Friday, March 16, 2007

An Exhilarating Day!!!

Do forgive me if I have not been regular...The pressure is killing us right now in terms of the sheer volume of work that we have. This has already been termed the "Hell-ary" Term "(as opposed to Hilary).We have our exams starting 19th finishing 5 days later and then I am finally off to India to be with my family !!!
The last few weeks have been good and bad...Bad because assignments have killed us outright (the marks were also not encouraging), good because we have had a couple of interviews and one hell of an EXHILARATING day today for our Entrepreneurship Project presentation.
OK, I will tell you why...One of the major features of the Oxford MBA , as I have mentioned before , is the Entrepreneurship Project, where teams of 5 people essentally write a business plan for a business they WANT to establish (a start up). Wait for the good part.Not only is this assessed, each team then has to present its plan to a panel of Venture Capitalists...The people who formed the panel this year were as follows1) Marcos Battisti, Senior Investment Manager, Intel Capital.2) Martin Chilcott, CEO, Place Group Ltd.3) Jon Conibear, Chairman, Medic to Medic ( subsidiary of Informa PLC)4) Graham Clempson, European managing Partner, MidOcean Partners.5) David Cottam, Partner, Park Square Capital.6) Martin Gibson,Partner, Atlas Venture7) Chris Jones, Ex CEO, J walter Thompson.8) Stephen Chambers , Head MBA Program at Said Business School.9) Stewart Niblock, Head of New Projects at easyGroup Inc.10) Charles MacKinnon, Managing Director, Thurleigh Investment Managers11) Jon Moynihan OBE, Executive Chairment , PA Consulting Group12) Jeremy Long, CEO (Europe), MTR Corporation.
and a number of other stars of industry.
Now our team (incidentally with only 3 people, which was a massive disadvantage from the start) went into the presentations armed with 2 sets of presentations. One which we gave and the other which held support slides with data on every aspect of our operations and financials (Can't reveal the idea here...You understand how it is!!!) .Some of the comments that we got from some of the guys listed above are as follows
" Fabulous Job. You guys have really gone in depth on Costs and Financials.."
" Excellent Plan..You should think of doing this on a national scale instead of starting in one city."
" I am sure if we sat here and asked you guys questions for another hour, you would have backup slides to answer every one of them. Good Job"
" Fabulous idea...If you clubbed it with "* Another Idea*" I think you have a winner"
"It is obvious that you guys have put in a lot of work on this...."

For the record, we asked for 2.32 Million Pounds Sterling of investment!!!

It is a great feeling to be told by leaders of such stature that you have done an excellent job !! It lifts your spirits up massively!!..Sumit and Shubradeep, you guys rock bigtime!!!!
Bring on the exams...We are ready for them!!!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Getting down to work!!!!

Getting down to serious work....With 3 weeks to go for exams I do think it is high time we started cramming...:-)!!The past 2 weeks were good, nothing really noteworthy, unless you consider the Cambridge Trip (Oxbridge Job Fair held at the Judge Business School, Cambridge) , Templeton College and St Hugh's College formal dinners.This week we have the McKinsey presentation, which is really being looked forward to. As for me, I shall now hit the books.
Attached are some photos from the Oxbridge Trip. The gang , desperately looking for some food in that village ( Oxford vs. Cambridge rivalry speaking), poses in front of King's College, Cambridge

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Culturally Crazy....

An excellent week has just gone least in terms of extra curricular activities and not in terms of work!!! Being one of the older students in class (essentially being over 30 is roughly over the hill!!!), it is great to get back into organizing student shows and activities, which was something we did last week at Oxford Said. The idea was to celebrate a cultural night to showcase MBA talents that DON'T get displayed at all..We had some excellent numbers by Ean and Reba Hernandez, erstwhile members of a professional band, Bollywood group dances, belly dancing, guitar recitals and some mindblowing salsa numbers....I am glad to say that families pitched in too..special thanks to Harpal's daughter Gulnaz for the lovely violin recital she and her teacher put on for well as Shinjini Thakur's rendition of "Dum Maro Dum". We did have a harrowing time setting up everything to work as smoothly as possible but guys (Bobby, Anubhav, Parijat, Dheerin and gang..), you are amazing ..If you are this good in a post grad setting , I can only imagine how good you guys must have been when you were undergrads!!!

