Saturday, 23 February 2008

HT Week 6


Came and went. Just like other 5 weeks. Some assignments, Measure leap in EP, again nothing in TMO project, and stuff. As I said before, I am working in different groups this term. About 4 groups... Three of them are choosen by student while one is imposed by the college. This compulsory group had really smart people with diverse backgrounds and knowledge. Unfortunately we didn't / couldn't work as a group. This was one of the most disintegrated teams I had ever worked in. At the end I made some very good friends at the same time some bitter relationships in this group. All in all we submitted our last assignments as a group this Friday and I am just glad that it is over.

Surprisingly I didn't study as much as I needed to and still somehow I am not feeling pressured. I know... very bad for me.....

Anyways. On Wednesday called Jenny and Incheon (Korea) for dinner at Jesus. Both of them are my EP partners. Both of them are very experienced and senior to me but still very humble people. Loved the dinner.

here is one more from dinner last to last week.

McKinsey presentation
For some people it was like event of the year, for some it was annual worship event. Almost every other MBA dream of working for this company. They are elites of the elites. The company of smartest people in the world. Actually the presentation was almost like any other presentation. But the atmosphere was charming and, if I would say, inspiring. McKinsey had brought people from all over the world for the presentation. They were well prepared with agenda and who is going to talk about what and all. Everyone of them was in black suit. And great number of MBAs were in the same attire except I guess only 5% (including me...). We were sitting and they were standing and everyone was dreaming to cut the few feet distance between them and us. Every student was thinking of standing at the other side. McKinsey tag is one of the most powerful tags in the world. And you could see it in the eyes of students how much they desired for it. I think max 4-5 of us will be able to pass that few feet distance and all of sudden will be regarded as success stories by the school. They will be featured in school broachers and called for school events and honorary dinners. While most of the rest will keep having equally successful but less regarded career...... Interesting......

Week End

Mardi Gras

Remember last term I was whining about missing the Templeton dinner? Well I came one step closer this term. Still I couldn't get the dinner ticket. but got the ticket for the after dinner party. Well, the party wasn't as much fun as I thought and the dance floor and DJ weren't that cool. Not that I was craving to dance... but it just couldn't raise the party atmosphere to the extend expected. Nonetheless had fun with friends. And managed to kept alive this term's tradition of celebrating Friday nights till Saturday morning. Here are some snaps:

Mardi Grass

PS for computer illiterates: Click on the above picture to see the album. Also you can click on other pictures to enlarge them

Jodha Akabar

Saturday was bit lazy. I was supposed to study but I didn't. I was supposed to go to Cowley Road to get some Indian grossary but I didn't. I was supposed to buy wetsuit for Turkey trip, but I didn't. Then what did I do? Well.... nothing till 4.00 pm. At 4.00, 8 of us gathered at Gluecester Green bus station to travel for about 2 hours to Southhall. Reason was food and movie. SouthHall is an area populated mostly by Panjabi folk. This area has most of the Indian stuff you need including restaurants, hotels, supermarkets and theatres. Had good food, watched the movie Jodha Akabar, fooled around and reached back to Oxford at about 3 in the morning. but I must say we had a great time. This is the stuff I was missing last term. I am glad I am having fun this term. Here are some snaps:

Jodha Akbar

Once Again courtesy Aashima

Rest of the week end

But I know this fun is at the cost of study. Every hour I am spending in partying and hagging out with friends is piling up the work I need to do for this term. And with only 4 weeks remaining for the end of the term, I am afraid that I will be in trouble.

But anyways... I am thinking that I will enjoy this week end and then will start study. Though I became restless for not studying since Thursday. That made me skip the rugby today and study instead. Skip rugby because I had some other plan as well.... Nintendo Wii.... My college GCR has Wii as I mentioned last time. Jenny seems to be fan of wii and wanted to try it. So she, Tarun and Ravindra came to my college GCR in the evening and we spent about 3 hours playing wii and Pool. Again had a great time.

So thatz the story of this week end. Lots of fun and good time and very loose on study. Hopefully now coming four weeks will be fruitful.

Sunday, 17 February 2008

HT Week 5

Before anything else, here is the video of Oxford MBA created by college. There is one more at you tube. This is taken last year, so you wouldn't find me in there :)


As expected, the week was pretty busy. I was brave enough to ditch couple of lectures to work on assignments. Had to interact with multiple groups this week. Thankfully things went smooth. Though I have realized that we are lacking considerably in EP as well as a huge report due end of the term on Technology and Innovation Strategy (TIS). During weekly EP meeting on Friday we have distributed the work and decided the timeline. So we are at least moving in that project. But for TIS, the group haven't even meet yet. This is scary. We have to decide something this week.

Anyways. Got Turkey visa. So everything including visa, tickets and hotel is done now and I am really looking forward to the trip.

Week end

Had another blast this Friday. Actually had macroeconomics group meeting from 5 to 7. So didn't go to happy hour. All the seminar rooms in college were occupied. So we went to RAC for the meeting. RAC is the Templeton college accommodation just across the street from SBS. Templeton college takes about 60 MBAs and more than half of them live in RAC. So had meeting in the common room there. After the meeting played TT for about an hour in that common room. After TT grabbed some quick food. The plan was to meet at Aashima-Lovraj's place like we did last Friday. But Jitin insisted on watching movie. So finally me, Harsh, Jitin, Lovraj and Aashima we all ended up in the GCR (Graduate Common Room) bunker of my college. They have this nice big TV, DVD system, music system, Wii, pool table and foosball table. We spent many hours there watching movies and playing pool and foosball. Finally dispersed at about 2.30 in the morning. Great fun and great to spend time with friends.

Rest was normal. Working on assignments. This Sunday I wasn't feeling very good. So decided to ditch rugby. Now I am feeling sorry for that decision. Anyway. The guests of this Sunday's Jesus college dinner were Mr and Mrs Kiran Chaugule. Marathi couple from Pune. And they are Jain. So was like family dinner. Had a good conversation in Marathi.

After that here I am writing assignments. Couple of them are due in few hours and group members are sending mails after mails. So have to go back to work.

Meanwhile here are the snaps of Chinese new year celebration that I promised week.

Chinese New Year Celeb

Courtesy Aashima:

Saturday, 9 February 2008

HT Week 4

Very lazy and relaxing. It was a week to recuperate and get ready for next 4 weeks. I stretched myself a lot on last week end. So by the end of Monday I had completed the whole week's readings and assignments. So I just took a little break from studies. I used time to chat, sleep and hang out. On Wednesday I called Naveen and his wife Rashmi for dinner at my college. My college has formal dinner every night except Saturday. I am allowed to bring max two guests. And it is 'comparatively' cheaper. So I have decided to use it as a platform to hang out with friends and network with contacts.

Just a food for thought:
In real business life, you make two kind of relationships; friends and contacts. Friends are the people with whom you share the emotional side of your life, you seek help in trouble and these are the people you can count on blindly. Contacts are the people you meet with particular purpose in mind. You just know few aspects about you contact, like particular work area, the company (s)he works for and his/her job role and suchlike and you let him/her be aware of same kind of aspects of your life. You never open up with your contact.

Anyways.....I invited Naveen Verma, Pretty smart and senior person from Pune and his wife for dinner on Wednesday. The dinner was pretty good. Had some good time and good laugh.

Naveen and his wife Rashmi at Jesus dinner hall

Went to London on Friday for getting visa for Turkey. I am going Turkey this vacation from 31st March to 11th April. If anyone is around and would like to join, let me know.

Chinese New Year
This thursday the Chinese New Year of RAT started. The new year is as big festival as Diwali. Jenny Hui, a nice friend from HGKG gave me a new year present including chopstics. Really nice of her.

