Friday, September 28, 2007

First week of classes

It was rough. It was fun. It is over.

The academic rigor of GSB was one of the things that made the school attractive to me, and i am experiencing it first hand. It is redundant to talk about the profs in the school, as the whole MBA/business world knows about the faculty in GSB. As someone who sat thru three classes conducted by some of these professors, I should accept that they did beat my expectations. I'm more impressed by their approach towards conducting a session in the class - it is very engaging and makes one think beyond the obvious questions. I'm thoroughly enjoying the classrooms.

This week was fruitful in a lot more ways too. I joined a bunch of clubs in school (professional, social, sports and fun) and their events have started happening. GSBs famous TNDCs have begun and so are the numerous social events organised by the many groups one would be a part of. My calender is getting cluttered with hoards of entries and life has changed into a series of hops from one thing to another. I am enjoying the ride though. It is definitely fun, just that one must know his priorities and know what he/she is adding to his/her plate. It could go totally wrong if you get carried away with the multitude of options any top Bschool would offer.

Looking forward, i can see that the concept of a weekend is slowly vanishing away. Very soon, this will be 24/7 and then a lot more than that. Considering that recruiting hasn't even begun yet, the future looks BUSY.

We have a cohort level sports challenge (the first in a series i guess) this evening, I am yet to write that article for ChiBus i am supposed to submit very soon and I should find time to do that winter shopping I have been postponing for quite some time. I also have to submit a write up to my LEAD facilitators and a dance class to attend. All this and I haven't even brought up the topic of class work. I should get going...

Th next week will be rougher, will be more fun and it will get over in a week too :)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

CORE 2007 ends...

The 20 day long orientation at the Chicago GSB ended today evening with a "Coffee with the dean" session at Winter Garden in the Charles M. Harper Center of GSB. In the words of Stacey, this event "signals a transition into life as a first-year". For me though, it is a welcome relief from the mad rush of CORE. It has really been a few weeks of crammed up activities, and I haven't found anyone who hasn't found the going tough.

This week saw the class getting busy with a bunch of cases for LEAD. The sight of ppl grouping around in different corners of the winter garden and discussing the pros and cons of the case - it was quite exciting. People had different opinions about how their case sessions went - mainly because their experiences were different. I have some very good/important take-aways from these sessions, so i feel pretty positive about them.

Tuesday was Career Immersion day - our first interaction with the corporate world as students. The day had presentations and panel discussions by members of different industries. I attended the Investment banking panel/presentation and Entrepreneurship+PE/VC panel/presentation. It was a neutral day with a both positive and boring moments. Career services plans to attend many more sessions, which will go much deeper, during the course of the year and I am looking forward to them.

Classes start tomorrow. I have no class till Monday. All my profs have a ton of pre-work listed out already, so i guess my weekend (i mean, Fri-Sat-Sun) is gonna be busy. Still, i am excited about getting back to student life after so many years. Classes should be fun...

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Bidding results, soccer and semi-formal event...

I got all my courses. What more, i was the least successful bidder in my costliest course. If that's Greek and Latin, it means that i have got my courses in the most efficient way possible. That's game well played! That's one more step closer to classes.

After a long time, i played soccer on Thursday with some of my classmates. It was pure fun, the same way it used to be more than 4 years ago, when i played for my undergrad team. Just that this time i played with a group of people from different parts of the world, and each brought a different flavor to the field. Looking forward to more such games, and time to enroll in the GSB soccer club.

We attended our first LEAD classroom session on Friday. It was an excruciating 4 hour session, but it was good for the most part. The session discussed leadership in the perspective of different groups of people - students, alumni, recruiters, etc - and also laid the platform for the future classroom sessions. The whole LEAD program is facilitated by second years who went through more than 400 hrs of training, and their commitment to the cause is simply amazing.

In between all of this, i managed to sign up for the AdComm. So, i'll be posting more updates from the AdComm in this blog, and will also be posting pointers to other areas of information. We have a club day this week and i should sign up for a few student clubs very soon and get things going.

On Saturday, the whole of GSB descended on the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago for a Semi-formal evening. From roaming around in denims and GSB T-shirts, the guys took out their suits and ties (some even in their kilts), with the ladies wowing everyone in their attires (one Indian student had worn a lovely saree) - there was a semblance of order this time to this event. The aquarium has a huge collection of aquatic life and looking at all the animal life from close quarters was a great experience. Later in the evening, the floor was opened for dancing and I am still tired with all the dancing i did.

We have a heavy week ahead of us, with classroom sessions and other events everyday. In three days, CORE 2007 would be complete and classes would begin. Cant wait...

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

First few days of school

The Class of 2009 at the Chicago GSB began their two year roller-coaster journey on the 4th of September at the Rockefeller Chapel in the University of Chicago.

It started with the welcome addresses by dean Edward Snyder and a follow up speech by deputy dean Stacey Kole. Since then, we've been attending one information session after another and another. The amount of information we have been absorbing is overwhelming, but if you say that to any MBA student, they'd say - welcome to bizz school :) I have somehow managed to handle all the information, the many networking events and even the process of getting to know the lives of more than 550 people in about a week and a half.

A lot to handle, one might say (and many might accept). But believe me, it is pure fun!!!

As a part of LEAD, we visited Lake Lawn Resort in Wisconsin last week for a three day retreat and it was a blast. We had a session of high-rope courses and we also had a chance to do entry level zip-lining. The second years organized a carnival and casino type event (which ended in a dance floor) and that was a lot of fun too (Hey- i made my first golf shot, threw the rugby ball and learnt a bit if Craps, apart from many other things). Finally, there were team building events that were very very interesting and helped us really learn something about team dynamics. Lot of unofficial partying on the sides as well. During all this, I should have met atleast 250 of the 550 of my classmates, at one event or the other. Three days of absolute fun, which meant that we spent the weekend recuperating ;)

Our class, supposedly, has already built a reputation for being a heavily partying one (info shared by a second year) and i am sure that we will only be adding to that in the months to come. Just too many parties ;)

Finally, we got to some serious business on Saturday, when bidding opened. Bidding has been on the top of every one's priority chart for the last few days and it FINALLY feels like being in school. GSB's bidding system is very complex and takes some getting used to. I have put down my bids and I'll know the fate of my bids on Thursday. I really hope (and at this point of time believe) that i will get all my first choice classes.

This week had a few less significant info sessions, apart from some LEAD classroom programming. I think things will pick up again later this week, once the bidding window closes. With a semi-formal on Saturday, i am sure we have a nice weekend to look forward to.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Iday got an iPhone

and it absolutely rocks...

I'm really amazed by the intuitive design of the GUI. There are very few products in which you expect something somewhere and then actually find what you expect in the place you expect to find it. iPhone gives you that in most, if not all, places. Beyond the cool looks, the snazzy works and all the jazz, the iPhone is a very well designed customer device that serves most, if not all, of an individual's needs.

I heart iPhone!!!

Update: Apple slashed the price of iPhones by $200. So the 4GB version costs just $300 now (which i think is an amazing deal). Since my purchase was done within the last 14 days, i was eligible for a refund of the $200. So it worked out to be really cool for me, but this price slash is creating a lot of negative feedback for Apple. Personally, i think what Apple screwed it up this time. And to follow it up with a $100 Apple coupon (as against a genuine refund) is screw up no:2 within a week. I already hear stories of angry Apple fans changing/reconsidering their loyalties (coz they think Apple took them for a $200 ride) and many public hate mails et al written to Steve Jobs. I'm interested to see how this goes forward.