Sunday, September 10, 2006

The way we get by @ I...

Hmmm… Where do I stand? It’s Sunday morning and I haven’t slept at all. My end-term examinations start in two days and I know squat. My phone fell into a puddle of water and is refusing to switch on. I booked the wrong flight back home and have no idea how to get it changed. In short, I stand… in a deep… enormous… pile of sh*t…

Now, let’s see how I can resolve this. Let’s take the “haven’t slept” bit first. That’s simple; as soon as I finish this I’ll bid all of you fare thee well and go meet the sandman.

Moving onto the subjects, it gets interesting. It’s quite interesting actually, what they teach you here at IIM Indore. I shall attempt to impart my understanding of the subjects to you. Welcome to Term 1 Course Module 101.

Microeconomics is one of the chosen topics that is there in term 1. Quite remarkable actually, how they cram two years of teaching into 24 sessions of 70 minutes each. People who had NO idea what a demand curve was are “supposed” to understand how and why it shifts if we make all the inputs variable and assume a monopolistic competition scenario. Being an economics graduate is bad, but being the ONLY economics graduate in the entire class is SUICIDE. I mean, the assumption goes like “Economics Grad = Brilliant Academician and Scholar in everything related to the field of economics”. The economics graduate is supposed to somehow know it ALL. “No answer from the class???” No problemo senor, we have the economics graduate who will have the answer to something that he read three years ago and has realized that it holds absolutely no application in whatever he did for the three years AFTER he studied it. I mean, it’s of course implied that because he studied economics he shall forever cherish the college notebooks where he made those ever-so-meticulous notes which he OBVIOUSLY studies once every week to stay abreast of the concepts. I think everyone forgets that there is no ceteris paribus in life. Things change… Life goes on… Notebooks are sold to the local kabadiwala for Rs. 23.50.

Then we move on to something that we call MWC here. That’s Managerial Written Communication for the uninitiated. This course prepares us of the rigours of writing a report or drafting an email (basically everything written) in all of 5 minutes. I mean, that’s huge. Which company executive ever gets a time of more than 300 seconds to write a report which is stating an ACTION PLAN for an AIRLINE TAKEOVER? And all this while I used to think that an immense amount of thought goes into the execution and planning of such an event. Silly me. What insights an MBA provides. Real eye-openers.

On similar lines we are taught MOC. That O stands for Oral. If you can’t get the others you probably aren’t getting half the jokes in this post either and should probably go and chat with that girl you met on yahoo chat who is, in all probability a balding guy. MOC is interesting here. I learnt how to say déjà vu and some other French words. Beyond that, I learned little. Oh yes, I learnt that my voice projection sucked. But I already knew that. Ahhh, now I got it, I learnt how to smile at will. How to make the most “genuine” comments and couple it with an equally “genuine” smile. I made a presentation on Live 8. That was fun.

Moving on, we have HBW. Human Behaviour at Work, which has stupendous amounts of research done on it. Every answer is a research finding in this subject. Its almost like all further research findings from this moment on will be based on people who are already biased by the research finding of the earlier researches. Interesting cycle this. I have had “intimate conversations” with the person sitting next to me as a part of this course. I have drawn, in two minutes, what I as a person represent. I have learnt I have more ego and mind states than I need. I finally understand what GLOBE is all about.

MTO, Managerial Theories of Organisation. This is one hell of a subject. I never knew there could so many ways to look at the same thing. I mean, its just an organization. Its not a living breathing entity, or a collection of ideas, or a collation of groups, or a goal satisfying ‘thing’. It’s just an organization. I’d love to have one of the propounders of each of the 2^10000 theories locked up in a room for one day. Probably be a bloodbath in there. Oh and the good part is that, all of these perspectives, are taught by none other than your very own, IIM-Indore students. What credibility they bring to the floor, why would anyone NOT listen to them and NOT sleep during these classes. Ingenious.

The accounting course in first term is called MAC. This is one course that I m still zonked about. It seems that everyone but me finds it a snap. What’s even stranger is that as the course moved from the basics to the advanced concepts, it became more lucid to me. So now I am at a juncture where I probably will not know where to put salary expenses in a balance sheet, but can calculate the interest coverage ratio of a company and comment on the feasibility of giving that company a loan. But yes, each one of the MAC classes was a laugh riot owing to the pedagogy of our professor. Brilliant interspersing of humour with teaching.

