Saturday, 22 November, 2008

Vanderbilt --- First Unanticipated Ding

I received a sweet email in my inbox today.

Dear XXX,

Thank you for your interest in Vanderbilt University's Owen Graduate School of Management. Your application was thoroughly reviewed by the Admissions Committee, and a decision was made based on the relative strength and quality of your credentials in comparison to this year's applicant pool.

We regret to inform you that we are unable to offer you a place in the Class of 2011.

This year's admissions process has been very competitive because the overall quality of candidates has been very strong. As a result, we have had to deny many well-qualified candidates who may have been admissible in the past.

There are many factors that the Admissions Committee considers in the selection process. Academic ability is evaluated by examining not only GPA and GMAT scores, but also the caliber of any colleges or universities attended, difficulty of academic major, performance in quantitative courses, and contribution to academic diversity. Professional experience is assessed by examining the duration and quality of meaningful work experience, individual responsibilities and accomplishments, career advancement, career goals, and potential for leadership and management success. Finally, through the personal interview, essays and recommendations, we evaluate each candidate's personal qualities, such as communication skills, team skills, interpersonal skills, leadership potential, cultural diversity, global perspective, and overall fit with the Vanderbilt MBA community.

We appreciate the time and effort you have taken to learn more about the Vanderbilt MBA program and prepare your application materials. We will hold your application for two years, should you wish to strengthen your credentials and reapply for a future class; however, we will not be able to reconsider your application for admission to this year's incoming class. We hope this decision does not discourage you from pursuing your graduate management education. We enjoyed getting to know you, and wish you continued success in your academic, professional and personal pursuits!

Best wishes,

Friday, 24 October, 2008

Vandy Interview scheduled...

While juggling my CFA studies, hectic work schedule and MBA applications, I finally submitted my Vanderbilt, Owen application in R1 - (Early Action)
I have got the interview invitation and I would be interviewed on campus on Oct-27.

This is my first campus visit and I'm really excited about it.
Here is my brief itinerary -

9:30 AM Meet student host Eric Anderson Admissions/CMC Room 136
9:40 AM Attend Corporate Valuation Management with Nathan Averbuch
11:15AM Evaluative Interview with Kat Buckspan Admissions/CMC Room 136
1:00 PM Lunch with Eric Overcup Oak
2:00 PM Career Management Center Overview Admissions/CMC Room 136

I went on to Vanderbilt website to check who is Kat Buckspan. She's just one year elder to me and she's Associate Director of Admissions at Owen. That's impressive.

I plan to be regular on the blogs. I am crazy about planning for my b-school. This year I have to get in.

I will post more about my experience later...

All the best for fellow applicants.

Tuesday, 8 April, 2008

Important update on H1B

Those of you who are already working in the US on H1B and planning to change the status to F1 need not worry too much. After completion of MBA, you wont be subject to the quota and can opt to complete the remaining of the 6 years of H1.

This came as a big relief to me.

Look at the following link on business week:

Saturday, 5 April, 2008

Increase in brand value

I-flex solutions, my present employer changed its name to "Oracle Financial Services Limited". Oracle anyway holds 81 % stake in i-flex solutions.

Read the press release made by ORACLE two days back.

Oracle Press Release

Kevin Ruane

Peter Yorke
i-flex solutions
i-flex solutions limited to change its name to Oracle Financial Services Limited
Alignment with Oracle brand reflects synergies of scale, resources, expertise and efficiency
MUMBAI, 03-APR-2008 11:00 PM The Board of Directors of i-flex solutions Ltd. (Reuters: IFLX.BO & IFLX.NS) at its meeting held today in Mumbai, approved a proposal to change the name of i-flex solutions Ltd. to Oracle Financial Services Limited, subject to regulatory and shareholder approvals.

The proposed new name reflects the company's close strategic and operational alignment with its parent, Oracle Corporation, which owns 81 percent of the company. Oracle is the #1 enterprise software provider and counts 10 of the top 10 banks, insurance companies and securities firms among its more than 8,500 financial services customers across 145 countries.

