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Editor’s Letter

Try answering this: Why are you seeking to pursue your MBA study at this moment of your life in relation to your short-term and long-term career goals? Remember, goals are not an afterthought in MBA admissions. Hence, irrespective of whether you are thinking about applicant qualifications, choosing schools, the admissions perspective, or planning for the future, it is essential to have a goal in place. However, an MBA goal is flexible. Yes, you want to present yourself as a highly focused, motivated, and goal-driven individual, but schools also know that many students modify their goal as they become aware of opportunities in business school. So don’t overdo your commitment to a given path. A student who isn’t willing to budge or bend may miss out on new opportunities, interesting learning experiences, and a potentially rich future that he or she was simply too stubborn to consider. Further, a strong, clear MBA goal should guide your admissions research and your choice of target schools. A goal is something you want to do (not just study) and for MBA admissions purposes should relate it to a specific function and ideally an industry. For some applicants, geography is also an important element in their goal. Your goal should be based on your experience, not what your parents/significant other or friends think you should do, and not simply what will make you a lot of money. As Dean Robert Bruner of Darden recently wrote on his blog: “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there. As the Proverb says, “Without a vision, the people will perish.” A big red flag is having no vision for your future. Without a vision, you might as well throw a dart to select a school. Better yet, without a vision you might as well defer your enrollment until you have figured things out.” This week’s EZine will help you ace the Personal Interview and also give you the confidence to manage group dynamics during a group discussion. Also, read the Current Affairs for an in-depth insight into the Indian microfinance sector. Further, the Region Focus throws light on the various study options available in the UK. Besides, it is essential that you know where you are going before you start packing your bags; and certainly before you start applying.

Sarita Kutty Editor

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NEWS ROUND-UP Melbourne Business School Appoints a new Dean Melbourne Business School has appointed Zeger Degraeve, a professor of decision sciences at London Business School as its next Dean. Prof Degraeve will replace Jenny George, who took over as dean at MBS two years ago. XIMB starts HRM Programme

Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubaneswar starts two year full time residential AICTE approved Postgraduate Diploma in Management (Human Resources). This Postgraduate Diploma in Management (Human Resource Management) programme is designed to develop highly competent human resource professionals by imparting the knowledge, skills and experience essential for managing human resources in the knowledge economy through various courses in the disciplines of Organisational Behaviour (OB), Human Resource Management (HRM), Employment Relations (ER), and Industrial Relations (IR). In addition to the inputs from OB/HR/IR Area, the students would also go through various courses from other Areas such as Economics, Accounting and Finance, Marketing, Operations, Information Systems, Strategic Management, and Business Ethics in order to develop holistic business perspectives with ethical and social sensitivity. Besides classroom courses, XIMB would also organise various interactive Leadership Talks by CEOs from industry and leaders from other walks of life to appreciate management as a “discipline” and “practice.” For details regarding Eligibility, Selection

NEWS ROUND-UP Procedure and Fees structure visit templates/XIMB/pdf/PGDM_HRM_ NEW.pdf. IIM Indore - 3rd Conference on Excellence in Research & Education IIM Indore will host 3rd Conference on Excellence in Research & Education from May 13, 2011 to May 16, 2011 at Indore. The purpose of this conference is to provide an opportunity for individuals with various research philosophies and interests to get together and promote the development of doctoral research in academic institutions. It will be a forum for sharing research work and will provide a platform for new initiatives and partnerships. It will also give an opportunity to the participants to interact with the experts from educational institutions, industries and research organizations to get a direction for their research work or aspirations. Target Audience - Research scholars who are keen to showcase their research work - Students who aspire to opt research and teaching as a career - Academicians to seek guidance for excellence in teaching - Young researchers who are looking for expert guidance - Industry professionals having keen interest in research What to expect • Opportunity to learn from research work of fellow presenters • Presentation by experts on research career, excellence in research and joy of research • Motivational seminars and presentations on choice of research as a career. • Industry perspective and need on research • New emerging areas from the industry perspective


• Presentation on funding opportunities • Tutorial and presentation on best practices in research, research ideas, proposals, recently completed work, work in progress • Opportunity to view research work in poster presentation form. Contact Website: pages/posts/excellence-in-researchand-education-conference--13-16may-2011176.php Great Lakes Institute of Management announced the launch of its Delhi NCR campus Great Lakes Institute of Management announced the launch of its Delhi NCR campus in Gurgaon in collaboration with the Institute of Energy Management of Research (IEMR).IEMR is a management institute exclusively focused on the Energy sector. It offers India’s most comprehensive Energy management program covering Power, Oil&Gas, Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency and Sustainable Development. Great Lakes has a tie-up with the Bauer School of Business at the University of Houston to offer it’s globally top-ranked Executive Energy Management program in India. IEMR and Great Lakes would work to extend the scope of this tie-up to other Energy programs also and create a world class Center of Excellence in Energy Management in Gurgaon. IEMR would now be Great Lakes Institute of Energy Management and Research (GLIEMR). UNICEF partners with IIM-L alumni to assist UN programmes As per the news in one of the leading national dailies, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has partnered with the Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow (IIM-L) Alumni Association to assist the United Nations (UN) children’s body in its programmes.

