Hey! B-School has happened. How to make best of next two months!!

I am sure most of you have landed in one premium B-school or other. Of course, a few of you are thrilled and a few are a little disappointed. Nevertheless, the future is in front of you. I have time and again seen many of those who go to so called not-so-top-notch B-schools outperforming those who have been to, in their journey of careers and life. So just look ahead and give your best.

This is the time, friends and family are as excited as you are and you ended up throwing a party for all well wishers and then-on wait for the D-day to board your train or flight to reach the campus. Yes, you do go out shopping to buttress your wardrobe as much as for essentials for the next two years at the hostel.

Hey I got into my dream B-School! Lets party

We will soon meet for the PARTY. Apart from shaking your legs, you will meet your seniors as well as your co-travelers and may wish to get an insight into what happens at the B-School you are heading to and how to put your best foot forward. Not a bad idea, for sure.

“The ill-prepared are in for a SHOCKER at the end of the first term! And most of them will never recover in the next two years! Sigh!!

One question that should spring into your head is that – “Can I do a few things from now till the date of my journey that can have a positive impact at least on my first term, if not the next two years!!” Is this an important question to address? Yes, indeed.

You should be very keen that you gain maximum from your two years at B-School. Having been a facilitator to B-School aspirants over the last two decades and also as an alumnus of an IIM myself, I have a few things to ask you to work upon –

Working on your General Awareness, writing and presentation skills
It is very important that you work on your ability to think, organize and articulate your thoughts. Whether you are already good at it or you feel challenged, you need to work on it. I am sure you gained a lot during the last three months of PDP and interview process. No doubt, you can be even better.  It needs a constant endeavour from each one of us every day.

India Immersion - Hitachi middle level executives from Japan

Make reading your best friend. Kindly read a good newspaper – The Hindu / Indian Express / A Business daily every day, especially the features and editorial pages. Listen to 9pm news on DD and Day’s round up on one of the business channels every evening. Study the graphs and data to understand the situation depicted.

Work on your ability to express

The moment you enter, you need to study, prepare and present on a variety of topics, participate in case discussions etc. Better work on it right away.

Make sure you write an article every day – If you have not created a blog already, kindly do, to express yourself (you can check my website http://www.sreeni.org for any ideas). Alternatively, take a topic and speak in front of the mirror while recording it using your mobile. Play it to listen and introspect – where you got stuck and why? How can you overcome the shortcomings? Take action to be better.

Watch the best speakers on Youtube, TED and see how they work on their ideas and present crisply in front of the public.

Build your fundamentals before you reach the campus

Three subjects that would form the core for any business education and thereby your performance during the MBA programme are – quanititative ability (statistics), economics and accounting; I strongly urge you to pick a basic book on these to familiarize yourself even before you reach your campus for the pre-term / first term. The best place to start is CBSE Class XI and XII books.

Disruptions galore, future shall throw surprises – Are you ready?

During the PDP process, I always shared with you to look at the future. The next ten years disruptive technologies will impact every industry. Automation can lay off over 50% of the employed. Industries may metamorphose; else they may be on the verge of vanishing. I am sure quite a few of you have worked on it to respond to the question, “Why MBA?”  If you have, then keep reading more and more that shall help you to refine or adapt to the shifts. Those who have not, quickly start reading. Go to twitter and follow the accounts of bets of newspapers, periodical, journals, thinkers, world leaders, technologists, CEOs etc. Follow religiously, read the write ups, articles; So much to gain from doing so.

A couple of short predictive, disruptive timelines…. just indicative!


First figure out what you really want to do in life. I suggest you spend some time to introspect about this question ‘What I would be remembered for when I leave this world?’

Kindly read the article that I wrote on IKIGAI – purpose and meaning of life!

A few questions to help you start off –

  • What do you really enjoy doing? What are you good at? Which industry or company will benefit maximum from your passion.
  • Once you short list the company / industry, start reading about them through various available data and feature sources
  • Are there any personalities you admire and why? Is there and values they espouse or abilities that they have that you want to inculcate? Work on them consciously.

Once you are able to write this note for yourself, I am sure you will get to know what you need to do from now on to achieve your ultimate goals, and how you would like to make maximum of your next two years at the B-School of your choice. Put all these in a note for yourself. I hope this will be a great exercise for your journey.

What more can I do in the next two months?

I sincerely advise everyone to take time off before you head to the business school. A few of the working kind rush to the business school the very next week after their last day at the office. You will be lacking energy to take off! You should have done a lot of things in a relaxed way in the previous four to six weeks that you should be fresh and eager on the first day of the business school.

A few ideas…..

Class of 2012 - Knowing thyself..

