I, The Absolute

Archive for September 18th, 2005

Things that are wrong at ISB

Posted by itheabsolute on September 18, 2005

There have been many complaints that the ISB students and the alum really do not speak out about things that go wrong at ISB. ISB cannot be heaven on earth, after all.

Here is my take on things wrong at ISB

Each person in life gets kick out of some activity. If one has decided what gives kick to him out of life, then it is easy to trace out what is right and wrong. For himself, that is. There cannot be generic rights and wrongs. Because one’s meat is others’ poison. Of course, bar an odd ball MO professor whose teaching not even one can make any sense out of.

Let me get specific lest I should be branded as trying to hide the wrongs of ISB in the labyrinth of some senseless complex sentences.

• In April, when students come to the campus first, it is too hot here
• ISB is too windy during most of the time.
• When it rains at ISB, it rains cats and dogs. And it rains without any warning.

All the three make doing project works at Atrium well nigh difficult. Unless every group has a married member, it is difficult to find a suitable place to sit together and work on assignments. Why a married person? He/She will have a studio apartment that can accommodate all six people in various shapes, sizes and of course postures.

To get more serious now….

• Some Professors are not up to the mark and fall behind the students’ expectations. These professors have taught at premier schools, have supposedly made their mark at those schools, and still continue to teach at many other schools. Then why cannot they be good. No idea. World is not always efficient.

• ISB administration is feedback friendly. How many managements in the Corporate world are willing to stand before its customers and ask them what are we doing wrong? ISB management does. “However, it sometimes gets into uncalled-for defensive mode and tries to defend its policies / stance”. Then the student body needs to find better methods to represent. Mother is the only creature who is most receptive to cribbing.

Though there is enough diversity and resources, students do not leverage these. Good number of students are only academically oriented and this makes the experience academic and not holistic. But again, it is for the student body to decide. This year there have been many activities which are non-academic and which add value to the overall experience.

There are people who only while away time, so it appears. These people have not been “found” studying. They provide massive entertainment value. Not that I have a problem. Some may have. If someone is allergic to people who only enjoy themselves at an academic place as ISB, then one may keep away. One caveat here, these people have proven themselves in their respective fields before coming to ISB. I guess they know what they are doing.

Our library has a fantastic collection of books, but many of these books would not be read because of lack of time. I have seen many books which have not been issued once. Professors, I guess, do not know what books are available in the library. They do not tell us which of these books we MUST read. Those books that are essential reading are not enough in number.

Girls at ISB are good. It can be good distraction and take one’s focus off studies.

ISB Management is doing a good job in terms of bringing all the recruiters to the ISB. Not all of the recruiters have short-listed ISB yet. Bain & Co came here to evaluate the school; Lehman has not come yet, etc. But ISB is only four year old. It is also important that the students are able to convert these openings into jobs.

There are other problems at ISB which perhaps I have not experienced or which I do not perceive as problems.

Finally, every system comes with its merits and demerits. I am sure there are problems at HBS and Whartons of the world. Every candidate has a trade off to make. The point is a one-year program demands some compromises from us which perhaps a two year program would not. But that is a choice that we made. I, for one, do not regret my decision for a minute. I firmly believe that in India I would not have got better value for my money.

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