Experiential Learning Project : ELP

ISB is just a one year program hence you don’t get to do an internship as a part of the program, however they have a concept of students doing an Experiential Learning Project which is popularly know as an ELP.

Companies have to pay some amount ( I think about 1.5 lakhs) to the school and give a brief of the project they want the students to do and then the students make teams of 4-5 and write an expression of interest and apply for the various projects. There is a lot of chaos when you make these teams because you need to find people who have similar interests as yours. As a team you can apply for multiple projects, but getting 5 people in the team to agree on 3 different project out of a list of somewhere between 100 to 15 projects is not an easy task. Teams get formed…teams break up…people ditch teams….lots of emails are floated…it is crazy few weeks!

After all the drama(well not so much for me…cause till many days into the process…I thought I did not want to do an ELP!) we go an interesting project to come up with the Digital Marketing strategy for a leading pharmaceutical company.

The project is interesting….hope we manage to do a good job of it and learn lots in the process…our client has been pretty unresponsive so far….but I hope that changes!

Keep reading this space for more on our experience and digital marketing strategy!

Term 3 @ ISB

Overall nice term….very interesting subjects….good professors…so life was good!

So what did we try to learn in term 3?

Managerial Accounting: Very interesting subject and quite an interesting paper. I hope my grades/marks are decent but even if they are not I quite enjoyed the classes and even writing the exam.

We basically looked at different aspects of accounting, understood the concept of  contribution margin, applied overhead costs, product mix activity based costing (missed this class cause I was not well but understood it by and large!) and transfer pricing. I did not know I could ever say this about an accounting class…but yeah it was almost FUN!

Financial Accounting

This was a little hazy….we learnt a lot of new concepts, debt –equity ratio and their effect on share pricing, project NPV calculations, calculating the risk, the Beta etc etc…but I cant say I really really understood the subject….eveything seemed to matter and then someone would say that nothing really matters! We had nice professors but the subject was quite arbit!

Operations Management

I understood and almost enjoyed class but messed up the paper and the Little-field game.  Our Prof taught us concepts like you would teach babies..it was easy to comprehend. I almost enjoyed studying for the exam. I now understand the concepts of bottle neck, process flow times etc much better. Wish the exam was better L.

Entrepreneurship

Full on TP….read a case…give your comments and discuss it in class…no exam at the end of the course. All we had to do was find an entrepreneur and write a paper about him. Our group choose Ratan Jalan, the CEO of Apollo lifestyle and now has started Med-ium consulting. We had quite an interesting meeting with him. If I get the time, I will maybe write a blog on the key takeaway I had from his interview

Term 2 @ ISB

This was an afternoon term for us, so classes started either at 1.15 or 1.45. With the morning free it almost felt like we are on vacation on some sort of a resort. The subjects were relatively easier…well actually not, but we just go used to sitting in class and taking in stuff.

Term 2 we had competitive strategy, DMOP (Decision Models Optimization), Macro Economics, Marketing (But this marketing was full of Quant!)

Overall a comparatively chilled out term, DMOP was difficult and quant heavy but very very interesting. New concepts which I had never heard of like using a solver, slack constrain resources, transportation problem, shortest part problem etc etc. The professor Millan Sovni was also brilliant….cant say I understood everything he said but he really really tried…very sincere…very patient and someone who truly loved his subject and teaching it!

Macroeconomics was a very very interesting subject but our professor was a joke. He completely killed all interest in the subject anyone would ever have. Very disappointing L

Competitive Strategy was also disappointing…again…the prof was quite a fraud. We got unlucky and got the worst professor among all the 8 sections. Another disappointing subject L

Marketing : This was an interesting course…quite quant heavy and we had a markstart game which stimulated the real world

What Could I have done differently?

Been more involved in the markstart game till the end…well my group was super efficient…I did not need to be involved!

Worked on the competitive strategy earlier and touch-based with my connects in Groupon earlier and not waited till I though I understand more!

Should have come home for the term break! Campus is dead in term breaks..and you do NO pre-reads if you are campus!

Term 1 @ ISB

Term 1 was crazy….back to studying after ages…subjects like statistics, micro-economics, financial accounting and marketing(the only one that made sense!)

Statistics was above my head…normal distribution…z table….multiple regression ….t-tables…bla bla bla…regressions meant past life regression to be before I came and sat in statistics class!

Micro-economics was another interesting story, the prof in class would come and talk about very simple differentiation…and I would switch off. In hindsight I should not have switched off cause the differentiation was indeed very simple the bigger issue was what to differentiate with what! Overall key learning from Mico-economics class was MR=MC (i.e Marginal Cost = Marginal Revenue for the non MBA  folks).  Learnt stuff about Demand- Supply curves and complimentary/substitute products (tea and biscuits are complimentary products whereas butter and margarine are substitute products..if the price of one goes up the demand would go down and people would substitute with the other!) etc etc ….it was a long time (3 months is a long time in ISB time) ago so can’t remember what else we learnt!

Financial Accounting was awesome. The professor Mary Lea McAnally from Texas A&M University was simply BRILLIANT! What a class presence…overall made a brand new …normally boring dry subject extremely interesting and engaging!

Marketing was the only subject that I managed to get an A grade it (the fact that I am not talking about  my other grades speaks for itself…so no offline msg asking what my grades were like!). The reason marketing was a breeze was because 20% of the grade was class participation, another significant percent was presentations..cases etc…if there is anything I can do is talk my way out of things and that is what the marketing course asked us to do. Learnt some interesting things …basically stuff we already  knew but just a different way to look at it.

Overall…what could I have done differently…?

Done my Micro economics group assignments and not just left it for the group.

Realized some people seemed smarter in class not cause they are actually smarter than me but because they have already done these concepts at work

Not gotten into an inferiority complex….so what if most of my classmates were either CA’s or from some IIT or were posturing to be super smart! Two terms down the line all the posturing gets toned down and you realize they are as insecure about you being an ‘achiever’ from the ‘diversity’ quota (you know exactly how significant those achievement are!) so worry not!

My ISB Journey So Far….

 

I have been away from blogging for sometime, my excuse I am oh so busy in my MBA experience.  Well I am busy but I guess if I really really want I can sure find time to sit and write. There is so much that happens in ISB that there should be no death of things to write.

 

I am three terms old at ISB…(which is a little more than 4 and half month because it was three terms plus pre- term plus orientation week) and ISB feels like home! Campus is indeed very very beautiful…will put up some pictures so you get a feel of it.

 

Each of the three terms have been unique…different feel…different experience…different subjects….even different friends….

 

So for anyone who cares…the next 3 posts are going to be a term wise snap shot of my journey  at ISB so far. This little write up will do absolutely no justice to what the journey was actually like…the ups..the down…there were days when I felt…why on earth am I here!? Did I really pay for this! WHY! What was I thinking!? There were days I felt great about being a part of ISB…there were days I felt I was learning absolutely nothing….and everything was just whizzing by and there were other days I felt enlightened coming to ISB!

 

Going forward I will try and write more often…there is so much happening at ISB everyday that I can easily have atleast 2 posts to write a day….but that would be too ambitious….but I will try and get one post every 2 days….shit that means 15 posts a day….over ambitions…maybe….but lets see!

 

For now…if you care….keep coming back evey 2 days here for a snapshot of my journey so far at ISB!