Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Rotman is keeping me busy...

4 official weeks at Rotman have gone and Q1 is about to finish….

It has been long that I have tried a hand to write something in my blog. Virtually I have written 3 DMD (Decision making diary) entries and one essay on Moneyball. I had promised myself to write a blog every two weeks but found difficulty to keep up with time. Let me summarize last four weeks of official Rotman curriculum.

Let me start with a typical day at Rotman:

Get up at 6 AM – Prepare for the class
8:15 AM – Get in to subway for school
9:15 to 11:15 AM – FIT class
11:30 to 1:00 PM – Stats class
1:00 to 2:00 PM – Club meeting
2:15 to 3:45 PM – Accounting class
4:00 to 4:30 PM – Meeting with professor
4:30 to 6:30 PM – Accounting scholar session
6:30 to 7:30 PM – Economics scholar session
7:45 to 8:30 PM – Get in to subway for home
8:30 to 9:00 PM – Rest (I have life as well), check Facebook, check RWorld, check personal email etc.
9:00 to 9:30 PM – Cook food
10:00 to 1:00 AM – Prepare for next day
1:00 AM to 6:00 AM – Sleep (if you are lucky)

Week 1 started at a steady note and with a lot of promise. Professors are very conversant and dedicated.  Within couple of days I realized why upper years said that it’s gonna be fun. Five subjects started with a bang with lots of workload. MBA is getting more work done is less time and first year is designed in such a way that professors give more work than one can handle and we need to prioritize work according to one’s merit. I was just absorbing studies after 8+ years and Economics professor announced quiz at the start of Week 2 so it’s time to test what prof taught us. Side by side group project and assignments also kicked off. Week 3 was stable but it was linearly increasing with work. More quizzes and assignments were keeping everybody busy. Week 4 started with clubs kick-off meetings. I wanted to join each one of them but for the obvious reason of time scarcity I decided against it and joined Consulting, Business technology, Risk, Net impact and out-reach clubs. Got knows from where will I get time to attend all the sessions. I am definitely not a finance guy so did not join Rotman Finance Association. We had to write an essay on Money ball. This was a big pain for most of us especially when you need to find relevance between a baseball book and business. Money ball movie was released in the nick of time but I did not watch it as per some of my classmate’s advice. I am going to watch it on 06th Oct along with Prof Womack.

Exams are knocking at the door and will start from 16th Oct. It’s hard to believe that first quarter will be over soon. As per upper years the next quarter is going to be the toughest one in entire Rotman journey. I already have more than I can handle so don’t know what will Q2 bring. Keeping my figures crossed.

On the personal front I have moved (with my cousin) to new Condo in Younge Street, already joined and left gym thrice and planning to start swimming. Only study and no play has put a couple of pounds on me and my new business suit is hardly fitting me now. I have to shed some weight but not finding any time for it.

I hope to live up with my promise and try to write something once in every 2 weeks. C ya…..

Sunday, 21 August 2011

2 more weeks have gone....


It is raining heavily today in Toronto. Enough of bright sunlight and it seems that weather will take a U turn soon. 2 more weeks have gone and I am still wondering if my decision to take MBA at this juncture of my life is well justified or not. I hope that return of investment will be at its par.

First week of pre course started with business math and spreadsheet modeling courses. Math is my favorite subject but I have learnt relating a simple line equation (y=mx+c) to real business problem. This is what we all have to master in due course.  After my high school we (me and my friends) all thought that probability is gone but it has come back like a haunted witch. Spreadsheet modeling course was to understand pure excel techniques and its usage in data analysis.

Second week started with Foundation of Accounting, Spreadsheet modeling level II and Communication skills / boot camp. First time after so many years I got a hang to sit in a class continuously for 8 hours. It is very difficult to concentrate even after two Starbucks (Grande) shots. Accounting course was taught in a very simple manner and it is all about relating everything to business problems.  I was scolding myself for not taking accounting course earlier in my high school. It is such an integral part of life and is used every day. Spreadsheet modeling level II is about using excel to model raw data and give it a meaningful state. Boot camp was a glimpse of real life at Rotman MBA. It is how to communicate, how to crack a case, how to present and how to de-stress? Most important tip in a case is not what to read but what not to read?

