I, The Absolute

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.

10 Responses to “Things that are wrong at ISB”

  1. Rupreet said

    Hi Vijay,

    I was searching on google about ISB.. I am ISB aspirant and hope will get in soon.. while doing google I came across your blog..its very helpful for ISB aspirants.. nevermind the cons you have blogged but I still very passionate to enter ISB. :).

  2. hi last anonymous

    i believe in freedom of speech. you are free to write what you want to, but pls do so by using your name. holding extreme views is never a crime. if u think about ISB like this, thats your call. but pls do leave your name next time you comment so that we know who it is that hates ISB so much.

    btw, to use my right to speech, i dont agree with you.


  3. Anonymous said

    ISB is the next to be exposed. Its hugely under debt and the sponsors are sick of bailing it again and again. Their placement stats are a huge fraud as they use averages calculated on multiple offers for the same student. The ROI for students is hugely negative as most students get lousy jobs. Only morons will give up IIM admissions for ISB – in any case the morons deserve ISB! The IIMs are full of students who had ISB offers that they spurned to join IIM. The so called world class faculty at ISB are usually the lousy faculty from B grade US Schools who are looking for a paid holiday in India.

  4. Anonymous said

    This has been, and will be the timeless story – of expectations and expectation gaps. ISB, or, for that matter, any alma mater.

    You should be in your elective terms in the foreseeable future – chalk out your desired takeaways, now that you’ve dissected the ISB parapernalia. They could be in terms of academics (grades and placements), plain learning (fields of your choice), building lifelong frienships (this should anyways be happening)…..and so on.

    ISB’a a great place to enrich yourself in a lot more ways than you can fathom. It just takes to know what you came here for (or discover that some decent amout of time before the convocation ceremony hits you).

    Immerse yourself in the experience, the goals and paths are yours to choose.

    Sorry if this sounded too high handed and worse, protracted…..Just thought should let a few of our “Future Generations” know how some non-entity culled value out of those moments at ISB, in spite of all the cribs (non-entity included,of course.

    And not to mention, the rains are brilliant, “take” a shower if they are still on; watch the sunsets; notice the verdant stretches; listen to the diversity and talent; prize the good souls who you’ve made your friends; carry memories of what enlightenment you gleaned from the LRC; and last but not the least, thank the support staff (Housekeeping, IT…..) who never tire of responding to all requests…………..

    I could have been more melodramatic, but will save it for better occasions. 🙂

    Good job, Absolute, and I wish you well, at ISB and beyond.

    Au revoir……

  5. hi anon1

    frankly, much (except last sentence) of what u wrote went above my head. hope u only meant good about what i wrote 🙂

    hi anon2 / anuj

    thanks for stopping by and sending ur comments.


    i wud never want to let go of my rustic orientation. just because i have given up hair does not mean i am not an ape. i still am….i will look for a day when i can afford to let go of all these masks that we need to wear thanks to the corporatisation of life.


    sure, did we need architects from the US to design these stairs:-)


  6. ankur said

    things to ponder upon:

    – the evaluation system at ISB

    – the (un)called for hoohaa about diversity…and then designing a curriculum that screws them over

    – the stairs…(for god sake!!!)

    good post vijay..!

  7. Anuj said

    Vijay this was amazing post with loads of info.. though when u started i was really taken for a ride thinking ur ans wont be to the point.. but it was good info..

  8. Spew said

    Hi..nice post..shades of the erstwhile missing old vijay are present. More entertaining..less serious .. less corporate!

    Content – well – the soup tastes different to different ladles. 🙂


  9. Anonymous said

    This is my first comment after reading your blog for a long long time.

    You have said things on the face. For an ISB aspirant like me, this is priceless.

    Still, i like ISB and would like to get in.

    Please accept my applauds for your blog.


  10. Anonymous said

    hi,.. True as the holistic soul… but the best features form the ‘face’ & the rest take a cold back seat… i call that comparison of equalism… sth like best brains vs. best institution.. so expect a conflict or one falling short of other;s expectation.. but then we Indians will always be proud of few institutions and one of the lead in the pack is ISB… 🙂

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