Monday, December 31, 2007

Here's to a great 2008...

In a few hours from now, I will leave home, only to return next year. It is that time of the year! It is party time - time to welcome the New Year in style – dancing, full of happiness, yelling hopeful wishes and praises for the things the New Year promises to bring with it.

Having seen as many new years as I have seen in my life, I am learning to understand life better. I look back at the recent many New Year Eve's i have had and I see a mix of all sorts of emotions. I especially compare it to last new year's eve, and look at all the things i have learnt and experienced over the last 12 months. This year has been unbelievably educative. I have had some of my best experiences over the last 365 days. Really, at this point, the plan for next year would be to imbibe all the learnings i have had this year and improve into a better person.

I see that nothing is constant in life - as cliched as it might sound. I see that one keeps learning new things every day, even more so while at business school, and one has to try make improvements all the time. Every year - some of our theories and beliefs get proved, some get disproved and some modified. In the process ,we also form new beliefs and theories - to be meddled with next year. Every man, as an individual entity, evolves every single day; every single year. Fundamentally though, it is very important to live the moment, enjoy the times, stop worrying about anything at all, and try to be more happier today than you were yesterday! At the end that is what matters :)

I would like to quote this line from a hindi movie that i watched recently - "hamari filmon ki tharah hamari zindagi mein bhi, end thak sabh kuch theek ho jatha hai." A literal translation of that would be - like in these movies, even in our lives, by the time the show ends everything gets alright.

So live the moment, live this NYE and live it out tonight. Have so much fun and enjoy so well that you can say that tonight, you were more happy than any other day in your life. So that tomorrow, you can wake up and try to beat that!!!

So here is to a great 2008! Cheers to everyone!!!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Me, Myself and My Other Self

This is gonna be a rant. I am in that kind of a mood!!!

I have witnessed a vicious circle. A circle that spans across more than 10 years. Ten long years, during which i have fallen, risen and fallen again. No one is to blame. I am responsible.

I guess every time i join an educational institution, i somehow get into some sort of mess. High School, Undergrad and now Bschool. Different types of mess. Each one worse than the earlier. One constant thing is that, however complicated the mess is, everything gets alright in the end. Yes, every time, there is an end, albeit too late. Not necessarily a good/happy ending - but an ending all the same. Another constant thing is, i march on. With my wounds and with my scars, i march on. I lose a lot in the process, and feel terribly bad about it. I keep feeling bad about it, till i dont feel anything about it - and this for me takes a LONG time. I am going through one now, hoping it will end soon. That constant thing called "end" that i just mentioned above, i cant see it!!! I will see it though, eventually...

I am sure everyone goes through tough phases in life, and that these phases, in a way, are good for an individual in the longer run. But you feel terribly bad when you look back at the reason for your mess, and realize that if you had stuck to your learnings from your previous experiences, you could have avoided the mess. Also, when you look back and see that you have complicated things for yourself, and the other person involved, by trying to be someone you are not, everything looks so ridiculous. Right now, i am feeling ridiulously messed up because for a long time, i have been trying to be someone i am not.

Now that i realize these things, i am going through a series of what ifs and what nots. But then, ifs and buts dont make life. Facts do. And the fact is, the vicious cycle has struck once too often in my life. It is too clear as to what i need to do, I need to get back to what works for me. I have to start being myself again.

Those are my marching orders, as i begin to march on to an after life where i hopefully handle things in a better way...

Saturday, December 22, 2007

GSB round 1 results

I know i am late by a few days. Better late than never i guess...

Admission round 1 results were out on Wednesday and i vividly remember the feeling of receiving the phone call from Chicago. I also remember my other dings and how bad they felt.

So congratulations to all those who got admitted to the class of 2010. If you decide to matriculate at GSB, i can promise you, you are in for the an awesome time. If you decide to join elsewhere, you would still have an awesome time :) And commiserations to those who received bad news. Hopefully you will hear good news from your other applications.

For those on wait list, i know it is a tricky and painful wait. Forrest Gump, a classmate at GSB, has posted a nice set of pointers that you might find useful.

Friday, December 21, 2007

The best way to spend a night on the winter break... to swing to Bhangra beats. Thats what a bunch of us GSBers did yesterday night at Desiparty in Chicago. DJ Rekha from NYC was the special attraction for the night. Thanks to the friend who informed us of the event, we had an awesome time last night.

The music started alright - it was typical Bhangra. It was not too upscale though - the first 30 - 45 mins was actually a dud. The music sounded very repetitive. As time went by, the music got better. The trouble was that they kept playing Bhangra all the time. Once they started mixing Bhangra with a few bollywood numbers and Western pop music, the impact of the Bhangra music became more evident. The night went on till 4 and I stayed the entire length, even thought everyone who came with me left around 2.