Jenny and thatz Abhijo written in chinese.

My Chinese New Year gift

Then the chinese gang in B School arranged a cool program on Friday. They had hosts and singers and dancers and instrument players, all in traditional chinese. Pretty good program and great performances. Unfotunately I didn't have camera at that time. So you guys have to wait till I get snaps from others. After the program went to Aashima and Lovraj's place with couple of friends and had a biiiiiig talk about life and relationships and stuff till 3 in the morning... We were asked by the housemate to keep our voices low. Them we moved to street but still the discussions were getting so heated that we were asked to shup up by the neighbours as well. Great start of week end. :)

Week end
Well it was very relaxed and normal week end. Moderate study and rugby on Sunday. Spent some time calling people. Mom n Dad had bought webcam at home. So had a great chat with them. It was great to see the family.

This Sunday I invited Aashima and Lovraj, very nice Indians based in Dubai for dinner at Jesus. Those poor souls had finance assignment due in 3 hours. So they couldn't loiter around. But again the time went very nice. Once again depending on Aashima for snaps.

That should be pretty much all. Coming week is supposed to be very busy and next week super busy. But I think I have enough of rest and am ready for it. So bring it on.....

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

HT Week 3

A very very busy week . Have multiple assignments due and some of them are still due so this is going to be short.

As mentioned, very busy week. And it was hard to concentrate on classes. Though a very good assignment on social networking. This cleared many prejudice I had about the buzzword networking that I am hearing in MBA for long time. And the more I know about it the more I think that I should do it but the more I realize that I won’t be able to do it. Well I can write pages about this but some other time. Though the toughness of the week was relaxed by couple of events. We celebrated Sabina’s birthday on college on Monday. Nice break and chance to eat some good cake. On Thursday went to Karndeep’s place for dinner. He invited few of us whom he don’t meet regularly. This was clearly the effect of networking assignment. Nonetheless we had great dinner. He is really good cook. And then had typical WIT hostel type fun after so long... these two breaks have kept me going though the week

Again most of it was spent in assignments. There was a bop (oxford word for parties) organized by SBS MBA students on Saturday. I thought it will be a good break and may be a chance to do networking or at least see how other people do it. But alas. It was a big flop. Very few people turned out hence I left pretty early. Although managed to play rugby on Sunday. I can’t call it tough any more as more and more professional players are coming in and it is getting more serious and implacably more nasty and tough. But I liked it very much. Unfortunately there are too many big guys around and have to save my little body intact for writing more and more assignments.

Well I am sure there were many other interesting things during the week but I am not able to think of it right now. So I will stop it here... See some snaps at the link below.

HT Week 3

HT Week 2

Hello Guys,

Well the tension has started to build up for ‘Hell-ary Term’. Had to attend number of meeting and seminars this week. Worked on many assignments as well. And even though I was studying regularly, I couldn’t finish all I wanted to. But the subjects are more interesting compared to last term. Partially because three out of five subjects are electives and I choose what I was really interested in. So the subjects for this term are:
Operations Management – a bit of manufacturing industry related subject. But quite a bit stuff for software companies too. Overall good content course
Marketing – Very interesting contrary to my prejudice about it
Strategy II – Technology and Innovation – Very interesting subject. I like both, technology and innovation. And course structure is very good. We do almost one assignment every week and couple of big reports at the end of the week. Thought because of this, it is very intensive subject and eat too much of my time.
Global Strategy – Inevitably about outsourcing, off shoring and India-China. Part of it is repeated in the above subject. But still interesting
Macroeconomics – Number and theory... Economics is very interesting in that there are number of theories and theories of numbers... Looks like it will be useful later on.

And then Entrepreneurship Project. This is also interesting work.
But all in all very very busy week in terms of study.

Two big names this week. Tony Taylor. COO of Cathy-Pacific. This airline is major player in HGKG region. He was very nice and jovial person. Very smart too. He was very candid about his company’s position. For the first time I saw my thoughts matching with some CxO. He was very analytical, careful and calculative in taking risk. And he knew where are the problems. Nice to know that you can be conservative and careful and still be a COO.....:)
Sir Lindsay Owen-Jones. CEO of L’Oreal. First British to lead this French company. He his CEO since 20 years and have managed to grow double digit growth every single year. This is really very impressive record. And this guy was also very frank about his views. To say it in his words, when he started, people were thinking of French cosmetics as very effective and very pricy. And eventually they lost interest in it. They didn’t want French richness anymore. They wanted American ‘cool’ better than French ‘cool’. So what L’Oreal did was opened office in New York and put it as headquarter for some products. They also brought some American brands. And people bought them because it was cool because it was American. Makes sense... isn’t it.

Job Front
Well some lucky guys have started getting interview calls. People with relevant background or from developing areas like China, Middle East are favourite as of now. Guys like us who have IT background like thousands other are good for nothing for these consulting and finance firms. May be I have to start with Technical company only.

Anyways. Had big plans for week end. Couple of parties, Rugby etc. Well.....Everything washed away... Couldn’t finish the assignments and reading... so cancelled all the plans one by one and spent most of the time in library ...Thankfully somehow managed to go for the formal dinner at my college with a friend. Nice dinner. Started at 7 and lasted for 2 hours. There was a Birthday of some undergrad and many of her friends were wearing devil costumes to celebrate. Eventually it turned out that most of them were from the Church quire. When the Birthday cake came, I never heard almost 50 people singing Happy Birthday in such a delightful and sweet voice. Such a great place to be. Coincidently my dinner companion’s birthday is also tomorrow who was very envy at this girl....

Nonetheless. Now here I am at Sunday night and have tons of reading to do. Anyways. You guys enjoy your life. I, along with Roger Federer, will survive from our setbacks last week.

HT Week 1

Hello All,

So this week I rearranged my definition of being busy. Even though this was fairly slow week with only few events. But busier than most of the weeks in last term. And it is destined to get only worse. Coming week we have couple of companies coming for presentations, seminars from about 3-4 very prominent CEO / COO, almost 7-8 group meetings, couple of assignments apart from regular lectures and stuff. Because of this, this Hilary term is notoriously know as HELL-ari amongst MBAs. Anyways. This week there was only one remarkable event.

SAID business school naming ceremony.
It was completion of 10 years of naming this school as SAID business school after Mr. Waffic Said donated about 10 million GBP for the building. Many big names had come for the event and four professors gave updates on their research during the program. Mr. SAID said how the dean and the students and good and dean said how Mr. SAID is good and all that kind of stuff. For the drinks many students took photograph with said. I obviously was not interested (as I am becoming anti-human (pronounce as antie-human) day by day). So I volunteered taking the snaps. There was a rumour that SAID’s unmarried girl has come too... I did some R n D and shown some interest in that particular area but alas.... no luck.... looks like have to pay my bank loan by myself....

Friday pre and post happy hour.
I am working in four different groups this term. Three of them are chosen by students while one is assigned by the college for two compulsory subjects. It is getting very difficult to co-ordinate group meetings considering different times available to different people in different groups. Our college-chosen group met on Friday and after about 2 hours of rigorous and tense discussion we came to the conclusion that we have to start working from this week for the assignments due in week 4. That means reading the week 2,3 and 4 for two subjects over the week end. Believe me guys this is equal to TS (or similar subject that Fadtare (or similar named teacher) taught us in Third year second sem). We have a feminist, anti-fun (antie-fun) woman in group who insisted on labouring over the week end reading stuff. So I was never this happy to attend Friday happy hour after the meeting.

