Monday, December 29, 2008

Homeward bound...

Slot 4 ends tomorrow and I will see WIMWI only next year. Going home by the first available train. What a change there has been over this year, a year ago I was worried about where I would be in life and the Sensex was at 20K+.
I have had so many courses over the last 6 months I would be surprised if I can even name all of them. My head feels like a mass of confusion, a smorgasbord of millions of concepts, ideas, cases and formulae. We had so much in accounting yet I feel I haven't learned anything.
Looking forward to this is a full 7 days long. Hopefully I will get some time to sit down and collect my thoughts, make sense of the mad happenings around me over the last 6 months or so.
4 slots, some 15-20 courses, the craziness of summer placements...need a breather.
Looking for a couple of days when I just sit and chill at home before life becomes a little more 'hectic'...maybe I will get bored in these 2 days. If IIMA has taught me anything it is to stretch every minute for what it CAN be worth.
Signing off from WIMWI for year 2008.
See you in 2009, Happy New Year!!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Ethics for baby Wolverines

As in Snapshots from Hell (from where I've borrowed the title of this blog), IIM A has started a non-credit, pass-fail course on Ethics.
Now 'ethics' isn't something that can or SHOULD be taught, not in the least to B-school students.
The result has been very interesting...lectures on diverse topics by the same profs who teach other more b-school subjects, discussions on these topics with profs by those who find something interesting and an infinite scope for ACP (arbit CP in WIMWI lingo).
Shows how well-read and well-informed the profs are, how much thought they have given to not just their own subjects but the world at large. Puts into perspective the 'general awareness' efforts post CAT results. I am not sure I have the capacity to think about one subject so much and these people have informed views on almost anything under the sun.
I don't think having this course makes anyone more ethical, it just lets you know there is a whole world out there for you to think about.
I'll end with the quote from Snapshots from Hell:
"So, anyway, in this ethics unit I take a few philosophers and in- what is it?- eight classes, I go over three basic ways of making value judgments. That's it. After that you all go off to Wall Street. It's like giving an intellectual life to baby wolverines."

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Status Update

Lots has happened since the last time I posted.
Here are the 'happenings' in no particular order of importance:
1) I turned 25.
2) I got placed, after many rejections, at BRICS securities in Mumbai for their Quantitative Strategies group. I think I am going to love this internship.
3) Gave finishing touches to thesis and made a PPT. Then presented my work at IISc in my thesis defence. Will get the IISc degree. (Yippee!!)
4) Watched in horror and tremendous, blood boiling anger as Mumbai was attacked less than 24 hrs after I had left.(Deserves a longer post but I am in no mood to rant and rave about something for which words fail me).
5) Back at IIMA, this slot seems more relaxed than the previous one with the tension and work for placements gone.
6) Joined a gym to hopefully gain some weight

Thursday, November 6, 2008


Last year they said I did not have enough of a fin background.
This year I guess they are saying "We know enough people who are better suited
to interview with us than you."
So much has changed since November 2, 2007. Yet one thing remains the same.
Goldman Sachs won't let me interview with them.

P.S: Last year I wanted to apply for an analyst position at their Bangalore office.
This year it was a summer intern position anywhere in the world they wanted to send me.
Title of blog derived from chapter titled "Goldman or Bust" in "Running of the Bulls".

Friday, October 31, 2008

Ding dong...

You make a resume with all the "relevant" "achievements" of your life. You go through endless
revisions, trying to get maximum impact into each word, stretching the truth to as far as it will go (or your CV checker will let it), you fill every CV relate religiously.
You sell yourself to every company through your SOP-story, you pretty much cover your entire life in the cover letter...and what do you get:
Most of us 'normal' people here are suffering from this, wonder what the abnormal ones did to be abnormal.
Wondering when this will end!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Cheetah and the Elephant

One thing that WIMWI practically guarantees is world-class faculty. These people who could have made big bucks in the industry (some have I guess) teach us for what would be peanuts in comparison...reason:Unknown ( my guess is something called passion).
Operations Management is a subject that's started in slot 3 and will continue till the end of the year. We are taught by Saralda (Prof Saral Mukherjee). I won't say I appreciate everything about the subject but one thing definitely stands out in Saralda's class ... his passion for the subject. When he speaks about the assembly line or the process flow diagram or Little's theorem, the esteem he holds his subject in and how much he loves it comes shining through.
The metaphor of the cheetah and the elephant as kinds of organizations and operations took my breath away. He has the authority to tell 80 CAT-cracking superachievers "This is why we teach...hope...hope that ONE of you may understand what operations management truly is."
Today he showed a clip of Charlie Chaplin's Modern Times to bring out the difference between an assembly line in the past and modern ones. 
Hats off to you Sir...will be in awe of your passion and hope I can achieve something like that at some stage of my life.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

A week gone in slot 3 and I am already feeling exhausted. Mugging for classes, preparing CVs and attending PPTs leaves very little time to relax and consider all that is happening around me.
I-banking as an industry is no more...don't know where in the scheme of things I will fit in. What I will do for the next yr and a half and where I will go after that.