    1. Travel. Travel….. Travel is the best enabler. Add adventure trails, even better. Get hold of a few of your friends from the past, or even those who are heading to the same business school with you and plan the trip. Do it now!!
    2. Contribute to any cause close to your heart. I have been hearing from many of you that there are causes very dear to you. Why not associate with an organization or a movement that espouses a cause very close to your heart for a few weeks and contribute there. This will help you understand a whole lot about yourself, working of an organization and also can give ideas about what all you could do during your two years of B-School and after.
    3. Start learning something that you have been longing for – playing a guitar, tap-dance, salsa….
    4. Get yourself physically fit – get going on your bicycle, hit the gym… etc.

CHIRAAGs

    A few movements that I have been involved actively are as follows and in the next two months there are amazing opportunities to explore, if you are really interested in. Click on the links and discover–
    1. NIF and its Shodhyatras at www.sristi.orgKindly check this site for the next shodhyatra 39th in Odisha scheduled this MAY, that will open your eyes to grassroot-innovation
    2. SPICMACAY’s (http://www.spicmacay.com) promotion of culture and art forms among youth etc – Kindly do a quick registration for the international convention scheduled for June 05-11 at IIT Delhi. Last date for registration is April 15th.
    3. ITIHAAS – a movement to acquaint children and youth with the heritage of India.(http://www.itihaas.net)
    4. Working with a few young entrepreneurs and their start ups
    5. Of course mentoring or doing workshops for teachers and students.

SPICMACAY 3rd International Convention, IIT Mumbai days 3-5 407

I am sure you too can identify a cause and contribute during your free time to gain something that can be significant for your journey of life.

Before winding up, I would like to just say that, at the B-school –

  • Kindly be hungry for learning, devour magazines, journals and books;
  • Do not hesitate to interact with professors beyond your class requirements,
  • Plunge into all activities that are happening around you,
  • Take additional responsibilities on the campus that can build your personality.
  • Create great bonds and thought alignments. Who knows, you may find your co-founders for a killer business happening there. We did for CL Educate !

I am sure you would have got enough ideas to build upon whatever I have stated here that can be invaluable for your journey ahead.

Wishing you the very best. Enjoy your B-school life.

Sreeni

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Issues of relevance for every citizen: Be abreast for your own good!

I keep abreast with the happenings around the world, through every day reading. It is a passion; you may even call it addiction. Even during my days at IIM Bangalore, when the whole class was busy with accumulating grades, I use to gorge on magazines that dished out exciting stories and happenings, including from business world.

This is the crunch time of the year for every B-School aspirant. Most of those who landed with IIM and other B-School calls, have woken up to the fact that they will be questioned are asked to write about issues that are relevant and current. To make their life a little easy, I am collating the resources of Information, Analysis and Features that I usually go through. Hope this compendium will be of value for each to prepare for Interviews, Written Ability Test, Analytical Writing, Group Discussions etc.

At the inaugural session of TYE 2013 @ IIT Delhi

Blogs and Websites of significance

a. social issues

  1. https://socialissuesindia.wordpress.com
  2. http://www.insightsonindia.com/social-issues/

b. Economic Issues

  1. https://mostlyeconomics.wordpress.com/
  2. http://www.insightsonindia.com/economy-issues/
  3. World economic issues, detailed analysis and research https://rwer.wordpress.com/
  4. World Economic Forum, reshaping the world World Economic Forum
  5. Old blog not updated since 2011. Still very good http://indianeconomy.org/

c. Environment Issues

  1. GRIST
  2. Greenpeace International
  3. National Geographic – Environment
  4. Nature Magazine
  5. Not updated since Feb 2015 http://www.globalissues.org/

Here is the list of OUSTANDING MAGAZINES and NEWSPAPERs that featured a variety of issues of relevance. You can access the archives of past fifty years and beyond in most of these cases.

A. Frontline

  1. For Current Issue : FRONTLINE
  2. For Archives with outstanding cover issues : FRONTLINE Archives

B. Business Standard’s Take-TWO : Archives TAKE-TWO

C. Caravan

  1. For the Current Issue : caravanmagazine
  2. For Archives, to go through interesting issues Caravan Archives

D. Economic and Political Weekly

  1. For the current Issue : EPW
  2. For the Archives : EPW Archives

I shall add a few more, as I keep exploring….

Albert Einstein

My Advisory to all

Kindly brows the twitter for accounts that cover your area of interest and follow. Check your twitter stream for updates, a few times every day. You will be surprised to find very interesting articles. I do it all the time.