Week end
The above mentioned factors made most of my Saturday and Sunday with upper side of my body in the book and rear on chair. And it was rainy so no rugby as well. So instead used both evenings for outing. On Saturday went to ‘Oxford Ghost Tour’ (see the snaps attached). In this tour the guild dressed scary (supposedly) would walk you around the historic and dark sites in Oxford to tell the stories of ghosts there. Thought the concept and formation was good the guys was using some childish magic tricks that irritated me and made us leave without completing the trip.

On Sunday evening watched the movie “Charlie Wilson’s war’. No comments on that.

Due to time crunch this is short and lacks many fine details that I would have liked to add. But MBA is all about being superficial without going into details. And I know most of you don’t bother to read it completely. So this is it.

HT Week 0

Hello back,
HT in the subject line means Hilary Term....

There were couple of seminars this week. Heard some cool quotes during that time. Like below...

Don’t give me that MBA bullshit

Mr. Tim Berry, 60 years old guy, founder of Palo Alto software Inc gave a very pleasant and out of the way from regular MBA talks.
This guy graduated from Harvard when I was not even born and joined a company every MBA in the world aspires from. McKinsey. He worked for McKinsey Mexico city for about 4 or so odd months. He didn’t like the way of working there and the sophisticated system of the company to make the employees forget the family and consider work and the company as a policy. He left and started writing computer books. Not a really charming work to do. Fortunately he knew some guy at Apple who asked him to work on a Business Plan for Apple. And from then Tim worked for many years specially from Apple in the areas of Business Planning and development before starting his own company Palo Alto.

The above mentioned quote came from the CEO of Borland (Remember Borland C++???). At the starting phase of Borland Tim was one of the three directors of the company. The CEO of Borland was a guy of instinct and he took every wrong decision in the book. Every time the CEO used to present his revolutionary and theoretically wrong ideas to the directors, Tim used to feel that he is risking the whole company. When he tried to explain the same to the CEO (whose name I don’t remember right now) the CEO simply said to Tim: “Don’t give me that MBA bullshit”. Against all odd the CEOs ideas came out largely successful for about a decade. And he took Borland to a new height which theoretically was not possible.
But in defence of MBAs, eventually his risks inverted back at him which made him loose his job and put the company in large debt. Tim had left long before that.

I liked the way this little guy engaged the class in non-MBA way. Very nice and pleasant way to start the term.

Artists bend the rules, even greater artist break the rules, but fools just don’t know the rules

The quote by MBA program director Stephen Chambers during the EP presentations. Out EP in healthcare kiosk is facing multiple regulatory and other issues. I am working at the business side of it and Harsh is working at technical and patient side of it. Letz see how it comes.

Trinity Electives.
For the next term we have all six subjects as electives. There are about 25 odd subjects to choose from. So on Wednesday and Thursday the professors of each subjects pitched about what is there in his subject and why should we take it. We all are given total 120 points and we need to bid this points against the subject. Each subjects have upper cap and the highest bidders gets the subject. So we have to work a lot in first choosing the subjects and then bidding for it. I found that very good professors are teaching boring subjects on the other hand very interesting subjects are taught by not-interesting professors. Looks like I have a lot work to do here.

Job recruitment Fair.
Well....WIT did a LOT better job than this fair. Some 20 companies cam for the fair. Most of them were middle sized firms looking for recruiting couple of people. Also some big shots like Amazon and KPMG opted out at the last minute saying they have stopped recruitment. Due to credit crunch and subprime in US and UK the financial companies are in deep trouble. To spare you all from MBA Bullshit the gist is this is just about a start of a recession here which may end up having very bad recruitment year for MBAs.

Week end.
Went to Manchester to visit my uncle there. Typical relative visit. And to make it worse it was raining all the time. So nothing happening there.

Happy New Year

Hi Friends,

Wish you all and your family a great and successful new year ahead.
Had been to London eye for new year. Here is the video I have uploaded on youtube of the firework.

And here are some snaps....

New Years Eve 2007-08

Once again Happy New Year. Have a great time!

MT Week 10 - End of Michealmas Term

This is it. The official and total end of the first term. Here is how it went.


Well the studies were not really as hard as engineering. I mean there were no very difficult concepts to understand or very tricky problems to solve. But the theme was to understand everything and express it. For Strategy and DEM we had a real cases to read and then answer the questions. There you need to understand the frameworks and should be able to relate them to real life examples and put it effectively in the paper. While the mathematical papers had very limited time, about just an hour, to finish the paper. All in all though it is not very difficult to pass, it certainly is difficult to get the distinctions. And we had six exams in four days. All in all due to the long and tiring working hours we were putting throughout the term, the stamina was about to end. Remember the feeling after long trek or hard physical work when each and every muscle in your body is exhausted to its limits and cries for no more? Well same thing had happened to each and every nerve in the brain. Then were just about to break. Never had that feeling before.
Like all exams, some papers went good some bad. Overall I hope to pass in all.

The last paper ended at 1030 am in the morning. And some crazy people had literally brought Champagne and other drinks to the exams. The first bottle was opened at about 1038. And then many people started drinking only to finish at 0400 am next morning. It was crazy and unbearable. As per tradition, we all went to ‘Turn and Tavern’ pub. After an hour some of us left for lunch. Had a nice spicy Indian lunch, went back to home and fall on bed for next 3 hours. Then went to a friend’s place for dinner. Before and after dinner, played TT for long time. And again had good Indian dinner. On the way back to home, at Oxford Retreat – which is nearest and most visited by MBAs pub in Oxford – found many people. Stopped by there for some time. Most of them were drinking whole day. And at about 2345 the pub owner asked all to leave to close the pub. Many decided to head to another pub for more drinking. I went home to sleep. But I couldn’t. I was actually missing the exam and working. Past 10 weeks were so busy that I had no idea what to do with free time. And I was planning to go to Scotland for vacation. But at the last movement two out of four backed out. So the plan is dismissed. Now everyone has their plans for vacation and I am going to die of boredom. Since then I am wondering what to do and apparently doing nothing even though there are some small things to do.


Anyways. Went to London with Aashima and Jitin on Friday. As I hadn’t participating and planning, there was no plan. We didn’t spend much time in normal tourist attractions or taking photos. Our prime concern was Indian food and musical. We had dinner at Woodlands. Simple south Indian Idli- Dosa. But tested fabulous. And then went to the Musical: The lord of the rings.
If you need to know the details see the link:

If you google for it, you will find more. In short it is a musical show with production cost of 25 million GBP. Interesting fact is some pieces of its music is by AR Rahman. And I must say that this was the most spectacular stage performance I can imagine. We were lucky to get the cheap tickets still it cost me fortune (about 30 GBP). But it was worth every penny I spent. Acting was it was OK. But the stage and lights and special effects were beyond imagination. The stage floor is made up of 17 pieces that can go up and down and roll around. Using this many formations from bedrooms to mountains and castles were done. And I can’t describe the light and other things. Greeeeeaaaaatttt show. See the photos. They will give a glimpse of how spectacular it was.

Apart from this nothing is really special. The temperature is not rising about 3C at any point during day and I don’t have anywhere to go and almost no friends in Oxford. So this could be one of the most boring vacations. Apart from that I guess everything is fine.

MT Week 9 (Preparation Leave)

Alright. This is gonna be short.


Study all the week. Most of the time in college library. Remembering and missing the old PL days. But here there are range of people and range of talents. Like there are people who are studying all the day and half of the night along while interestingly about 30% of the class went to Oxford-Cambridge varsity rugby match in London on Thursday (of course I didn’t go). And some people are just genius and know everything. While some people are really struggling. Anyways I think I did fair job. I studied almost as much as I planned throughout the week... well except Friday. On Friday I was supposed to study Developing Effective Managers while Sabina still wanted to study Economics. So we decided to study separately. Apparently I studied almost nothing that day. But it was a fantastic day and most memorable of the week. Had nice Malay lunch with Sunil Goyal and then Carmen in the evening.