While studying for the Microeconomics exam, which was 2 days after Lehman filed for Chapter 11, I had an epi-funny (was funny to me...atleast at that time).
"There is a market for lemons, but no market for Lehmans".

The competitive nature of everyone here came to the fore when the interest survey for AT Kearney was filled in literally a couple of minutes. With most of the major banks out, consults are and have been for the last year or so the hottest items. I registered my vote at 10.05 pm I think and I was too late to get into an audience of about 80 PGP-1s. Lesson learnt...these days my interest is registered within 5 seconds of the survey opening whether the survey is FCFS or not.
Placecom doing a great job...keep it up guys!

A senior gave really good advice,"It doesn't matter where and what you do in summers...what matters in the end is how well liked you are by people." Hopefully that is true.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Random thoughts...

6 weeks to go, then 6 days... Summer placements beckon!
slot 3 promises to be the roughest time in my stay at WIMWI...though I'd rather not hypothesize about the future. 8 subjects (no WAC either to bring the actual number down), PPTs, summer preps, CV is hectic.

Thesis accepted pending typo corrections...should get my MSc degree after a thesis defence.

A lot of the things that are happening around me remind me of different things described in "Snapshots From Hell" and "Running of the Bulls".
Had an OM class by Prof. Saral Mukherjee (Saralda) and it was the turn of my study group to present a case. While I was not speaking, must say we had our 'case' taken...not unlike the description of the Marketing class Peter Robinson describes.

The I-Banking situation, on the other hand, reminds me of the title of the second chapter in "Running of the Bulls"..."Goldman or Bust".

Monday, September 22, 2008

A little break...

Slot 2 exams done. Were not the best set of exams I've ever written.

A 3-day break from WIMWI...a hurriedly arranged, tremendously anticipated visit to Bangalore.
Wanting to fill as much in every day as we meet as many people as I could.
Thesis accepted pending small corrections for the award of the MSc degree.
Had really good coffee after almost 40 days, walked at Sankey, roamed Malleshwaram.

Then something unexpected, unwanted, horrific.
Somethings change your life, your outlook towards life.
Make what is REALLY IMPORTANT very clear. This was one of them.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

slot 2

Slot 2 is about to end...2 more days of classes...6 more lectures.
then the end slot exams. never realized how this slot flew past me.
hope to do well in the exams and be more regular in writing this blog.

lots of things on my mind goals,
life goals, other things like how can you differentiate between so many talented ppl
and what happens to those who are unlucky enough to not make the cutoff ever,
even if they are as good as the ones who got selected.
and what happens to those who got selected and have to manage all kinds of extra currics with the
TREMENDOUS load that IIMA puts in terms of acads.

and why the case method???...maybe I will get my answers some day...'blowing in WIMWI's wind'

P.S: I went from Mumbai, where it rains cats, dogs and the rest of the zoo, to Bangalore where it rains ...let's say less (to prevent beating from some1 who always gets caught in the rains) to ahmedabad where it has rained exactly 7 min in the last 3 weeks if I remember correctly.
Where to next...Kalahari I guess.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

We're halfway through slot 2 and the dreaded 'short' quizzes are in 'short' supply.
Guess there is going to be a lot of them in the business end of the slot.
Olympics are over and India won a gold medal!!
FRA is becoming more interesting and less mechanical...trying to figure out ppl doing FRA-ud is better than trying to figure out where the sheet is unbalanced.
Marketing is something I don't particularly understand but the need for non-linear thinking and Prof. Koshy's exhortation to "zameen pe aa jao" are interesting.
The insights from the class are literally have to get into the customer's head and think like him...something I'm not at all good at.
A gem from his class:
" Whenever you are trying to take an important decision, look in the right place."
Going home this weekend and participating in Nihilanth.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Branded for Life

A t-shirt commonly seen on campus reads:
Having felt the lack of a strong brand behind me for a long time, I am now getting what is probably India's biggest brands behind my name.
The alum network is wonderful, the profs and facilities are great if not world class.
The placements are out of the world, the companies sell themselves to us.
The branding goes to the extent that we get an insti email ID for life...our own connection to this place forever.
We even get our own visiting cards that will have my name, contact details and say
' Student, PGP 2008-2010'.
As always with 'branding' its the initial act of branding that hurts, that burns the's called PGP-I at IIMA.