Then we have CT. Computing Tools. We have had two professors for this. The course starts off with a quiz asking us questions like whether we know that the printer is NOT an input device. Interesting. Then we moved to networking and thereon I was lost. Surprisingly, so were most of the engineers. I merely question the point of knowing that the BUS speed is the real indicator of performance of a PC in my corporate interactions. Unless of course I drop out of college and get a job as a technical advisor in a seedy firm. The second professor was to teach us the basics of MS Office. Everything I knew in excel (which I used to think is a lot) was finished off in the first ten minutes of the first class. Excel is damn cool. Honestly, go out there and learn it. It’s a killer application.

Finally I come to QT. Quantitative Techniques, or Maths for the intellectually challenged. Two professors again, for this. Both of whom had obviously not attended any of the MOC lectures. Warning: Do NOT go these classes if you have not slept well. Their voices are more soothing than a mother’s lullaby. Nothing more to say on that. You can obviously gauge why the description is short. You have to BE awake to know what goes on in class ;-).

Am sleepy now… will go and sleep…

As for my phone, I’ll probably have to go and get it repaired. And the airline tickets, I still really don’t know …

Standard “save-my-ass-just-in-case-line”: All descriptions given above are meant in good humour and should not be taken otherwise.

19 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

A hell of a summary of everything done in classes up till now. After reading through ur Blog i can say the MWC prof has put in some effort in you. i dont know what else have you garnered from other classes but it seems u have learnt a great deal about GLOBE. Your blog speaks for your CCCF.
Rajat, "marvelous blog".

3:00 AM  
Anonymous Piyush said...

Hooda at his absolute best, never knew we learnt so much in this first term, just wish I never feature in any of his blogs when he is in such a mood...

3:30 AM  
Anonymous Ayush Paul said...

Hey !! A new blog after all. Brilliant flashback of term 1. Most of all...Brilliant timing, just before the end terms. Never paid a thought to how much has went past by in just 2 and a half months. Needed to read such kind of stuff desperately. Nice read indeed.

By the way, about your comment on my blog. I may not have known economics much at that time. But I knew how OPPORTUNITY COSTS can make someone drive mad. So, I just sort of monopolized the market ! ( I agree this is a GLOBE manner of explaining things, please excuse!)

7:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yaar i have forgotten my password...par jaane de.here is my comment to 1 of the best writer i have ever seen
i tell u this very often...u are a magician with words,and time nd time again u prove this.
wonderful blog..the lects are still fresh in our mind.the comments about HBW,MTO & MOC wre the best.
i actually felt pity for u after reading ur MM lects me haalat..
gr8 job yaar

9:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was "nostalgic" (LOL!) to read your post and it was arguably an apt description of what we "budding managers" learn at "planet-I".

I can't wait to read your post after second term during which you will come across many more such caricatures and splendid courses!

Will try to give you some glimpses of what is there in store for you
Mr. Hariya doing his coordinated hand movements and showing you what your worst nightmares could be or better still, you might get NPT with her oriya accent blurting out hindi abuses as if you r primary school kids (oh please! that should be offensive to primary school teachers); clueless MACII prof(forgotten his name) trying to get his fundas clarified in the class or there will be VKG spitting (literally!) incoherent fundas on you without his hitherto scapegoats in the form of CAs (do NOT carry your laptops to the class, he might just sit on one or fling it in the air using his left hand to illustrate a selling process); blissfully ignorant and confused Macro prof murmuring his words through ostensibly endless lectures; self- proclaimed stud MIS prof forcing you to code in obscure programming languages; "trying-hard-to-impress" SADh will discuss a dozen case studies n still leave you wondering whether you learnt something you didn't already know or there will be Panda with his "enlightening" jokes (for instance, guys like to do "most things" horizontally)....can't recall anymore papers from second term (OMG! has it been that long already?) but rest assured, you will see the regulars (Bhatta, Venky et al) revisiting you and you will simply look at them feeling like whirling your fingers in your brain through your eyers while wondering wtf happened to your neatly printed feedback forms!

I guess the "treatment" of first term has made you guys strong enough to face the perils awaited for you.

Cheers!

5:36 PM  
Blogger Robin said...

Good post.. With a lot of humour thrown inside.. But a question.. Are we allowed to write in our blogs about the classes and the profs?.. Anyway forgot to mention that lot of guys did well in MicroEconomics learning from this self-confessed-know-nothing of economics..

4:06 PM  
Anonymous Abhishek Mishra said...

Innovative comparisons buddy... that MOC thing( dunno wats tht subject, except the 'O' expansion) mixed with yahoo chat example is cool. And yeah, you got it right, Excel is a killer application.

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