Friday, February 08, 2008

Concerns and Queries..My response


I have received some questions about life at Kelley and various career prospects. Here is my take on this.

Kelley is best for Marketing. No more questions about it. NO one can question it. Companies ranging from P&G to Air Products hire at Kelley for Marketing and Kelley ranks in Top-10 for marketing.

Finance, though they say is second best to Marketing, I would rank it to be the best, in terms of curriculum.
Here goes an example, I was asked a Finance question in my last interview and the professor was discussing the exact question two days after the interview. I thought, man! I would have cracked that question if we had this class just two days earlier.

Consulting. For many students especially, Indians, this is the dream career.
Coming to how Kelley fares in Consulting, every year there are around 7 people going for summer internships and around 20 people going for full time job. So, if you are very interested in consulting, though you don't intern at a consulting firm (as many of the students), you will definitely get a job in consulting at one of the good firms. At present, I know many second years, who interned at various going for a full time job in E&Y, Diamond, Huron, PwC, Deloite.

But, guys,Consulting is not as rosy as it looks to be. You get to travel a lot. Around 80% of your job. Get up Monday morning, fly to Client's office. Work hard (like a donkey?) for 4 days and be back to office on Friday. Someone mentioned in a forum that consulting is not that good at Kelley as I did not get any interviews. Frankly, Though I like the problem solving aspect of Consulting, I don't like the travel part as I would like to get married 1 year after my MBA and travel is not my cup of tea. I am looking more towards internal consulting at Big companies where you do M&A analysis and strategic growth analysis. I will keep you posted about this.

Investment Banking. Again, Kelley gets firms like Bank of America, Piper Jeffrey and some other. But, the internships are less compared to full time. Again, there are many guys, who put in effort and get what they want. At the end of the day, MBA in U.S is not like an MBA in India, where you will get the companies on campus and get the things done. Here people travel to NY to meet the employers and discuss interest and push their application. Yes, it is painful. But, at the end of the day, you get to learn many things from dealing with people to getting the thing done.

Finally, the choice of school depends on the preference. I would definitely recommend Kelley to anyone who is interested in Marketing, Finance and Consulting if not IB. Guys, MBA is not just for career shift. It is a lot of learning and I guarantee that you will find that at Kelley.

Internship opportunities for International students are less compared to full time not only at Kelley but at many schools. We struggle for internships, but, everyone will have one at the end. It is a matter of time and people express their anguish if things dont workout for sometime. I understand the insecure feeling. For Full time, everyone (including internationals) will have an offer by January except for few exceptions.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Interview..I am glad

After many days, I felt good about my skills and my confidence. I handled todays interview very well. I was composed, answered the questions to maximum extent and confident.
At one point of time he was so impressed that, we got into a discussion about the intellectual property protection and how it is really difficult in emerging markets. He appreciated that and told that very few candidates think about that in interviews.
There were some pitfalls too. I did not think about the competition in one of the questions and he was waiting for me to bring that up but I did not. I cursed myself for my ignorance of so basic stuff.
The interviewer is a Harvard MBA and simply superb. He is with this company for about 20 years and handles Finance.
There was an interesting tale behind this interview. Around three months ago, I discussed my interest in the company with a second year student, who interned at this company last summer. He was very helpful and told that he had a great experience there and guided me on what should I do. Also, I spoke to a couple of Alums in key positions. But, this company does not recruit international students. It is their policy. So, I did not get into the preference list(interview short list). I contacted the second year student again and told about this. He asked me to write an e-mail to one of the alums I spoke to. I did that and the alum told that she is yet to get the list and will let me know if there are any free slots. After a couple of days, there was a mail: Attend the informational event on Sunday and interview with Finance. I met them for an informational chat on Sunday. Man, They are so down to earth. I can feel their feel for IU and I felt the warmth. It should be great team to be associated with, I thought.

