I, The Absolute

Archive for February, 2006

Unromantic times

Posted by itheabsolute on February 14, 2006

Interviews on valentine’s day. there could not have been more unromantic combination. but the times are such that people are willing to sit for interviews anytime and any day. for some companies, interviews may have to run late into nights or even into early mornings.

shortlists have started to come out. i have so far applied to 6 companies (pls dont remind me of BCG), of which one company has released shortlist. i am in.

companies continue to demand day 1 slot. in past, there have been many students who have had courage to wait and strike it rich with a company that has come much later on campus. professional success in life is not a function of the company one works for. it is a function of one’s own knowledge and skills, but much more importantly drive, ambition and attitude.

Trauma transforms was the shibboleth with which we began our journey here. now is the most traumatic of times. if we dont utilise this time to transform ourselves by keeping the cool, and thinking beyond today and $$, there is little that we have taken away from this experience.

Jobs can be gotten any day. an opportunity to transform, not many times.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

Continual uncertainty leads to mysticism

Posted by itheabsolute on February 12, 2006

It has started to hurt now. The uncertainty about slotting and shortlists is increasing. Though I did not go to the exclusive show of “Rang De Basanti”* organized at a local multiplex for ISBians, I am told many did not want to come out of the multiplex. Coming out of it meant coming back to ISB. Coming back here meant looking at applications, write EOI and push applications into the system. Which means increased uncertainty.

Though most of us (cannot vouch the same for ‘all’) are far from getting mystic, anyone not being able to get placed in the first 3-4 days will definitely find himself in the quagmire of self-doubt and karma, which are a fertile ground for mysticism.

Meanwhile, some good things keep happening to the same lot of people. A couple of good companies have had discussions with these students for openings abroad.

Next week this time, some people would have officially gotten placed. Mck, BCG and Citi – the big daddies would have made their offers. Watch this space for more about the vicissitudes of this placement drama as it unfolds.


* Watched the movie a couple of days ago. I liked the movie for its technical brilliance.

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments »

Time to get serious

Posted by itheabsolute on February 8, 2006

Job postings are raining now. Many well-known names in the financial world have given out job postings. More are going to come. Some good firms are offering Vice-president & Director positions. This is true recognition of what ISB has to offer – experienced candidates. I am quite excited about the opportunities ISB has opened up for the students. Now, it is up to us how we convert these opportunities into jobs / career.

We are just 10 days away from the start date of the placement season. While there is a lot of tension in the air, the earnestness required to do the kill is still missing. One shortlist is all that is required to make the person get into action.

Let’s see what is in store. Handling this nebulousness is challenging yet exciting.

Posted in Uncategorized | 9 Comments »

Simple but profound

Posted by itheabsolute on February 7, 2006

Long time ago, an anthropology professor asked me why human beings are most comfortable with multiples of 5 or 10 and not 3 or 7 or 9. I found the question to be quite naïve and struggled to come up with an answer. It may have been an accident or some fancy of a scientist or someone important liked the numbers 5 or 10 over 3, 7 or 9. The answer surprised me. Human beings have 10 hand fingers. Counting was easy when the number of fingers, 10, became the basis of counting. Simple, but profound.

Answers to many issues that puzzle us can be as simple, but we generally refuse to see what is obvious.

In the same context, I liked this quote – Everything has been said before, but since nobody listens, we have to keep going back and beginning all over again – Andre Gide

Posted in Uncategorized | 8 Comments »


Posted by itheabsolute on February 6, 2006

The most important document for a recruiter is the resume. It is believed that only international firms take EOI (expression of interest) seriously. Many Indian companies need an EOI but really do not spend much time to go through it. One consulting firm told as much. It is like buying a gift. There is evidence that a gift is, in most cases, more valuable (economic value) to the giver than the receiver. The one giving the gift spends a lot of time searching for the right one (??), but usually can never estimate what the receiver of the gift wants or values. Similarly, for us, the EOIs take a lot of time to prepare, but they generally do not mean much to the recruiter. Notwithstanding, we spend time on making EOIs, just in case the recruiter wants to read it with more interest.

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments »

What maketh the Professor of the Year?

Posted by itheabsolute on February 4, 2006

Prof Krishna Kumar, who taught us second part of Global Economics, has been voted, for the second time, the Professor of the Year.

What goes into making the best professor? His knowledge and ability to teach. Sure. More importantly, his passion for his subject, his ability to evoke interest in the discipline and his initiative to point to the students the relevance of the subject to the real world environment.

I do not think Prof Krishna has been the best in all of these, but he has been good in all. Whereas other Professors were good in some but not in all. Some of the professors definitely beat Prof Krishna in being more knowledgeable and being better at communicating. But those will hardly substitute his passion and ability to evoke interest.

While I did not vote for Prof Krishna, I am not surprised that he won. He is amongst the best. He was here with us for just 5 sessions, which is about 10 hours. And that many terms ago. The imprint he left on people’s memory and learning is quite amazing.

It is professors like Krishna that make ISB distinctive. These professors bring learnings from cutting-edge research (most relevant to the current business environment) to the classroom discussions. A great faculty stands as the top two reasons why ISB is the best.


1. A great peer group is the other
2. Rigorous and robust curriculum is an offshoot of having these professors
3. Infrastructure is truly good. But what is infrastructure without good people around
4. Prof Dishan, who teaches us Negotiotion Analysis, had two articles published in the Journal of Applied Psychology. Getting two articles published in a prestigious journal and that in a year is no mean affair, as our Dean writes.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

Seating Preference

Posted by itheabsolute on February 2, 2006

During the Term I, many of the students wanted to sit in the front row, closer to the Professor. This preference continued till Term III. By Term IV, people were a little bored with core terms and wanted to enjoy the context, rather than content, and hence wanted to move to last rows. During Term V, when the electives started, there was enthusiasm again and the preference was to sit in front rows. And from Term VI, the preference definitely has been to sit as far away from the Professor as possible. Sitting in last rows will allow one to sleep in class, open the laptop to browse, read the newspaper & magazines, chat with the neighbor, and duck away from the professor and take calls on cell phone.

This term, many of the students are only physical present in the class. We are thinking about our placements, making our resumes, preparing responses to the possible interview questions, etc. Academics and grades are definitely not the primary concern. The enthusiasm will hopefully return during Term VIII, by when the placement of most of the students will be over.

1.There are students who have been more consistent than others. They always wanted to sit in the backbenches.
2. There aren’t many choices. There are only 4 rows. Also, the seating arrangement is drawn by the Academic office at the beginning of every term. However, one could always request the office for change before it comes up with the seating chart.
3. I say most of the students will get placed and not all of them because interviews will continue till March 19th and also for senior positions, interviews and negotiations will continue much longer.

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments »

God is in details

Posted by itheabsolute on February 1, 2006

BCG shortlist did not cause any surprise. It appeared as though both McK and BCG had a joint session to come out with shortlists. I say this because both the shortlists have many common students, most of whom are IITians.

IITians are in great demand. As they say, the biggest differentiator in this age is the ability to get into microdetails. Both Investment Banking and Consulting need from people the ability to get into microdetails and still be able to put these data into a structure. In investment banking, structuring of deals is critical and without being able to know what others will find difficult to know, there is no way to structure exotic products. Similarly in consulting, being able to rip apart a process or a system and see much more than what the client himself can see is what is quite critical in achieving cost savings or new product designs. The world belongs to the people who have an eye for detail and structure. God indeed is in details.

If you haven’t figured out by now, I have not been shortlisted.

Posted in Uncategorized | 9 Comments »