Carmen is one of the best classics opera for almost a century. The first show was played more than 100 years ago. It is French opera. You can find more about it at:
The theatre is just near my place. From outside it is a weird red building. Looks like any Laxminarayan talkies in a town in Inida. But when we went inside, we couldn’t believe it is so big. This is a real opera house. Three stories of sitting arrangement. The stage was a also big and as tall as the building. There was a live music. So all the players were sitting next to the stage. And the complete opera is in French with English subtitles. How come there are subtitles for opera??? If you are reading carefully than you might ask this question. Well... no big brainer. They actually had a sign board at the top of the stage displaying the subtitles. The actors were good. It is one of the most seductive operas and it was like that.... But the way they performed it naturally on stage was really good. It has a donkey and horse in it. Apparently both the animals are famous and they even had their names advertised. And it turned out that the lead male character is such a looser in the opera that Sabina liked the donkey most and Margarette liked the horse most. There was a supporting actress who was playing the role of the ‘next door, simple, nice, village girl’ which I liked the most. And then there was the role of Carmen. She was pretty and good actor too. But she cannot be liked by really nice gentlemen. So apparently I didn’t either.

But overall it was great break. Thanks Jitin for arranging it. And the experience to watch the opera with live music and all the stage setting skills of Brits and the ambience of an old and great theatre was awesome. Hopefully I will see more of these in UK.


So here I am. From tomorrow exams in subfusc. The exam venue is pretty far and I have arranged a shared taxi with couple of more MBAs. Hopefully everything will be on time.
Bdw Thanks guys for your wishes. Next time I will be through the first term of the MBA at Oxford. That means I would have lived the quarter of my dream. Cool.

MT Week 8

Hello Guys,

How are you people doing?

Study Group

This was really happening week for me. Most of all it was the end of first term lectures and assignments. We submitted a big assignment on Monday and that was the dissolution of my study group. It was a group of very talented people who already have achieved many things in their life and I was glad I was there. Though the chemistry was not perfect and we had few tense situation we did pretty good compared to most of the groups. Many groups were meeting almost every other day and working hard on assignments while our effective time management allowed us to meet only for 2 hours for regular assignments and about 6 hours for two big ones. And we distributed things effectively so everyone didn’t end up doing the same thing. I kindda liked the way we worked. I wish we would have less diplomatic, more considerate and more funnier. But all said and done, it was good group.
Here are some snaps of my group.

Study Group

Last lectures

And then we attended all the last lectures. We won’t see most of these professors again. It was just amazing term and amazing professors. Friday was especially hard. We had lecture of Finance taken by Alex. If you remember from my last mails, Alex is the most handsome guys most of the people ever see face to face. And he dress like Bond. And with his German wit he is hot spot in MBA class. Most of the girls in my class have crush on him. All the girls wanted to take a photograph with him. But somehow he escaped from that and guys in the class helped him. Apparently all the cameras were owned by guys and they said they will take the picture during the next session. I literally herd sound of the heart breaking of 21% of the class (we have 21% girls in MBA).
The next lecture was by James. Again if you can remember, James was the actor, most funniest, stylish, typical English person with English sense of humour. I would really miss his teaching style. He is indisputably most engaging teacher I ever had.

Friday eve

I started studying on Monday only after the assignment unlike most of the people. Me and my study partner Sabina generally stay in college until it shuts down. On Thirsday we were almost locked in a seminar room as we didn’t notice it already is 2300. The seminar rooms doors gets locked at 2300. Somehow we escaped. Anyways the point was we were working hard throughout the week. So I decided not to study on Friday eve. I spend some time at Friday happy hour where all drinks, cocktails, mocktails were free as it was last happy hour of the term. Some people really enjoy this happy hour. But somehow I don’t enjoy it that much. You need to be able to talk on any random subject with any random person. This is what they call networking in MBA. And many people do that. I can’t for two reasons. I get bored talking foolishly on random subject after a while. I mean I can’t hear an American whining about British bureaucracy or a German about how he got drunk and wasted of an Indian about his days in US. And second I can’t talk to random people just for the sake of talking. I recently discovered that I need to know the person before start chattering with him. I came to know a lot of suchlike things about me during MBA. Will talk about the something later. So After Happy Hour went to watch a movie Beuvolf. Nice animated movie that refreshed mind little bit.

Week end and next week

Studying all week end. Thought getting up very late. Played hard and nice rugby today. It was a good break. But tried to solve couple of past exam papers of Finance and FR and it was disaster. April once again spent some time this week to explain me Financial Reporting. But looks like I am still not very good at it. So AparentlyWe both failed in both the papers. So it seems that it is now time for the serious study.

Next week is preparation week. We don’t have classes as this is the time given for exam preparation. No plans throughout the week except I am planning to go to the Opera ‘Carmen’ at Chirst Church on Friday as a break. I might not send mail next Sunday as I could be preparing for exams. The exams are from next Monday to Thursday.

I hope I will do good in exams. But your ‘All the best’ mails could help J


I was thinking of writing summary of the term and my overall feeling. But I guess I will do that some time in the vacation. Meanwhile if anyone of you is going to be in UK / Europe during Christmas the please let me know. We could meet and hang out.

So guys, thanks for reading my mails (may be not always, but at least no one replied asking me to stop spamming their mailboxes). This was the good term and good time. Although I failed at many things I should have done better, I guess overall it was good. May be I will be more mature, smart and polished next term to take maximum out of it.

MT Week 7

A week of great depression it was.

It started OK on Monday. We had loads of assignments due. I was doing major work in most of them. But I was all great with everything and world was a nice place to be in.

And then BANG!!!... .First rejection in years. I had applied to Diamond Management consulting. I met the people two time and made a good impression. I thought it is a good fit for me. I did my research and everything. In short I did almost everything written in the book before applying. And then I applied and got a rejection. What the heck? Not even interview call. Straight away rejection. Fundamentally unsuitable candidate... Didn’t get any rejection since I got job in Kanbay. Then the jobs applied, schools applied and even some other aspects of life, no rejection for long. And here it comes.

Now I think it is good that it happened and it happened early. Though I was knowing that being in Oxford is not passport to any job and I need to work really hard for job. I know that many Indians from last batch of the profile same as mine and interested in the industry same as I am are still looking for the job. But somewhere I was feeling that it won’t happen to me. And now that it has happened I know where I stand and where I need to go. I was thinking that I won the biggest batter in career when I got into Oxford. And I am not only glad but also thrilled and fascinated to know that there are many more to come. (I know thinking like this won’t get me a job... but just trying to be dramatic )

But this was not it. There was the best formal dinner of the term this Friday. Templeton Black Tie Dinner. Last week I didn’t register for it because I didn’t have company and I thought it will be boring. But then On Monday and Tuesday I was asked out for the dinner. Such a shame I couldn’t make it there. So week end went really boring. No party on Saturday night either. Just busy in work.

And then today I twisted and hurt my figure at rugby so very bad that it is swollen to double its size. And it is hurting to type. I have couple of more sad storied but I think you got how this week sucked to I will stop whining.

