Saturday, 30 August 2008

TTC Academically

First on the list is must be my understanding of business and corporate world. I was below average of my MBA class in terms of understanding or the corporate world. And in a year I learned immensely about companies, people inside it, customers outside it and how theese comapanies work. There were few companies that I didn't even knew are existing last year this time. And today I not only know about them, but I also understand what is going terribly wrong or impressively well about them. Being a software developer, I knew comparatively less about some aspects of business such as marketing and finance. Enen nNow it will be stretch to say that I have mastered them. But I at least know what people mean why they talk about marketing of finance.

And the SCP we did this summer was the best opportunity to apply what we learned to reality. I am quite happy with the SCP and the work we did. And this just confirmed how much I would love to work as a consultant.

Now here I must confess that I did terribly wrong in the MBA program. I mean I still passed with good marks and all, but I know that I have made every mistake in the book. I managed time badly, misunderstood the concepts, skipped very essential readings, slept in classes, applied wrong concepts or right concepts at wrong places and many others. But I know from experience that making mistakes is the best way of learning (very expensive though… but still… the best). So I guess I could proudly say that I learned a lot in this program. And in future, when I will be required to work in real time scenarios, I would knowwhat NOT to do…. And that, as this MBA has taught me, is half work done.So I guess I am good to go :)

So my final comment will be I absolutely, perfectly, 100 % got what I wanted academically from this program.It has substantially enhanced my knowledge about this business world and has given me the new perspective to look at the corporate world.

Towards the Finish Line

Yesterday we took the prinout of the SCP report. That means the SCP is academically over. We still have to give the presentation to the company on Wednesday. but the major part seems to be done. With this 'done' thing the reality or greater 'done' that started an year back and the preparation for which started about five years back is becoming more and more tangible. This is almost end of August. September used to be very relaxing month in India. It generally is the time in India when schools / colleges are open since couple of months, so you are already settled with your new friends and new course. Monsoon is almost ending. The land is still ornately green, but the October heat hasn't arrived yet. You j enjoy the college festivals and cultural festivals like Ganesh-Utsav, or Paryshan (Jain). It is very settling month...

But when I will start this September, I will have no idea where and what I would be by the end of the month. This could be the most unsettled month in last 26 years. This is not a complain. In fact I am glad about this little uncertainly as I hope that it will hold a nice surprise for me. But to look at it in another way, the MBA is ending.

So what I want to do here it to look back at the things once again and see what this year really meant to me. I am going to write few TTC posts.... Things That Changed posts that will be the result of simple subtraction of me right now and me an year ago. This is more for me than for you so be patient!!!

Wednesday, 27 August 2008


So here is the final yearbook we created. Actually it is a photobook rather than yearbook. but still good record of an Oxford year. Click on the image to see the same. Warning: The link is slow at times.

Sunday, 24 August 2008


From Monday summer electives are starting. People who have chosen electives over SCP have started to return to Oxford now. So great to see familiar faces again after two months of only a dozen people around. And so bad that when many people are here and have time to go around and enjoy last few days here, I am facing which could potentially be the busiest week of Summer. Nonetheless hope to work hard and..... well, I can't say party hard, as after a year of testing and retesting, I am finally convinced that I am not a party person no matter what.... So work hard and try to spend more time with fella Oxonians.

Thatz all for today.

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Sines Refinery visit and Raksha-Bandhan

Monday brought us back to reality very fast. We realised the bad travel planning. The city Sines were the refinery is located is about 3 hours bus ride from Lisbon. I wasn't interested in car driving of six hours so we took a bus. The flight and all left us will only two hours of interview. Everything was so time to time that 15 mins delay in any event of the day and we will loose the flight. Fortunately everything including interview went very well and reached back to Oxford today morning. The Oxford rain today officially ended the little summer holiday we had. Now we have barely two weeks to finish rest of the interviews and write 15000 word reports and give presentation to the company. Looks like coming days are going to be the busiest days in Summer.

Anyways. It was Raksha-Bandhan on Saturday. Traditional Indian ritual when sister ties a silk thread to her brother as a symbole of the ties between the two. Here is the lovely Rakhi my lovely sis sent me. Celebrating Indian event long after Diwali. I miss being there for Raksha-Bandhan. Thanks Anuja for the Rakhi. Miss you too!!!


Spent week end in Lisbon. I liked the city. Its very calm and warm. Less crowded and clean air to breath. And the Alfama area is just cool. This city center with cobble stoned path, lovely western Europian style yellow, pink, maroon houses, hastle-bustle blended with content lazyness of locals, the cute yellow electric tram and coffee houses and bars with tables laid out on streets. Very nice area. Apart from that we visited the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos in Belem area and saw the tomb of Vasco Da Gama.

