Friday, April 30, 2010

The ultimate survival kit for any B-School internship season

DISCLAIMER : Any relevance with the real world is purely expected. Oh, and incidental too.

the intenship season now. Prayers are the order of the day. Lots of interns are well on their way to plotting ways of getting the coveted PPOs, while some others wish and pray that those other interns actually get their PPOs. Company executives are frantically finding out innovative "strategies" to "involve" the interns in the "working" of their organization.

So how do you survive these couple of "survey" filled, "e-mail sending SOS's desparately asking for help" filled months? Here's how.


Imagine you are doing your internship. You are at your best behaviour. All suited up. Facebook only for those couple of hours when your mentor is out having lunch/smoke. But, despite all your efforts asking seniors for solutions/ googling for answers/ begging people to take your surveys (I have taken all your surveys!! Please take mine!! Only couple of minutes. And 125 questions. ONLY!) , you have not been able to find out anything significant to present your mentor.

What do you do?


STEP 1 : The PPT. They say Porter is the father of strategy. I disagree. Bill Gates is. If not for this piece of software, your strategy would never work. You would actually have to ONLY talk your way out of every situation. For you non-talkers, that's a strict NO NO!!

Number of slides, very important. The mentor says "Keep it short and sweet". You make it a point to put in atleast 125 of them. That's the least. Anything more is a bonus.

What you put in those slides, not so much important. Very VERY secondary. Lot's of graphs, IMPORTANT. Quoting Wikipedia is akin to standing bare armed and naked in front of Hitler. You are begging to be killed on the spot. Instead, carefully take all the links quoted from wikipedia, and quote them. It's all the same.

STEP 2 : Keep in touch with your mentor. Frequently. You need to give him the impression that you are working really hard.

Bending the truth a bit doesn't hurt anyone. You say "I am currently interacting with the primary age group sample size, and am very close to getting answers to the primary research, through the various multilateral interactions and surveys", when you would actually be poking your friends on Facebook. And GTalking.

You non-talkers, better start learning such small small things. They go a big way to the success of your strategy.

STEP 3 : Use of "strategic" words. These are words that no one would ever understand, but will still nod as though they understood everything that you were saying.

Like "Eyjafjallajökull".

You : ...Sir, the porters five forces enhances the main point of this strategy to bring to the masses the core ideology of strategically accepting the phased inclusion of the product into the primary market.

Mentor : mmmmm....

You : And Eyjafjallajökull.

Mentor : Brilliant! Implement it immediately!

Particularly works well with mentors who are in very high positions.

Follow these steps very carefully. And I guarantee you, you will get your coveted PPOs, and live a life of constant Farmvilling, Mafia Warsing, IP messengering and all those other beautiful wonderful things that a B-school life has to offer in your second year.


Imagine you are this employee in this organization. You are doing your normal work. You have a complete routine set. Coffee breaks, one each in the morning and evening, for an hour each. Lunch break for an hour. Check the latest football/cricket news on the free internet provided to you by the office the rest of the time. Ah, things could not get any better.

Then, pandemonium. Crisis!! You are assigned an intern. Not just any intern. A B-school intern. You know, those strategizing types.

What do you do?


Step 1 : Assign a topic to your intern that would take yourself a million years to understand. And is of absolutely no significance to your company. And give them a deadline of one week to come up with an initial PoA. (Plan of Action. But make sure you say it as PoA only.)

You know for sure that the intern will enjoy and rest the first 6 days, and frantically ask their seniors/Google/take surveys on the final day before the deadline. But, it atleast takes them off your shoulders, and gives you the time to think of how you can use your swanky new Micromax mobile to mute your wife/girlfriend. And go "What the BEEP!".

Step 2 : This will happen during the week. The intern will come to you in-between to let u "know" that he/she is actually working on that non-existant project that you don't even remember the name.

Questions like "Should I do this or that?", "What should be the order of the PoA?" will come up very often.