Silicon Valley

As I mentioned last week, on Monday many people from silicon valley came to oxford. There were so many big names that I won’t even bother to write all, But founders of Twitter and Creative head of Google, Chris Sacca and few more were there. It was great event. Great session. But I really didn’t know how to use it for my benefit and I got bored. I mean if I talk for 45 seconds with Chris Sacca, I am not going to get job in Google. In fact he won’t even remember me unless I am damn too genius, which I am not. So what is the point in being selfish and greedy to grab him and talk to him. But eventually my EP project partner (see note at the end about EP) who really is genius from IIT talked to Jerry who is kindda interesting person in Silicon Valley (Harvard Business School wrote a case on him, known as Jerry Sanders’ case. This guy was fired from every job he had and later on he started number of companies in California) . Couple of his companies are kindda same as our EP project so I have made a nice presentation to send to him and he might help him.
I need to learn the skill of making impression in 30 seconds and talk to people about whom you don’t really care. This is the side of MBA I really don’t like. Anyways....

But it was great to be in the same room where few of the most innovative minds in the world are... Great event. So sad that I couldn’t exploit it.


Tonight I am about to finish the last assignment of this term. The last one. I don’t believe the end of first term is here. I still remember the first group meeting and how we were surprised and worried about how are we going to finish all the eleven assignments seven weeks. And here we are about to submit the last one. We did average in all assignment getting about 65 in each of them. It exactly there average. So we are neither doing good or bad. Although it was really a different experience working in a group. I already talked to you about the group. But what I didn’t know at that time was where there last degree is from. We are six people overall. One is from Harvard, One is from UCLA, One is from Cambridge, One is from IIT and One is from IIM (yes he already is MBA). So how does WIT sounds in front of them??? But I must mentioned that I never felt intimidated by these guys. I never felt they are way too smarter than me. In face I could have chopped down there arguments into pieces if I wanted to. But everyone’s way of thinking is different and amazing. I liked that.

And finally I have got a study partner (or atleast it looks like it). I was so used to study with partner in engineering that it was hard to study alone. But now we meet today and decided to study together till exam. We have formed a tentative timetable of study as well. Coming week is the last week of this term. Then we have one week for preparation and them exam from 10 to 14. Six papers in four days and you have to wear a subfusc for exams. Isn’t that interesting?


So here I am. Hurt and depressed. Challenged and so bounced. Nostalgic, worried, intimidated and unpolished. So lots of chances for improvement and again, Mile to go before I sleep

MT Week 6

Busy Busy Busy!!!

That was the theme of this week. Had one individual assignment, one mock exam and one huuuuuuge Financial Report analysis for Vodaphone due this week apart from regular stuff....

On Monday I thought I won’t be able to finish anything. But April, an accountant in Deloitte and couple of other companies taught me Financial Reporting and kind of saved me. The people who don’t know finance are called as ‘poet’. I was thinking that I am engineer and have strong maths background, so I am nothing but poet. But I realised this week that I am very much poet.

Anyways. Somehow we finished the Vodaphone report today. It underwent number of revisions and discussions. But we are done. But now we again have two assignments and one huuuuuge industry report on no-frills airlines in Europe. So coming week won’t be any better. I am so busted......

But anyway tomorrow we have “Silicon Valley comes to Oxford” event. Big, famous and rich nerds from Silicon Valley come to oxford. We have one garage session were we will be literally locked in a garage like room and brainstorm about new ideas. Why garage? Because most of the famous companies in SV including HP, Sun, Yahoo, Google started in Garage.... Then we will have a masterclass with some of them and at the end of the day a regular networking event. Looking forward to it....

Because of the busy schedule week end also was pretty much busy. The only TP I did it I went to a Greek Party on Saturday night. Regular party but very nice people, had fun. Unfortunately it is damn cold and rainy all day today. So couldn’t play rugby.

That should be all for this week. Hopefully next week will have some time in hand.

MT Week 5

Hello all... and welcome back after Diwali.

Sorry for a one day delay in the mail....

Week 5 started casually. I was thinking that I am managing the time well. I even had few spare time as well. We had three assignments due this week. But our group planned everything so well that we were able to finish all of them ahead of time. Two out of three assignments were supposed to be done by three people instead of our normal six people group. So we split our group into two. In my sub-group, all three of us were Indian. One was IITian and other was IIM grad. So no worries for me . But all of sudden things started to slip out of hand. On Thursday I realized that I have many things pending but it was already late.
The major things I had to do were as below:
- Complete individual DEM (Developing Effective Managers) assignment due on coming Wednesday
- prepare cover letter and CV and apply to Diamond Management and Technology consulting company
- prepare for coming FR (Financial Reporting) exam which is tomorrow.
- prepare for Diwali function at SBS on Saturday.
- prepare for Finance I with the help of a friend.
- Work on FR assignment and prepare for the group meeting on Wednesday
- pre-readings for the class

- I worked little for Diwali. The function was OK. But I am feeling low since few days. So didn’t enjoy that much. I have some regular snaps but I will spare you from viewing them as they are our normal MBA snaps in traditional dresses.
- I spend most of the Saturday preparing the cover letter and resume and get it reviewed from couple of friends and finally send the application today. Bdw today was the deadline to apply. Made it just in time.
- I read all the material for DEM and created a draft. But still have to finalize the document – 5 hours of work left
- I am so lost in FR. All accounting stuff. I had a feeling that I understood things in class. But now that I am looking at past year exam paper, I am not able to solve more than 20% questions. Another accountant friend had promised me to explain the concepts today. But I have a feeling that she won’t turn up and I will be doomed. – 8 hours of work
- The Finance I expert friend got very busy to explain anything to me. So that is still pending. May be this Saturday
- Still have to prepare for FR assignment – 8 hours of work
- Couldn’t read anything for today’s class. So I BUNKED IT. Feeling so bad. And there is possibility that I will bunk one of the two classes tomorrow. But still pre-reading for at least one class – 4 hours of work.

So looks like I have to do 23 hours of work in coming 16 or so hours and I am spending time in writing mail to you guys. So shameful of me. I should better go back to work....
Ohh... I feel that I was born in this library and never went out to see the world outside....Anyways....

Hope you guys had fun during Diwali. Great to go back to work isn’t it 
So enjoy guys... don’t worry about me.... I will probably survive.....

If I do, see you next week....

PS: The only good thing happened was few of my relatives gathered at Manchester this week end for Diwali. They all felt that I am alone here so they should help me and they send me three packs of Diwali sweets and Namkeen... .At least something good to enjoy....

MT Week 4

Its routine now.
0600 – first alarm... I am like “what the heck, I slept just a while before and itz already a morning???......”
0700 – second alarm... come on... you can get up....
0705 – Finally get up and get ready....
0800 – Open outlook calendar, diary and couple of other calendars. Double check the must attend event’s time and venues and plan for the day
0815 – Breakfast. Most of the time milk and toast....
0845 – Lecture /workshop / seminar or something like that in college.....
It continues till 0500....

1700 –1800.... I am not sure what do I do during this time... Surprisingly I leave college everyday at about 0500 but rarely see the room before 0600.... I must watch myself.....
1800-1845 – Dinner... generally self cooked and eaten while watching FRIENDS...
1900-2100 – Company presentations for aspiring students or similar events....
2100-0030 – Reading for coming class
0030-0100 – preparation of next day and confirming the calendar and rechecking other stuff...
0100....Ohh dear sleep....

Itz more or less the same... Things change as the time of lectures are different and stuff.... but mostly like this....

Week 4 had a major exception....
Oxford IMPS

IMPS is kind of a drama society of Oxford student. They had hollowing show on Monday and I went there with Jitin Dhanani (who is interested in working at IMPS). There were about four girls and four blokes. And they didn’t have anything already set. The complete one hour performance was ‘online’.... The theatre was very small and completely full. People were standing wherever possible. But these IMPS people controlled the crowd very effectively. They made us participate. They used to ask the crowd questions and then perform according to answers. For e.g. Tell any place – crowd would say CASTLE. Then tell who is in the castle? Crowd: Ghost. And they will perform for 10 mins about ghost in Castle. You won’t believe this is not practiced before. Not a single time did they went speechless or boring. And the last show was amazing. They had a musical show based on the inputs from crowd. And the sound and light of the theatre was as effective as any Marathi theatre. What a great show.... Really amazing. Glad I went there....