Attached are a few links of photoos and videos set up by Ashish Tewari...Enjoy!! Forgot to mention the afterdinner party at ESCAPE, a nightclub here....DJ Dheerin, you rock bigtime!!!
Michelmas Term:

Hilary Cultural Show

In other news this week, we have roughly 4 weeks to go before we hit exams again and it seems to be time to open up those books and dive into Debt/Equity and Activity Based Costing..Highlight of this week would be the Oxford and Cambridge MBA Job Recruitment Fair held at the Judge Business School,Cambridge where we have a number of companies and MBAs from both schools trying to woo and be wooed in turn!!

As regards our Entrpreneurship project, we (Sumit /Shubradeep/ me) need as much help from you guys as we can get..In case you or any of your friends have had a lovely baby enter your lives in the recent past, we would like you to write in to me ( and tell me at length about your experiences during pregnancy/delivery, what are the factors you think would have eased your time through the pregnancy, what is the one thing you wished you could do to make this a less troublesome time in terms of doctor's visits, scanning, actual delivery and dealing with hospitals, what are the activities with which you wish you had help in both prenatal and postnatal terms. Please do drop in a line or bullet points if you can because it will really help me and my guys structure our project properly..
Careers presentations have included in the recent past, Citigroup, RolandBerger Strategy Consultants, Booz Allen Hamilton and Bain..Excellent presentations and I am sure that applications have started flowing in.

And oh yes, I totally forgot about the snow that hit Oxford this week...It was enjoyable seeing serious MBA grads reduced to the level of howling kids when hit by snowballs...........
Before I sign off, happy Valentine's day to all of you.. As for me, I am missing my wife and daughter back home and counting days till April when I will take a short break to go back home....
Could not resist uploading this photo..Ignore Hiro trying to act crazy in the background!!!!!

Saturday, February 03, 2007

3 weeks up in Hilary....

An eventful 2 weeks...First, a controversy surrounding electives necessary for the Trinity Term and second, RESULTS of Michelmas!!! To give you a bit of a background, SBS MBAs are supposed to choose 6 electives in the next term from an assortment of subjects including finance, social electives, marketing, retailing etc. Now Finance electives, being hot favourites for any self respecting MBA, are much sought after ( nope, sadly, no fisticuffs this time round!!!) and therefore have a condition of class size (being 100) imposed on them!! Now to put this in perspective , you have roughly 215 MBAs and approximately 70 MFEs trying to get the electives they want by BIDDING for the same [now each MBA has 120 points which have to be spread across 6 subjects based on what think YOU should bid, given 2 major considerations 1) your desire for an elective 2) members in class with the same $#%# desire and therefore bidding higher than you!!! You could choose to do this in the eenie, meenie, miny, moe way (arbit choices) or actually applying auction theory (too painful to discuss here!!!)]. Well anyway, to cut a long story short, Corporate Valuation had a number of pissed off oversubscribed students !!!Not because of the fact that they bid less than their classmates, BUT because of the fact that MFEs who have 90 points to play around with allotted 1 point each to courses that were open only to them (and so were sure to get it because of a small class size) and bidding roughly upwards of 40 to 45 points for those subjects they shared with MBAs.Essentially what that translates to is that any MFE who wanted to do a particular course definitely got the course (assuming they bid high) while many of the MBA's got left out...All in all there were interesting reactions around school addressing this topic. The Final Decision : Those who did not get Corp Valuation and Private Equity, sorry, you should have bid higher!!!!
Side note here: I did get all my electives..Basically my bidding went as follows..Corporate Valuation (35), Arbitrage Opportunities and Hedge Funds (28) , Capital Raising Techniques (25), Restructuring and Implementation(25) , Financial Risk Management (5) and Taxation,Finance and Business Strategy(2)....Finance heavy!!! So be it...
Second top news this week was that we finally got to see the results of our exams last terms and as expected I did pass comfortably in all subjects!! Lotsa cases of Arbit marking and me thinks I did deserve better in some papers but oh well, no time to dwell on a lost cause..Better to pull up your socks for Hilary term!!!Now trying to apply to a variety of companies apart from getting lost on the current set of assignments!!!
And oh yes, Financial Times ranking for the top MBA schools are out...We advanced one position!!!Could do better than that....Contacted the FT auditors on whether the audit year made any difference to the data supplied and here is the answer....
Hello, All schools wishing to be a part of the Financial Times MBA rankings send data in each year, i.e. all data is current. All data used in the process is for the most current year. A school is only subject to the audit process on a sample basis as determined each fall. Typically a school's data is subject to the process every three years. I believe this should answer your questions below. The audit process does not affect the standings in the rankings. The ranking is based on the merits of the school's data.
Oh well....