The partnership has been weaved around the IIM-L’s international alumni meet on May 7. The coordinated meet is being held at 10 locations across the globe viz. Singapore, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Mumbai, New Delhi, Kuwait, London, New York and lastly San Francisco. UNICEF is keen to enlist the IIM-L community to help in their initiatives in India and globally. The association would develop a framework, by which IIM-L alumni could use their experience and skills to assist UNICEF programmes. The coordinated worldwide meet of IIM-L community would put heads together to develop meaningful activities to assist their alma mater and UNICEF. An IIM-L spokesperson said moving away from tradition; IIM-L had devised a novel alumni meet, which has been consolidated into a single worldwide meeting of the community. Over 1,500 alumni are expected to participate along with IIM-L faculty and students. In the past, IIM-L alumni had participated in Kargil War Relief Efforts and Tsunami Relief Mobilisation. Sangam 2011 - The International Alumni Meet of IIM Kozhikode The alumni of IIM Kozhikode settled in various parts of the world will be taking time off from their busy lives to reunite with their alma mater and to cherish the memorable moments of their college days. The tradition started in 2004 when the 1st Alumni – Freshers’ Meet called Sangam was organized. The event is organized across 6 cities of India i.e. Mumbai, New Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata, Chennai and Hyderabad annually. As the number of IIMK Alumni grows, the event is being planned in Cochin as well along with 5 cities outside India in New York, Dallas, London, Dubai and Singapore. Sangam is scheduled on Saturday, 14th May 2011. The event would encompass a host of activities ranging from the Election for the Executive

committee of IIM Kozhikode Alumni Association, video presentations of the recent activities at IIMK and informal interactions among the students and the alumni during the cocktail dinner. The event shall be a gathering of around 1000 participants including over 600 alumni and their families this year and will be hosted on a large scale in the top notch hotels in these cities. The details regarding venue of the event is available on http://alumni. Educomp ties up with Great Lakes Institute of Management As per the news in one of the leading national dailies, IT company Educomp on Friday said it has tied with up with Chennai-based Great Lakes Institute of Management to provide e-learning education in India. In the next five years, Great Lakes in partnership with Educomp will start rolling out franchisees to conduct higher education programme and training in Tier-II cities. Educomp Managing Director Shantanu Prakash provided an estimate of Rs.150 crore in the programme. Great Lakes Dean and Founder Bala V. Balachandran claimed that e-learning based education would be provided at one-tenth of present fees being charged from the students on the campus. In-class fee for full-time two year post-graduate management programme is around Rs.10 lakh. IRMA Convocation 2011 IRMA’s Convocation for 2011 celebrated on April 26th 2011 was a resounding success. The event witnessed the graduation of 102 participants of the Post-Graduate Diploma in Rural Management and one participant of the Fellow Programme of the Institute of Rural Management. The Hon’ble VicePresident of India, Shri M Hamid Ansari, was the Chief Guest at the ceremony. 5

Tri-Valley University Head indicted for fraud Tri-Valley University President, Susan Xiao-Ping Su has been indicted on the allegations of visa fraud and money laundering. Almost 1500 Indian students mostly from Andhra Pradesh were affected due to the fraudulent activities of Tri-Valley University. Ms. Su, who served as the school’s chief executive officer, engaged in a scheme to defraud the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) by submitting fabricated documents in support of Tri-Valley University’s applications to admit foreign nationals on student visas. After gaining the relevant approvals from DHS, Ms.Su issues visa documents to students in exchange for the tuition fees collected from students. Bruce Weber to become dean of University of Delaware’s Alfred Lerner College London Business School professor Bruce Weber is to move back to the US in September to become dean of the University of Delaware’s Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics. Prof Weber, an information technology specialist, is chair of the Management Science and Operations group at LBS. He joined the business school in 2003, after working at Baruch College in New York and New York University’s Stern school of business. The Lerner school, in Newark, Delaware, runs both undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, including full-time, part-time and executive MBA programmes. It also has a range of MSc programmes, including accounting, finance and information systems. Indian Institute of Finance signs MoU with Foreign Trade University Indian Institute of Finance (IIF) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the

NEWS ROUND-UP prestigious Foreign Trade University at Hanoi, Vietnam to further the cause of research and education in the field of Finance on 6th May 2011 at the FTU. The agreement was signed between Prof. Dr. Hoang Van Chau, President, Foreign Trade University (FTU) and Prof. J. D. Agarwal, Chairman Board of Governors, Indian Institute of Finance (IIF), seconded by Prof. Tho Dinh Nguyen, Vice-President, FTU, and Prof. Aman Agarwal, Vice-Chairman IIF during their visit to Vietnam. The academic collaboration would further the cause of enriching research in Finance, Accounting, Business Management, Foreign Trade and Financial Economics, conduction of joint seminars, training programs and exchange programs at both faculty and student levels. This would also help build stronger Socio-cultural ties between the two nations and its people. IIF is its First few Indian Academic Partner along with Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT - in 2008) in the World from amongst 120 partners from USA, UK, Sweden, Spain, Russia, Norway, Netherlands, Germany, France, Denmark, Belarus, Columbia, Canada, China & Combodia, Australia, Thailand, Taiwan (China), Singapore, Philippines, Malaysia, Lao PDR, Korea, Japan, Indonesia, India. Better Job Market for MBAs in 2011 According to a 2011 Global Management Education Graduate Survey conducted by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), the job market for people with management education degrees has improved—and employers expect conditions to get even better during the months ahead. 54% (compared to 32% last year) of B-school graduates have been able to get at least one job offer before graduation according to the survey findings. According to the 2011 Corporate Recruiters Survey, 67 percent of employers expect to hire new MBAs during the coming year, up from 62