MBA Snaps
Then as I mentioned earlier, had a photo session at SBS. See the snaps here:

SBS Photo Session

As you could see, had some fun with our subfusc.... funny dress... may be won’t feel that funny when we will wear it during the exams....

Other than that the week was pretty much regular.

Week end:
Many many years ago a bloke named Guy planned to blow up the British common house. Apparently he failed. But the crazy Brits celebrate this day by lighting up the firework. At South Park, few thousand people had gathered for this event. They had the firework and at the end they had a bonefire where they burned a replica of this Guy. Kind of mix of Diwali and Ramlila.... Saw ‘Fulbaji / fulzadi’ there and remembered Diwali in India. Nonetheless it was one spectacular show. Though had to pay 6 quids (british equivalent for bucks) for that, it was worth it. At least five MBAs were supposed to join me. Only one turn up. But as I said, I had fun. See the snaps below.

October Friday Firework

On Sunday I was pretty much busy in study. We have two big and mathematical assignment due next week. I tried to work on finance assignment and after almost 4 hours of work I am nowhere. May be would talk to the study group tomorrow to find out if anyone has any clue about it. Overall coming week looks like a gruelling one due to assignments. And again its a Diwali time. We are celebrating it here. So may have to spend some time in organizing the event. Anyways. Still got time to play touch Rugby today. Added couple of more bruises but last week’s bruises healed. So good to go again 

MT Week 3

Hello Guys,

Nice to see some replies last week. Also got some mails other than replies. As much as I would like to answer them all in details, I may not be able to do it regularly. I apologize for that. But I would keep sending this weekly mails as far as I could.

So Here is how week 3 was.

New look
Surprisingly many people in my class liked my haircut. They were asking where did I get it and apparently few of them went there too. Funny, isn’t it? May be that is where the MBAs are different from dogs at Kothrud ;-)

My fear came true. We screwed up. We got only 60%. This is very less. Can’t do anything. May be we next time... May be this time my teammates will listen to me....

Job hunt
But we are same as our most faithful pet in terms of smelling the stuff we want the most. Jobs. Many companies are coming for the presentation every day. Most of them are for undergrads. But we MBAs are reaching there anyways and as self centred and arrogant we are, we are really ridiculing the Company people with our very personal questions. I went to one presentation every day. Free drinks and sometimes free snacks. Many times free accessories. It is difficult to get job in big consulting companies. So these presentations is the only way to know about so called ‘boutique’ companies of small size. But I don’t really understand their funda of presentations. These firms are really small and most of them recruit less than 10 people a year. Still they recruit only from five elites in Europe, INSEAD, LBS, Oxford, Cambridge and IESE. They go to these colleges and spend lot of money on presentations only to recruit 10 people. Most of these companies get about 1500 applications per year for 10-15 positions. Quite frustrating ratio. I am getting sick of worrying about a job.

Coca Cola CEO Neville Isdell to Oxford
Meanwhile Coca Cola CEO came to Oxford on Saturday. Nice old man. His lecture was in Nelson Mandela lecture theatre and this guy is a big fan of Mandela. So he shared couple of interactions he had with Mandela. Then he started talking about the community work Coca Cola is doing everywhere. I liked it at start. But then I got bored. I mean, come on yaar... you sale coke, a carbonated drink for the price tens time greater than the manufacturing cost and all you are talking about is how socially responsible you are. But this guy was certainly down to earth and he seems to have prepared his speech talk for us, Unlike the UTC CEO babbling about unreceptive Indian corporate environment. And Naville admitted that Coke screwed it up in India. He said that if there is one area where we are not doing better job, it is India. Overall I liked him better than UTC CEO. Quite an good experience. At the end they gave us all T Shirt. Very much like we had during the first year of IT for strokes (ITians rock the world and embroidered bull at front, quite crummy). CEO of 3I, Phillip Yeo also came to SBS this week but I couldn’t attend his speech due to work load. This is the best thing about Oxford. You can hear almost any powerful person in the world.

25 hour Sunday
Also This week I kindda learned how to let it go. I mean how ‘not’ to attend each and every event in town and how not to read each and every page assigned. So I managed to get some time. I used it to have the most preposterous use of time for MBAs. Sleeping. For two days I slept little over than 7 hours. Quite a luxury here. And today was like dream come true. The daylight saving ended today. So we got to set our watches back by one hour. That means this Sunday was 25 hours. How cool is that... Enjoyed one hour of extra sleep.... bdw now the time difference between here and India is 5.30 hours.

Week end
But this not-working-hard put me under little depression. I was so ridiculed after Friday happy hour that I came home straight away and spend next 60 or so hours doing not-so-value-adding work. I didn’t even go to any Saturday night party (I should have. They had a great bop on Saturday. [PS: Bop – party in Oxford]) Instead I watched movies. Four of them. Any Given Sunday (best inspiring speech of Al Pachino. Inch by Inch), Good will hunting, Blue umbrella and little trip to heaven. That made me feel bad about wasting time. So used the 25 hours Sunday effectively. Did some cooking, lot of study, and in the afternoon went to play Touch Rugby. This is mellow version of Rugby where you don’t need to kill your opponent. Instead of tackling, you just need to touch him. But still it could get very bad. And I played with two Brits and an Americans and an Australian who were just kind enough not to run over me. It was a typical British day and raining all day long. We played anyway in rain and liked it.

And then went to the Eid dinner by Oxford India Society and Oxford Pakistan Society. The dinner was good but then they decided to have a niche talent show and people started singing and one guy was making is worse with Guitar. Bear them for some time and finally left. So no here I am in the room studying for tomorrow’s lectures and the assignment due on Wednesday. It is almost 2330 and have miles to go before I sleep  bdw do you guys like this poem??? If you don’t have it, find it attached.

So this was kinda sluggish week. Ready for next week. We have a SBS photo session tomorrow. So again getting dressed in white bow tie and out batman / Dracula / harry potter capes. May be that will be a good chance to get a snap with friends and not-so-friends and some snaps of school. Letz see. Other than that coming week seems pretty ok in terms of workload. So have a great week guys. Wish you all Eid Mubarak. Enjoy and take care.

MT Week 2

Hello friends,

Wish you and your family a very very Happy Dashera.....

Paying Dues
Before I start, I have a confession to make. During the engineering, a metrosexual friend of mine had a haircut. He paid almost twice as much to normal for that special cut from a luxury barber shop. But it turned out very pathetic and that guy was looking like.......... well very bad.... and I didn’t waste a single opportunity to make fun of that high price cut (Suneet, do you remember him???)..... And yesterday I paid my due for the fun I made. I paid almost 40 times more than my friend. But due to cultural difference (as I am calling it now) and miscommunication, it has turned out so bad that even the dogs in Kothrud would have hated themselves for having that kind of cut.... And too bad that I had to go to Dandiya with that cut. People made special arrangements to take my photographs and laugh at me..... Anyways.... Duniya gol hai aur har pap ka ek double role hai....

Week 2
So... week 2 was as busy as week 1 if not busier. Apart from lectures, we submitted our first assignment this week and while I am writing this mail, my group mate is about submit the second. These assignments are time consuming and the most stressing part is getting all the big shot, egoistic, competitive and arrogant MBAs work together and agree on one thing. I have a feeling that our group is not doing particularly well in that aspect. Nonetheless we are about to send second assignment. On Monday or Tuesday we should gate the grades of first assignment and then only we will know how good or bad we are.

