Archive | February, 2011

Let the games begin!

21 Feb

A new week, a new course, new students. A very warm welcome to the exchange students from the various schools who are participating in various courses in Term2. It is just wonderful to have you here!

Today, we began with Supply Chain Operations, which is extremely interesting for me personally since it somehow helps me understand one of my favorite industries; retail a whole lot better. One thing that I really like in all our courses is how the answer to several key questions is ‘It depends’ or ‘Ça depend’,  as the French may say, haha. That and the other bit about ‘ There are no right answers, it depends on what the customer wants’. Which reminds me a lot about the learnings from my previous jobs; sometimes, we wouldn’t take a step just because we weren’t sure whether the customer wanted it.

Anyways, between today and Thursday, we are going to be immersed into a simulation exercise on Operations-Management. The idea is to improve operations at the lowest costs and the highest inflows. Suffice to say, I have been hitting the PF5 button several times while writing this post. May the best team win, which I sure hope is my team.

On that note, have a good day, wherever you are!

Ciao,

Anita

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Time…

17 Feb

‘Time Without Courage and Time Without Fear is Just Wasted, Wasted Time.

This is one of my favorite songs and somehow it feels very pertinent right now. Well, for me, that is. Time seems to be racing past and we are already in the 6th month of our MBA. For those of you who have been following my scribbles regularly, you must be wondering why does she keep writing about time; time and time again, eh! But, yeah, this experience has got to be amongst the top5 speediest ones of my life, and I am having difficulties grasping the whole of it.

Now, I am starting to decipher the ‘ideal post-MBA job’ that I’d like to choose. And I now have Google as my best friend, seriously. I realize that its not going to be easy finding the places that’ll let me do ‘exactly’ what I’d like to be doing in the next decade or so. You know, I have a fair idea of what I’d want but getting there is more work than I imagined it’d be, haha.

So I dedicate this random rambling of mine to one of the greatest bands of all time- Hootie and the Blowfish. The opening line of this post is from one of their best songs, Time. And life, right now, is pretty much a combination of those 3 elements; time, fear and courage.

Till later,

Anita

Check- 11 out of 20 subjects!

11 Feb

Feb 09, 2011: Its 3 a.m. and I am staring at the assignment due in 4 hours. It all pretty much comes down to the type of person that I am-i.e. an owl and not a lark. The assignment  due is for the current course ‘Negotiation’ and I probably should save this as a draft and get back to Ms-Word. Its interesting how much of knowledge there is in our world and how much of academic research is being done on topics that I would previously never have thought of as ‘academia-oriented’. Term2 is majorly focusing on all the intangibles; people skills, active listening, empathy, assertiveness, letting go, respect- the simple things of life. The Professor mentioned today that ‘Silence is a powerful weapon in a negotiation’; I, for one could use it a lot more; haha. The course basically covers a set of tools and principles that we could use in negotiation. All of us have been negotiating ever since we were born; you know, the days of ‘Can I stay out an hour more?’, ‘Can I please get next month’s allowance in advance?’, ‘Honey, is it OK if we watch a movie instead of a play?’. You get the drift. This course focuses on the simple processes  that we could adopt to make the apparently simple art of negotiation a lot more structured and  focussed.

Feb 11, 2011- Its 6.15 p.m. and the view from my window just went from gorgeous-orange-sunset to cloudy-dusky-night. All in the space of a couple of minutes. Sigh! Anyways, today was Day5 of the Negotiation course; the 5th in the series of 1-week courses this Term. Unbelievable! We are now through with more than 50% of the 20 subjects for the year and I do,do feel that I now know a lot more than 5 months back. As for next week, some of us have opted to take European Business Law. As for me, I start with Supply Chain Operations the week after and am looking forward to a quiet next week – chilling most of the time, getting some preparation done for the job-hunt in a few months, practicing my German, reading up on a long list of books and maybe a couple of trips around. Here then, is to a quiet week of self-reflection! 🙂

Before I sign off, I wish those of you applying for MBS all the very best!

Till later,

Anita

Just be yourself.

1 Feb

A common thread running through most classes has been ‘Just be yourself’. This, in fact has been the motto of the founder and former CEO of Southwest Airlines Herb Kelleher. He founded the company on the basic principles of ‘Work is fun’ and ‘Employees come first’ and he lived those principles and successfully managed to inculcate them into the organization. The employees are encouraged to be themselves as well. I find it rather refreshing that in today’s world of ‘everyone trying to be the same’, there is a refreshing bunch of people who take pride in being themselves.

The other common thread has been the ‘Buy-in Factor’, where you communicate to people the changes you intend to make, involve them, let them participate and then its just easier to drive change. Having said that, it sure is time-consuming but yields better results. Change is a powerful thing; and ‘iff’ managed properly can work miracles. A friend of mine says that he has learnt a lot of ‘How to manage change’  from his kids; anyone who has tried forcing a kid to have her vegetables will attest to the power of ‘Buy-in’, and the power of subtle persuasion as opposed to ‘Because I said so!’.

And ‘It’s all about the people’ cannot be more emphasized upon. As I grow and work and study, the ‘People factor’ has attained the most important place on my list. The MBA continues to emphasize this factor; especially in Term2, where our subjects until now have been all about managing people, managing change and doing the ‘right’ thing. I do not intend to be preachy here, but the past few weeks have only reinforced certain basics. It’s nice to be reminded of them, every once in a while.

Be good! Till later,

Anita