I advise each one of you to buy a ream of A4 sheets (500 pack), file it in a box file, assign a few pages for every issue of relevance – say

a. Indian Economy,
b. World Economy
c. Indian Industry,
d. Business Houses,
e. Financial Markets
f. CEOs
g. Technology
h. NDA’s various schemes unveiled etc.
i. Indo-Pak Relationship
j. Indo-China
k. Judicial Activism – Indian Issues of significance
l. Politics
m. ….
n. ….
o. My Area of Interest

  1. Operations
  2. Finance
  3. HR
  4. Marketing
  5. Systems
  6. ….

As you read, make sure that you pick the salient points and quickly scribble in the corresponding section of this file. In a couple of weeks this will become invaluable source that you can refer to before every selection process.

If this article is of value to you, kindly share with friends who will also get benefited. Let us be good humans first.

Thanks

Find your Mojo….if passion can be your profession, what else do you need!

Respected Sir,

Today’s session of yours at South Campus was very motivating for me. You asked us to write about our future, target and goal once we get back home. So here I have a question how to realize what is our goal. Since past three years I m trying to figure out what are the things that make me happy, What should i aim for…. But i didn’t get any answer till today.
I want to start a venture is the answer which i get many times. But I get bored of things very easily. Sometimes I wonder that if I will start a venture and get bored of it then what will I do??

I want to do MBA so that I may be around people who have the same mindset as I have. I want to be around people who are like me so that I can discuss things with them. I want to explore the whole life of a businessman or businesswoman. And As I told you I am the person who gets bored of things. So Sometimes I feel this zeal is also for just time being.

Please help me to solve this equation.

Yours sincerely,

AC

—————

Hi AC,

Ask yourself, what do you enjoy the most? when you are engrossed in it, time stands still… you forget day and night, lunch and dinner, diwali and dusshera…
what is the arena you would like to dance in…..
What are your unique skill sets
what do you love doing
where will these unique abilities of yours be invaluable
….
 …..
You never get bored of these for sure….
You celebrate them… and find ways to engage yourself in them..
….

Kashmir - Zannat Zamin par

As I addressed three classes today, in one of the classes a young gentleman shared that he is passionate about water and has been working on research projects with a developmental organization… he said, water is his all encompassing interest. He asked whether the IIMs will ever be interested in his passion. Do they want to hear about it?
……
Imagine a day without water and what a role it plays… … I am sure his passion of water will find its destination; no one could ever stop gushing waters…….and the institutions will be in awe of his purpose and passion! and the WATER WILL FIND ITS OWN LEVEL !!
if your story is compelling, every one will be glued to your screen…
….
HARSHA will play his cricket for life time, ‘BHOGging’ the rich treasures; DINA will continue to sing and run ‘parikrama’ ‘RALlying’ the crowd; Bhai, MALLIKA too will dance for ever conquering the ‘SARA world’….. ;
Each one found a meaning and purpose for themselves and the IIMs did take them to the higher planes…
…..
Your passion can be your profession….you will never get bored. Will you?
if you are passionate you will find ways of putting it/them to use…either for yourself or for a corporate…or others.
You need to ask questions – why, what, where, how? and dwell deeper..
……
I am sure you will find your treasure too… Find your Mojo..
write to me once you finish the exercise…
Best wishes.

Excelling in WAT / AWT at IIMs and top-business schools – Insights to implement

Pleasure as always, facilitating bright youngsters…..what about education system?

It has always been a pleasure facilitating youngsters to think of their future and what they can really achieve. Last week was in Varanasi, to facilitate a bunch of fifteen hardworking youth who have got calls this year from prestigious Indian Institutes of Management; each one graduating from one of the best institutes in Easter UP. A handful from IITs too.

Bright youngsters with calls from IIMs, at Varanasi PDP Boot Camp

Our education system does not really help an individual to dwell deep into oneself, to discover what one wants to be! Each one of us has infinite potential and the real journey of life is to realize this potential. The first 23 years of life has been frittered away, practically. These workshops that I anchor, push the youth to introspect and plan for their career and life. In a small way we are trying to inculcate that purposefulness among the children in our schools, Indus World School, and also help parents to facilitate.

I am at a panel discussion at a conference – ICT in education 2014 – “Education in India Merits Change”
21st February 2014, Hotel The Park, New Delhi – along with a few thought leaders in education, hope to raise a few questions for the education leaders at the conference to introspect.

What is the measure of success? How do we facilitate – parents and educators to introspect

The 'brightest' youth of the country trying to find light at the end of the dark tunnel!

The ‘brightest’ youth of the country trying to find light at the end of the ‘darkest tunnel’!

