Friday, February 29, 2008

Mid-terms finished; Vacation about to begin

I wanted to write earlier but could not because I was busy with certain things - preparations for India week and then exams. In last couple of weeks, we had final exam for Management Accounting and mid-terms for Economics and Corporate Finance. Management Accounting was simple but the other exams really tested our concepts. For Economics, we had 50 multiple-choice-questins on MicroEconomics; the catch was that there was negative marking which meant we had to be very careful while marking our answers. In today's Corporate Finance paper we had to answer approximately 15 short questions and only a couple of questions were straight-forward. After taking the exam, I realized that the more I learn, the more I realize there is left to learn.

Apart from this, we also submitted our exchange program applications and track-selection applications last week. HEC Paris has outgoing exchange program with most of the world's top MBA programs and I think close to 20 people from my class will go on exchange. I did not apply for exchange and applied for Strategy as my chosen track. This year, getting Strategy track will not be easy because there have been over 40 applicants for 40 seats. I think we will know the outcome of our applications next week.

We have winter-break vacation from March 1-9 and I am eagerly looking forward to this break. I will leave for Prague on 6th and spend 3 days there. It is going to be another exciting trip I am sure.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Business Quiz at HEC

We had a business cum general knowledge quiz for MBA participants at HEC. There were 5 teams of 5 members each. There were 5 rounds with 10 questions in each round. It was a tough quiz I must say. A couple of teams were virtually out after the second round itself because of their abysmal performance. At the end of second round, we were trailing by 1 point but the third round changed it all. We scored 10 whereas the previously leading team scored 5. After that it was just a matter of maintaining the lead and we did it albeit by a narrow margin of 2 points.
So it was a closely contested victory and each of us received a bottle of champagne for the win:). I would say we were extremely lucky because Marvin - the person who did bulk of the scoring was not in our team originally; he joined us at the last moment and helped us win the contest. ;)
Here's a picture of the winning team:

The people in the pic from right to left:
1. Goran - one of the organizers
2. Bipul
3. Deepak
4. Marvin - the star
5. Rahul - that's me
6. Ashish

Looking forward to many such bottles of champagne ;)

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Latin week at HEC Paris

It is getting increasing difficult to find time to write these days. There are just too many things to do here(and I am not talking about studies...) and sometimes it becomes difficult to choose. I have to juggle my time between sports, preparing for India week and different club activities.

This week was particularly hectic as we celebrated Latin week here. We have people from Venezuela, Mexico, Columbia, Chile, Peru, Argentina and Brazil (I might be forgetting some other countries) in our batch and the Latin week was an event to showcase the Latin culture and celebrate the diversity. We saw some famous movies - City of God, Motorcycle Diaries which provided us insights into the life and culture of Brazil and other latin american countries.
Apart from this, we had presentations on various countries, a discussion on doing business in latin america, a music fest and finally a sumptous latin dinner. I tried to attend as many events as possible by balancing my time between other activities.

Things are moving well on the academic front also. We started our strategy classes this week and the first couple of classes were great. We discussed cases on the success of Southwest Airlines and the classic Cola-Pepsi wars. Our strategy proff makes the classes really interesting. He randomly calls upon a person and asks him/her to initiate the case discussion. This makes it imperative that each of us prepares the case thorougly before the class. I am looking forward to more strategy cases in coming months.

On the personal level, I am looking forward to the one week winter break in March first week. I have just booked my tickets for Prague where I am going with close to 50 Cite Universitaire folks. Hopefully, this trip will be as exciting as my previous trips to Rome, Barcelona and UK.

Monday, February 4, 2008


Last month, French president Sarkozy made his first visit to India. During this visit, a lot of initiatives were taken to increase the cooperation between India and France on various fronts. As part of this visit, NDTV prepared a special show on the Opportunities for Indians in France. The show, titled "France:Opportunities Beckon" included a section on HEC Paris, as being one of France's premier educational instititues and attracting many Indian students. The show can be viewed here.