I felt glad that my networking helped me. There are people who get a job without networking. I have a couple of close friends here who got into Deloitte consulting. One for Strategy and the other for Technology. They did not do any networking. But, I strongly suggest students to network with various companies. It helps you to understand various companies, their cultures and finally, you will know how to talk to people. I learned a lot of these through my networking. Now I can strike a conversation with anyone about Weather to the WTO issues.
My on campus interviewing ended today. I had 3 interviews till date in total and don't know if any one of them will convert to an offer. Now, I have to reach out to people outside.

Finally, I felt glad today. I may or may not make it. But, this feeling is good to feel and share. Congrats to all the round-1 admits and goo luck to all round-2 applicants.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Interview fever.. goes on.. I have attended one more interview last Thursday and it went quite well. Though, I am not sure when will they get back for the second round. It is a procurement intern position in a large retail firm. I would love to work in that as the scale is around $50 billion. I can learn so many things from that experience. I had a very cordial discussion with the interviewer. I sent an e-mail to him a couple of months ago asking for an informational interview. I did not know that he would be the person to interview.
He got back to me a week ago and told that he can interview me if I am interested in. I was already on the interview list and told him the same. We had a nice discussion and he asked me to give him a call if I have any questions. I took that as a positive sign.
I have an interview on Monday with a big Chemical company. It is for Finance position. It would be a nice position to work on as they have huge international operations.
As you can see, all of my discussion goes around internship interviews and not the courses. I am not reading anything for classes these days. I feel sad that the courses are o good ad I am not doing much. If I can finish this internship early, I will jump on to that.

BTW: What do you guys feel about the MSFT, YAHO deal? I feel that there are not any synergies to be realized as both of them are lagging. And, see the cultural differences. Yahoo is a cowboy and MS is a old king. Can they ever agree on anything. Many acquisitions fail as the key people in the target company leave after the acquisition and it will happen with Yahoo too.
There is a nice article: Microsoft and Yahoo!: Happily Ever After?

Monday, January 28, 2008


I did my interview today. It was a tough one as I expected. The first question was what you want to talk about? He was pushing me all the times and I was attacking again and again. I am not sure how did it go. I have to wait one week to know whether I will make it to second round. I will take some rest before getting on to the path. Sorry that I have to delay my post as I have been having a crazy life these days..

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Feeling the pressure..

How do you feel when you have one arrow at hand and have to hit a target? What if hitting the target can get you to where you want to? What if you are one of the seven selected to try to hit the target though there were 69 people, who want to hit the target?

That is the position I am in now. I have been shortlisted by one company for internship. I did network with a lot of companies but, got only one at hand. The position is definitely a good one to work, in Corporate Strategy. Whether having one in hand is better than having none? May be? May be not.

But, just having one at hand is draining me out. I need to get this internship or I need to work hard and send emails to people and alumni in the industry. It is always easy to get a job on campus. I am not concentrating on any classes. Not just me, many people. Have assignments to do and cases to discuss. I am trying hard to pull myself and hoping that I will be the one that they are looking for. I will prepare to the level best and would shoot my one and only arrow. Let us see if I will hit the target.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Second week of first quarter

