Random Reflections!

thoughts, views, news and plenty of rants

Archive for February, 2007

more on ISB …

Posted by nixbert on February 28, 2007

….. all of my friends at ISB (now i have several over there) have spent past week relaxing and enjoying life in general , now that they are all placed. Classes were off for the last week so lot of them headed home after signing on the dotted line. Marriage plans are also on cards for some. Silly buggers, i say!! Amazing what all a coveted job can do.

Last I heard most of the batch had been placed. There are only very few left and that is by choice. I wish all the best to anyone still looking. I am sure you will find your calling very soon!

With almost all of the participant placed and many companies still to visit campus, this year appears rather good. ISB may see another round of placements in such circumstances however the CAS policy is not very clear at the moment (to me!). Will keep you posted.


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good read ….

Posted by nixbert on February 28, 2007

I finished Freakonomics (the book i supposedly forgot on flight!) over the weekend.

Very interesting read. However it got very predictable towards the end especially Chapter 6 (related to kid’s names and effect it may/may-not have on their future). All in all the book is engaging as much for the methods deployed by author as for the interesting observations revealed by those methods.

I picked up ‘Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid‘ by C.K. Prahalad at Chennai airport and so far it seems like a book, which could really challenge the way one thinks e.g. I am still struggling to accept one of the author’s assertion about ‘capacity to consume’ at the bottom of the pyramid. As far as I see (which usually isn’t much to write home about), strength of this capacity lies in low-margin and huge-volumes. This means that the segment could be fiercely competetive and I am not sure how many MNCs, who generally sit on assured revenue streams will be willing to engage themselves. Sure there are examples of HLL, ITC etc (Shakti and e-chaupal etc) but that brings me to another point, which I am struggling with – Examples cannot serve as proofs. While this book is rich in examples (and plenty of them rooted in Indian context), I am looking more to grasp the underlying idea and emperical studies that author may be able to elucidate. May be I will have to read his original paper. Anyway, it is exactly such line of thought that this books aims to address so it should definetly be a very absorbing read.

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stupid me …

Posted by nixbert on February 28, 2007

… i’ve cribbed so much about forgetting my book on the flight that it was kinda funny when I found it stuffed in the pocket of my jacket!!

Silly Me!

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placement observations

Posted by nixbert on February 22, 2007

This link was posted at pagalguy – IIMA pgpx placements – ET

One observation from the news article – Bain consulting seems to have visited IIMA for pgpx participants whereas its still one of the major consultancy organisations which has not visited ISB this year or the previous year. I am not sure about any stats before that.

Booze Allen Hamilton has registered itself at ISB and invited application but so far has not visited the campus. May do so later in early March. According to article BAH has already visited IIMA.

Morover I expect pgpx to do better as far as placement ‘stats’ are concerened however that would be more a reflection on the fact that avg exp is 9 years and avg international experience is 3 years. ISB’s class usually tends to be younger thus does not have that kind of negotiating firepower on the table. I guess ISB’s large class size of 400+ compared to pgpx’s 60 may also have something to do with it.

Please note that I do *not* intend to start a isb vs pgpx flamewar. I have posted some observations about Bain and BAH. I am sure there must be some cvompanies which have visited ISB but not IIMA-pgpx but I am not aware of that. Please consider my comments as a healthy observations. nothing more, nothing less.

(ps : above post is same as my post at pagalguy)

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bored in Chennai

Posted by nixbert on February 20, 2007

To borrow a quote from H2G2G – “For a moment, nothing happened. Then, after a second or so, nothing continued to happen.

Except for me, that would be the entire day instead of a second!!

My office here is far out bang in the middle of …. nothing!!  I cannot go out because by the time it will reach anywhere it would be time to turn back for home. Besides I don’t have any friends in Chennai anymore. All of them have moved out.

And, did i tell you that I forgot the only book I was carrying on flight itself? because i did!

man this sucks !!

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IT stuff and ISB

Posted by nixbert on February 20, 2007

IT firms were not the prefered recruiters this year. Among the noteworthy techy placements are those from Google (an off campus effort. Moolah 15 – 35L plus stock options) and those from NIIT (see one of my other posts). Yahoo was also on campus on Sunday, however, I dont have figures on that one yet.

There were few instances where offer made was less than the ISB’ian’s package before ISB! On the positive side most techy companies were forced to extend their acceptance deadline to 2-3 weeks which means that the candidate can participate in the placement process till that time whereas most companies in retail, i-bank, consultancy, media etc get their positions closed in 2-3 days max.

