Friday, 27 March 2009

Me V/S Google - Part 3 (Round 2)

Continuing from the previous post, round 2 was held after roughly two hours. This round was shorter as compared to the first one and after the initial finance based questions, only our opinions on various issues were sought. I shall try and post the responses of all the candidates.

P1 - A very old gentleman, who spoke in a heavy South Indian accent.
P2 - Middle aged lady, extremely elegant and graceful. Very observant.

C1 - North Indian guy, fresher.
C2 - Aeronautical engineer from Kerala with 92% graduation acads!
C3 - Me ;)
C4 - Revathy, Tamilian girl with 3 years work experience, came across as highly fake.
C5 - Aspiring entrepreneur with a call centre accent.
C6 - Gujarati chokra from IIT, working in some big financial firm.

One thing bound us all. We all wanted to specialise in finance!

P1: You must be having your reasons for doing finance. But why should we choose you for finance? I don't mean why finance, rather why you for finance.

C1: Spoke about aptitude for maths and being god with numbers.
[--That was part of my answer, I begin to look for some other reason--]
C2: Similar to C1, says he is suited to the complex world of finance as he has already been exposed to the complex world of aero dynamics.
[--P1 then asks him if he wasted four years in engineering, to which he replies no--]

C3: Sir being an engineer I have studied math and stat til very recently, so I am in touch with numbers and feel comfortable working with them. Besides, I can visualise myself working as a credit ranker or an investment banker rather than an information manager or a marketing expert. Analysing data and arriving at a conclusion interests me and is one of my strengths.
[--P2 remarks that analysing data and arriving at a conclusion is required in every field. I nod my head in agreement! Baat toh sahi thi na yaar--]

C4: Says she has worked in a technical field and would like to understand the financial side of business.
[--They asked her why she wouldn't like to understand the marketing side of it!--]
C5: Said he wanted to become an entrepreneur and so this was a logical move!
C6: Works in a finance based company so this was for career progression.

P1: Between SP Jain and IIM Bangalore which would you choose?

C1: IIM B as it has a brand name.
[--Damn! This guy is at an advantage. He always gets to answer first!--]
C2: IIM B as it is a better institute.
C3: IIM B because of the brand value coupled with its long standing establishment and the chance for better networking.
C4: I dont agree with the brand aspect of it. Brand is built by the students. I would opt for whichever offers me an admit first.
[--P1 asks if she would flip a coin. She says yes. I rub my hands in glee, that's one candidate less! Someone who flips coins to decide isn't your ideal management student.--]
C5: SP Jain as it will help me realise my dream of entrepreneurship.
[--P1 remarks that even IIM B would--]
C6: SP Jain as it gives more importance to values!
[--I puke!--]

P1: What is the NAV of a mutual fund?

C1,C2,C3,C4,C5: Don't know!
C6: [--Answers correctly--]

P1: If I have 100 shares and 1:1 bonus is issued, how many shares will I have then?

C1,C2: Don't know.
C3: 200.

P1: If the price of the stock is 620 pre bonus, what will the price be post bonus?

C1,C2: 620.
C3: Approximately 310.

P1: Difference between monetary and fiscal policy.

[--Starts from the other side now--]
C6,C5,C4: Don't know.
C3: I had actually learnt this answer! Spoke for two minutes about repo, reverse repo, inflation, deflation, public expenditure etc.

P1: You have to advertise in the matrimonial section. How would your ad read?

C1: Well educated, caste no bar.
C2: Well educated, Keralite.
C3: Well educated, Christian.
C4: Well educated, Tamilian.
C5,C6: Well educated, caste no bar.

P1: You can ask only two questions to your to be wife. What would they be?

C1: I would give her a hypothetical situation and ask her opinion.
[--Is given 5 minutes to think of a hypothetical situation--]
C2: I would not be my normal self and ask her if she liked me. If she says yes, I would know she is fake!
[--P2 rips him apart on this--]
C3: What do you expect from me as a husband? What can I expect from you as a wife?
C4: Where do you see us 10 years from now? DO you love me?
C5: Will match our interests and opinions.
C6: How do you treat your parents? Do you have good values?
C1: I would ask her if she would quit her job to look after my parents, should they fall sick.
[--P2 insinuates that he is a male chauvinist and that he should quit if he earns lower than her. But he disagrees. He says she only should quit. They bicker for a minute or so--]

P2: How many of you'll game?

C1,C2,C4,C5 say yes.