I got a chance to meet my Canadian classmates in these courses. Rotman has selected great bunch of people and there is a lot to learn from everyone. I have learnt that my classmates are not my competitors but they are knowledge resources and I can learn a lot from each of them.

This week ended with my trip to Wasaga Beach (http://www.wasaga.com/). It is very good beach with about 70 minute drive from City. The road known as Airport road is very picturesque and worth driving. My agony started when I had to sit in back seat in the car. I have been driving a car for last 16 years but unable to drive here in Canada. I have decided to give G1 test (for license in Canada) as soon as possible. I don’t know how much more time will it take for me to be in driver’s seat again.

Week 3 will start from tomorrow and then Orientation days following by orientation camp. This reminds me that I have to find a sleeping bag for me. Couple of things before I forget, first is about my social status which I mentioned in my last blog. I gifted HTC Panache 4G to solace myself. Second is that I got my first Canadian credit card so now I have to concentrate on my credit history.

Time to dose off…. Thanks for your time for stopping by. 

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Landed in Canada

Hi All,

I have been thinking of writing something about my initial (2 weeks) experience at Rotman and in Canada. I got the initial push from Pete and Paige (my classmates) to write something about the same. If you want to know more about me please visit www.sharmarahul.net (it’s still under construction but it will give basic information).

Canada Landing: Ignoring everyone’s past experience I took Air India flight from India to Toronto on 27th July’11. Against all the expectations I found airline pretty cool except the face that they could have more female air hostess that male. Plenty of leg space as compared to other flights and good entertainment. Food was also ok for a vegetarian person like me. My happiness vanished as I landed Canada when I found that one of my bags got missing. Thanks to almighty that it was not the one with all essentials. It took 3 hours for officials to agree that my bag is really missing and it took another hour to report it officially. In this transition I missed my cousin at airport who checked each and every person at airport to find me. Anyways my cousin found me in the evening and then we finally found my bag. Everything was intact so as someone said “All’s well that ends well”.

ISOW: ISOW is international Student Orientation Week which was organized by 3 lovely ladies, Laura, Fevan and Edith. It was a fun filling week which started with introduction and ended with ISOW amazing race. We had a presentation competition in which we got a chance to show our presentation skills and we received good constructive feedback. There were couple of sessions about Canadian culture, what to expect from a Canadian and how words and gestures interpreted by different people from different origins. Unfortunately I did not won in any of the competitions but I get a chance to make some very good friends which I am hoping will last for long.

Networking: It is now in my blood, oh just kidding. I think I have heard this word 1000 times since ISOW started and as per upper class and faculty this is the most important thing on which we have to work. Back in India getting into a good MBA institution guarantee a good job and you will have the pleasure to say no to many recruiters. Things do not work in that way here. We have to network with people in order to secure an interview in our dream company but to get a job again you have to prove yourself. The punch line is one good network is far better than 100 normal networks.

Classmates: The class is full of knowledgeable people with different culture, background, age, status etc etc. Everybody has a great potential to be a successful manager and that’s why they are at Rotman. The learning starts from home so I am looking forward to learn as much as I can from my classmates. I have only interacted with international students till now but I will get a chance to meet and greet almost everybody in pre-courses. Many people like me have families back home and they are missing their loved ones.

Social Status: How can I forget this important topic which I am feeling every day? So what is Social status, as Dr. Lionel said in one of ISOW session “You only got to know it once you lose it”? No car, no money (except tution), no home, no wife, no kid, no house maid and you won’t believe no iphone. That’s when you say I have lost my social status. All the more reasons to work hard and get a good job. I believe that it will make us a bit more determinant and we will get what we want but the only caveat is to wait till we have MBA degree in our hands.

I think that’s a lot for my first Rotman post. Thanks for reading.