SOFT SKILLZ percent in 2010 and 50 percent in 2009. New hires in the United States can expect to earn an average base salary of USD 91,433, up from USD 89,141 last year and USD 86,299 in 2009. Salaries are also on the rise. For example, graduates from two-year full-time MBA programs reported a 73 percent increase in their post-degree base salary compared with what they earned before beginning their studies, on average. This is an increase from the 64 percent average salary boost seen by their peers in the class of 2010. IIM Bangalore Professors receive International Recognition Two members of the IIMB Faculty recently received recognition for their contributions to research and practice in their respective fields. Professor Ramadhar Singh, Distinguished Professor of Management at the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore has been featured in a book entitled Most Underappreciated: 50 Prominent Social Psychologists Describe Their Most Unloved Work (The Oxford University Press, New York, 2011). The book’s Editor, Professor Robert M. Arkin of the Ohio State University, Columbus, USA, called the contributors the “North Stars” who describe how their one very important piece of research had gone unnoticed, unappreciated, or misquoted in social psychology. Each essay, a personal recollection of an established social psychologist’s labor of love, is intended to educate young scholars how to navigate the ebb-andflow of the professional journey they have undertaken. Singh’s essay is on how people impute values to missing information from the information given. Professor Pulak Ghosh, Associate Professor in the Quantitative Methods and Information Systems, has received the Young Scientist award in the Statistical Applications category for Year 2011 from the International Indian Statistical Association. The award recognized his outstanding contribution 6

and innovative work on applied statistics. The award ceremony was held on April 24, 2011 at Raleigh, North Carolina, USA. This is a significant recognition and a highly prestigious honour given to a researcher who is 45 years old or younger. It is keenly contested and nominations are screened on the basis of published work, its impact on the practical field, and contribution in the field of statistics. Malaysia is set to be a major education hub in Asia The Malaysian government is all set to make Malaysia a key education hub in Asia. With ‘Educity’ – a grand strategy of the Malaysian Government to attract Western schools in Asia. IIM Shillong celebrates Tagore’s 150th Birth Anniversary IIM Shillong celebrated the 150th Birth Anniversary of India’s most loved and prolific literary figure Rabindranath Tagore at its Mayurbhanj Palace Complex through a formal gathering. Noted Rabindra Sangeet exponent John Gilbert Soanes performed a number of favourites like Purano Shiye Diner Kotha and Shedin Dujone on the auspicious occasion in the company of his daughter Zareen Nongrum. Prof Keya Sengupta Director Incharge RGIIMS quoted lines from Tagore’s poems during her introductory address, while Prof Sanjoy Mukherjee’s note titled A Tribute with Blood Oleanders from the Pinewoods was read out. Prof Swapan Kumar Majumdar added to the enormity of the occasion through his talk titled Rabindranath Tagore on Education drawing correlation behind the philosophy of Tagore in the context of Management Education. Shri KM Deb also shared his views on Tagore and reminded the gathering of the wits of this great thought leader. The function was attended by Faculty members, Officers and staff of the Institute along with family members and special invitees.

Demystifying an abstract topic during GD The oft repeated statement, “You can never be too prepared for the GD” clearly introduces you to the uncertainties involved in a Group Discussion. Unlike a written exam on a given subject where your rote memory is tested, and you can be certain whether you were right or wrong even to the extent of computing your likely score, there is no sure shot answers to a GD topic. It involves thinking on your feet.

which Red is the antonym. Unquestionably, green stands for nature and the environment that sustains and nurtures us. Red stands for danger. The danger of destroying all that is good and beautiful around us, of condemning our future generations to a world in which they can avail of neither clean air to breathe, nor safe water to drink. It’s time to heed the danger signals now by making every effort to preserve the green, and safeguard it from our destructive selves. Green is worth fighting for, while red only signifies the need to fight. Green is the colour of the military uniform. It is symbolises the will of men to defend their territory, to defy external aggression. Red is the colour of violence and blood shed in war. Green symbolises the heroic in man, by the way of his selflessness, his willingness to put the safety of his nation and fellowmen above him. Red represents the baser passions of man, the readiness of man to kill another man, for greed. Traditionally green and red are considered equally auspicious. It is black that is considered inopportune. Gazing at green areas is soothing to the eyes as well as the spirit. No one needs any explanation of what happens when a bull sees red …Red Cross society is the famous organization, which takes care of so much bloodshed and pain. Red is thus connected with situations, which need huge efforts to salvage. Now is something good attached to red? Come to think of it, Red is a very appetising colour. Think red and you think of roses, apples, red-hot chilly peppers, tomato soup and yummy candies. But is never complete without the greens as in a salad. Besides these you may find much brighter and workable ideas if you think really hard. Any personal experiences you had with the colours. The first thing to do therefore when faced with a GD is jot down as many things that come to mind when you think of the topic. You need to simply organize your thoughts and have clarity on whether you are neutral on the topic or fervently for or opposed to the statement put up for discussion. After all confidence, team play, managing the group dynamics and not aggression is the key to your success in a GD.

A person’s reaction to business and life’s challenges can be gauged by the poise he oozes in a situation of uncertainty which reflect on his ability to solve problems. The corporate world is ridden with problems, as is the social arena that we all indulge in. Problems of varied kinds are thrown at you and demand solutions every day and at every step in your career. Unfortunately there is no fairy godmother standing by you and to sprinkle magic dust over all your pains and abracadabra make them disappear. The risks and opportunities presented are your very own too. Empty your mind of old thoughts, clear it of tunnel vision and open up to new ways of looking at seemingly innocuous problems, which might then turn out into enormous opportunities. You may be given as vague a topic as the sky is not the limit, why the sky is blue or why the carrot is offered on a stick? To something like green is better than red. There’s a way to deal with these seemingly illogical and impractical discussions. Here is an example of the points that you might stumble on while thinking of colours, green and red. The most relevant imagery that comes to mind as soon as you feed in the colours green and red is that of the traffic signal; “Green means Go and Red means Stop.” Green is thus the colour of vibrancy, verve and vitality and all that’s optimistic and up and moving for


To ace a Personal Interview SOFT SKILLZ

The first thing you need to do prior to interviewing is assess yourself. This includes listing your strengths and weaknesses, your accomplishments and achievements, reviewing your strong and your weak subjects, and recording some of the key decisions you have made in your life.

on Saturday mornings (if that is true of course) Be prepared to be asked more questions on the same like why do you do it or how do you mange time to do it and when did you start etc. Be truthful.