Finding myself
Apart from that we had couple of personality tests, one by careers office for job assistance. That test says that I am perfect to work as a project manager of Science and R n D project. But OK to work as a consultant. Anyway I had a much awaited meeting with Sector Consultant of Management consultancy and he seemed to be satisfied with my CV. Bdw our school has a strict CV format and all CVs are one page only. I kindda liked that format.
The another test was a part of Developing Effective Managers (DEM) course. That tests results are measured in five areas and my results are as below
1. Emotionality
I am responsive, calm and very hard to embarrass or shame. But I am Quick to anger and very hot blooded (can you believe this?????.... ;-) )
2. Extraversion
I am perfect ambivert. Neither introvert not extrovert at all.....
3. Openness
I am conserver with moral absolutes and occasional daydreamer. But I am very much like a explorer, Experimental, abstract, speculative and novelty seeker.
4. Agreeableness
I am frank and open and am negotiator. But I am very competitive, pushy and fighter... (again... can you believe this :-P )
5. Conscientiousness
Well mostly balanced. Well prepared and confident, striving very hard to success, follows rules but sometimes disorganised.

Had quite a few presentations by companies. Again most of them were for undergrads, but we MBAs went there anyways. Got some contacts and lots of free stuff like pens, kitchen, back sack. I had such a great talk with a representative from Diamond that she gave me pen drive of 128 MB. But overall job seems to be very tough task.

Other than that had couple of dinners with friends. On Friday, during happy hour, I was asking people about dinner plans. Couple of girls responded as if I am asking for the date...So finally, I decided to cook at home. Couple of friends heard that and joined me. Still many people were calling each other about the plans for dinner and somehow many of them got a news that a great Indian food is going to be served at my place. At the end almost 15 people -not all Indians- dropped in to my kitchen. My kitchen is shared between six people and still is very small.... It is just 10 x 5.... We ate everything I had, and as we were running out of space we spilled outside the kitchen at the space reserved for fire exit... But we had fun.

And the best part of the week. We had DANDIYA yesterday. First time in Oxford. No need to tell how much I enjoyed. Played from 2030 to 0100 in the morning. At the end I was not able to even move my leg. But almost no one knew Dandiya there. And literally no boy / man knew it. So I was in very much demand and played with only elegant of them..... you know what I mean ;-)... And also worked as a part time teacher of Dandiya for some non-Indians.
Here are some snaps of Dandiya.... Many more to come from other friends. Will send the links as and when I get them.....

Oxford Dandiya

So this was week 2. We have total 8 weeks in first term. That means almost 25% is done. And ready for next gruelling 120 hours of life till Happy hour of Friday.

MT Week 1

Phew.... It cruised away with such a speed that it ended before realizing.

On Monday the lectures started. I must tell you the professors at Oxford are exceptional. Highly qualified, authorities in their subject, very smart and still considerate and engaging. Their knowledge of subject does not intimidate you but it just sneaks in your brain along with the jokes. The prof of Financial accounting explained everything in the context of opening a business of lemonade. And he literally brought lemons, sugar and glasses in the class to make the stuff easier to understand (for those psychos who require irrelevant details: Water was already there). Anyone would think what a comedian, looks like he is teaching a kindergarten. And this guy is working with Prince Charles on Financial Reporting. The professor of Decision Science is also damn smart and have many achievements in life. But his lecture was like a play of Othello or any other Shakespeare play. He was moving like a mime actor, making faces rolling eyes cursing the previous professor who didn’t clean the board and telling student not to worry if they don’t understand as next week there will be completely new topic and if they don’t understand it either, completely new topic for the week next to that. He must have worked on his voice. His voice and ups and downs and skills to speak was like a top class actor. And it won’t hurt to mention briefly about the new sensation in the class. Sorry guys, he is a guy. The prof of Finance is German. And he is so damn smart and cute (almost like Roger Moor with the same 007 style) that Gents in class find it difficult to get a seat in first two rows.

I never learned so much more in a week. I read almost 300 pages (about 30 hours), attended lectures of 18 hours, seminars of 25 hours, meetings of 10 hours, admin stuff of 10 hours, presentations of 10 hours, socializing of 10 hours and partying of 10 hours, Matriculation 5 hours. 128 hours work. Say 20 hours for eating commuting and other. That means 40 hours of sleep = less than 6 hours a day......
This is amazing. And this is what I want... I like it. Have an assignment due on Wednesday. But almost done. So no big worries for coming week.

You must have got my Matriculation mail. Apart from that the event of the week was formal dinner at Jesus on Monday. It was a typical Harry Potter type dinner. I used 5 dishes, 3 bows. More than dozen knives and forks and 5 glasses for a single dinner. Typical British formal dinner. I enjoyed it but have to stay alert all the time for not spilling the food or dropping anything from the excessively crowded table. It was a seven course dinner. Welcome drinks, soup, starters, main course, dessert, fruits and port. Too bad I am not getting time everyday to attend formal dinner at college. Anyways. Here are some snaps of the same. These are taken from mobile camera. So forgive the clarity (of lack of it).

Jesus college formal Dinner

Now I have to read a case that will be discussed in the class tomorrow. So I am making this mail short.

MT Week -1 and Week 0

Week -1

So it has all started. Week 0 is a week before the actual lectures starts. But the zero has nothing to do with the amount of work that has been given. I have my outlook calendar full, I am keeping my appointment diary and have alarms set in my mobile and have notepads and lists. And still I am not able to do all the things I need to do. Never thought of time management so much and never had so many events coming from so many directions at the same point.

But before the week 0 started, here are some snaps of week -1.

Week -1

On week -1 we were going to pub every night after 8.30 and used to stay there till the pub closes (2300, 0000, 0100 depending on the pub). Every day almost 10 new people were joining us and we were overgrowing many pubs in Oxford. The last event was huuuugggeeee. I met many people than I remember there and all this was under the name of socializing which is considered as most essential part of MBA. We also celebrated a birthday in a pub. On Saturday we had a Oxford Pursuit event. They had divided us into teams of six. And they gave us a list of about 15 questions. The answers of these questions were scattered all over the Oxford town. It was like treasure hunt. We had to move all over the oxford to find the answer. It was a great event to break ice. But as I arrived early, I was knowing all in my group already. We tried hard but scored 17 out or 23. Three teams scored 23. Just for the record, each team had different set of questions…. In between these events couple of career workshops and some events took place. On Friday George David, CEO of UTC came for the seminar. I had a lot of expectations from him. But in vain. He just gave general presentation about UTC and all of sudden he started explaining how China is way better than India. Well UTC is in manufacturing company and in that sector China is lot better. But Many of us didn't really understood why he had to come all over from US to UK to tell people how China is better than India. That marked the completeness of a perfectly boring speech and total waste of time of many high profile people. On that note, attended few other seminars and let me tell you that everyone is talking about India and China.

Week 0

Week 0 started with inductions. Lot of them. About IT and Library and Healthcare and many more. The induction lasted for two days. Then had a fresher's fair on Wednesday. All the student unions in Oxford had their stall there ranging from sports to religion to film to wine tasting and everything else you could think of. Also there were some retailer's stall as well. Got quite a few free goodies there. Very rare think in UK.

Then many more career workshops. These guys are very career oriented. SAID has hired some people called as sector consultants. They are very high profile people like Harvard MBAs worked in McKinsey for 25 years and like that. You book a half an hour slot with them and they will advise you about your career. These guys are very experienced and British so unmistakably very rude. They are not afraid to say "Your resume is crap (bullshit)" to anybody if they think so. I have booked slot with Management Consultancy sector consultant on 18. Lets see. But many people are saying that getting a good job is very tough and many students including myself have started our research and search for job every before our first lecture starts. Oxford has very good reputation. To exemplify this, everyone from us got a letter from Roland Burger, personally signed by CEO about tell how good the company is and they hope that we would consider joining them. But despite this, very very very rarely any company higher more than 2 graduates from SAID. So competition is tough. And we have many horror stories from current students. So lets see what happens.