The new "Oracle Financial Services" brand represents:
# The industry's most comprehensive range of packaged software and services solutions for financial services across banking, capital markets, and insurance - all from Oracle
# Deep domain expertise in the financial services industry coupled with world-class software development and support experience
# A unique combination of integrated and best-of-breed business solutions for the industry
# A business process-oriented approach that aligns IT initiatives with business requirements and enables an evolutionary transformation of IT infrastructure
# A strong commitment to open systems and industry standards, helping to ensure interoperability
# A partner-oriented approach that enables partners to deliver increased value around the solutions offered by Oracle Financial Services

The new branding strategy demonstrates the synergies of scale, resources, expertise and efficiency across the two organizations. The current management team under N.R.K. Raman, CEO and Managing Director, will continue to run the operations of the company.

"The new branding reflects the importance that Oracle attaches to the financial services sector," said Charles Phillips, Oracle President and Director of i-flex solutions Ltd., "Oracle Financial Services Limited will be a focal point for Oracle's investment in innovation and leadership in financial services, and we are delighted to put the power and credibility of the Oracle brand behind this strategic initiative."

"Our new corporate identity represents a unique combination of the industry-leading solutions portfolio and deep domain expertise of i-flex and the global capability, credibility, scale and technology leadership embodied by the Oracle brand, coming together to deliver comprehensive solutions to financial institutions around the world," said Rajesh Hukku, Chairman, i-flex solutions Ltd., and General Manager, Oracle Financial Services Global Business Unit.

N.R.K Raman, CEO & Managing Director, i-flex solutions Ltd., also commented, "The new identity will enable us to better leverage the global reach, infrastructure and brand visibility of Oracle to accelerate our growth. This is an important enabler of our mission to help financial institutions around the world excel through the effective use of information technology."

About i-flex solutions
i-flex(r) solutions (Reuters: IFLX.BO and IFLX.NS), majority owned by Oracle, is a world leader in providing IT solutions to the financial services industry, with more than 790 customers in over 130 countries. Its range of applications software, custom solutions and consulting services enable financial institutions to cut costs, respond rapidly to market needs, enhance customer service levels and mitigate risk.

About Oracle
Oracle (NASDAQ: ORCL) is the world's largest enterprise software company. For more information about Oracle, please visit our Web site at

# # #

Oracle is a registered trademark of Oracle Corporation and/or its affiliates. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners. (NOTE: final, trademark paragraph does not need

Thursday, 3 April, 2008

Some people hate business school..

Here's a link to post on wall street oasis :

There's also a post by Alex on that. Worth reading.

Friday, 14 March, 2008

Finance !!!! Thats wot I got to do...

Few days back, I listened to my inner voice after long introspection.

I have decided to make a career switch to finance. I won't rely completely on MBA to make this career switch happen.

Yesterday, I registered for CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) Level 1 exam in December this year.

Ideal plan is :
CFA level 1 Dec ' 08

CFA level 2 Jun ' 09

MBA - Class of 2011.

CFA level 3 Jun ' 11.

I know that CFA is very vast and rigorous curriculum in finance. I will have to work pretty hard to balance work and study commitment.

So the coming months are challenging as well as exciting.

Sunday, 24 February, 2008

Strategy Consulting for non-profits

I had applied to a strategy consulting firm, whose main focus is non-profits and small businesses. I'm really happy to report that I have been shortlisted for an interview. I cleared the first and second round where I had to write few essay questions. Selection rate till this stage is 33%.

Now comes the biggest challenge.A CASE INTERVIEW. The overall selection rate is only 15%.

Avg experience at this firm is : 7 years, 50-60% people are MBA. I have 5 years of experience and no MBA. So I have to display strong performance in case based interview.

I know their consulting framework thoroughly, but I would like to study few cases in non-profit side. I am very much new to non-profit management world.

I want to read some strategy consulting cases in non-profit.

Can anybody help me with this ?

Monday, 18 February, 2008

Application Strategy - the big picture..