Some other questions that you can ponder on Why should we admit you into our MBA program? What are your strongest abilities? What skills would you be bringing to the classroom? (relevant if you have job experience) What does “success” mean to you? What does “failure” mean to you? What are your three major accomplishments? What have you disliked in your past jobs? (If you have worked in more than one organization) What kinds of people do you enjoy working with? (If you possess work experience) What kinds of people frustrate you? What according to you is your ideal job and how will this program help you realise the same? Which is more important to you: money or the type of job? Were your extracurricular activities worth the time you put into them? What qualities should a successful manager possess? What major problem have you encountered and how did you deal with it? What have you done that you consider creative? Who do you admire? Why?

What are your hobbies? Reading business magazines is not a hobby! As future managers and shapers of the nation’s economy, you are expected to be well read, and perhaps a contributor to the literary world as well. A ‘hobby’ would be something specific within the realm of reading, say for example, ‘Researching on issues related to FDI’. But then, be prepared to be tested to the fullest on such a subject.

It would help if you were ready to practice answering the following potential questions. Always exercise a certain degree of moderation when answering questions. Avoid monosyllables, and don’t digress so far away from the crux of the question, that you end up relating a ‘scene by scene’ situation, in spite of the fact that you have been asked to speak about the ‘climax.’ Never answer a question with another question. Also, do not seek affirmations on an opinion expressed by you, with questions such as “Right?” or “Don’t you agree?” Some questions and answers from various interview sessions: Tell us about yourself An ideal answer to this question would include your name and details of the occupation that you wish to pursue, with a brief summary of your academic background. Do not proceed to outline a ‘curriculum vitae’ here. You could add in brief details of your family background – however, do not go into names, ages, alma maters and ‘percentages’ scored by siblings. At most furnish interviewers with brief details of the professions of your family members.

the field that you wish to excel in, and the skills that you wish to acquire, not on narrower aspects such as the designation you see yourself holding in future. Describe the Indian economy, using just one word. Remember, one word means one word! As a manager, you will very often be placed under constraints of limited time and information, and will have to base your decisions on half baked facts. So, answer you must! By all means take a few seconds to think – you don’t have to speak off the cuff.

Tell us something about your family background. Again, names not required! The answer should preferably include something about your upbringing. Mention experiences that have played a role in making you what you are... but no rambling! Very importantly, do not play the underdog. A moaning about having burnt the midnight oil while peers were out partying can get you only so far. Do not bring in adverse family circumstances and struggles. Honesty is appreciated, but beyond a certain point, it might be construed as a weakness. Where do you see yourself 5 years from now? Focus on the broader aspects, such as an outline of

Describe yourself, using just two words. Strictly avoid banal, run of the mill answers. Always leverage your strengths to the fullest. For example, if Attention To Details (ATD) is something over which your friends get a lot of flak from you, so be it!

smart and witty answers to every question. Just strike a confident, and more or less honest chord. Being nervous is OK! Honesty and coolness are definitely overrated! Justify your decision to pursue the MBA programme? Don’t tell the panel that you are looking for a “challenging job in a good firm with lots of money, status and glamour”. Instead, you must convey to the interview panel that you have made a rational and informed decision about your career choice and your intended course of higher study. There are broadly four areas, which your answer could touch upon Career Objectives: You could talk about your career objectives and how the two-year MBA programme will help you achieve them. Value Addition: Value addition will essentially be in two forms knowledge and skills. Background: This is where you connect your past to your future. If you are an engineer, try and say that the MBA course and your engineering degree will help you do your job better in the company that you will join. You should be able to convincingly justify how your engineering qualification will help. Opportunities and Rewards: You could also at this stage mention the opportunities that are opening up in organizations for management graduates. At this stage mentioning superior monetary rewards for management graduates may not be a bad idea.

Why our institute? You’d better be prepared for this question! It’s always asked! Do not quote BT or BW on the subject of B-School rankings. Don’t just focus on the subject of the institute being ranked 1st in a survey if it is. Focus on the exact relevance of what the institute stands for, and on what you hope it can contribute to your overall personality and development as an individual, and as a future manager. Your own analysis is what counts, not that furnished by BT or BW. Give us three reasons why you think B-Schools are overrated. “They’re not………..” oops! You couldn’t come up with a worse answer to this. An appropriate answer might touch upon Bill Gates and his fortune, inflated salaries, lack of social commitment, et al. You could point out that balance, as an innate human quality, is not taught in B-schools. Don’t worry about not coming up with

How do you spend your spare time? You could start by saying that I have a good collection of books of different genre and enjoy reading. Or, I love driving during late evenings or on rainy weekend afternoons. Also, for the last two years I’ve been volunteering at the local children’s hospital 8

What are your weaknesses? Do not go overboard with your weakness. State your weakness and how you overcame the same without beating around. Feel free to say I used to be somewhat disorganized, but now I have learnt to be more organized, as I work on a system that I still use. This helps me to stay on top of things, and be more efficient as well.


