Tuesday, October 30, 2007

A day in the life of a wannabe i-banker’s @ GSB

Recruitment has officially begun at GSB. I had my first taste of the hectic schedule ahead of us. I guess the first day was intentionally planned to be so, so that we could know what was in store for us for the rest of the season.

So, without further ado, here is my yesterday...

3:00 AM - After preparing for events (read up companies etc) and the rest of day (classes etc) hit the bed.
7:00 AM- Wake up unwillingly. Hit the shower, and get ready for the day. Breakfast like a king, you will need to stock up fuel.
8:00 AM - Read up more about companies etc. Pat self on the back for not opting for a Monday morning class.
11:00 AM - Catch up with classmates who are attending the same event. Move to location of event.
11:45 AM - First event begins - stare at the room where a number of bankers from a global i-bank are talking to huge groups of people. Find someone you consider to be interesting and discuss all-things-under-the-sun (including economy, finance, banking and recruiting of course) to him/her.
12:00 noon - Presentation starts, followed by speech from famous banker.
12:30 PM - Speech ends. Get back to talking to people.
1:15 PM - Excuse self out, run to classroom to sit for accounting mid-quarter exam. Yeah you heard that right - mid-quarter exam!!!
1:30 PM - Start 90 min long mid-quarter. Solve expert accounting questions using balance sheets, income statements, statement of cash flows and GAAP policies! Baah...
3:00 PM - Learn from TA that professor is due only at 3:30. Run to cafeteria to grab some lunch. Feel REALLY like a banker as you wolf down the food in the available 15 minutes.
3:30 PM - Attend accounting class.
4:30 PM - Run to a different location, two blocks from school, for next set of recruiting events.
4:45 PM - Multi bank recruitment event begins - meet people from 4 different mid-market banks. Discuss with the bankers about what they do and what they have in offering.
6:30 PM - Event ends. Gather friends who are attending next event. Thank the buddy who offered a ride to the downtown steak place where event is happening.
8:30 PM - Cocktail event of a bigger mid-market bank starts. Hold discussions with these bankers and try to get answer for your questions/doubts.
11:30 PM - Return home, thanking that the day is over, scared about what lies tomorrow.
12:00 midnight - Start preparing for the next day. Thank the professor who gives take-home mid-quarters!!!
12:45 AM - Wait! When did i fall asleep???

Monday, October 22, 2007

Weekly digest?!?!?!

That is what this blog is turning into, as i mostly paste one post a week, trying to fit in all the stuff that's happening in my MBA life. This time, it has been a full 10 days!!! Needless to say, life is busy.

Since a lot of things happened over the last 10 days, in pure MBA style, i am gonna jot down stuff in bullet points ;)

  • Yours truly participated in the prelims of the Chicago GSB National IPO challenge and learnt how to do a really bad DCF valuation of a firm. Nevertheless, it was a great learning experience in financial modeling and team dynamics!
  • The 30 days of fasting ended and i celebrated Ramadan inside a study room inside Harper Center of Chicago GSB. Ramadan and IPO challenge prelims were on the same day!!!
  • Joined GSB-DSAC and have been handling a barrage of emails from them. If anyone is attending the GSB live event this Friday (or visiting GSB any other time), leave a note in the comments section and I'll be glad to meet ya
  • Attended numerous Lunch 'n' Learns and enjoyed free (and useful) information from bank representatives, while munching free food
  • Went out with my cohort (name: Phoenix) to a nice bar
  • Attended IBG Bar night and partied with fellow wannabe bankers. Also, met second years and got myself overloaded with info about their internship experiences
  • Did i say i went to both of these on the same night!!!
  • Met a new bunch of first and second years at a "Cold Call Dinner" organized by the GSB GBC.
  • Partied out at my first proper TNDC
  • Again, did i say i went to both of these on the same night!!!!!!
  • Delivered a speech about "pick up lines" in my LEAD class
  • Attended a Mocktail (that simulates the recruiting cocktail events) session held by Career Services.
  • Had a nice quite dinner with my squad mates
  • Spoke about my Brazil Random walk in LEAD related ACT seminar
  • Played my first soccer game for GSB - a practice game with UChicago law school
  • Slogged on my resume, after review comments from many people

Things to look forward to:
  • Multiple assignments due this week and the next
  • Midterms in a week's time
  • First school tour for DSAC on Wednesday morning (again, anyone coming on Wednesday???)
  • Resume review with Career Advisor
  • First GSB live session on Friday (again, ???)
  • Soccer game at Kellogg on Saturday (i might drop out coz of the midterms)
  • Official beginning of recruitment on Monday (read: Life goes OUT OF CONTROL)

Till the next post...