I know this is too early for Fall 2009 cycle. But I want to be prepared well in advance. I feel really good about the decision I took to postpone MBA by one year in October last year. I will certainly have many distinguishing factors this year.

I will be applying to 6 schools this year. 4 will be top schools.

The applications will be distributed across R1 and R2.

R1 :
3 Top schools
1 Backup school

1 Top school
1 Backup school

That's the end. I hope by this year end to get 2-3 admits and I have choice to select a school I will be attending in Fall'09.

Tuesday, 29 January, 2008

2008 FT Rankings -- Lot of surprises

FT recently published their rankings for 2008.

ISB ranks among top 20. Its great to know from Indian perspective.But certainly hard to believe that it ranks ahead of Kellogg. IE - Spain and IESE ranks ahead of NYU-Stern.

There are lot of so so universities from UK such as Strathclyde, Cranfield ahead of Darden, Haas - Berkeley.

Check this out :

Friday, 25 January, 2008

I hate Unpredictable schedules in IT Jobs...

Here in this post, I am going to write about something that most of us hate. Frankly, there is lot of uncertainty in our schedule (IT people).

Do we work from 9:00-5:00 PM ? Answer : Very rarely, Do we spend 9:00-5:00 in office ? Answer : More often. So what is the difference huh? spend time vs work. This happens when we have no work or very less work. I call this as "Allocated Bench". We are allocated to a project but still don't know how to pass the time. One reason for this could be that the project has moved to production and sometimes some work crops up other time we enjoy. Another reason could be project is continuing to exhaust the allocated budget.Anyways lets stop analyzing this and return to the point.This is one side of story.

On the other side, we have so much work that we end up spending 12 hours in the office. Most interesting point is that this comes suddenly without notice in most of the cases. Today, my manager walked to my bay and said "All the days of enjoyment are now getting over. Business wants some enhancements and we have very tight deadlines to fulfill them." Gosh !! I have heard this many times..The very first thought that comes to my mind is "If planned properly I would not have to work for 12-14 hours suddenly ..The reason for this is that "IT Services business" is more of reactive in nature than proactive. Business users wont do anything until they are in complete shit. Later they will enforce strict deadlines.
On the other hand, I have seen "IT product development" more streamlined in the approach. They have regular routines.

This uncertainty in schedule puts serious limitations on the extra-curricular activities that one can get engaged into on a regular basis. This requires strong will and commitment. No wonder , why IT guys applying to B-schools have less to show on this front. I hope somebody from Ad com reads this entry and excuses us to certain extent on extra-curricular / community service front.

Also few updates in past few days:
I recommend two books that I read in recent times - "Discover your destiny with Monk who sold his Ferrari" by Robin Sharma, "Where all leaders have gone ? " by Lee Iaccoca. Currently also reading, "What Color is your parachute ?"
I have started learning Spanish and my efforts have become serious now over past week. If anybody is interested in learning Spanish, I recommend

Cheers ..

Saturday, 12 January, 2008

Enough of procrastination..Its time to act !

Lot of time has gone already. 3 months have already passed by since I landed in US.

During the weekdays, typical lifestyle has been : wake up at 7:30 - 7:45 ,have frozen Paratha or something for breakfast , prepare lunch box, head for office @ 8:45 , lunch @ 12 :00, take a coffee break @ 4:00 , leave office at 5:30 - 6:00, reach home at 6:45, sometimes go to gym / play tennis , & then TP till 11:30 -12:00 in the night.

Weekends used to be passed in activities such as laundry, cleaning , grocery shopping and sleeping.

There are lot of distractions on the internet such as facebook , orkut , HotOrNot, online movies etc etc which used to consume lot of my time. But there was kind of no option for me. In Tampa - FL , the place where I am based, there is barely any public transport available. I knew that I have to get a car before I can start any activities outside of work. Recently I have bought one so that makes me mobile.

Now its time to limit all online time pass stuff and concentrate my time and effort to improve my profile otherwise. There are tons of things to do.

I must better get going. The activities outside work will not only help me make life more interesting but also help to make profile good for B-school and distinguish among other applicants.