Recently, I had a chance to visit Hyderabad. Though the schedule was mostly packed, but I knew I had to find time for the only class-visit I could afford. So I decided to scedule a class at ISB and extended my stay at Hyderabad by one more day.  

I had requested to arrange a class on Monday. Luckily, I got to meet one of the ISB students on Sunday and when he got to know that I’m a prospective student, he advised me to attend “Corporate Finance” by Prof Bhagwan Das Chowdhry, who was considered a God in coporate-finance.  Finally, with a number of mail-exchanges with the admission-office, I was alloted the slot of 2-4 PM.

So I got dressed in the best set of formals that I had in my luggage. As I was reaching the school, the sky started getting overcast.  And surprisingly the auto-wallah didn’t know the location.. I had expected the school to be a known big entity at least in the surrounding area.. But perhaps, not many visitors to ISB use an autorickshaw to get there. 😀

Finally, I was there.. I was really excited as I strolled through the serene road to the main-campus. The road was flanked by trees and at a distance, I could even spot a peacock!! I was really enjoying the leisurely walk, when suddenly my train of thought was disturbed by a sudden burst of rain.. And there I was running towards the main campus with all my might. At that moment, that felt like a scene straight from a bollywood  movie:: My manzil (destination) was in front of me and I was running hard in the downpour to get aboard. Only thing that would have completed that scene to perfection would be someone landing a helping hand from there and pull me inside.. ( No!! I’m not hoping that someone to be the girl of my dreams!! Even a senior elderly member from Adcom would have done. Just take me in!! :D)

Anyways, enough of digression!! Finally I was in the main campus. The rain had undone all my efforts to look good, but in any case, I had to proceed. After asking for directions, I was there for the class in time. I introduced myself to the prof and he happily allowed me in the class.  Now, I decided to take a vacant seat in the middle-row. But just for the formality, I asked the student seated next to the seat in question: “Is this seat taken?” The guy gave me a weird look and said “Of course, it is” and pointed to the name-tag at the desk. I explained that I was a just a prospective student. Got to know that the prospective students/ teaching-assistants and others have to sit separately in the corners of the room. Worse part was that since the corner-seats were also full, I was to get my own chair for the class from the nearby room. Thankfully, I spotted a service-boy and was spared the weirdness of getting my own chair to the class.

The class was terrific!! Though I have no background of finance at all, but the teaching style was so good that I could make sense of most of it. Of course, the fact that it was the first class for the term helped. And I must mention that I really liked the way the class participated actively in the discussion.  Relevant questions were asked just at the  time when I felt I’m losing it. (Seeing that I was missing mostly those things that current students are missing too gave a boost to my confidence.)  And yes, there cerainly were some Qs asked just for the sake of it:: targetted at marking one’s presnece in the class. This is something that many of your friends pursuing MBA anywhere (I’ve heard from students at IIMs, NUS and US schools) will tell you. I’d have been surprised if I found ISB as an exception. 😀
After an hour, the class broke for 5 minutes and I decided to use the opportunity to (try to) talk to some students.. I found most of the guys quite smug and reluctant to talk. At least three conversations ended something like: “Hi, I’m a propective student <some more stuff>”
“Ohh gr8!! So are you liking the class?”
“Sure I am… BTW, how is the ISB experience so far.”
“It’s great”|| “It’s hectic”|| “In one word,hectic <pause>; In two words, very hectic” (And the guy excuses himself from a boring discussion.)
Come on guys!! I had expected more from students of a premier institute like ISB. Your life surely could be hectic, but I still feel you have better words to describe it to a prospective, eager student. If I were in your place, I’d have perhaps offered the prospective student a quick walk around the campus.. Okay, I guess that’s a bit too much time off their “very hectic” schedule. But at least a 3 minute discussion would not have hurt.. RIght?? ( Or I’m expecting too much without seeing the B-school life from inside.)

The second half of the class was interesting too, but the effects of lack of  proper sleep last night were quite visible. And I had to struggle hard to make sure that I was not thrown out of my first MBA class. 🙂 After the class, I had to make a quick exit as it was still overcast and I didn’t want to get drenched again.

Overall, the visit was quite good and inspiring. I’d love to be be part of such a great class even if that means making my life “very hectic” 🙂

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8 Responses to “The ISB experience!!”

  1. Chandra says:

    great writing.
    i could feel you experience.
    Woh !!!

  2. ahembeea says:

    Thats indeed an interesting experience! So does that make you bring ISB in R1 ? 😉

  3. ToMBALand says:

    Hi,
    Good you got a chance to visit the campus. But, I am not surprised at the attitudte of the ISB students. In my efforts to talk to current students/alumni at various schools around the world, it is the Indians who tend to be the most unhelpful. I always get better responses and reply rates to my questions from non-Indians, even though my name clearly marks me as Indian. As Russel Peters (the stand up comedian) and others who have worked abroad will tell you, Indians are the most resentful of other Indians. And even though all current students/alumni will always try to be supportive of their school and prospective students, do not expect such niceties from your fellow countrymen at B-schools (of course, there are exceptions to this general rule). So, I think it is even more important to go to a collaborative and diverse atmosphere of a foreign B-school. Even though I love ISB, I wouldnt be surprised if the asshole percentage at ISB and IIM is high. My 2 cents, from my encounters of the creatures at B-schools.

    Best luck for the process!!

  4. Sachin says:

    That was so unlike ISB :-\ atleast when one compares it with what’s gets portrayed to the potential applicants. Nevertheless it sure seems a good experience for you..so ISB in R1 is it? 🙂

  5. Ashwanth says:

    “Hectic” is one word that is commonly used by ISBians. I have a few friends who have either graduated from ISB or are studing there. All of them have used this word on more than one occassion.

    Its unfortunate that you couldn’t interact with the current students the way you would have wanted to. How ever busy a schedule they may have, the students should spare at least a few minutes for speaking with the prospective ones. As ToMBALand pointed out, there are exceptions. Even in the current batch. There are many who actively answer queries on pagalguy and other MBA forums. Guess, you just happened to speak with the wrong person.

    If you plan on apping to ISB in R1 then you have only about 10 days to finish your app.

    All the best!

  6. missionmba says:

    Hi all,
    Yes, it was an interesting experience (though could’ve been better with better response from students). But it doesn’t push ISB in R1.. 🙂

    @All::
    I’m not sure whether we can generalise this to all Indians.. My experience with Ross people (Indians) has been very good.. But yes, I’m waiting for replies from many others..

  7. John says:

    Did you make it into ISB finally?
    Please reply to my mail id 🙂

  8. Maverick says:

    I agree with Tombland to a certain extent. Usually, Indian students get snobbish for other Indians the moment they associate with a brand name. May be they have worked too hard to get there and don’t want to share their secrets. Another reason could be a feeling of insecurity due to the growing competition. So the best way is not share the precious info!(sad). I also agree with Shobhit because not everyone is like that. There are few gems left but again they are difficult to find. When I had an opportunity to chat with one of the current ISB students, the way we started the chat was – Hi, Is it a good time to talk – Yes, go ahead – Q – A(very short) – Q – A(again short) – Q – brb and no response thereafter! Need to get the basics right and change this attitude big time!!

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