Second week was different from many others we had till now.
We worked on the Marketing memo over the last weekend and submitted the same. The Finance assignment has been done too.
The internship process is showing its affect. People are not that concentrating on classes ad it is totally understandable. There were people who received a couple of interview calls. There are a couple who interviewed already and waiting for the result. People started panicking whether they will receive a call leave internship. I understand the concern, but, there is nothing more than being patient and continuing the networking efforts.
As I see the whole process, the internships in consulting will at most be 3 or 4. This is very different from full time scenario, when 20-30 people will have consulting jobs. Finance and Marketing are the most and between these two definitely Marketing is the most sought after by recruiters.
My efforts to push my resume outside are going on. I sent my resume to people whose contact I got from the Kelley database. It takes lot of time and effort to contact them. But, it is like a practice.You can talk to these people and see how they listen to your story. I am trying to do the same thing.
I had an interview with my career coach and she commented that I am being modest to put forth my achievements. In retrospect I was. I do get many examples from my experience to strengthen my case for a job, but, I feel I should not boast. There is a line between being cocky and confident. I am not even close to the latter leave the former. I practiced a little today and am feeling good. Also, she told that I speak in high pitch and speak faster when I get a little tensed or uncomfortable. These are things that I do unconsciously. Many times I told myself that I have to control these consciously. I tried too and am partially successful.
The report on report on HP and Compaq has to be postponed to the time I get to do some more analysis on that. I think I can do that only after a couple of weeks.
The friend I mentioned in the previous post has got a call from IIM-K and another friend from IIM-L,K,I and another from IIM-L. I hope they convert them. Also, may be one day we all will be presidents and directors of various organizations. May be this is how we see friends taking higher positions at various companies these days. May be they were like us a couple of decades ago. Of course, I am dreaming as usual. :).
The quarterly system has got its own side effects. You have to write a midterm after three weeks. Next week we have one. :(.

PS: I advise applicants to not to apply to business schools in US unless they have at least 4-5 years of experience or 2-3 years of tremendous experience. The typical software engineer will not convince recruiters as there are plenty of them. You need to show them how you can leverage your past experience along with B-school experience to add value to the company. It is just the basics. Business schools in US are not like in India, where you can just crack CAT and crunch numbers and get a good job. It is not criticism. It is just to point out the difference in the recruitment process and preferences.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

First week of First Quarter

It started again. We are done with first week of classes. The beauty of Kelley MBA is that you can customize it to your interests. IN my case I am taking the following courses in the first seven weeks. We will be done with these 4 courses in the first seven weeks and will take another 4 in the next seven.

1. Marketing Performance and Analysis
2. Firm in the capital markets
3. Managerial Accounting
4. Management Consulting

As you can see, they are as diverse as it can be. I most likely will not major in any function though I will take more courses in Finance. Finance is the strongest at Kelley. Man, the professors are awesome.

Along with the courses come the assignments. We have two assignments due next Wednesday and the schedule over the coming weeks be no different.

Now, coming to the important aspect: Internship (is it?). We have bid for companies that come for 4 weeks starting Jan-22. Some companies gave their shortlist also. I got one ding and am waiting for the other firms to come out with the results. We give so much importance to internship as if it is the essence of MBA. I agree that it is an important art of MBA but not the essence. We are paying $35,000 per year. If you take 200 working days, it comes to $175 per day, which is equivalent to $87 per class. That is I am paying ONE dollar for every minute I sit in the class.

I used to think that I need to do some research (not to the level of Ph.D) and learn about various problems that today's corporations face. I did not do much till now. So, I am shifting gears again.

I took a self-assignment of studying some of the Mergers and Acquisitions and write here about my learnings from them. As many as 70% mergers fail to create the expected value. You know what the main issue is? The cultural differences in the workforce, confusion and insecurity. There has been a helluva of activity recently in M&As and it's high time that we learn something about their successes or failures. For this purpose, I am going to take the Merger of HP and Compaq. Many people argue that it did not deliver the synergies it was supposed to or the talked about. I will post my learning here. If you would like to read them here are the articles:

The HP-Compaq Merger - Knowledge@Wharton
HP-Compaq: Rush to Judgment -
HP: Why Effective Governance and Ownership Matters - INSEAD Research
HP-Compaq: A Battle for the Heart and Soul of a Company - INSEAD Research
Lessons from HP and Compaq - Stanford Research

I duly respect the copyright of the above documents and give the due credit their respective publishers. You may need to register for Knowledge@Wharton but it is free and takes just a minute.

Finally, There is an interesting article on Starbucks in NY times. Read it for a lot of insight and fun. Curing what Ails Starbucks.
We may have created a good past, but, now, it is not as good as it used to be or the definition of good has changed. CEOs and Chairmans should learn this and lead the businesses with that in mind. That is the essence of the article but the narration is awesome.

Good luck guys and see you guys next week.