Friday, August 1, 2008

EOS1 ( End of slot 1)

This blog was meant to be a 'diary' of sorts for my days in WIMWI...and the rate at which I write it will tell you what kind of work they expect out of us.
Today we had the last classes of the first slot. Midsems from Monday. This slot has screamed past me and I am living on the hope that I have caught something while it has gone.
Its been a complete change from the 'relaxed' lifestyle at IISc...infact the only time I have had good coffee is when I went home a couple of times ( yeah...I managed that!!).
The tuchchas (thats what the seniors are called) say this was the easy part and the pressure will really mount from the next slot. Everytime they talk I can hear them go Muggo Fachchon Muggo silently.
I am down to an average of 5 hrs of sleep a day. So much has changed since I left IISc abt 6 weeks lingo has gone from spikes and splines, DWT and CWT to WAC and ME, FRA and ID to DC++ and DBab.
By the end of this year I guess I will agree with Peter Robinson when he says "If someone told me I would have to repeat first year at B-school, I'd do just one thing. Get on my knees and beg for mercy!"
I knew what I was getting myself into and I intend to make full use of the opportunities WIMWI presents. I will never complain about the workload no matter how inhuman it gets...and I will try to update this blog as frequently as I can.
Signing off!!

Monday, July 28, 2008

One week to go and it will be the slot-end exams. Time has flown past so rapidly.
Feel like I haven't learnt anything yet. All in all, one-sixth of fachchadom will be done.
FRA is FRA-itening. Some others seem manageable.
Have been reading a lot of blogs recently. Somehow those guys come out sounding so much better, so much more 'philosophical'. Not that I want to try.
This slot has been good in a way...not been completely devoid of the company I love so much.
18 hrs of traveling to spend 30 hrs with your loved ones...with the famed WIMWI acads breathing down your Ash Rai said "...because you're worth it."

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Weeks 1 to 3.5

Been here almost 4 weeks now...quizzes happening with tremendous regularity.
Extra-currics too starting now...soon there will be no time to stand and stare.
News of PPOs and very lucrative internships, exchange programmes with some of the best B-schools in the world lure me everyday. The lack of sleep (I am down to an avg of 5 hrs a night) is hitting slowly...very soon we will be beyond it all.
The slot is moving at break-neck speed and will be over by the time we realize what just hit us. Then the super packed slots 2-5 along with T-Nites, Conflu, Chaos and the big daddy of them all...SUMMERS!!
Have been trying to come to terms with all that is happening around me and inside me. A lot has changed and not all changes are nice.
Read this line in the blog of a super-super tucchi..."The problem with dealing with yourself is that you can see through all your excuses." How true!!
Assuming there are 6 slots of 6 weeks each...I am already through with 10% of fachchadom.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

First post from IIMA...

Been at WIMWI for a fortnight now...still coming to terms with the culture shock vis-a-vis IISc.
The place is amazing, the profs are amazing, the classmates are great.
IIMA has its own culture all aimed at bringing the best out of us...our endurance, punctuality, ability to deal with stress.
More from WIMWI in the days to come.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Day 1...

Got to campus at around 9.30...
registration took a long time...then the lecture by the Director.
It's true guys...the year has been split into 6 slots and each slot has 6-8 courses.
Got the time table etc...the laptops shall arrive within a week.
SAC meeting also.
Then found out about making some presentations for dorm level jobs.
Posting this at 2 am...have to wake up at 7 am tomorrow.
I am already down to 5 hrs a day and the work has not even started :P.
Keep checking!!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Less than 2 weeks to go before I step into WIMWI...and to say I am concerned is a rather nice understatement.
Packing not done...thesis not corrected...bookings being done last minute.
Not exactly my style...but then what the heck.
As much as I am looking forward to being there...I'm going to miss a few things in IISc.
The trees. The grand MB. The lunchtime crossword. CED-TEA.
And a number of people.
I've got used to sitting at the library desk regularly, going out in the evening with CB.
Ribbing Indu. Things I'll miss.
Then there are things I won't miss...but I won't talk about those here.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


Apparently the structure for the PGP course is changed. Instead of 3 trimesters a year we have 6 slots ('modules'??) from this year on a la ISB. One week the ENTIRE year.
Maybe IIMA feeling the ISB heat.

Imagine 2 consecutive years at ISB (those who might have experience)...for those without the experience(including yours truly)...guess the title of the blog shall come true.

Monday, May 26, 2008


Got into IIM A.
Plan to keep posting my experiences at the Wellknown Institute of Management in Western India in this blog.
Hope Peter Robinson will forgive me for using the title of his book in this blog.
Till the next post... A is A!!