Dance is a huge passion for me. So much so that I believe that it is my best mode of expression, the most natural mode in fact. I believe in totally letting go on the dance floor. Many of my best moments ever have been on the dance floor. So, why am i rambling about all this here? Because i had the most fun on the dance floor yesterday at the party. The best i could remember. Reason - good company. In my GSB classmates, I found the best dancing company I could ask for. Some of them are arguably the best i have seen in GSB so far. Dancing with them was just unbelievably awesome. The result was that yesterday night was "fultu" fun!!! Thanks for the fun folks, and I am definitely looking forward to many more dances during my stay at GSB.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The unforgettable NYC trip

Seven days in the big apple, my first trip to perhaps the most famous city in the world, and a lot of things happened.

Sunday was a dud. I was supposed to go meet a friend and as a result of some confusion, it was called off. I was then not let into my hotel room because my GSB friend who had booked the room had not included my name in the list of occupants. Three hours in the lounge, and after a few frantic phone calls, and the hotel guys finally let me in. The rest of the day was spent catching up with much needed sleep, because i was partying all night on Saturday :) Later that evening, i caught up with friends over phone, with one conversation turning out to be especially memorable!!!

The weekdays were loaded. This year's Bank Week was more organized than the previous ones, but it was still hectic. Our schedule had 6 events on Monday, 3 on Tuesday and 6 on Wednesday. Life was converted into a series of runs from one bank to another bank, meeting people and trying to learn more and more about the banks, the teams and the people. It was, in a way, a kind of immersion into the whole banking experience. I liked that part of it. I would have preferred to have spent more time in each bank - a "Day in the Bank" kind of setup would have been better. With just 90 minutes per bank, i somehow felt it was much lesser time at each bank. We had arranged for informational interviews on Thursday and Friday, which were hectic days again.

My hotel was very close to Park Avenue, which i call to be the new Wall Street. So commute was not an issue, but i had to walk a lot. But NYC is such a walkable city, i so loved walking around. Friday evening, my legs were hurting, but that is when i walked almost 100 streets to go from my hotel to NYU Stern and then all the way back to my hotel. A friend had hosted a holiday party on Friday evening and the week winded down with warm discussions.

Had plans to visit Statue of Liberty on Saturday, but canceled that as well coz of time constraints. Next time. Flew back to Chicago amidst heavy snow fall on Saturday and have been cherishing the snow ever since. Three weeks of winter break and it should be normal service at school very soon.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

A quarter later...

I am 1/6th MBA. Not officially yet, as the grades arent out yet, but i have done well enough in all papers to be sure enough to say that i am done! We had our "Finals Week" this week, and i was done on Wednesday. Fall Quarter is over and now it is time for the Winter Break (not yet, but still). What a relief!!! I have three days to catch up with self, friends and others, before i pack my bags and run to NYC for Bank Week.

In retrospect, this quarter has been a quarter of learning - of multiple dimensions. In learning people, in learning my strengths, in digging out my weaknesses, in trying to be as academic as i used to be, in learning new levels of time management, in understanding and playing the recruitment game well, in handling relationships and, in many ways, learning more about myself than i knew earlier. When i look back at the quarter, i realize that this quarter had thwarted a lot of evaluations i had about myself. I have had my fair share of mistakes, amidst enough and more success stories, and I am glad i did most of the mistakes now than later, because i have the time and resources to improve going forward. Sometimes it has been tough, trying to figure out why things are the way they are, but in the end the learning has always been worth the pain.

Bschool is a strange experience where you grow into a confident individual who can literally take on the world, but also learn to be humble about yourself (this is not necessarily true for everyone). Bschool is also difficult in the sense that this is a place that will put you through the toughest test you've ever faced - but only to prepare you for tougher tests that you'd face in the future. Without your knowledge, you will stretch yourself in multiple areas, and in the process improve yourself in all those areas, provided you handle it well. I am seeing that happening to myself (and a lot of my friends), and hence i am glad i made this decision. But beware - dont take this for granted. Bschool is a fair game - WYGIWYG.

Finals were tough - I had three in three days. In spite of GND and a demanding recruitment process, it was good (yeah, good) to see people put in a lot of effort into the finals. I was done by Wednesday and have been partying ever since. Believe it or not, we did have a TNDC this Friday, and with a huge turnout! In true GSB spirit, everyone was stretching their boozing limits, and the night was long, with lots of crazy stories that can't go on print ;) One of my friends from the Brazil Random Walk hosted a holiday dinner for us yesterday evening. I stuffed myself with awesome food and it was good to catch up with the group again (missed you though, RK). Went out to another party from there, which got cut short, and we ended the night watching a movie in a friend's home.

We have plans to do an Indian lunch today at Devon (looking forward to the Pani Puris) and then i should pack my bags for the trip to NYC. I fly out tomorrow, for my first visit to NYC, a city i have been loving for a really really long time. Sounds like the perfect story when i say "my first quarter in Bschool started at Rio and ended in NYC". Bank week has a crazy schedule, what with covering 15 odd banks in days. I am definitely looking forward to meeting the bankers and make new connections and strengthen existing ones. Hopefully the week will be informative and productive. And of course, there are huge party plans next Friday.

I return from NYC on Saturday, and look forward to a three week hiatus from all things Bschool. No, wait - there interview preps to take care of :) Such is life at Bschool...