I especially liked the trend that at least at ISB there is a distinct preference for non-IT type jobs, even though I belong to the IT horde myself. What this means is that we have more and more talent going into other sectors, this is good because the situation is exactly opposite in engineering institutes with almost everyone gunning for IT. I am not sure how strong this trend is or what overall effect this could have on overall economy but it surely cannot do much harm. And if other sectors are energised as well then … thats got to be sweet!!

I am in no position to comment on the kind of tension and peer pressure these guys have to face, even after observing the entire process at close quarters. But i do want to say this to any ISB’ian who happens to come across my blog – Don’t undersell yourselves! I have seen the kind of rigours you guys go through every day and you are definetly one of the best, most recruitable talent and this isn’t just lip service. I often go to campus to recruit myself and I’ve seen brain-dead sponges who sell themselves like there is no tommorow. So don’t get disheartened. Wish you all brilliant success that you deserve.

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theory on placement interviews …

Posted by nixbert on February 19, 2007

So …over the past two months I’ve spent about 20 days living on ISB campus. During the course I’ve had plenty of discussions, chit-chat and other spaced out banter with several dudes at ISB. I will try and put the more interesting ones here. Do take these with a pinch of salt.

So, yesterday we were generally discussing interview trends and stuff companies are looking for when hiring on campus. One theory (henceforth refered to as the ‘Gupta Theory’ in honour of its talented author) that gained currency in our discussions was that interviews are, more often than not, a hygiene factor. The shortlist, that an organisation comes up with, is often a fair indication of what a given company is looking for and the recruiters already have a fair idea about the candidates they want to hire. From then on its more a question of fit, how a candidate thinks, his approach to problem solving etc. Case in point being that ISB’ians were required to crack several cases as part of interviews and there were many who failed to solve them but they were still hired. On the other hand few others who aced them were not picked up. It must be noted that I am using the term ‘fail’ very loosely here – all it means is that one candidate sometimes lost out on some particular detail or needed nudging in a general direction before getting closer to the eventual solution while another dude got it right all on his own steam. So interview was just a data point in the entire process, instead of being a make-or-break event many think it to be.

This was further supported by the fact that the term ‘relevant experience’ was thrown about in every which direction and played an important part in the entire process. So if a candidate had atleast some experience which matched a profile required by an organisation then it was bit easier for him/her to secure an offer.

A prime example of this theory is my childhood friend at ISB. He had two rounds of interviews (more than 2 for other ppl), each lasting appx 10 mins (atleast 15-20 for others) and was asked the same question in each of them (ok granted – variation of the same question – tell me about yourself, why are you here? and Walk me through your resume?) while others were even asked to solve a case. He was told by the interviewer that he had more than 90% chance of bagging the offer even before 5% of candidates were interviewed (he was one of the early birds).

Needless to say it was known beforehand that he indeed was a great fit for that profile

Posted in ISB Stories | 2 Comments »

Damn !!! :-(

Posted by nixbert on February 19, 2007

I am back in Chennai after few days at ISB campus! What an exciting trip that was. I will still keep on posting about ISB, however the posts from now onwards are not going to be my first hand views but interesting stuff I get to hear from chaps at ISB.

After my hyper-energy visit to ISB, Chennai seems so mundane, boring and …. uninteresting. I am back to office today and still can’t make myself focus. I am already longing to get back home to Delhi. But I will have to wait till 23rd

While at ISB, I was thinking that atleast I will be able to while my time away in Chennai reading Freakonomics in my room after work (an excellent read btw). And guess what ?? I forgot the book in the plane 😦

Damn !!


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Posted by nixbert on February 19, 2007

It was quite heartening to see students who had secured their jobs, pitching in to help and sort out stuff for those who were interviewing.

Some pitched in as volunteers to arrange slots, managing schedules and generally keeping things rolling at interview venues. Other were prep’ing candidates for their interviews, applications etc.

Good work guys! Keep it up.

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Success story …

Posted by nixbert on February 19, 2007

probably the most envied guy on ISB campus right now is the dude who cracked both McKinsey and Goldman Sachs.

Last seen, he was splitting hair over which one to pick – an irresistible 200,000USD GS offer or a quite decent Mck placement, something he was aiming for from day 1.

Choices! Choices!

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