I headed to Varanasi for yet another PDP boot camp aimed at the young bright aspirants who have received calls from the best of the Business schools of India. I usually board a train to Varanasi, as it is only a overnight journey. After my wonderful experience (it was a  72-hour ride for an usual 12-hour schedule!) with the last week’s Shahisnan (the important bath day) rush on the Indian railroad heading to and out of the Kumbh mela, I decided to fly over the Kumbh during the next shahisnan that was scheduled on Feb 15.

I boarded the flight a day before the PDP boot camp so that I could start off the boot camp early morning, on the following day. That gave me a clear evening to go about in Varanasi, one of my favorite cities of India. The sky had opened up. It was pouring and was so cloudy that the pilot had a challenge on his hand – he could not spot the runway when he  almost came to the landing altitude. All of a sudden, the captain revved up the engine, the wheels folded in, the flight gained altitude. There were moments of anxiety as the revving up looked like an emergency. A few like me sensed there was something wrong. After gaining considerably, the captain announced the challenge that was. Finally, after an hour of hovering, the flight landed on the Tarmac, skidding on the puddles of water as the rain was pouring.
The pouring continued, destabilizing my scheduled of going around the ghats and covering the evening harati at dashswamedh ghat. But there was a surprise in store – a musical concert that, Baglaji, a good friend and CL champion in Varanasi, had planned to take me too. I will talk about the concert story in another posting of mine, though would like to say it was by Paul Livingstone, a young disciple of Pt. Ravi Shankar. After the concert at the peshwa haveli, on the raja ghat, still raining, I stepped out of the ghats to head my way back to the hotel. As I was famished and, was passing by the Shiva German bakery, in the alleys close by, my curiosity overtook me and I entered the bakery to experience the favorite jaunt of all visiting expats.
German bakery was overflowing with foreigners. Thankfully three friends who were occupying a table next to the door got up and walked out after their meals. As I was standing next to the door, I quickly occupied one of the chairs, placed my camera on the table, and took a deep breath. As I was drenched, I made myself comfortable in the cozy corner. Four more entered, immediately  after me and I offered them the table, and thought will move to a smaller space. But a young couple moved towards me while the other two moved to another table. We smiled at each other while they settled.
Both of them apologized for encroaching upon my table. But I was delighted to have them, and I did tell them why I stepped into the restaurant, that had no other south Asian! We introduced to one another and I got to know that both of them are artists – painters – from Germany, fresh out of their arts school!
While the tall gentleman, Michel, with a long matted hair tied into a bun on his head, is visiting India for the third time, his companion Meike, was visiting India for the first time. Both of them, in their mid twenties, were also excited to interact with me as I was asking about their journey through India, their impressions of India, what has been their fascinating encounters etc.
Michel was innured to the contrasts that India, as a destination, offers, since it is his third visit; while Meike, shared the emotional swings that India has been triggering in her, as this was her first encounter with the stark disparities.  They have travelled through Kerala, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Delhi, Allahabad during the kumbh and now in awe inspiring varanasi. The contrast of rich and poor, developed and those left behind, clean and dirty, spiritual and materialistic, concerned and apathetic…. The list I am sure is endless for the young Meike to come to terms with. Nevertheless, both were excited to be traveling and experiencing, especially one week that they spent with the sadhus of Juna-Akhada during the Mahakumbh in Allahabad. We discussed the art scene of Germany, especially Berlin and that of Delhi in India; possibilities of their paintings evoking their feelings of the experiences and that they could display in Delhi before they wind up their tour of India. At the end of our dinner, we parted with the promise of meeting soon, when they are in Delhi.
The very next morning I was there at the ghats again, capturing the dawn and the rush of pilgrims to have their morning bath in The Ganges and Pooja. While capturing, I noticed a young lady, of a different nationality, in a traditional Indian dress and a bindi on her forehead, who was fascinated of the happenings around the Kedar ghat. She was trying to have a closer look at the action around her, and also was clicking a few photos.
Out of curiosity, as usual, I started talking to Her. She revealed that she was Gala from Argentina, a student of international relations, and was working in the developmental space. She came to India for Jagriti yatra, of all the things, with which I have had a long association. One led to the other and she started realizing that I knew quite a few people that she has met in the last few weeks. She has spent over the last two months, apart from being on the Jagriti train, a month with an NGO in Bangalore and then traveling through Udaipur, Jaisalmer and Jaipur before reaching Benaras.
Gaelle from France and Gala from Argentina with Sreeni!

Gaelle from France and Gala from Argentina with Sreeni!

