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Exchange - Half Way

Posted by Vipul on 27 February 2010

I have been on exchange in India for almost 2 months now. It’s been a very interesting and different experience. I certainly am happy that I came here. My main aim in coming here was to look for work in India. Through a reciprocal agreement with London Business School, ISB allows exchange students to appear for placements. I have had a few interviews and am pleased to say that I am treated as an equal here in every aspect. I haven’t found a job yet, but that’s just a matter of time.

I have managed to squeeze in some travel. In a last minute decision (90 mins before departure!) I caught a bus to Bangalore and spent the weekend with an old friend. I was very impressed with the quality of life in Bangalore. It’s a beautiful city. Then I spent 5 days with my family in Uttar Pradesh. The work load here is heavy, but you can always find some time for the important things. I even managed to see Ooty in the Nilgiris (Blue Mountains) in the southern state of Tamil Nadu. There’s nothing like sitting with the locals and eating curd-rice off a Banana leaf in a beautiful hill town.

The parties at ISB have been good, if a bit subdued. Everyone is in placement-mode. Hence not many people actually turn up for parties these days. Still, I have to praise the Student Life Council for a stellar effort. The odd thing is that parties don’t actually come to life before 2AM. Talk about culture shock! There was a huge party thrown by the dean to celebrate ISB’s elevated ranking in the Financial Times. That was amazing!

I am staying in a 4-bedroom apartment or ‘quad’. All my flatmates or ‘quadies’ are local ISB students. They are the best bunch of people. I have done a lot of great partying with them. They are very accommodating and very willing to help me settle in. They are excellent friends! I highly recommend living in close-quarters with local students while on exchange.

Despite all the learning and fun here, I do miss life at London Business School. I can’t believe I’m missing Tattoo!! I even missed the Tech Summit! There’s nothing like life in central London. It’s such a lively place – Hyderabad sure can’t match it. I really like ISB, but I can’t wait to be back in London in April and hang-out with all my great friends from London Business School!

McLaren Formula One team at LBS

Posted by Luiz on 26 February 2010

Business schools are known for hosting panels with famous speakers to discuss current business and economic issues. It has not been different at LBS. We recently had two great events on campus: the Private Equity conference (http://foliostop.com/pec) and the Marketing Fast Moving Consumer Goods summit (http://www.londonfmcgsummit.com). Just to name a few, other speakers that we had on campus that I enjoyed seeing were George Soros and Jim O’Neill (head of research at Goldman Sachs and who coined the term BRIC).

But I had been warned that at LBS I should expect the unexpected. So it was to my delight that this week we had the McLaren Formula One team on campus! One of our 2011 classmates worked for a Formula One team and was able to bring to campus this unique event. They talked about their business model, brand management, competitors (by the way, they admitted that Ferrari is a stronger brand), and how to manage having two world champion drivers on the same team. The only bad part of the day is that I failed at naming all McLaren world champions at an initial quiz so I didn’t win the Lewis Hamilton cap signed by him!

Party time, Tattoo is coming!

Posted by Samuel on 26 February 2010

Tatoo v2 After the extenuating and stressing internship hunt of these past few months, we all deserve a break.

Fortunately, this Saturday the school will host one of its flagship events: Tattoo! What is it? A huge party where the majority of the campus community and all the regional clubs will be involved. Here are a few numbers to hunch about the size of this event: 1,100+ partygoers, 20+ regional clubs representing 50+ nationalities. Each club will serve specialities from their countries and perform some kind of entertainment.

Without further due, I can tell the world what will be the delicacies and gastronomic specialities offered by the French club. Cheese, bien sur, and the classic dish of French cuisine, the Quiche Lorraine (a baked dish that is based on a custard made from eggs and milk or cream in a pastry crust). With this year strong delegation of French coming from oversees territories (Reunion Island and New Caledonia), you will have your share of Creole specialities as well. To top it all, partygoers will be entertain by a fantastic.... Accordionist! I’m not sure that it will really represent the French music style and diversity, but for sure, it’ll be fun to hear ;-)

Nobody Said It Was Easy

Posted by Jenny on 19 February 2010

For first year students at London Business School, December to June is internship hunting time. Now halfway through the process, here’s my rather candid take on what it’s been like:

NOVEMBER: Career Services keep on talking about preparing for internship applications. We shrug and think to ourselves summer is too far away. We travel, meet people, go to parties and of course go to class (not in that order). Meanwhile, our CVs get slighted, butchered, and then resurrected—all in a good way—by Career Services. We feel invincible; life is good.

