February 24, 2007
February 20, 2007
You know, I'm an old coot. I'm a relic of a bygone era. I'm so old my mama got her driving license on a dinosaur*
Lately, when I visit certain MBA forums (prospective students), I see lots of posts that have "SMSy" style of writing. For e.g.
"i wud like to study mba plzz sumone lemme kno' which univs btr than dat i rsrched. ne1 wid this info plz mail me. congo all u wid admits!"
If this is just a new style of writing in forums, then I have nothing to say. But if this is how the posters actually write english (trust me, I've seen mails with such words in actual official mail sent out to customers - and to me, that's an absolute no-no) then they really must make an effort to write properly. It's not that my english is perfect - grammar nazis probably already found 15 mistakes in this blog post, but that's not the point. We Indians are not very good at english, and I believe we need to make an effort where possible to improve it. In a global work place, communication skills are very important. That's it for my lecture.
nxt tim plz i wud not wan2 c such sentences thx evry1
-Ze Olde Coote.
*that was a rip-off from a song I heard somewhere. Not my original.
February 15, 2007
February 13, 2007
February 09, 2007
- The top nation in terms of visits is the US, accounting for 67% of the hits. The next is India at ~8%. Surprisingly, Singapore is the next and I suspect this is because my blog is heavily slanted towards INSEAD.
- In the US, california tops the percentage list with 22.25% followed by New York at 17.6% and Massachusetts at 16.7%
- In India, Bangalore - the city - accounts for 40% of all the hits from the entire country.
- Comcast is the most popular Internet provider
- http://blog.clearadmit.com is the biggest "referrer" followed by hella's opencoder http://opencoder.org/mbablogs/applicants/
- Zero hits from Mainland China (but a small % from Hong Kong).
- Over 1/3rds of visits to the blog are repeat visitors.
- Even searching for common keywords like "INSEAD interview" or even "INSEAD" is getting my blog within the top hit lists in Google.
- The US has maximum interest in MBA (duh) and low Europe numbers indicate possible lower hits to english language sites.
- The heavy Indian/IT problem becomes apparent when you consider that Bangalore, the IT hub of India, accounts for bulk of India hits. All those IT engineers applying for business school!
- California has highest US hits. Again, no surprises - the presence of Silicon Valley, and perhaps many engineers showing an active interest in getting themselves an MBA explains this number. New York follows next, and then MA - none of these are surprising to say the least. What is interesting is Illinois is at 10 well below NJ, Texas, CT, PA, MD and DC. I thought the presence of Chicago should have gotten Illinois higher up. GA does not feature - looks like not many from Atlanta are interested in researching European business schools like INSEAD. Even in CA, Santa Clara ties with Los Angeles. Hmm...Santa Clara = many Indian and white/chinese engineers. Oops. It shows the density of interest based on demography. A relatively small "town" like Santa Clara (I've lived there for a while so save your indignation!) matches a huge city like LA!
- Clearadmit is pretty popular and many seem to visit their blogs. Hella's list is pretty close too.
- My repeat visitor list in increasing slowly but steadily. Perhaps my blog doesn't suck so bad after all.
- The Chinese hate me and my blog ;) aw C'mon now! Ni-Hau!!
- No hits from Japan. I suspect Language issue and low interest in going out of Japan. Nihon-jin watashino blog-nu Irrasshaimasen!! Anatano watashino blog no interest desu ka? (ok, that's a really bad sentence, but my Nihon-jin friends will get what I'm trying to say. Don't correct me grammar Nazis, I know the sentence sucks)
- Many visits from Cisco.com - bad bad engineers! Browsing blogs at work! I may need to drop a line to John Chambers!
- Surprising that common keyword hits on INSEAD get my blog on Google's first couple of pages (if not among the first few). More than an indication of my blog being super top class kick-ass insightful, I think INSEAD needs more blogs with better choice of keywords!
- There are visitors from Fontainebleu too - current students are watching ;)
Thank you for your visits.
February 07, 2007
(click for larger size)
Many blog readers may not appreciate some of the labels in the cartoon - that's more specific to a forum I frequent. But you get the point ;)
A good MBA sure costs money. Just sit down and start calculating and soon you'll be seeing colorful kaleidoscopic images dancing in front of your eyes.