UK (Part 2)

Concentration Techniques SOFT SKILLZ

A challenging objective requires sustained effort. Just doing it for a day or two is not going to work. You need to maintain focus, energy and optimism while pursuing your objective.

stimulation and variety to remain engaged and interested at the task at hand. If you must slog at an Excel spreadsheet for the whole day, take occasional breaks and engage your mind in other activities. This will keep it alert, and keep boredom at bay. If your mind is focused on one task for extended periods of time, the repetitive activity may cause your attention to waver or be reduced.

There are times at work or when studying when you have felt like you needed a break and you find your mind wandering and unable to focus. At times like these learn to stretch your limits by pushing yourself to complete perhaps 15 more minutes of work, or to finish reading the chapter in your textbook before taking a break. Tell yourself that you will focus on the other issues once you are done with the work, and keep your mind on your work. Acknowledge that there are other tasks that need tending to, but they can wait, as they are not as important. There is a necessity to develop the mental equivalent to keep focused on the task at hand. If you have an alternative place to work or study that have no distractions, by all means move your work there. However, it is difficult to chase our colleagues away or tell the phone to stop ringing because it is distracting you! Learn to place blinders over your mind, or physically cup your hands around your vision to remind your brain to focus. No matter how good your concentration is, or your will power, we are merely human. This means that it is perfectly acceptable to take short breaks, and you will find that your mind will feel rejuvenated and better equipped to take on more challenges after a short rest. Do not feel bad about taking breaks, as they are essential to increasing your efficiency. Pushing yourself beyond your limits is encouraged, but overworking is not! Our brain is not like a computer, and it needs

Many students have difficulty concentrating while studying. Being able to concentrate while you are studying is essential to doing well in class and on tests. Study in a quiet place that is free from distractions and interruptions. Make a study schedule that shows what tasks you need to accomplish and when you plan to accomplish each task. This will provide you with the structure you need for effective studying. Try to study at the time of day you work best. Some people work well early in the morning, others late at night. You know what works best for you. Make sure you are not tired and/or hungry when you study. Otherwise, you won’t have the energy you need to concentrate. Also, maintain your physical fitness. Don’t try to do two tasks at the same time. You won’t be able to concentrate on either one very well. Concentration means focusing on one thing to the exclusion of all else. Break large tasks into series of smaller tasks that you can complete one at a time. If you try to complete a large task all at once, you may feel overwhelmed and will be unable to maintain your concentration. Relax. It’s hard to concentrate when you’re tense. It’s important to relax when working on a task that requires concentration. Meditation is helpful to many students. Clear your mind of worrisome thoughts. Mental poise is important for concentration. You can get distracted by your own thoughts. Monitor your thoughts and prevent yourself from following any that take you off track. Don’t daydream. Develop an interest in what you are studying. Try to relate what you are studying to you own life to make it as meaningful as possible. This can motivate yourself to concentrate. Take breaks whenever you feel fatigued. There is no set formula for when to take breaks. You will know when you need to take a break. 10


Every year there are large numbers of International students who apply to various universities in the UK for education at both the undergraduate and post graduate level. Before looking at the different study options available it would be good to have a little background of the region. Geographically speaking the United Kingdom (UK) is made up of the following constituent countries namely England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

A Masters or an MBA programme in the UK is usually of one year duration and many of these programmes are globally recognised. Some of the UK management programmes have been listed among the top programmes by Business week and Financial Times in their B-school rankings. London Business School, Cambridge University Judge Business School, Oxford’s Said Business School are some of the top ranked schools in the UK for the MBA programmes. The other well known institutions include Cass Business School, Cranfield School of Management, Lancaster University Management School, Newcastle University Business School, Manchester Metropolitan University, UCLAN, Leeds Metropolitan, Middlesex University, Warwick Business School etc (this is not an exhaustive list). Most of the programmes offered here are fully residential. In general the management programmes that are offered include a fulltime MBA, Masters in Management and the executive MBA. For instance Lancaster University Management School offers a one year fulltime Masters in Management (MSc in Management) and also an MBA. The London Business school offers a Masters in Management programme, an MBA and an executive MBA along with more specialised programmes in finance.The Masters programmes are usually intended for recent graduates who do not have a lot of post graduate work experience. The main accreditation body for MBA courses in UK is the Association of MBAs (AMBA). To apply to the post graduate courses in the UK involves several requirements which include academic records (UK accepts a 3 year undergraduate degree), transcripts of all your marks, standardised test results such as IELTS (for english language proficiency), TOEFL (depends on the university), GMAT (for all management programmes across universities), letters of recommendation (at least two) etc. The format and questions to be addressed in these letters are institute specific and information is always provided on the websites, work experience (management/MBA programmes require at least 2 years of experience) and finally, statement of purpose or personal essays which play an important role in evaluations. Tuition fees/education costs in the UK are all set to be revised following the implementation of new policies starting 2012. For the academic year 2011 however the old costs would continue to apply. Universities are expected to announce the revised course fees soon. MBA programmes cost more than