DECEMBER: Applications for Asian offices of the bulge-bracket firms become due. We hastily write our Cover Letters and submit 6 applications in a day. We go on our Christmas vacation and internships are relegated to the back of our minds.

JANUARY: We come back from vacation all suited-up. At the Corporate Partners Week, we elbow our way to the side of the bosses from Goldman and McKinsey and ask them intelligent questions—the same questions we will ask the bosses from Morgan Stanley and BCG. Meanwhile, we still aren’t sure what we really want to do so we follow the crowd and submit our applications to all the biggest companies in the market.

FEBRUARY: Companies start shortlisting interviewees or—to put it another way—they start sending out rejection letters. At interviews, we proclaim our love for our potential employers while at the Windsor we proclaim ourselves as the King (or Queen) of Dings (TM by Mayank & Co.). We start philosophizing the meaning of rejections in life as Career Services assures us that job offers peak in April and May so we should not lose hope. Meanwhile, we act on our Plans B and C (and D) and apply to all job postings in the Portal—much like throwing wet paper towels onto a wall and seeing (hoping) that at least one would stick.

Now it’s still February so I have to end my errr….narrative here. Some of us have been fortunate to land positions—which might be not our first choice, but we’re grateful nonetheless. Some of us are still riding it out but regardless of the stage we are in the process, one thing’s for sure: this internship hunt has so far been exciting, quite stressful and surprisingly self-revealing. (In my case, I’ve learned that I need to read the FT and the Economist more. That and that I’m more likely to land a job in finance than in the non-profit sector. But that’s an entirely different story altogether.) In any case I’m still hoping that in my next blog I would say something in the lines of, March, April, May: Everyone gets offers for their dream jobs and we all live happily ever after. Riiiight. I’ll keep you posted on that.

________

Having said that, there actually IS life beyond internship applications.

One of the good things about doing your MBA is the many opportunities you get to meet bigwigs from big companies. The FMCG Summit on the 25th of February is a good example. The conference boasts of speakers from established companies such as Johnson & Johnson and Unilever and other interesting companies such as Sense Worldwide and Dunnhumby. Alan Moore, author of Communities Dominate Brands, will come to speak as well. Conferences like this are good opportunities to network with leaders, alumni and students and you never know – it might be your lucky day and a conference just might lead to a golden job offer.

________

And then there are the exchange programmes. To apply, we have to submit by March 1st a 500-word essay for each school we’re interested in (maximum of 3) and we have to convincingly write why Columbia, Chicago, or whichever school we have our eyes set on, is right for us (it’s like MBA applications all over again). I’ve been working on my essays and here are my top 7 reasons (7, not 10 because I can only think of 7 – you probably have more) why I want to go on exchange to Columbia (and no, these will not go into my essay):

7. It doesn’t rain as much in New York.

6. I want to do the cheesy Sex and the City tour.

5. I need a break from fish and chips.

4. American TV shows.

3. They call their tomatoes to-may-toes and not to-maa-toes.

2. They sell kebabs and hotdogs outside the school.

And the number one reason why I want to go on exchange to Columbia is…

1. If you’re at the TOP there’s nowhere else to go but down (to the next best thing). Oh yeah. 

FT rates LBS MBA Numero Uno!

Posted by sanjeev sharma on 17 February 2010

"Humility is a strange thing. The minute you think you've got it, you've lost it."

- E. D. Hulse

Financial Times 2010 MBA Rankings

Venture Capital Investment Competition

Posted by Steve on 17 February 2010

One of the great things about LBS is all the top competitions we are invited to enter.  The VCIC definitely falls into this category.  The competition is all about real entrepreneurs, real ideas and real venture capitalists, more infrmation is on the link below:

http://www.vcic.unc.edu/

In a nutshell it's like Dragons Den.  We had to act as venture capitalists and had to meet with and assess four real life entrepreneurial ideas and then negotiate and strike a deal with one of them, all while beig evaluated by real venture capitalists.  Fortunately for me, my team won the LBS round and we are now flying to New York for the next round, courtesy of Brown Rudnick, the US law firm who sponsor the competition.

Not only were we provided with a great day of learning and excellent feedback from the VC firms, but copious amounts of champagne and a number of upcoming lunches with the VC firms to help prepare us for the next round.  As a team of five we are very much looking forward to the trip and a chance to prove LBS deserves its place as the world's number 1 MBA