BTW - getting a check made out in Euros is pretty tough in the US. Bank of America branch and calls to their customer services yielded no results. I mailed the school and they said "US residents do have a problem" and told me I could either wire the money or send a check in USD for a certain fixed exchange rate. If any of you US residents are applying to INSEAD, know that there is a way out.
February 02, 2007
I finally received my packet from INSEAD, with a signed "congratulations" on the page. There's something more personal about paper when compared to getting an e-mail. It just feels better.
Anyway, I now need to figure out how to wire Euros from the US. Does anyone know? for e.g. can I go to my local Bank Of America and can they give me a check made out to INSEAD in euros? Or am I asking a very stupid question..? I need to send the cash by Feb 16th.
I need to buy the study pre-requisites to brush up accounting and finance and what not. Once I get the finance books and read them, I hope I don't feel like a "monkey in a maths Olympiad"
February 01, 2007
If you are planning to do an MBA and did your research, you will come across a few well known MBA rankings. The notable ones are Businessweek rankings, The FT ranking and Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) rankings. Of the three the Businessweek and FT rankings have considerable weightage. The EIU rankings are ..well.. strange. I mean, Wharton is no. 17, Harvard is 8, INSEAD is 22...you get the picture.
The Businessweek rankings are significantly US/North America centric (Queens outranks LBS and INSEAD..) whereas FT has a more global approach, and is probably the best mirror to general branding and perceptions. FT rankings are read around the world.
The rankings came out 2 days ago, and for me - it was good news. INSEAD is 7 (though I would have liked us to swap places with LBS. But in terms of 1 year general management programs INSEAD is no.1 in this case) and there were optimistic debates about the future of MBA. This post is not to discuss whether MBA is right etc. but to discuss if rankings matter.
Shoot me if you want to - but yes, they do, and quite a lot. Industry observers, leaders, executives all read these rankings and that creates a perception. This perception perpetuates and has its own power. No amount of reasoning is going to make us agree that some how Wharton is no.17 in the world and Harvard is 6 positions below IESE (no offense to IESE ;) )
Ranking is like a brand - it has its own power and influences potential applicants, recruiters, professors, business leaders and media. A strong rank is self-perpetuating. It creates an aura that a school is strong, therefore well qualified applicants apply, therefore the quality of student pool and eventual alumni is better, therefore recruitment becomes increasingly stronger - and it sustains. An observation will show that the top 10 schools pretty much stay that way (even if they juggle the positions internally within 10) for years and it is unlikely they will suddenly go down.
My own take is that it is important to research your potential schools well and aim higher if you can. It is not sufficient to say "school X has course Y I like and so I'm going to spend 100,000$ going there". It is also important to see what your world looks like after you graduate and 10 years down the line. Where are your potential classmates likely to be and what would they be doing? You want to gain the best mileage out of your MBA and the better the perceived rank of the institute, the better your chances are.
You could argue all you want, but if you were a VP of a company and you had 2 strong candidates - one from Columbia and one from Tchikkakaramba* school of business, the chance that you would lean towards Columbia are greater.
If you have a good background, strong scores, then don't aim too low to start with. Yes, competition is fierce, but how would you know what you can achieve if you did not even try? It may be a good option to mix top schools and some next level schools to achieve balance. I'm not the right one to comment because I only applied to one :P (hey, in my defense, I had very strong reasons. You might find it interesting to know that nearly 40% of INSEAD entrants applied only to INSEAD). A post like this is bound to raise heckles and ire about "stupid ranking nonsense", hey - don't shoot the messenger. It's better to face reality and take it by the horns than pretend it isn't real.
I plan to put another post on why ROI calculations miss what I call as "the flash of opportunity" that can alter our lives. But until then, I have to get cash for the school admission advance. I'm now about to become officially very poor.
(I am a little disappointed that power houses of Indian Business schools - the IIM's -Indian Institutes of Management - made no cut into the list. I do have my own observations on how some IIM statistics are twisted played to the gallery, but even then they are a powerful local brand, have great students and I would think they had some currency outside too. What are they missing so much that they don't make it to the top 100?! There are some areas they hurt - like diversity, experience of incoming class, international experience of class etc... if any IIM student/alumni is reading this - care to comment?)
* You could argue that I valued FT over Businessweek because of the bias that my school ranks higher, you can see for yourself that Canadian schools rank higher than world class European institutes like LBS, IMD and INSEAD and I don't buy that. Flame me.
* There is no Tchikkakaramba school of business anywhere in the world as I know it. But hmm..it sounds nice..I think..