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Round II begins.....

After close to a month, it is finally time to get back to the (oh, $%$##@) grind!!! Classes start this week, and as usual, full attendance is expected for a period of at least 3 weeks before people start disappearing!! The break was good , though a tad boring since nothing major happened. Christmas this time was subdued , New Year's even more so..Spent some time up in Ruislip with family and for the most part have been boning up on case studies for upcoming interviews(more an excuse to get together to try and play some table tennis...). Some are downright kooky ("Are there any 2 dogs in the world with the same amount of body hair? ") while some are more scary ( Profitability and Market Entry cases where you are scrambling around to ask "sensible" questions [at the very least]). This term will be packed, with 6 courses, 1 audited course, 1 entrepreneurship project, multiple job interviews (hopefully), case preparation , assignments(17 for us who took the more sensible electives, 27 for those suckers who took a combo of MCS and TIS!!(evil grin here.....)) and err..partying?? You are in the week of the usual moaning about turning up for class at 8:45 in the morning...
Trinity term electives are up for bidding ( you need to bid for taking the courses that you want just because SBS derives some kinda sadistic pleasure in getting its oh-so-smart MBA/MFE/EMBA crowd to outguess each other in snagging the best running electives. Finance subjects are hot favourites!!!) And yes, I bought my tickets for my Motherland visit in April!!! Cheap..Now only if the airline would actually fly after near bankruptcy!!!Groups have been shuffled, Sections as well and we are now going to be blessed with another 3 months of classes with (hopefully) new eccentric characters who will again (hopefully) put up their hands to ask irrelevant questions in class !!!Interesting sidenote: Did I tell you about the betting syndicate run last term where we had bets on the number of questions that a certain member of class would ask in a particular subject in a 3 hr time frame (categories-Relevant, Irrelevant, Witticisms!!!)!

Bring it on!!!!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Hell Week is Done!!!

Yes, you got that right!!!Exams got over at 10:30 AM today and truthfully, I am actually wondering what I am going to do in the next 3 weeks.. I will eventually figure it out, I guess...First an established fact..I WILL PASS all my exams (hmm...Strategy might be a close call.....) but the rest were pretty comfortable given my Geek background!!!! Exams were written in full subfusc, which basically means a black suit, bow tie and our traditional "capes"!This week has been pretty shitty with a minimal amount of sleep and I have no doubt I am going to catch up over the next few days. Most of us are going to go back home ( yours truly will stay put in Oxf.) so hectic packing is going on, followed by ,of course, hectic partying !!!

OK, time!!!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

St Hugh's...and Oxford...

Oxford Shots!!!Thanks Chris, for the excellent photos of the Sheldonian, ChristChurch dining hall and St Hugh's.........