Tuesday, May 30, 2006

The Curse Of Four?

Ajaxus tagged me on this about three weeks ago, and as it turns out, I had a look at his blog today and found the curse! Hope life will be better from now on ;)

4 Guilty Pleasures
1. That extra 5 minute sleep in the morning which turns out to be 1.5 hours
2. Switching on my Laptop knowing that I wont be able to study after that
3. Browsing and checking blogs on the internet
4. Eating too much

4 Things you never want to forget
1. A day in my undergrad when I couldn’t put my feet on earth, lied down on the main road in my school, and tripped over my chair in the restaurant
2. When she told me that she liked me (She will remain anonymous)
3. Winning 10,000m race in UG
4. Organizing University festival in my Grad school

4 Things I wish to forget
1. The graduation day at Undergrad, when I couldn’t do what I should have done long back (here I said it, no more!)
2. and 3. Breaking my brother’s tooth and my nose (both unintentionally as an accident in two of our ‘weekly fights’)
4. The bad days at work when 4 hour of sleep was a luxury

Really Exotic Food I've tried
Octopus in South Korea
Some of the other foods in Korea without knowing what it had!

4 Crushes
Well, depending upon how you define crush, there was a crush every day or only three in my whole life ;) In order to save space, I will write only about two of the those three
1. The neighborhood crush in my childhood (doesn’t everybody have one?)
2. ‘The one’ in my UG

Strangest Dream
When I sleep, I do really sleep. No dreams ;)

4 Favourite Superheroes
1. Harry Potter
2. Edward Lewis of Pretty Woman
3. Dharmendra in Indian movie 'chupke chupke'
4. Indian President A P J Abdul Kalam (Real life hero and idol)

4 People on my Hate List
1. Selfish people who will make a comment either because you don’t look like ‘one of them’, or they are jealous. They are available at B-Schools too (though thankfully in smaller proportion at INSEAD, from what I hear)!
2. Indians who follow every rule and throw the litter only in dust bin abroad, only to forget all of these rules once back home. Please grow up and stop complaining about the system: YOU/WE ARE THE SYSTEM!
3. Moi, for breaking my wows of getting up on time, being regular at gym and not browsing or wasting time writing emails
4. Again moi, for not going by the guts sometimes and not replying to a comment by someone else; or making a stupid comment in the first place all by myself!

Close Brushes with Danger
Few of them have been with my brother’s scooter, my own bicycle, motorbike, and car: that’s how I got the diploma of ‘expert driver’

It be noted that thankfully I never had to pay a visit to doctor because of these almost fatal brushes with danger

One of them is worth mentioning: several years back, while driving a bicycle, i bumped into a scooter while looking at the other side of the road and hit the road after doing a polo in the air for about 10 feet (talk about the speed at which i was driving!)... got up, apologized to the bike guy and got back on cycle. The bike guy said that i should have seen his indicator, my reply " Sorry sir, i didn't see your scooter, leave alone the indicator!". We had a good laugh on this joke. After reaching room, i realized that i was no more able to walk for next couple days.

Modes of Suicide
The best would be a ‘sholay’ style jumping from the top of a water tank if the girl I propose to refuses ;)

Well, in reality, I don’t know; and even if I had known, wouldn't like to reveal the secret ;)

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

A little fame... P2 grades

Did something go wrong today? P2 results were declared couple of days back, but today I came to know that I am on the Dean's List on the basis of combined results from P1 and P2.

Though I am quite surprised by the development, it doesn't really matter and I didn't study for it, it is a nice feeling to be there!

P3 is turning out to be very interesting with three cool courses, and the lovely Fonty Campus! The courses I have are: Career Dynamics and Self Assessment, Negotiation Analysis, and Venture Opportunities and Business Models. On top of it, a steep curve about new place, my broken French make it better! And meeting new people (a lot of new faces every other day!) is yet another dimension of fun! And yes, wild wild Fonty Parties (We have had LVM, Shangri La and Dragon week parties; will have Villecerf and Summer ball this week)!

