Monday, August 27, 2012

MIT Sloan Fellows 2012 Commencement & Pictures - Final Post

This is going to be my final post. 

Our class graduated on Jun 8th, 2012. It was indeed a proud moment for all the fellows and our families. 

One year back I started this blog merely to share my experience as a Sloan Fellow as there weren't any other resources available online. I was pleasantly surprised to see the interest in this program. I was contacted by over a 100 people from all over the world. I'm very thankful to all the readers who have  followed my blog and to those who have reached out to me during my journey at MIT. 

I thoroughly enjoyed all my interactions with everyone and I hope I was able to help and answer your queries. This blog is just a glimpse into the life of a Sloan Fellow but there is so much more that the program and the school has to offer. 

Now that I have graduated, I am formally closing this blog. For those who are interested, I have taken up a position in Operations with Amazon.com in the US. I have always enjoyed working in Operations and this is what I wanted to do after Sloan. 

Though the blog is formally closed, I will still be available to answer any queries and respond to any comments.

Some pictures from our commencement are posted below.

Once again, thank you for all the support. It has been nothing less than a transformational journey. Here's wishing the very best for all prospective candidates.


Red Jackets, Class of 1962


Salman Khan of Khan Academy, Commencement Speaker








Grad Rat
Grad Rat





MIT Sloan Fellows 2012 International Trip - Turkey & South Africa

Its been a few months since I blogged. Lots was happening at my end with the final term, exams, commencement, relocation etc. This post will be about the International Trip that we had this year. The location of the trip is announced by the program office late in the fall term and it changes every year. When I was at school that the international trip may be discontinued from next year but there was no formal decision on that. This debate was because of the difficulty in getting visas for all fellows (from 28+ countries) and needless to say that it poses a lot of challenges. 

In my opinion, these study trips (NY, San Francisco and specially the International Trip) were the highlights of the program. This year we went to Turkey and South Africa and met a number of leaders from the public and the private sector. 

South Africa (Pilanesberg & Johannesburg) - The trip started with a weekend in a wildlife reserve at Pilanesberg, South Africa and then we moved to Johannesburg for the week. During the trip we had leaders like the Chief of the Planning Commission, CEO of the Standard Bank and the CEO of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. Later part of the week had a tour of the Apartheid Museum and Soweto an urban/rural municipality which is now a part of Johannesburg. 

Turkey (Istanbul) - In Istanbul we visited Turkcell (the largest telecom company in Turkey) and invited several leaders to our hotel to speak about the current economic and business environment in the country. The trip ended with a cultural evening in one of the restaurants. 

There International trip also had a third stop over (optional) in Georgia. This trip was organized by one of our classmates from Georgia. I did not go but I had heard that it was a great trip. The class met up with the President of Georgia and also happened to meet Hillary Clinton who was visiting Georgia. Meeting the head of state is always an honor and no doubt our class was thrilled. 

This trip provided an amazing insight into the public, private and cultural spaces/sectors in these countries. This is something which you will not experience if you go as a tourist.  

Enjoy the pictures.


Beautiful Pilanesberg
  
Performance by School Children in Soweto


Poster in Apartheid Museum

Apartheid Museum

Istanbul

Downtown Istanbul


COO Turkcell addressing the Fellows

Turkcell HQ, Istanbul


Beautiful Pilanesberg


FIFA World Cup Stadium, Johannesburg

Apartheid Museum

Apartheid Museum

Cultural Night in Johannesburg

Johannesburg Stock Exchange

Group Photo with CEO, Standard Bank


Friday, April 20, 2012

MIT Sloan Professor amongst 100 Most Influential People in the World

After the summer term, I had written about Prof. Andrew Lo in my blog: Sheer Brilliance in Action

Prof. Lo was recently selected as one of the '100 Most Influential People in the World' by the TIME Magazine. The list also has Barack Obama and Tim Cook amongst others.



It was an honor to sit in Prof. Lo's class. 