P2: I want you all to one by one tell me how you will ensure that you inculcate reading as a habit in your child. Cause we see that today gaming is taking over.

C5: Spoke about giving incentives for reading.
C4: Gave an example of how when she was in school, there were 30 minutes set aside every day for reading.
C1: Imposing restrictions on the child when it comes to gaming.
C3: Reading is a habit which should be cultivated from very early on. A lot of children don't like reading because they pick the wrong book. So a 6 year old should be given a fairy tale kinda book with colourful illustrations. And after the child finishes reading the book, the parent can discuss the book with the child.

[--There was some more discussion on this, but these were the major points covered. 50 minutes had passed and the panelists told us that we could leave the room. SP Jain values ethics and all a lot and so I escorted the female Revathy and opened the door for her and all. I hate myself for doing that, lekin kya karein karna padta hain--]

That's all I have. It was quite a pleasurable experience. No stress at all. Friendly panelists but very intelligent. You could see that they were giving you a lot of rope, but they would then use the very same rope to strangulate you.
Happy New Year to those who celebrate Gudi Padwa. I just love India, where else would I get so many holidays!

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Me V/S Google - Part 3 (Round 1)

Apart from Calcutta and Kozhikode, I have also applied to S.P.Jain (Mumbai). They have a group interview instead of a group discussion. We were six of us. Four with work experience and two freshers. There were four panelists. All the questions are open to everyone and you have to give your opinion.

P1: Middle aged guy, was very sleepy and dozed through the entire process.
P2: Young guy, was constantly encouraging us and was asking most of the questions.
P3: Old lady, very hard to please (not that way :P). She didn't ask us any questions but was busy noting down points.
P4: Middle aged lady, similar to P2 in mannerisms.

P2: So we are all a bit sleepy after so many rounds. Could you all please introduce yourself one by one and please be loud so that you wake us up. And also tell us, why SP Jain.

Me: [--Introduction included what I am doing currently, family background, academic and extra curricular achievements, hobbies--]
(P2, P3 and P4 raise their eye brows when I mention ballroom dancing as my hobby.)
"And as to why S.P.Jain. Firstly, it is one of the premier institutes for management in our country. Secondly, it is the only institute which has profile based calls along with CAT score based calls. So I would get to feast on a buffet of brains from diverse backgrounds and that would help me bridge the gap of my lack of work experience. Thirdly, it promotes value based education which is also what my school promotes and so we are on the same page there."

One guy mentions about weight loss in his about me and this leads P2 to ask the group,

P2: What is your opinion about feel good V/S look good?

Me: I personally feel that today marketing strategies portray that by looking good one can also feel good. But I tend to disagree on that. Looking good at most times becomes an obsession with girls trying to achieve hourglass like figures and guys trying to be the next Adonis. And when such goals are not met, it leads to lowering of self esteem. Feeling good on the other hand helps you to accept yourself as you are. And feeling good permeates to all aspects of life and gives you self satisfaction.

P3: There is this huge wellness industry. They concentrate a lot on looking good.

Me: Yes, that is their strategy. They make us believe that if we look good, we will also begin to feel good within, which is not always the case.

P2: You all must be aware of the entire economic slowdown. How is India faring and what should be the next move.

Me: India along with China haven't been affected that much by the slowdown as compared to other countries. The main reason being that India doesn't rely that heavily on America. In the future, we should look to diversify our investments in various countries so that a similar slowdown would not stunt our growth majorly. We should not be like the European nations who put all their eggs in one basket. And as to the next move, heavy investment should be made in infrastructure and primary education. And us being an agrarian economy, we should introduce agricultural reforms as well.

P2: Alright. Supposing we propose a system where your fees for the course are waived and you do your MBA from SP Jain for free. But your income of the next three years will go to the college. You will get some minimum amount to look after your needs. But rest all goes back to SP Jain. Are you game or not?

Me: No (3 said yes, 3 said no)

P1: Do you think it is fair or unfair? Don't give me any reasons, just yes or no.

Me: Unfair.

P2: So all of you'll who are with work experience, tell us your greatest achievement in work. And freshers, tell us why should we select you ahead of these guys.

Me: Sir, both freshers and experienced candidates have their own strengths and weaknesses. But as a fresher my thinking would not be stereo typed like them. I wouldn't be afraid to think out of the box. I would give the entire process a whole new dimension. My friends may have prejudices build up through their work, but I am free of all this.

