Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Packing woes

I started packing. Yeah, i know i still have 3 weeks before i fly to Chicago - but i wanted to know if i had spare room in the bags.

And boy, am i glad i did this now! I don't know how one can pack his/her world in two bags, with all those limitations on dimensions and weight!!! Since I'm flying British Airways, i have an option to carry a third bag with me, thanks to the students package. So I guess I'm fine. Two bags is just not enough!!!

I just packed all my clothes and find both the bags almost full, one with a max capacity of 25KGs and the other with a max capacity of 32 KGs. I don't even know if the bags now weigh under 23 KGs, BA's weight limit. I still have a lot of other stuff to pack in.

Looks like i got some serious packing decisions to make.

Friday, July 20, 2007


Yesterday was my last day at work! So, now i am officially unemployed :D

The last week has been awesome! My manager's been ultra proactive about getting all my separation formalities done, so much that he kept calling all concerned people almost everyday (something i shud have been doing) over the last one week and ensured that everything was ready on Friday. He is VERY VERY famous for his promptness and the effortlessly smooth way in which he gets his tasks done! So, this was nothing new, but worth a mention for sure :)

Last week threw a few pleasant surprises as well. My mentor (whom you all know very well by now) hosted a surprise farewell lunch for me on Wednesday. In all 4 years that i have seen him, he's done this for very few people - there are only 2 that i can remember :) As if the gesture was not enough in itself, he also gifted me a Swiss army knife, and a few honest pats on the back with some nice words for the future!

Thursday i hosted a lunch for my team members and that was fun too. My manager, who has hardly attended any outside gatherings over the last 2 yrs, attended both the lunches (with pressing commitments on both days) and that was a pleasant surprise too. The team members were all very warm in their farewell, and i also received a cool gift voucher as a parting gift.

Overall, the 4 yr long experience with my ex-company has been nothing short of a roller coaster ride, as i went thru the few highs and many lows of being employed in an Indian IT services company. Nevertheless, the experience has certainly improved me - both as a person and as a professional.

That's one chapter of life closed and I really look forward to the beginning of the next in a few week's time.

Now, I'm all set to do one of my favorite activities for the next few weeks - shopping!!! Then comes packing and then flying :)

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The house hunt

It is over! I now have an address in the USA!!!

This is the first time i have chosen a house without seeing it! But the high-rise i chose has been a perennial favorite of GSB students over the years. I was also lucky to have a classmate from India go visit the high-rise and other alternatives in the neighborhood. I'm purely going with her evaluation, but i am sure i can go with it.

The apartment is too high, higher than anywhere i've ever been! Shud be cool...
Cant wait to get to it in four week's time.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Running around...

I'm into the last week at work (yaaay) and, very strangely, i really look forward to the day when i can say i am officially jobless. Work surely has been a lull and motivation at workplace is at an all time low. Eventhough i hate being without work at office (which actually feels very weird at times), that is where i see myself everyday. I do have bits and pieces of work to do and many transition of responsibilities as well, apart from cleaning my desk and archiving data for backup. Plainly, it sucks :) But then, u gotta do what u gotta do!!!

There are a few updates related to the MBA side of life.

I finally got the tourist visa to the Federative Republic of Brazil i needed for my Random Walk. The procedure to get one is very simple - visit the Brazilian Embassy's website and thou shalt know everything. In short - u fill in the app and send it (along with a covering letter and all support documents) to the embassy in Delhi. I'd applied early this month through an agent and I was made to chase my HRs (yeah - in my company, u have to search for them. they don't have the basic courtesy to reply fone calls and tell u that they saw ur emails when u finally do meet them) for a few days to get some letter (stating that i have resigned and when my last working day will be) which the Embassy required. Eventually - the company said they wont issue such a letter. I then had to get my manager and HR-manager attest my resignation letter and also made them state my last working day, which luckily the embassy accepted. All's well that ends well!!!

I was finally allotted an apartment. It is a huge (635 sq.ft) studio in the 18th floor of a high rise that is 2 miles from the school. The height and the size of the apartment means that i pay a whopping rent of $1100 per month. Now i am all set to work out how, sitting here in Chennai, i proceed with the paper work involved in signing the lease for the apartment. Gosh - will the paper work ever cease...

In news related to GSB, i will be talking to a counselor from the Dean's Student Office, regarding my plans for the course work. Since Chicago GSB has a completely customizable curriculum, you find more support for people in this regard and support starts much earlier - as soon as 2 months before school. This, i believe, is a great thing - as i can clarify all doubts i have regarding the course work and try to zero in on what i can do and what i cannot do. I really want to know what can be done (how far one can stretch himself) and what cannot be done (something like common mistakes). This is especially helpful for someone like me, coz i decided that i want to make the fullest use of the academic rigor GSB is so famous for, but at the same time i dont want to overload myself with too much on my plate. I have some plans regarding the curriculum, and I have many doubts as well. I really look forward to the call on Wednesday.

In between crazy emails from classmates, frequent chats with other classmates, farewells to friends who're flying out to their respective schools, farewells to colleagues who wont see me in my seat from next week, burning dough at shopping malls, puncturing self with the numerous immunization shots, checking up with lists to ensure that i've got everything i need, contemplating on when to really start packing and all the other things related to moving to a new continent - i can see that my new life at GSB is now very close.

Less than a month to go before i fly to the Windy City. Cant' wait :)

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Blakstone to acquire Hilton!!!

Check this out!!!

There is something in the article that caught my attention "Like other hotel chains, Hilton in recent years has moved to emphasize managing hotels rather than owning them." There is another article (and the same text for most of the part) that mentions many such acquisitions, and also says that many more are possible.

Looks like the market is really ripe and up for the taking, provided the price that has to be paid for it is paid (in cash perhaps). I definitely believe that this could be true of many other industries and there is a beautiful synergy in letting the money managers (whose primary intention is to make money) to manage the funds and letting the management guys (whose primary intention is to manage) to run the place.

Anybody's got a few billion dollars???
I need to buy a hotel chain!!! What's for sale today???

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

The move to the "other" side

It's finally happened...
I moved my blog from the applicants list to the students list at hella's website!
Been planning to do this for quite some time, as i see posts from a new group of applicant bloggers and my posts about matriculation et al were standing oddly out amidst their posts!

This change kind of makes me feel that the cycle is now complete in all sense - from applicant to student :) I do see fellow applicant bloggers on the other side, people who've tracked and followed each other's progress, success and failures and people who've exchanged information and advices with so much mutual goodwill, as if all of us grew up in the same locality. It is definitely a very good feeling to see them there :)

So, here's to my new "student" status...
Now, if only school would begin soon ;)