Reply back by saying "You Decide. You're the boss of this project!!"

The intern will then think "Oh Wow! I've got a very entrepreneurial mentor! I'm sure to get my PPO!!" and will go back to his/her relaxing ways.

This step is very lengthy in terms of length of the internship. Usually this continues until all deadlines are met.

Step 3 : The final presentation. Intern comes to you a day before with a "draft" PPT. He/She shows it to you with full enthu, fully expecting a shower of praises on the "exciting and insightful" work put in this project (What was the name of it, again?).

Make sure you put in suggestions of your own, just to spice it up a bit.

"How about a porters five force model of the industry as a whole? It will give a holistic view of your project"

"Put a very effective exit strategy for your project. It could mean life or death for the organization!!"

Also, subtly send the message that a 125 slide PPT is required, minimum. Usually "Make it short and sweet" does the trick.

Step 4 : The final presentation. The day of the presentation. The whole management team has come. You are scared. Petrified even. I am going to miss my IPL streaming of the match on youtube today... NO SACHIN, you think. You tweet that thought even.

Wait for the right moment to let the management team know that your intern has finished with his/her presentation. Usually the time comes when one of those "strategic" words are spoken. Doesn't matter whether the intern has actually finished the presentation or not. You need to watch Sachin play.

Intern : ..... And Eyjafjallajökull.

You : Brilliant! Implement it immediately!

Intern : Contin.....

You : That will be all my friend!!

Wait for the reaction of the management team.

Huge thunderous applause : The intern gets a PPO.

Applause : The intern gets a PPI.

"Eh. I need to watch Sachin play!!" : Oops. Zilch. Nothing. "Hope you have great interviews elsewhere" you tell your intern. Or "We are in a hiring freeze strategy at the moment. Recession, you see".

There you go. Crisis averted. You get your free time, and the intern is "happy" with the "deep insights and thorough learning" that he/she got from this project. Both sides are happy.

So, this is the ultimate survival kit for you interns and mentors, during this tumultuous, rip roaring B-School internship season. Use it at your own discretion.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Yeamasing Kochi Claimmette!

4 PM : Bright and sunny. Hot too. (OK. HOT is maybe too much to say. You need to be in Delhi to experience HOTness. Unless of course, you see me *WINK*.). Need I talk about the humidity?

4.30 PM : Dark and cloudy. And windy. Very windy. Almost cyclonic windy.

4.45 PM : It's still windy. AND its raining. No. POURING. No. (A word to describe rains that are even more heavy than "POURING").

5 PM : The wind's stopped. But it's still raining cats and dogs.

5.30 PM : WOW. It's only drizzling now. As much as it would in the whole of Delhi's rainy season.

5.45 PM : No rains. Heavy thunder and lightning. It's as loud as the fireworks procession at the Thrissur pooram. Even more. And the lightning comes as close to the earth as it possibly can.

6 PM : Everything's stopped. And the weather has become very VERY cool. Perfect weather to go out and enjoy!!

So, this is how it is. On the dot. Everyday. Yep. EVERYDAY. As I write this, the weather has reached the 4.30 PM stage. Kochi weather is just simply amazing.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Name that volcano.

You just know you're going to take a looooooooooong time when you try pronouncing the name of this, now very famous, volcano that's creating havoc in Europe.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Even more busy days ahead?

The looooooonnnggg looooooooongg two months spent after getting my job offer has seen me going to the following places :

1) Kurukshetra
2) Delhi - There is a LOT to see in Delhi!!
3) Jaipur
4) Agra
5) Mathura
6) Pune
7) Goa
8) Amritsar
9) Mcleodganj
10) Dhanaulti
11) Rishikesh
12) Haridwar

Not bad for a couple of months, is it?

Now to see where I can go to in the next couple of months..... Here's a possible list

1) Bengaluru
2) Hyderabad
3) Chennai
4) Thrissur - for the Thrissur Pooram, of course (For those ill-informed, read : .)
5) Road trip across Karnataka.
6) Going all across Kerala once again.