[--We had to bring with us a sheet bearing 5 uniqye qualities. We were asked questions on this. Except me, everyone else was asked only 1 question. I was asked 3!--]

P4: Shawn, you have written here that the events you have participated in have made you realise that you can learn a lot from your so called opponents. Give me an example.

Me: I always participated in elocution competitions. In the seventh standard, in an inter school competition I saw a guy with glasses, remove them and recite. So I asked him as to why he did that. He said that expressions are mainly rendered with the eye and with your glasses your eyes cannot be seen clearly.

P3: So you believed him?

Me: When I went back home I recited my poem in front of the mirror with and without my glasses. And the difference was there to see. The raising of the eyebrow, the dilation of the pupil were much more pronounced without glasses.

P2: You have mentioned that as a literary head of this IEEE thing you were innovative. How?

Me: In college fests, we have literary and technical events. Literary events are given a shoe string budget to work on. The easy way out would be to give them answer sheets with word puzzles. I didn't want to do that as it would seem like an exam. I had envisioned an elaborate treasure hunt which required about 10 treasure chests. Now, I didn't have that kind of budget. So what I did was I tied a string around a should box on two sides and attached a lock to it. That was my rupees 5 treasure chest!

P4: So Shawn, do you think these college festivals are needed and why?

Me: They are needed. It provides a vent after a rigorous week in college. At the end of the fest, people let their hair down and dance, I can't do that! And besides it helps to create a bond between students and skills like teamwork and leadership are honed.

[--They continued asking everyone else. After they were done, P4 looks at me and smiles--]

P4: Shawn, I want to experiment with you! Just stand here in front of me.
[--I go and stand in front of the panel--]
Now, I want you to give me a 30 second speech. As soon as I give you the topic, you have to start off. No time to think. And your topic is "If rotation becomes revolution and revolution becomes rotation, then..."

Me: [--I'm wondering what wrong I did to be given this, but I begin immediately--]
Ma'am, the Earth rotates around itself and revolves around the sun. If rotation becomes revolution and revolution becomes rotation, then in 24 hours we would all the seasons and we would have 6 months of sunshine and 6 months of darkness.
[--25 second over. But I can't think of anything else--]

P4: Alright, 30 seconds over. Thank you, Shawn.

P2: Wait a minute, before you leave, can any of you tell me if you could computerise one thing in India that has not yet been done, what would it be? Like for example, banking has now been computerised.

[--One guy mentions satellite communication! The panelists tell him that he is talking about technology and not computerizing something! I then answer--]

Me: One thing that could be done in India is like the US have a unique identity number for each person and computerize their medical records. So in case of an accident, you need not test the blood group and waste time in all that. All you have to do is find the record in the database and see the person's blood group and the things he is allergic to and all. This would help save precious time.

P2: Very good. Probably we could have an Information Management MBA from our college only to design that. You all can leave.

Results were announced:

Candidate 1: 720 GMAT + 3 years work ex ----> Rejected
Candidate 2: Me :) ----> Selected
Candidate 3: 99.94 XAT + fresher ----> Selected
Candidate 4: 750 GMAT + 3 years work ex ----> Rejected
Candidate 5: 98.6 CAT + 4 years work ex ----> Rejected
Candidate 6: 98.9 XAT + 2 years work ex ----> Rejected

Round 2 coming up shortly!

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

25 Random things about me!

So I have been tagged (whatever that is) by Richa, to write 25 random things about myself. Shouldn't be very hard, considering I am very random as a person!

1. I always wear my left shoe before my right one. (It's supposed to be random things ok)

2. I have had all the ice cream and milkshake flavours at 'The Right Place' at Breachcandy.

3. I love changing gears in my car. (Fourth clutch third clutch fourth. Repeat.)

4. I have a fetish for sport shoes and watches. Those are the only things I like going shopping for.

5. My current favourite song is 'Gives you Hell' by All American Rejects.

6. I find good accessories more appealing than good clothes.

7. I bite my nails off. (ewwwwww)

8. I don't celebrate my birthday.

9. I have got 6 stitches on my forehead (a swing hit me) and 8 on my chin (fell from a slide).

10. Of all the countries I have visited, I liked China the best.

11. My shoe size is 11 but I buy size 12 shoes so that I can just slip them on without tying/untying my laces.

12. My favourite cuisine is Chinese.

13. Pina Colada is my favourite mock tail.

14. When I was really little I wanted to be a circus clown. Now I plan to be a tour guide, atleast for some time.

15. I haven't watched more than 10 episodes of FRIENDS.

16. I have been drinking green tea every single day since a year.

17. I have never had Bournvita, Horlicks, Complan or any other health drink ever.

18. I have watched Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge atleast 100 times. (not because I like the movie, but that was the only video cassette at my ancestral home)