Sunday, October 14, 2007

A "sound" man...

My love with speakers continues...
Just ordered this Sony component speaker system!!!

Actually, I've been eyeing this for quite some time. Can't wait to get my hands on the beauty ;)

I really missed the Creative speakers i had back home. This one definitely looks all set to fill the void :)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Who owns my time???

Oh the crazy hours!!!

I was given enough notice about the complete lack of control of one's time in Bschool, but what's happening is beyond my wildest nightmares. Gladly, i am managing to keep my head above water, just managing. It takes a lot of effort. Again, as pointed out by one of my buddies in the comment section of the previous post, I am enjoying it all the same.

Yeah - I said i enjoyed being so hazed. It is probably because in a Bschool you only do what you love to do. The operative word is love. You will not even be able to do things you like, coz there will be so many things you'd like. Agreed - that could just be me, with my varied interests. But there are SO many options, it is impossible for anyone to not like more than what they can handle. Knowing your priorities correctly, and always remembering to use that knowledge is a survival requirement. It is very easy to find yourself with too much on your plate, and as a result get blown to smithereens!!! That would make you hate yourself and the Bschool experience.

I work for ChiBus, the GSB student journal. For those who are keen to apply to Chi-GSB, this is a great resource to know what is happening at the school and also to take a look at the culture of the students and school. It helped me immensely during my application days, and i hope it will be helpful for you guys too.

I also intend to join the GSB soccer club sometime this week. I did not join yet, as i was fasting for Ramadan and there was no way i could practice. Now that we celebrate Ramadan on Saturday, i will be up for practice from next week. They practice twice a week and there are competitions to look forward to in the near future. I am looking forward to getting myself dirty on the field, after almost 5 long years.

RythEmix is the GSB dance club and we get together every Saturday for about two hours of practice. I am dancing after quite a while and i almost forgot what a wonderful experience it is. It feels great to be able to get back to dancing. I am not sure if I'm good enough to do shows (check the videos in the website to see how good these guys are), but I'm sure gonna try!!!

Finally, I have signed up to volunteer for DSAC. Work hasn't begun at DSAC, at least for us first years, till now. We have a briefing session next week and i expect things to get busy once that happens. This is one position i am very passionate about and i believe i can (and need to) make a difference to the selection policies at GSB. Lets see how it goes.

Just in case anyone forgot to count, there is the crazy course work to handle. GSB doesn't get the "School with the most rigorous academic experience" tag for nothing. One has to prep for classes. If not, you will hate the classes.

Then there are the social events. TNDCs have started. LPFs are being organized every week. Every Wednesday we have Coffee with the dean. People have birthdays to celebrate. People have anniversaries to celebrate. Wait; people actually need no reasons celebrate. When celebration becomes the reason for celebration, one realizes one is in a hazy maze of party after party after party. AND, i hear a second year cribbing that their class is way better than ours in terms of partying. I know - it is contrary to what another second year person said about the two classes. But i now see that it is an individual opinion :) Bottom line - we all party.

Last (but most important of all) - there are the recruiting events. Chicago lets companies in for recruiting purposes only in late October or early November. But companies find other ways to talk to us. During the last few weeks, we have had many companies visit the campus for Lunch 'n' Learns, which are informational sessions to help people know about what the companies and their employees do. We had a resume review week this week. We now need to incorporate comments and get the new ones ready, before the next review week, and then get them reviewed by friends, and then get them reviewed by mentors, and then nit-pick them for ages hoping every word in the document means a million things. This journey has just begun.

Now - that's a long list. I dint intend to intimidate people with such a long list, but this is a list of all things i am doing/will be doing. Others do other stuff. Everyone must be up for it. I am enjoying this ride thoroughly. It is definitely difficult. Whoever said "Getting into a Bschool is the easy part", said it right. But life is much more fun when there is so much happening. I see the stark difference between how it is and how it used to be, and I'd rather keep it as it is today. And i am not alone in that thought.

The only problem is that a day only has 24 hrs. I haven't slept for more than 36 hrs flat now and sleep is quite a premium at GSB. If someone can share some of their free time, i can probably do some more things that i love...