Monday, March 29

INSEAD vs US b-schools

Yesterday Miss "S" threw some questions at me, forcing me to think hard. Though i could answer most of them but found myself struggling while answering others.

Miss S:  why Kellogg or Booth and why not INSEAD? Your ultimate goal is to move to strategy and INSEAD does as well as top US schools when it comes to placing students in strategy.

Me:  i want to do an immersive program and a 10 month program is too short to even fully live the MBA experience.

Miss S: But consider the ROI. INSEAD offers highest ROI. You have to forego only 1 year salary and the total amount spent on tuition and living is also less in case of 1 year prog.

Me: Agreed!

Miss S: Forbes 2009 ranking. Have you seen them?

Me: Yes..Salary for INSEAD class of 2004 in 2008 was $218, 000 and for Kellogg it was $165, 000. INSEAD students take 2.5 years on average to repay their education loan while Kellogg students take 4.4 years.

Miss S: that's a big difference..

Miss S: So why not INSEAD? It s going to offer you greater diversity, access to same set of recruiters, it has campuses in multiple locations. I assume INSEAD would offer you similar courses and would have great faculty too.

Me: That's true but INSEAD is too big. 900 {is it 900 or 1800? 900*2} students passing out every year. Thats like a factory output

Miss S: rubbish!! Ultimately they are going to divide you in sections and that's what will matter to you. Is the batch size any how going to affect your learning?? And INSEAD is a great school {top 5 in every ranking}, so having a large alum network is a plus.

Me: that's right!! But INSEAD is skewed towards consulting. What if i change my mind during MBA?

Miss S: Have a better look at their employment report. You will get the answer.

Me: But INSEAD is not that well known outside Europe.

Miss S: People who are going to recruit you and people who are going to work with you will know about INSEAD. How does it matter whether your friend from high school or girl next door doesn't know about INSEAD.

Me: Thats right too!!!

Miss S: see, if you can get into INSEAD you will do as well as you will in case you go to any other top US b school. But you will repay your loan faster and can start enjoying sooner.

Me: I will definitely discuss this with my fellow bloggers and gain some insight ... you have confused me :'(

I know Kellogg students take more time than those at INSEAD to repay their education loans. But i would like to carry Kellogg/Wharton badge for the rest of my life. Maybe because my parents, my friends hold these brands in high esteem {And i don't know how good is this reason for choosing a particular school.}. I think all of us have unconcious fascination towards some particular schools. I never feel anything about Stanford or Berkeley or SLoan but the mention of K/W/Booth/Ross/LBS etc sets my pulse racing.

But the 2008 salary for class of 2004 is a big differentiator, K students earning $165, 000 and INSEAD students earning $ 218, 000. Money matters after all :) .... I have still not fully accepted the idea of applying to INSEAD but i will surely explore this great school before i take any decision.

Saturday, March 27

Why MBA ..Which School...Why Now??

As i move ahead towards my MBA dream, i am forced to think hard about the following questions:

1. Why MBA?? -- In my previous post Why MBA? I had mentioned few reasons that motivate me to pursure an MBA. But specifically linking an MBA program to my career goals is a bit tough job. For this reason its an absolute must to be crystal clear about your short term and long term career goals. Once you have done so get in touch with student ambassadors or b-school students {who have similar career aspirations as you do} to understand how an MBA has helped them in realizing their goals. I have found a very interesting pattern in that a lot of people do not stick to the same career goals that they mentioned in their essays. Thats fine also, pursuing an MBA will expose one to various career streams and being flexible is a good option. My why MBA story to get into a b-school can be very different from my Why MBA once i pass out of the school.
An MBA can help you mingle with people from your target industry, can give you a platform to interact with recruiters of your choice {Mckinsey, BCG, Bain don't recruit everywhere..}. You can develop certain traits that your future job might require. Also being an engineer i can never expect to learn economics, accounting or marketing in my job so an MBA can help me in getting a hang of these subjects.

Which b- school?? --No matter which school i try to explore i find the same courses offered in the "CORE" and almost similar sounding "Electives" {Barring few}. Every school boasts of a great faculty and pioneering research. Every school offers almost similar clubs such as conculting, marketing, I-banking etc. and every school talks about developing leaders.

Then there are few differences too -- Harvard and Darden - case centric...Kellogg, Ross -- great for marketing and team work is very imp. ... Wharton - -emphasizes a lot on innovation...Then there are schools with small class size {300-400/ batch} and then there's H/W {800-900/batch}. Also US and european MBA's differ in many other aspects too. {I am not getting into details of european vs US schools as i am focussing on US b-school only for some reasons.}. Location of a school is another imp. factor..Cornell, Tuck and Ross are at an disadvantage when compared to Columbia, Kellogg, Wharton, Harvard etc. Sloan and Haas are tech centric..Chicago lets you choose all your courses except one right from 1st year.

Why Now?? -- .. Need help !!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

Saturday, March 20

WWW - Weekend Without Wallet

Friday - Mar-19-2010

I went to a mall on Friday and realized that i was not carrying my wallet. Thank goodness i realized my stupidity well before parking my car in the mall's basement parking. It was not a good idea to go back and get my wallet from the flat as it would have taken me a lot of time in doing so. I decided to park my car in a housing society near the mall. I told the security at the gate that i was there to meet a friend and parked my car at the visitor's parking {saved cool 50 bucks}. Post parking my car i walked down to the mall .