19. My favourite reality show is The Amazing Race.

20. I plan to turn vegetarian atleast for a week starting tomorrow.

21. I have eaten 27 rotis at one go at Golden Star Thali.

22. My favourite ice cream flavour is black currant and kulfi is kesar pista!

23. I was an athlete in primary school.

24. The only celebrity whose autograph I have taken is Mohd. Azharuddin.

25. I bathe only in the evenings.

Gosh! That was hard!

Friday, 13 March 2009

Happy Women's Day

It is a woman's world if you ask me and that is precisely why I had previously on this blog written that if given an option I would like to be reborn a woman! The following are the reasons:

- The guy pays the bill.

- The girl gets to choose the movie, the restaurant or the ice cream parlour.

- The guy asks the girl out.

- The guy 'tries' to be funny.

- The guy drives the car.

- A trip to the parlour can make an ugly girl presentable. Ugly guys are screwed!

- The guy walks on the outside of the road and is most likely to be hit by a car.

- The guy has to open doors.

- Even in case of a group, when a girl commits a mistake and fingers are pointed at her, all she has to do is shed those precious tears of hers and all the charges are laid to rest. The guys in the group again 'try' to be funny and make her laugh and all.

- If the traffic cop catches a girl for breaking a signal all she has to do is say, 'Please! Sowwwwieeee' with that cute little smile and he melts.

- Additional term work marks can also be attributed to being a girl.

- What really infuriates me is that even the canteen guy gives the girls more maggi and pulao and all *sob sob*

- Premier institutes have official and unofficial reservations for girls.

- Girls could be dumb and people will still find that cute!

- Girls get all the gifts.

- Girls can be absolutely rude and unreasonable at times and still have a reason for it.

- There is never a shortage of intelligent, rich men.

- Girls can talk their way into getting their assignments done by guys and can butt into a line without people abusing them.

So what is so special about March 8th I ask? Heck, every single day is Women's Day. You'll rule the world! You'll rule OUR world!

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Go Goa

So I am back from Goa and nothing much has changed. Except for the fact that I have a lot more of NaCl (engineer hoon, can't help it!) in my system and my skin colour now matches with my black watch strap. A lot of people have noticed this. Some of them have put it very well. "You have worked up a very strong tan, Shawn." Others (my sister included) have been a little more blunt. "You look uglier than before." But coming back to Goa, it was a lot better than I expected it to be. I thought it would be expensive and have a lot of tourist traps. I was wrong on both fronts. A week long trip can easily be arranged within five grand and of tourist traps - there were none.

There is very little to see in Goa apart from the beaches. You have some 100 stones arranged in the form of a circular wall and this doubles up as the 'Chapora Fort'. History has it that this fort served as a protective covering for lusty couples from the Ram Sena. Cause honestly the only thing you can see here are couples making out. The other non beach attraction was the casino. It is a must visit, given the fact that the 200 buck entry fee includes unlimited non vegetarian food. Coming back to the beaches, they were surprisingly clean! If you are planning a trip to Goa avoid the 'popular' beaches like Calungute and Bagha. Bagha has the water rides, but otherwise it is very much like apna Juhu Chowpatty! My best beach was Morjim. We stumbled upon this beach by chance. Very few locals know that such a beach exists. We happened to be following two chicks on a scooter and landed up here. Morjim, apart from having topless sun bathers, has white sand and clear waters. And since it isn't that famous, you will hardly find any locals here and just a handful of tourists. Another beach worth mention is Anjuna. You cannot swim here because of the rocky ocean floor, but is a fisherman's haven.

Moving to the not-so-good side of Goa. If you are a vegetarian wanting to turn non vegetarian, Goa is the place to be. The veg food here is worse than that had by the tribals living in Port Blair. The non veg food is extremely tasty. But because of the laid back, slow nature of the Goans, any order takes the best part of an hour to arrive. For my first meal, I had ordered squids. The chef took the squids out of the freezer, cleaned it, thawed it and then proceeded to cook it. Food here is also very expensive. No wonder so many Goans and tourists resort to the cheaper Fenny and liqour.

I know the ending is kind of abrupt, but then I am no writer :P