On Sunday we travelled a little to Sintra. The town much hyped as the one of the most romantic towns in Europe and the centre and the Palace is declared as world heritage site and all. To be honest, I found the town no better than Mahabaleshwar, the palace no better than Mastani Mahal in Kelkar museum and the castle no better than Raigad. In fact Raigad if far better. So kindda disappointed. however the Palácio Nacional da Pena, our last stop which we almost dropped was worth the visit. Here are few snaps:

Alfama, the Lisbon city centre

Mosteiro dos Jerónimos

Vasco Da Gama tomb

Palácio Nacional da Pena

Palácio Nacional da Sintra

Paris again

Thanks to weird visa rules, Paris was needed to be my port of Entry in Europe before I go to Portugal to interview refinery for the SCP. I had enough time to go to the city centre. I decided to visit Montmartre hill that I missed last time. Thanks Nilan for reminding. This is the hill that was once a work place of great creative minds like Salvador Dalí, Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso and Vincent van Gogh. I had my suitcase with me so decided not to climb all the way up and sat at a cool location with hill at one side and Paris at the other. I always wanted to draw a sketch in Paris. On the other hand I had Márquez's 'Love at the time of Cholera' in my bag, reading which at that hill would be another dream coming true.

What I ended up doing is to open my bag, took documents I need to read for my SCP and read them on the hill known as Sacred Heart of Paris. Why? Because that is what MBAs do......

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

South Killington Refinery visit

Things finally started to roll out for SCP. We had couple of telephonic interviews on Friday. And on Monday me and Raymond travelled four hours in train to South Killington, a very small village near York to visit and interview a process engineer in the refinery there. Well that was the first time I saw any refinery from inside. Pretty intimidating structure though we really didn't get a guided tour or even chance to walk around. The interview was pretty helpful.

Pranjal and Raymond are in Paris (probably in night club and drink when I am writing this :) ) right now. Tomorrow they will travel to Malava in Spain to interview a refinery there. Raymond will come back and I will travel to Paris on Friday morning and if everything goes well, then will join Pranjal in Lisbon on Friday evening. Hopefully I will get time to see around Lisbon on week end. We are interviewing on more refinery there. Will be back to Oxford on Monday late night.

It is so interesting that many friends are travelling so much around the world that no city seems to be too far or too foreign.

Here is for the SCP team:

Lets see what this SCP is about...!!!

Hmmm.... doesn't seem that easy.

Holly Molly... get help call a friend, 50-50, any lifeline will do...HELP!!!

umm.. yeah.. whatever.... letz atleast go to Europe... will see about SCP later.

Monday, 11 August 2008


On Saturday, we hired a car, stuffed it with an Indian, a Korean, a Taiwanese and an Iranian along with two umbrellas and four cameras and more importantly a GPS and drove to one more the most naturally beautiful places in England. Cotswold. Cotsworld itself is a huge area of 790 miles includes eye soothing landscapes, sprints, woods, birds and everything naturally beautiful and beautifully naturally. However we managed to visit only couple of limestone housed villages standing there since 14th century. They claim that these are England's most beautiful villages. I can't speak for whole England. But I guess it is true. The place was just lovely. Best place for families to spend a smooth, scenic, peaceful week end.

Loved It.

Ignore the legs... look at the place

Too tall people around

Our man Incheon here organized the trip, thanks to him

Lovely limestome houses row... thatz Incheon, Raymond and Behrad there...

Guess who just decided which holiday home to buy after getting job

Or alternatively checking if they need MBAs to run the canteen......

The snaps here have failed to capture the beauty of the place. Will check if others have good snaps and will upload again if they do.

Tuesday, 5 August 2008


Incedently, I ended up working for the college yearbook. This is online software, so no time spent on creative layouts and stuff. The work was prettly much limited to selcting and uploading the snaps while being creative within limits. It was great fun to go through the snaps of moments through out the year. Seven of us worked on this. Here are few snaps for yearbook 'staff'

from left, Prashanth, Sirena, Maren, Will, Katy, Alok...

Lazy Week Busy Sunday

The week was spent in regular SCP / VISA / JOB struggle. Nothing remarkable and hence wasn't really willing to update the blog. Spend Saturday resting, watched movie August Rush, which by the way is not as remarkable as many other had said, and was reading Marquez's 'Love in the Time of Cholera'. Enjoyable book. However my stamina of reading the book is hampered. Now I can't finish books over-night... Guess need to work out in this area :)

Nonetheless, first Sunday of August, Friendship day. Here is one old snap of Friendship day where three of us, the roomies, invited the friends in Pune for Dinner. Good Ol days.

So went Punting with remaining MBAs in Oxford. We spent 3 happy hours Punting, eating grapes and drinking Pims. What a great way of spending Sunday Morning. Really had a great time.

Really Enjoying :)

Thatz me and grapes... :-)

And to make the day the perfect, had TT and fantastic Indian dinner at Naveen's house. Me, Sudipto, Sachin and Naveen, just four of us. We had a great talk, ambrosia food cooked by Rashmi, Naveen's wife and one more cool round of talks and dessert. Wow, what a Friendship day Sunday. Couldn't ask for more.

So Guys. Happy Friendship day. Enjoy.