I got to know that Gala is accompanied by another young lady, Gaelle, whom Gala met in Udaipur. Both are exploring India for the last one month. Gaelle hails from France and is a management graduate. She wanted to visit India, hence sought a one month assignment with an NGO in Udaipur. After her assignment, she wanted to explore India, when she met Gala who was visiting Udaipur.
I had the opportunity to meet both, Gala and Gaelle, over breakfast at shiva German Bakery. That interaction gave me a lot of insights about their journey.  Gala shared that, “If I am able travel in India alone, I can go to anywhere in the world”, most probably alluding to the much publicised incidents involving the atrocities on young women, of late. Gaelle, shared that, “the social context in france discourages one from taking any breaks from education”; so she finished her B-school education before she started her journeys.
Both were delighted to travel around the world, exploring within and without.  Coming from middle-class families, from Argentina and France respectively,  their families have been of great support, encouraging them to take their decisions.Both of them, in their early twenties, have already travelled extensively, knowing more about the world, more so discovering oneself. Gaelle shared that her 14-year old kid sister is far more aware about the world at her age than herself, because of what Gaelle has gained from her travel, post her B-school education. Her mother too is now more proactive in every sense. These travels have made a big difference to her family.
In fact I happened to meet a host of youngsters who were visiting Varanasi from around the world and were good in music, playing one instrument or other. They all got together, created music and performed live for three consecutive nights on the banks of Ganges. Gala was sad that she was not carrying her Saxophone, else she would have joined in those music experiments.
Chin on his 10 country cycling tour, standing infront of the church in Melacca!

Chin on his 10 country cycling tour, standing infront of the church in Melacca!!

A few years ago, I was in Melacca, a beautiful destination while driving across Malaysia, along with Mallika and Indira (family). We came across a young man, on a bicycle asking directions with a book on Malaysia in hand, and the knapsack of his firmly tied to the carriage of the bicycle. I interacted with him to discover that he was Chin, travelling from Gonjou province on his bicycle, and has already covered six countries before he met us at Melacca. He was heading to Singapore, Indonesia and Australian continent before he heads back to China… He shared about his learnings across the countries already travelled and that he was looking forward to the amazing learning in the subsequent months….
Whenever I interacted with such youngsters, I always thought what would they be after a few months of travel in alien lands… What a way to educate a young mind…
On the contrary, in every PDP Boot camp this year, conducted across the country, with the best of the Indian youth who have received calls from prestigious business schools of the Country, I had to really struggle to help them think about their purpose of doing MBA. With the interview calls in hand, they were looking for ‘spoon-fed’ answer to the questions like – why MBA? What is your plan for the next 4-5 years?
Imagine that is the state of affairs of the brightest 22-25 year-olds in our nation!! They are unaware about self, of their own surroundings, foreget about their city. Lack of curiosity and inquisitiveness, energy and enthusiasm.. where would they lead to?
Where does the fault lie? We all are responsible…. parents, educators and facilitators, the society…
The important questions for parents, teachers and schools to introspect are –
A. What do we want our children and youth to be?
B. How do we help them to be inquisitive and learners for life?
C. How do we instill self belief?
D. What should the ‘education’ process be?
E. What is the measure of success?
F. Can we as parents enable our children excel in life rather than push them to get ‘coveted’ degrees?
G. Will our society and education community allow our children to take breaks to explore at least India, work and know more about themselves, before they pursue degrees and courses?
The questions are innumerable. I want to walk and show, than just talk…

SMART QUANT CRACKER – GP Enthralls and Inspires

GP's SQC a smash hit....crowd surges, traffic jammed..
GP’s SQC a smash hit….crowd surges, traffic jammed..

 

SMART QUANT CRACKER - GP enthralls and inspiresSMART QUANT CRACKER - GP enthralls and inspiresSMART QUANT CRACKER - GP enthralls and inspiresSMART QUANT CRACKER - GP enthralls and inspiresSMART QUANT CRACKER - GP enthralls and inspiresSMART QUANT CRACKER - GP enthralls and inspires
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Gautam Puri, popularly called GP, an IIMB alum and co-founcer CL, inspired the audience of over 2000 at Sirifort Auditorium with his magic. He deciphered the way quant section needs to be looked at CAT – How the toughest of the questions, if seen the way it should be, can be solved quickly and efficiently.

Students went back with a confidence that they will be able to do their magic. The fears in most have vanished. Now the challenge is to see how it should be. More and more practice will do.

GP’s SQC tour has commenced and in the next three weeks he will be in many cities. Check out in your city..

Gp will also be reaching out to the farthest through WEBINARS. Kindly keep checking the spaces – SIS for all Cl students and www.careerlauncher.com/gpspeaks for every one.

The whole presentation will also be uploaded, so will the video of the Sirifort Session in the next couple of days.

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