to hang in there, with or without the rope.
P.S.: My blog entries might become rarer, as my life gets crazier!

Internship update (belated)

This is probably a little too late to write on my internship. My internship experience was just “incredible”. It was a perfect time and opportunity to encounter the intricacies in supply chain and procurement after the classroom learning. I got an opportunity to be on the east coast and go to NY city a couple of times!
What a great internship can do to you? It definitely makes you familiar with the lingo and expands your understanding of the kind of work you might end up doing after your MBA! (and you will know if you like it or not). You feel prepared to take on the world after you see yourself actually do it over the summer. Doesn’t that talk a lot?
The MBA second year is here (since past one and half months), and I feel a little old!

The grass that seemed greener!

When I was working, I thought the grass would be greener on the other side. Now that I am here, I can see that there is very little grass – all wilted.

You have a good, decent paying job. You leave all of it thinking that an MBA would be a springboard to the executive career. And then one fine day, you realize that there is no one out there who considers you worthy of a paycheck. MBA, instead of being an enabler to a superior career, suddenly makes you feel as if it was a mistake – to leave the comfort zone and land up in the tough market – jobless! I had a tough time digesting this fact. As the trimester was inching to an end, the pressure of not landing up with an internship in the U.S. was building up (exponentially). Every morning I got up, the first thought (worry) I had to deal with was – how and when am I going to fetch an internship. The stress in the process was taking a toll on my academics, for I was losing focus and it was becoming increasingly difficult to put together the effort it takes get those A’s on your transcripts. The feeling did make me feel like the biggest loser on this planet…at times (and ironically, my last blog was on how not to be one – which I ended up reading couple of times to keep my morale). On top of it, there was peer pressure and concern from my family members.

So that’s the bad news.  The good news is that after having my fair share of failures, I have finally secured an internship! I will be in the east coast for a change and I feel extremely relieved. It is indeed a big piece of load off my back. There have been quite a lot of people who have given me pointers to deal with this predicament and helped me in the process. I am extremely thankful to all of them. A long saga of dealing with joblessness has come to an end, at least for a while.

The trimester will be over in a couple of days and then all I can wait for is to see what it is like to be a half MBA in the corporate world!

P.S.: I could not write anything for a while. Nothing strikingly important was happening in my life as I was just working on my internship search. Writing on this canvas has to come from inside and let’s see what’s in store for the coming (academic) year!

Just do it!

“Don’t tell me that it is not possible. Don’t tell me that you don’t have time. Everything is possible…EVERYTHING. If you think it is impossible, then may be don’t need it bad enough. If you think it is impossible…then may be you don’t have enough desire to achieve it…Only losers give excuses like that…and you are not one of them…you are young…you are the energy…you are the potential…you are tomorrow…you are here to realize your dreams! So buckle down and show me some will….show me that you can fight this battle as if it was only meant for winning! ”

Guys…as the job market and the internship opportunities have worsened, I know many of you will reflect on the feeling that the world is closing in on you. Hence a few words of courage!

P.S. : I am done with the first tri….and it did made me realize what I am good at…and what I am not! The learning was immense…and overall it was a good show! Bracing up for the internship search now…hope someone is out there to let me try my hand at supply chain management! MBA is indeed learning a lot outside the classroom! ATB to my fellow friends for the summers and well I know that this is the time when the MBA aspirants must be going great guns…best luck!

Living the MBA dream!

Guys, I know it has been a long time since my last post! I thought of giving an update when I landed in the U.S. but then thought I was busy setting up the apartment and accounts. Then I was about to write again but thought I was busy with the school orientation. Gosh! Now I am really busy with events, cases and class preparations and yet scribbling this entry…(life is weird, ain’t it!)

Time to get going! Let me give some updates about how I feel in the U.S., the much awaited transitioning to ‘B-School Student’ and about my impression about W. P. Carey School of Business.  

I am getting used to the life in the U.S. here in Tempe (the university town near Phoenix). First thing that I miss here is “people” (and why not when you don’t have a car with GPS and you need to figure out the way to some place when you are new in the town :)) . The infrastructure is simply awesome and things are very systematic (like you have to cross the road only on the zebra crossing only when you get a signal, the buses coming right on time, etc.).  In short, if you follow the rules, you are most likely to make it hassle-free.