a masters programmes. On an average an MBA programme can cost anywhere between 20,000 and 60,000 sterling pounds depending on the kind of institution you apply to. Masters in Management programmes can cost between 15,000 and 25,000 sterling pounds. This is only the tuition fee. Apart from this you also have to consider the living expenses which includes accomodation, food, transport/travel, entertainment and other general expenses. This again depends on the city you are in. London is among the more expensive places to stay in the UK. Living expenses can range from 6,000 to 15,000 sterling pounds for a year in the UK. To meet all these expenses students are allowed to work on a part time basis which again is only for 20 hours per week during the course of the term and fulltime work during vacations if they wish to work along with studying. They can also do a work placement as part of their course; work as a postgraduate doctor or dentist (only where it is applicable). Visa and work permit policies in the UK As per the visa guidelines, international students who are considering to study a main course in the UK exceeding 6 and under 12 months in duration and who are are over 16 years old need to avail the Tier 4 general student visa under the points based system. A total of 40 points are granted based on various conditions for a Tier 4 general student visa. 30 points are given for having acceptance from an approved education provider. The evidence for this is a confirmation letter from the institute or university where you have been admitted. The remainder of 10 points are granted if you are able to prove that you have enough money to cover your course fees and the living cost, the proof of this is your ‘Bank statement or an authorised letter’ confirming this information. Make sure that you are able to prove that the money has been available in your account for 28 days before the date of application. The processing time taken for the points based system (PBS) Tier 4 visa is anywhere from 10-120 days. The time taken varies as visa applications are processed individually. Visa applications can be made at UK embassies, high commissions, consulates and commercial VFS global centres authorised by the UK for operations. These centres are located in Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chandigarh, Chennai, Cochin, Hyderabad, Jalandhar, Kolkata, New Delhi, North Mumbai, Pune and South Mumbai.


Student Interview

I would advise the prospective candidate to use the expertise of institutes like IMS to make a well qualified decision.

…..says Pankaj Batham, a B.E. in Mechanical Engineering. He is working as a Chief Engineer with V ships and is currently pursuing his MBA from Macquarie Graduate school of Management, Sydney. In conversation with Reshma Majithia, he talks of his decision of doing an MBA from Australia.

What led you to do an MBA especially since you have a secure job with one of the world’s largest ship management companies like Vships as a Chief Engineer? In spite of a secure job in a shipping company, I opted for an MBA due to two main reasons. Firstly to increase the chances for a career progression and secondly to explore opportunities in shore based companies.

The words given below have similar meanings except for one Strike the odd one out….


1. Affluent a. wealthy b. poor c. stingy d. miser

5. Affinity a. attraction b. affection c. dissimilarity d. closeness

9. Bilious a. healthy b. pale c. sick d. queasy

13. Obloquy a. praise b. humiliate c. invective d. blame

2. Volte-face a. maintain b. deviate c. change d. modify

6. Gamut a. range b. breadth c. ambit d. part

10. Cul-de-sac a. dead-end b. breakthrough c. impasse d. blind alley

14. Fritter a. waste away b. dawdle c. blow d. save

3. Risible a. funny b. humorous c. comical d. serious

7. Corollary a. judgment b. deduction c. conclusion d. concept

11. Ineffable a. pleasant b. charming c. horrible d. celestial

15. Elixir a. remedy b. cure c. problem d. healing

4. Divination a. fortune-telling b. augury c. disbelief d. prediction


12. Pundit a. expert b. amateur c. teacher d. authority

16. Raucous a. rough b. raspy c. harsh d. soft

Hoi polloi a. large group b. plants c. human beings d. common people

Why did you choose Macquarie University - Graduate School of Business? Macquarie has had a good ranking among colleges ranked by ‘The Economist’. The college values experience and the average age of students is around 35 years. Another valuable feature of MGSM is that it offers a lot of flexibility in choosing electives. One of my personal reasons was to study in Australia as it offers an opportunity to be in a beautiful country and in a multinational environment.

Answers 1.a 2.a 3.d 4.c

Since you were sailing how did you balance your GMAT and application preparation? GMAT preparation and application process were quite demanding. It was not possible to do it alone, so I consulted IMS at Kolkata. Their guidance and the discussions with other classmates at IMS helped me to direct my focus towards the goal of pursuing an MBA. Are your long term goals centered around the shipping industry or do you wish to switch your career in to another domain? I believe that my experience and MBA studies provide me a platform to apply my skills across industries. I would like to keep my options open. My long term aim is to start a new venture and the area would be dictated by the combination of my capabilities and the need of the industry. Do you have any inspirational message for marine engineers who wish to shift to management? Firstly I would say that it is not an easy decision for a marine engineer to shift to management and it also depends on which level does one decide to shift. I would say it is likely to be easier and beneficial to switch at an early stage as one might have to unlearn a few things before learning new things. A clear focus towards one’s long term goal is the most important thing. One may not be capable enough to choose the right course or right University; I would advise the prospective candidate to use the expertise of institutes like IMS to make a well qualified decision. Apart from the GMAT scores and work experience, Universities expect the candidates to present the achievements and expectations in a professional manner. Sometimes the quality of the application could be the determining factor between the success or failure in receiving an offer.