Also the class is divided into three sections of about 75 people. The classes will be section wise. Means max 75 people in lecture. Also we need to finish almost 14 assignments in my study group of 6 people. For this term the study group is decided by the school. My study group looks like this
Naveen from Infosys Pune, 8 years work ex.
Sumit, already PGDBM from IIM-L 2 years work ex
Hermit (female)– 2/3 generation Indian in UK – IBM consultant
Sirena (female) – US Oracle, 7 years
Marc – US, Entrepreneur
And me. So I am the kid in the group.

Then had a induction in Jesus college. Same things. But they gave an book of the rules for the examinations. Who could guess how many pages are there in this book???? Well 1100. Yes ELEVEN HUNDRED ONLY. It is a Oxford tradition and no one really reads it. But still. ELEVEN HUNDRES PAGES OF EXAMINATION RULES….. (see interesting story about it in wickipedia.. .you have to google for it…. Sorry). On Friday had my first formal lunch at Jesus. It was good to see all dressed people. And it was good break from MBA talk. Met many interesting people. Most of them doing Dphill which means they are world class experts in there subject. We have couple of more MBAs in Jesus and we were looking fools and very material in front of these guys. And there are many subjects even in Engineering for research than I knew of. Oxford puts you not only down to earth but many times burry you below earth. Outside just being in Oxford gives you a special status that you loose immediately after coming here. You are talented? Well not as talented as our student who found about gravity or about black holes and 45 more Nobel laureates . You were MS and CS in college? Very funny, we has 23 presidents from University and so on. The university is way to large to be overgrown by any individual or even a country. Yesterday had one more dinners with my mentor in parent. Each senior graduate is given 4-5 fresher graduates for mentoring. The senior is called as Parent, we are kids and 2-3 parents make a family. So had a family dinner and my parent cooked nice veg curry and rice for me. It was nice evening except an American loud girl.

Anyways. Spend most of the day today reading for the next lecture and finishing the pre lecture assignment in accounting. Remember I talked about theft in Oxford???? Well the seat of my bicycle got stolen yesterday night. I was lazy to park in cycle in enclosed shade of college so just locked in open cycle stand outside my room. And they stole JUST A SEAT. Damn it.

Nonetheless, the time we were calling as honeymoon weeks in Oxford is will be over in two hours and what is about to begin is very hard, very tiring, very intimidating, sometimes even frustrating but still the most exciting and most awaited year of my life. Apart from other career related and enjoyment expectations, I hope that I will get time to breath, eat, sleep (at least 4 hours a day) and write to you guys. On the similar note, hope you guys will have time and interest in reading.

Oxford Preview

Oxford city:
Many people (including me about 2 years back) don’t know that Oxford is a city. In fact Oxfordshire is the county in England and Oxford is the main town in that region. Oxford's name comes from the crossing point (ford) across the Thames. The ford was used by cattle farmers to drive their oxen to market. It is the combination of the words 'oxen' and 'ford' that give Oxford its name. (Fords are places where the water is shallow enough to walk across to the opposite bank.)
There are two universities in Oxford, Oxford University (the famous one where I am going) and Oxford Brooks University. This town is about 90 miles South West to London. It is famously known as the ‘City of Dreaming Spires’ for the skyline of city is embellished by the spires of many churches and towers and other monumental buildings.
River Thames passes through Oxford. It becomes wide and shallow there. And it is called as “Isis” and not Thames.

Oxford University:
It is one of the most famous and most ancient universities in the world. Established about 800 years before, this university is still recognized as among the top three universities in the world. Today Oxford University hosts almost 30oo0 students and almost thousand world class faculties, many of whom are Nobel laureates. This university has given two presidents to India (Pandit Nehru and Manmohan Singh) and hundreds of scientists and authors and politicians to the world. But there is no University campus as such. Various colleges and hostels and labs and libraries of university are in different buildings spread at the centre of the city.

SAID business school:
Though Oxford was providing the management programs long before, in 1996 they decided to formally step up into management education and started SAID Business School. This school provides the MBA and MFE degrees. SAID was a businessman who donated about 23 million for the building this business school (which he apparently earned by dealings of arms). So I would be studying in SAID Business School, University of Oxford.

Oxford and Cambridge similarities and differences:
Well just few years after Oxford started something happened and few people from Oxford went to Cambridge (which also is a city like Oxford) and started the Cambridge University. So the educational system of both the universities is very similar. But for some reason they hate each other. They won’t even take each others name. Instead they call the other university as “The Other Place”. There are annual sports events between both the universities every year which boosts this rivalry. The famous sport between the two universities is rowing. And the annual rowing competition is as competitive and extreme as Ayrton Senna – Alan Prost F1 race (I could say India – Pakistan cricket match but I hate cricket).

Oxford Collegiate System:
The most confusing part of Oxford is their collegiate system. Oxford University is consisted of about 40 colleges started at different times. Each college specialized in their own subjects. For under graduation you take admission to respective college and your courses, lectures, exams and administration will be through the college. If you don’t get into the college you applied, you are not admitted. But for post graduation, the courses are conducted by university. Still you have to take admission to one of the college. But once you get admission in the University, the college admission is secured. You still may not get the college you want, but you will get into some college for sure. The administration stuff such as accommodation, food and access to the graduate common rooms is provided by respective college.
To make it more complicated to understand, the MBA and MFE degrees are given by SAID business school under the name of University of Oxford. So I will be admitted in University of Oxford, My lectures, courses and exams will be through SAID Business School, but I am on the roll of Jesus College (I am admitted to Jesus College out of the other 40). Well, if you are still confused and interested in knowing it well, mail me… otherwise just leave it ;-)

Jesus College:
So apparently I am admitted in the Jesus College. This is one of the old and small colleges in Oxford founded by Queen Elizabeth I in 1571 and catered mostly Welsh students for a long time. This is also one of the richest colleges (with closing reserves and endowments of £79,700,391 in 2003. FYI, Oxford University owns more than £ 3 billion as reserves and endowment. This is more that what TCS annual revenue) I choose it because it is small and admits only 2 MBAs per year. So I am hoping to know more people outside the MBA class. Also this college is at the very centre of city and is not far from SAID. So things would be convenient to me. Jesus College also had very famous alumni like Lawrence of Arabia (there is also a Hollywood movie on him).

Examination School:
There is a dedicated building for exams there. This is one of the best buildings in Oxford. It was built in 1882 and since then this building has witnessed the never cracking tension, silence and the joy of holiday on the faces of hundreds of thousands of students. Fortunately this is fairly near to Jesus College so I won’t waste much time in commuting during the exam. Being a very old and traditional schools Oxford is full of various types of official, unofficial and even weird customs. One of the customs is that on the last paper of your degree, you leave the Exam School from the backdoor (like we leave the movie theatre). This marks the end of your exams and that you won’t even enter into this building again. Cool, isn’t it?

Oxford and movies:
Oxford is being pictured in many movies the most prominent of them all is Harry Potter. Many parts of ‘Hogwarts’ like ‘The Great Hall’ of dinning, the library and many other is the Oxford. And I am going to have dinner just like Harry Potter every night. But mine will be in a smaller hall as Jesus is a small college. The Harry Potter hall is the dinning hall of Christ Church College.
Also if you remember the white lead actress of Rang De Basanti… She is the daughter of the Oxford Dean.