Congratulations are due to fellow bloggers Auris@INSEAD on making to the Dean's List as well and to Oli for staying on it until P4!

Finally, MBAxploit sent me an email asking for linking to his blog so that he could share his tips about MBA with the applicants. I had a quick look, and there is a lot of good stuff out there. Make sure to have a look if you are an applicant.

Will try to post sooner next time, but no promises. P3 is a bitch in terms of workload!


Saturday, May 13, 2006

Au revoir Singapore, bonjour Fontainebleau!

After brief four months, I left Singapore. In between, wrapped up a quick two-day trip to Bangkok. Photos from Bangkok to follow.

Overall, I loved my stay in Singy, though it is questionable how much of it was because of INSEAD, and how much because of the city itself.

The four months were enough for me to form some impressions, here they are.

1. Things do work… which means there are little surprises… which means you stay happy most of the times (good), but for someone like me who enjoy a little bit of surprises once in a while, it gets boring in Singy (bad)!

2. People do follow the rules a bit too much! As a result, your chef won’t experiment in their food despite you requesting them, the photographers will cut the photos to exactly same size and pack in same paper (even when your plane is about to leave, they will take the same amount of time!), and the drivers will drive through the same routes even when it is jam packed.
PS: All the three incidents have happened to yours truly or a friend.

3. City is a bit materialistic: may be it was a function of our not being able to go out more often, but my impression is that people just worship money and efficiency here!

4. Singaporians love shopping! Enough said, I don’t have any more expertise in this matter!

5. The most efficient (and transparent?) government in the world. Some of the companies that the Singapore government operates are better than many private firms!

Overall, a nice place to stay, but you will need some more spice in life once in a while.


1. The airport was in a mess, and so was the train system on my day of arrival!

2. People are in general aloof, but will help you if you start in ‘ze french’ (Bonjour, sil vous plait etc)

3. People express themselves very much while talking

4. Females (and even males I believe!) take really good care of dressing: excellent!

INSEAD Singapore v/s INSEAD Fontainebleau:

1. Small campus v/s large one
2. Closed v/s open spaces
3. Everybody stays in Heritage/Dover v/s people stay everywhere (from Fonty to 30 kms away in all directions!)
4, Close bonding v/s you know few people closely, but you know more people
5. Fast v/s slow administration (but very minor difference)
6. English only v/s English (and if you like, you can practice your French)

Overall, a nice contrast, and am happy to be here! Let’s see how different Wharton will be, if I decide to go there in P5!

PS: Friends who returned from Wharton say that ‘W was too serious for their taste’, which makes me think even more if I should really go there, or enjoy my time here!


MBA admission tips!

I found this buried somewhere down in the queue, and though it was supposed to be posted six months back, better late than never!

Disclaimer: My own opinion, take it with a *bucketful* ;) of salt!

Rather than writing essays about my tryst with MBA admission, I’ll write salient points that were critical and the myths surrounding the admissions.

1. Get the GMAT out of the way ASAP. However, remember that you don’t need a 750+ to get an admission. I had, and it didn’t help much! I think I would have done equally good/bad with a 700 GMAT too. One exception is when your GPA was low, in which case high GMAT can offset it, but you may need to explain if your GPA was too low. Else, schools may think that you’re intelligent enough (I’m writing this with tongue in cheek), but you were not motivated enough to study!)
2. Start writing the essays early. This is the most important and time consuming part of your app. I had to do 150+ drafts in total, and wish I had started in summer of last year rather than starting on essays in September!
3. Filling up the online forms takes lot of time, so don’t delay them until the end.
4. Network

Do not:
1. Try to overdo the process… there is only a limited effort one can/should put and then leave the rest to ‘destiny’. I know it sounds stupid, but quite often, you get something when you least expect it.
2. Revise your essays too often. Rather, give time between revisions. The difference in quality when doing a revision every day, v/s when doing it every week is very obvious.
3. Give all your time to the admission process… there is much more to life than an MBA! Take that break, go for vacation, watch that movie and play a game once in a while…
*drinking once in a while helps too ;)