Sure looks like its going to be pretty busy, the next few months (or till the time i have to join, whichever is sooner).

I will have to make full use of the time I have!!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Of playing Dumb Charades and going White Water Rafting.

Talk of intense planning!!

Mail sent to us a day before the trip was scheduled to happen :

"Here is the link of the personal checklist, location and testimonials of the Riverside Jungle camp at Rishikesh as provided to me by Camp Wildex. Please go through the same to pack your bags accordingly. We are leaving at 10 tonight so please be ready and steady by 9.30 PM. We shall be reaching Mussorie - Dhanaulti tomorrow morning at 5.30 to watch the sunrise from there and then enjoy the scenic beauty of this beautiful uncommercialised place. We shall than go to Mussorie for breakfast and local sight seeing and leave for Rishikesh camp post lunch. We can also stop at the famous Kempty falls enroute and shall reach our camp max by 6-7 PM. We can play volleyball and other sports at the camp and also booze by the bonfire at night. In the morning, after breakfast, we shall leave for the 25 km stretch of rafting from Marine Drive (not the one in Bombay :P). This shall be followed by lunch and a waterfall trek in the jungle for 2-3 hrs. We shall leave the camp after the trek by about 5-6 PM and reach MDI by night. We have booked a luxurious 9 push back seats + sofa, air conditioned with TV tempo traveller for the journey. So, please pick up some CD's having nice songs/movies for the journey.
See you at 9.30 PM. Adios!!!"

Now, when you see such a mail, you would normally go "Ah yes! Very well planned... Now I really do think nothing can go wrong." And you hope that nothing will go wrong.

So, did anything go wrong during the trip?? You betcha. Starting with the luxurious Air Conditioned TV tempo traveler.

A trip that was supposed to take about 5 hours ended up going to close to 10 hours, just because the driver kept stopping at random places in-between to take a break. We did keep ourselves busy by playing dumb charades. Me, of course, was in deep rest throughout the journey.

We finally reached Dhanaulti in the middle of the day. Fortunately, the weather was wonderful. The scenery, amazing. The place is usually covered in snow till January. It's a nice place to relax and just enjoy the peace.

We left the place in after about an hour. We had to leave early, given the way the driver drove. The idea was to reach Rishikesh at around 5 in the evening, so that we could camp over there at night and go rafting in the morning. But, did it happen that way?

Nope. We ended up reaching Rishikesh at 10 in the night. Talk about keeping time!!

Anyways, we spent the night camping. The experience was exhilarating.

We got up next day, only to find that some of the people from our group (A certain "triangle", for those who know what I am talking about!) had gone on a trek to some limestone caves nearby. After they came back, we packed up and left the camp towards the rapids for our white water rafting. Again, we were a good 3 hours late, and ended up starting the rafting at 12 in the afternoon. Bad time to start.

The experience, however, is out of this world. This is one thing everyone HAS to do atleast once in their lives!! The thrill you get from going through those rapids is outstanding. The highlights of the rafting experience are the two huge rapids, and the cliff jump right at the end of the ride. I am scared of heights, so the feeling when I took the leap of faith was an eye-opener.

Overall, it was truly an amazing trip. One that was planned meticulously, but executed badly. But still, the rafting made it all worthwhile!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Thank you.

Thank you for all the words of wisdom given. Thank you for the mid-night snacks. Thank you for helping me out when in need. Thank you for withstanding my endless bouts of PJs. Thank you for the endless bhasad on IP messenger. Thank you for giving me all those movies and songs through DC++. Thank you for the amazing badminton and TT games. Thank you for those amazing CS night outs. Thank you for those mind blowing parties. Thank you for the memorable moments at the dome. Thank you for all those outstanding trips. Thank you for the endless amounts of coffees and tea........

All in all, Thank you for everything!!

Peace Out!