9.b 10.c 11.b 12.a 13.d


6.d 7.d 8.d 14.c 15.d 16.d

A Day @ work

“Research is something that I say is the baseline for good management practices” Says Akash Mehrotra who has an MBA from the Indian Institute of Forest Management (IIFM), Bhopal. He is currently associated with Sambodhi research and communications. Akash discusses his role, responsibilities and challenges at work with Serena Kallian. Could you tell us in brief about your role and responsibilities at the current organisation? Sambodhi as a firm has entered in the domains of development and social research and has developed its niche in carrying out monitoring and evaluation studies of the development projects. These projects are basically in the areas of healthcare, education, urban poverty and livelihood that form the spine of development needs of the country. As a researcher in the firm, my work includes preparing project proposals, designing methodology for the study to be conducted and imparting training to the personnel to conduct the study. As of now I am also enthused with the responsibility related to the Impact Evaluation conference being organized by us. Thus, my work revolves around reinventing the communication strategies and designing the research methodology and proposals for the organization. What kind of qualifications/skills is required to carry out the role that you are doing presently? The job I am into requires an understanding of qualitative and quantitative research tools. Since the job requires preparing proposals and interacting with clients, good communication (both oral and written) and interpersonal skills are an added advantage. Since at every moment you deal with people, impart training – a clear understanding of the tools, an academic bent of mind and a comprehendible approach in working out things is a must. The key line is that the job requires not only learning things but also making others learn. Thus, brevity, clarity and simplicity in the approach you adopt are important. What kind of challenges /hurdles do you usually face in a day’s work? The work I am into requires whetting one’s innovative capabilities. Every new project needs to be designed in a different manner. The sector demands no set of rules or conduct. The biggest challenge that anyone associated with the sector faces is that there is a paucity of academic resources and research in the sector. Only a handful of institutes offer a course on the nitty-gritty of development sector and the course being market worthy is also a question. Thus in a way, every new assignment is like fighting with oneself to get the best out of oneself. Updating one’s knowledge base is pertinent. So the major challenge or the clear set of rule to survive in the market is to be always ready to unlearn all that has been learnt for the new rules of the battle are designed every other day. The best part is that the job grinds you to get the most creative juices out of you. What would you consider your achievements/milestones? How has your MBA helped you so far? Being a sectoral institute, IIFM has designed its curriculum in as manner to suit the demands of the sector I am associated with. The course curriculum has imbibed in us the greater understanding of the fundamentals of the sector. Though the course structure led to shaping of my mind to suit the needs of the development sector but as it goes the real challenges is always on the field and not in the textbooks. Your advice to aspirants who would want to be in your shoes Research is something that I say is the baseline for good management practices. First there is a huge scope in the sector and with the words like urban planning, sustainable Development, corporate governance and holistic development taking their grounds; the scope stands unmapped and unimagined in the sector. The government is pumping enormous sums of money in the basic amenities like water, sanitation, health, education and so on; the scope of the projects and their monitoring and evaluation stands large. And as I have mentioned before that since there is a paucity of quality academic research and professionals, the whole world will look for people who are experts in the field. The only one thing required is the real bent of mind. And the sector offers everything that one can imagine - good pay, creativity and above all job satisfaction.


Indian microfinance industry CURRENT AFFAIRS Dr. Suresh Srinivasan

Over the last few months there has been a strong movement, especially in the state of Andhra Pradesh, against the microfinance industry; more so fuelled by the political interests backed by petty money lenders who again come in with strong political connections and support. With the drop in collections, the viability of the ‘microfinance’ model is now being questioned, and commercial banks have now stopped giving loans to microfinance companies. So now, the question is who is authorised to regulate microfinance industry? Read on…

any security or collaterals to the lenders. Banks and financial institutions, generally take collateral security like hypothecation of property or personal guarantees from financially established individuals, before extending loans. But low income households, which form the majority in our country, do not have any collaterals or assets to offer as security and hence they do not fall under the purview of the Indian banking system. Microfinance institutions specialise in having created a model to address this issue. They create ‘one on one’ contact with the borrowers and a systematic follow up through an extensive network of ‘front line’ staff that is in regular contact with the borrowing community and its society. Although the interest rate seems high, it is justified to cover the above costs that are required to reach the ‘bottom of the pyramid’. This is achieved through loans being provided in small denominations without physical security, though an emotional commitment is secured. Repayment happens with the lender collecting the dues at the door-steps of the borrower on a weekly basis. Since no security or collaterals are available, repayment is ensured through a process of ‘social commitment’, the borrowers and their community commit to repay the loans together with other borrowers in their neighborhood. Such social commitment that has been embedded into this model ensures that the repayment rate in the microfinance industry is more or less close to 100 percent. However, critics argue that such social commitments exert undue pressure on the borrowers. All said, microfinance has already grown to be a significantly large industry, in our country; it is a Rs 30,000 crore industry. Andhra Pradesh accounts for around 30 percent of the country’s total microfinance exposure. Around 80 percent of the total exposure of the microfinance institutions are funded by the commercial banks through loans to microfinance institutions. Off late there has been a public hue and

Several years ago, one evening, when I was on an official visit to the interiors of Andhra Pradesh, appraising a commercial bank, I overheard an elderly woman at the market place. She was thanking a gentleman, virtually falling in his feet, and returning a hundred rupee note. I tried to understand their conversation and figured out that the gentleman is part of a Non Government Organization (NGO) and provides, on a daily basis, loans to people in the village. In this specific case, he gives the elderly women Rs 96 in the morning with which she buys vegetables in the ‘whole sale’ market, and sells the same during the day in the ‘retail market’ earning around Rs 115. Out of her sale proceeds, she repays back the Rs 96 she had borrowed from the gentleman, and in addition she also pays Rs 4 as interest on the Rs 96 she has borrowed without any security, leaving her with Rs 15 as her profit for the day. The NGO has virtually breathed life by providing a livelihood for the elderly women; well, this typically seems to be ‘financial inclusion’ we are all talking about; this seems to be noblest of the gestures that will go to elevate poverty and empower the poor, in our country! Cynics could however have completely different perspective on this issue. One can argue that, the elderly women is being exploited; she pays Rs 4 as interest for every Rs 96 borrowed; ie, 4.17 percent (4 divided by 96) interest, on a daily basis, which translates into 1,521 percent (4.17 percent multiplied by 365 days) on an annual basis, and thereby allege that the gentlemen from the NGO is charging exorbitant rates of interest and taking advantage of the vulnerable position of the elderly women! This situation typically summarises the recent crisis that has hit the microfinance industry. What is microfinance? Microfinance can be loosely defined as the process of extending loans to low income households. Unlike borrowers with financial capability, the low income households would not be able to provide


cry that microfinance institutions are charging exorbitant interest rates and exploiting the poor. It is also being widely reported that the lenders are employing coercive recovery mechanisms to recover dues. Recovery at door-steps of the borrower also exerts enormous pressure, that when done on a weekly basis, which is the current practice in the industry. But, definitely, the question is if there weren’t any microfinance, how would the rural poor emerge out of their poverty? At least microfinance seems to provide a hope!