Transitioning to B-School life is “tough”. It gets tough because you have to balance the cooking, cleaning and laundry along with tons of reading involving class preparation, assignments and case studies. Oh, and you have to squeeze in some time for social networking events and partying! To my agony (delight), I have never been involved into so many activities at the same time till date! No worries. It is worth it. It is good to know your true potential when things get tough (and multiply) and you have to push yourself to the limit (and sometimes beyond!) . So it has been two weeks and here I am (still) in one piece – surviving the change!

About W. P. Carey, it has exceeded my expectations as a B-School and so I am very glad that I made it here. The thing I love the most is the small class size (around 90) so that eventually you know everyone personally and you become one big family. The incoming class is smart, polite and have a diverse experience (well there are a dominant IIM profiles, but then that still adds diversity to the entire class :)) in various industries – military, sports, real estate, health sector, engineering, literature to name a few. In one of the orientation events, we were asked if we had ever flew a plane (flew and not taken a ride) and I was surprised to see a guy raising his hand – he was a pilot! The orientation had quite a few interesting events to break the ice between the students and welcome the cohort to the Class of 2011. So think of the class size and profile before you decide to shortlist a school; these are the people with whom you are going to spend your next two years.

I will try my best to keep my friends updated with the happenings here. Right now, it is time to go back in the fast lane…adios!

Getting set to go…

Quite a while since my last post.  Last month has seen myriad of small things falling in place, getting me closer and more prepared to fly in August. On my professional front, I have resigned and will be serving another three weeks before I pack up and get back to my hometown.

On my MBA front, I am done with finalizing the roommies and the apartment. So that is one relatively big worry that has been dealt with. All the Indian junta who will be joining W.P. Carey SoB with me has formed a group on Google and we are in touch through chain mails. It is amazing to experience how people in the same situation gel so well when it comes to sharing and attacking common concerns. I have personally spoken to almost half of my Indian classmates and it is surprisingly pleasing to know that very soon, I will be a part of this exuberant community. The regular chat sessions organized by W.P. Carey has significantly helped in communicating with the seniors and relevant faculty members and I would have loved to attend their Meet and Greet sessions, but cannot for obvious reasons.

The itinerary, airlines and the ticket booking is also done and I have zeroed in on Continental Airlines which takes you to Phoenix in apprx. 22 hours from Mumbai. I am already taking tips for long travel in the flight from my friends so that I can boast of a plan to avoid jet lag (well…umm…the first (un)official plan to enter this new phase of planning :)). With oil prices again steadily touching $70/barrel, IMO, it would be wise to get done with the flight tickets soon before it reflects in the international air fares. The domestic air travel in India is all set to get dearer by apprx. Rs. 400.

On the shopping front, I have got a suit, a pair of good formal shirts and trousers, ties, a pair of formal shoes with laces, spare set of spectacles, footwear and casual wear of course. Utensils are still pending on the checklist!

Err…w.r.t laptop, all the W.P. Carey MBA students are required to buy and ship a laptop to the school well before the program starts and I am finalizing on HP G60t series.

So things are all getting set I guess and I am eagerly waiting to commence this MBA journey and embrace the Indian American lifestyle! ASU <-> USA calling….


Now that the visa is done, I have enough time on my plate to take things smoothly. Although there are things like scouring an apartment, booking flight tickets, taking(practising) cooking lessons, shopping for a mini-marriage (ya that’s what I like to call it ;)) and making other arrangements, I am taking life at its own pace and yet able to manage things pretty much on time. Fortunately, I don’t have to slog to death in office now that I have put down my papers. So the notice period is turning out to be a regular 9 to 6 job. And right now I am on a vacation spending time with my family and friends and suddenly I am finding a lot of free time when all my other friends are busy (at least on weekdays!). The six months before last two months were so different. I had to juggle my time between my job, applications, essays, preparing for interviews, working with an NGO and then also give time to hobbies. The six months after two months are never going to be the same again either. So I guess now is the time to tinker and just enjoy (and get used to) not doing anything serious. Gosh! Times do change. The past one year has been a witness to this and it has been one remarkable journey.

Application process takes one full year of commitment and then it gifts you with a small stint with leisure time (provided you make it before R3 results). I am fascinated with the very thought of how things would be after two or so months. Going back to student life is going to be as exciting as getting the first offer letter! Till then, I am putting the juggler inside me to sleep and getting the freak out!