Saturday, September 12, 2009

Back to School

The last week before end-term exams is the best time to sit back and reflect about the term gone by. After 2 straight sleepless nights, the body just refuses to go on any more. I need sleep. I need some diversion. The 2 quizzes and 2 project report presentations tomorrow can wait.

They call it b-school for a reason. It is practically like going back to the schools we went to as kids with a hundred times the work load. After the laissez-faire life of engineering college, you expect post-graduation to be even more so. Nothing could be farther from the truth:


Engineering College


You carry a 10 kg bag to class everyday

Bags? Notebooks? Textbooks?

You carry a 7 kg bag + 3 kg laptop to class everyday

You attend all classes. Bunking has not entered our vocabulary. Proxy is unheard of.

You can get through engineering without knowing where the classrooms are

You attend all classes. Bunking has disappeared from your vocabulary because of grade drops in case of attendance shortage. Proxies have been eliminated by fixed seating with name tags and attendance sheets with photographs.

You carry water bottles to class

You don't go to classes, remember?

You carry water bottles filled with Red Bull to keep awake

You fight tooth and nail over half a mark

Did I pass? Yes!

You fight tooth and nail over one quarter of a mark

You do homework every day. Teachers check your work

If you do homework or assignments, you are ostracized from student community for the rest of your life

You do homework every day. Teachers check your assignments.

You are desperate to gain the attention and approval of teachers

Oh! You mean that bald guy is our FluMech prof?

You are desperate to gain the attention and approval of teachers

In fact, the only way in which engineering college is similar to b-school is the ratio of males to females. As they say in Malayalam, paapi chellunidam paatalam (hell is wherever the sinner goes). Since most of the people getting into IIMs are engineers, it is only natural that ratios remain the same. If you are really lucky, you land up in a b-school which has more than 15% girls. Whatever the case, remember than girls in b-schools have the extra weapon of the knowledge of supply and demand and hence in a much better position to exploit the power that comes with such a position.

One good thing about MBA is that you get to learn a variety of subjects. My favourite subjects in this respect so far have been Microeconomics and Legal Aspects of Management. Having a god-level prof for Micro is a double edged sword, though - the classes are interesting (interspersed with Asterix, Sherlock Holmes and Maradona), but he asks questions that nobody can answer. But scarier and more interesting still is a god+1-level QAM prof with a penchant for surprise quizzes. Organizational Behavior turned out to be a more interesting subject than I thought. The subject is so different from what the HR types make it out to be when you are working (of course, my aversion to HR will return the moment I start working again). These subjects have opened my eyes to new ways of looking at life and business. These also happen to be the most scary subjects I have to negotiate in the coming few days.

Oh! I forgot about football under lights and insti parties. But it is 3 am now. Can't waste any more time. It's back to assignments and exams. Sigh.