Walking down to the mall made me sweat and i really wanted to wash my face. I saw "The Body Shop" showroom right across me, i entered the showroom and pretended as if i was seriously thinking to buy something. I picked up a "face-wash" tester and i used it in mall's wash room. To moisturize my face post this cleaning i again used another tester at "The Body Shop".

I really liked this idea of testing the stuff before you purchase it. Baskin Robbins was my next target. Tasted choco chip, coffee, black currant, nutty buddy and black forest ice creams then made a face as if none of the flavour tasted good. Applied Bvlgari perfume from a tester at the "Shoper's stop". Must say that Bvlgari is good.

Crosswords provided me another opportunity to read a book at no cost and sip free coffe from a nescafe dispenser. Read "Dhirubhai ambani's biography" {nearly 90 pages} from the book Business Maharajas. It was an amazing story and a must read for anybody who is serious about entreprenuership.

I had spent cool 4 hours at the mall and then decided to head back to home.

Thursday, March 18

Introspection -- Essays

The most important stage during MBA application process is of "INTROSPECTION". One has to be crystal clear about the reasons for pursuing an MBA and reasons for choosing a school. 2 years and $150k would mean a lot to lot of people. I have started giving a thought to essays and bumped across the following piece of advise that i found worth sharing with all the fellow applicants:

{Its important that one gives a due thought to each of the following questions.}

1. Are you a leader in a true sense? A lot of aspirants limit leadership around their team leading experience. Even though it is true to some extent, it hovers around a lot of other areas in your candidature. What is it that makes you a leader in life?

2. Did you ever take an initiative and exceeded expectations of the people around you ? What led you to take that initiative? How did you chart your strategy, and involve your peers in realizing the overall goal for the benefit of the organization or body you have been or were related to?

3. All of us face resistances and friction when we implement ideas? How well do you understand this, and what do you do to perform in the wake of resistance from people who are either associated with or affected by your ideas?

4. Have you managed a group of people? Did you make them realize their full potential?

5. All of us follow prototypes in our day to day lives. Have you ever thought outside the boundaries and worked as a designer who thinks creatively?

6. Are you keen on contributing to the lives of others?
You are a sharp and a dedicated individual at work. However, it takes a while in getting people around you used to your ideas and style of working. How well can you communicate with professionals working with you, and make them understand your goals for the organization?

Monday, March 15

Ross -- Amazing website

For long, i was trying hard to research some of my prospective schools. But i was finding it really hard to explore the schools. Sitting in India, thousands of miles away from schools, i found myself ill-equipped to research the schools. What a fool i was!!  If you have access to internet and a burning desire to explore then you have got everything that you need to find out more about your dream schools.

Let me come back to the school in question - "Ross". Ross has structured its website in an excellent manner. All the information that an aspiring MBA can vouch for is present in a user friendly layout. Even if you have very vague idea about your future career prospects, Ross can help you give a better insight into various career streams. You will have a sound knowledge of curriculum that you will have to take in order to pursue a particular career option. Then you can explore the faculty for each of the subject that you want to opt for.

The detailed employment statistics for past many years speak very highly of Ross. Over 70 student clubs and organizations are there to cater to your interest.

How to structure your career search is another question that Ross' website answers beautifully. The website also gives an amazing insight into the core curriculum and relevance of various elective courses. MAP is highlighted in a big manner on Ross' website. Multidisciplinary Application Program {i hope i have put it down correctly} caught my eye and the experiential learning experience that MAP would provide to any MBA student is awesome.

Also, what all the candidate should highlight in his/her application is also mentioned briefly on the website. Ross is very similar to Kellogg in that it has a very good Marketing and consulting placement. Ross offers a good General Management MBA option and is big time on my radar now.

I don't think that my small haphazard article has done justice to the topic of this post but i would suggest all my fellow bloggers to experience the Ross website themselves -- ITS AMAZING!!!

Monday, March 1

Fellow Illuminati in at ISB and interviewed by Booth!!!

Awesome!!! That's how i will describe the last week....

1. I went to Goa with Miss S and few friends...that was one great trip. Biking..Beaches...water sports..Dolphins...Sun bath..Trance Parties...and *censored censored* ;)

I think life is good when you are with your loved ones and friends...and one enjoy the life to the fullest whenever possible...

2. Fellow Illuminati gets an admit from ISB and gets interviewed by Booth Alum -- one of my dearest friends and co-founder of NGO "Illuminati" got an admit into ISB Hyderabad {his dream school} and got interviewed by a Booth Alum. i hope he cracks into Booth too. {I will share his interview experiences soon with all my fellow bloggers}

3. Got my bonus -- {That was peanuts...nothing to be happy about ..but still i got some money to spend in Goa :) }

4. Happy Holi to all the bloggers may this holi bring brightest colors to your lives....
played holi with my friends and had a jolly good time....

Happy holi once again....