Monday, March 26, 2012

California Trip (with Pictures) - MIT Sloan Fellows Program

We are now in the final semester and have finished the first half (H1). As part of the program, the Sloan Fellows class made a trip to California last week. We met top leaders from companies like Facebook, LinkedIn, eBay, Pandora and IDEO. The theme of the trip was 'Innovation'. If you remember from my earlier post, the theme of the New York trip was 'Leadership'. As ours is a program in Global Leadership and Innovation, themes of both the trips were in line with that of the program. 

We also visited Stanford and met the Sloan Masters Class of 2012 there. It was an interesting experience. 

Comment from one of the Stanford fellows which I think is very relevant, specially for people deciding between these two schools - if you want to pursue a career in High Tech or Venture Capital, only then it makes sense to come to Stanford, else you should go to MIT. 

And a personal observation, the Stanford campus was great but I found it to be totally cut off from the rest of the world. Cambridge has the advantage of being close to Boston, Harvard and the entire corporate/student community. After being with Infosys for so many years, I have never been a  fan of huge campuses. Once the novelty wears out, it doesn't feel so beautiful and excessive walking becomes a pain.

Enjoy the pictures..!!

Facebook HQ

LinkedIn Welcomes MIT Sloan Fellows

LinkedIn Entrance

Allen Blue, VP & Co-Founder LinkedIn, addressing fellows

Joe Kennedy, CEO Pandora

eBay HQ

John Donohue, CEO eBay addressing Fellows

eBay HQ

Stanford

Stanford

Stanford



Thursday, January 5, 2012

Career Services - MIT Sloan Fellows Program

This is going to be a long post..!!

'Career Services' or the lack of it in the program is one of most common questions I get from prospective applicants, specially the ones who are self-funded. When I applied to the program, I also had doubts about post program placement but here are a few things I have learnt over time.

Career Services & Placement Services - 2 different pieces

At the outset, it is important to note that the program does not offer Placement Services for Sloan Fellows but it does offer Career Services through the Career Development Office or CDO. 

Difference between the two is you will not get an opportunity to recruit on campus (through the CDO) even when companies are lining up to hire 2-Yr MBAs for fairly junior positions. But you get assistance to build your resume, individual sessions with the CDO Director, seminars with headhunters, access to alumni database and openings posted on the MIT Sloan Career Site. How helpful are career services vs. the placement service depends on where you are in your job search. 

Why no Placement Services.?

Reason why Placement Services were/are not offered is because historically the program has had more sponsored candidates than self funded candidates. Secondly, the stage at which Sloan Fellows are in their career (avrg exp. of 14 yrs), it is difficult for the school to have standardized placement services. 

But then the other side is in a class of 100 people, 50 are sponsored, 20 want to be entrepreneurs and then only 30 people are looking for jobs. So to place 30 people should not be a big deal for the school as they have the entire infrastructure in place (for 2 Yr MBAs) when it comes to placements.

Should you decide your school/program based on career/placement services..?

Absolutely not..!!

After graduating from a top school like Sloan you should be able to find your way. Networking is the most abused word in B-schools, but what it means is that you need to start reaching out to people you already know and also the ones you do not know who can be helpful in your job search. 

At the end it always comes down to the individual and the effort you put in your job search. Make no mistake that it does take a lot of time. Other schools like Stanford and LBS do offer placement services but after speaking to fellows there I got a feeling that it still depends on the individual and not the school. 

My recommendation for Job Search

If you get selected and join the program then:

a) Start early. 

Whether it is getting your resume in shape or reaching out to people, you start as soon as possible. People who struggled to find a job from earlier batches did not start looking till Feb/March, which in my opinion was really late. Executive hiring takes time so start early.

b) Keep your current job 

As a back up if you can and come on a sabbatical. This is one of the best advice I got before coming to the program and I followed it.

c) Play to your Strengths

If English is not your strength and you look for a job in US, you are competing against people who have English as their first language. So play to your strengths and not weaknesses

d) Avoid too many changes

Change of country, industry, function, role all at the same time will make things more difficult for you. For eg. if you have spent 14 yrs in Healthcare in Europe and now you want to transition to Banking in US, it is going to be extremely difficult. But if you want to remain in Healthcare in US but want to take up a larger role, its going to be relatively easy. 

Lastly, all of the above are subjective to each individuals profile, strengths, weaknesses, age, experience... the list goes on..!!