GENERAL KNOWLEDGE 1. Exelon Corporation acquires Constellation in $7.7 billion deal Power company Exelon Corp (EXC.N) struck a deal to buy rival Constellation Energy Group (CEG.N) for __________in stock in a bid to become the largest generator of competitively priced electricity in the United States. a. $4.5 billion b. $7.9 billion c. $ 6.5 billion d. $5.8 billion

Initial signs of trouble with the microfinance industry: The Andhra Pradesh ordinance Over the last few months there has been a strong movement, especially in the state of Andhra Pradesh, against the microfinance industry; more so fuelled by the political interests backed by petty money lenders who again come in with strong political connections and support. It has also been widely reported that local politicians and the district authorities are openly asking borrowers not to repay the monies borrowed from microfinance companies; as a result, collections have dropped from the prevailing 99 percent to less than 50 percent in the state of Andhra Pradesh. With the drop in collections, the viability of the ‘microfinance’ model is now being questioned; the commercial banks have now stopped giving loans to microfinance companies. During Mid October 2010, the government of Andhra Pradesh has passed an ordinance against the microfinance institutions operating within the state of Andhra Pradesh; reacting to which, SKS microfinance limited, the only Indian microfinance company to be publically listed in stock exchanges, saw its share price dwindling by more than 25 percent. Credit rating agencies like CRISIL have also immediately downgraded all the key companies in the microfinance industry. The following are the key contents of the ordinance, which have impacted the microfinance industry: Microfinance companies are prohibited from recovering interest that exceeds the principal amount, thereby curbing the rate of interest charged to microfinance borrowers. This is a serious blow to the viability of the industry. Microfinance companies have started to cut their lending rates to 24 percent in

Andhra Pradesh. Collections will have to be on a monthly basis and not on a weekly basis, as per the current practices. Collections should no more take place in ‘door steps’ of the borrowers, but all recoveries should take place at the government premises. Lending limit of Rs 50,000 per borrower has been stipulated. Further, individual borrowers should not borrow from more than three microfinance companies. Registration of microfinance companies with district level registering authority is mandatory. The way forward The damage has already been done to the industry by the AP ordinance; the question is whether the state government is correct in passing this ordinance or should it have come from the RBI? Who is authorised to regulate microfinance industry? All banking and non banking financial institutions (NBFCs) come under the purview of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and as per protocol it is the RBI that needs to take what ever steps, if there is a case. On these lines, a panel constituted by RBI under the leadership of Y H Malegam, the seasoned banker, is already preparing a report and will soon come up with a recommendation. The Finance Minister has confirmed that the government will finalise a regulatory architecture for the microfinance institutions once RBI submits its report; he however confirms that it should not curb interest rates which should be freely agreed between the borrower and the lender, based on the lenders risk perception. This will decide the fate of the future outlook of the microfinance industry!


2. Who is the new vice-president of Discovery Networks Asia-Pacific (DNAP) programming India? a. Arun Thapar b. Parag Shahane c. Rahul Thappa d. Anup Bagchi 3. Who has conferred with the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, India’s highest award in cinema for the year 2011 for his contribution to arts? a. Sivaji Ganesan b. K. Balachander c. Adoor Gopalakrishnan d. Nageswara Rao 4. Which of the following films has won a top award at the Tribeca film festival in New York? a. Adventures Of Tintin: The Secret Of The Unicorn b. The Hangover (Part II) c. Captain America: The First Avenger d. She Monkeys 5. Who is the new chairman of Infosys? a. S D Shibulal b. S Gopalakrishnan c. K V Kamath d. Anup Bagchi 6. He was an Argentine writer, painter and physicist. According to the BBC he “won some of the most prestigious prizes in Hispanic literature” and “became very

influential in the literary world throughout Latin America”. He was trained as a physicist before becoming a writer and had three novels to his name -- “The Tunnel” published in 1948, “On Heroes and Graves” published in 1961 and “Abaddon, The Exterminator” in 1974.He passed away on April 30, 2011. Name him a. Agustin Cuzzani b. Roberto Cossa c. Ernesto Sabato d. Julio Cortazar

7. Who is the new chairman and managing director of BSNL? a. Rakesh Upadhyay b. Rajendra Pawar c. Paritosh Srivastava d. Anindya Banerjee 8. Which of the following countries has been chosen to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup? a. England b. Italy c. France d. Russia 9. Which of the following ad agencies has won the creative duties of Worldwide Media’s (WWM) BBC Top Gear magazine. a. Leo Burnett b. O & M c. Mudra d. Grey Worldwide 10. Who clinched her first gold medal of the year by finishing on top in the Asian Cup Women’s Boxing tournament in Haikou, China? a. M C Mary Kom b. S Sarjubala Devi c. Pinchi Kachari d. Chanchan Devi 11. Athens is a capital of which of the following countries? a. Belarus b. Belgium


c. Bolivia d. Greece

12. Who authored We the People? a. Nani Palkhivala b. Anita Desai c. Khushwant Singh d. Suketu Mehta 13. Which of the following Indian states is a major producer of spices? a. Himachal Pradesh b. Andhra Pradesh c. Karnataka d. Kerala 14. Who is the chief minister of Mahrashtra? a. Vilasrao Deshmukh b. Ashok Chavan c. Prithviraj Chavan d. Sushilkumar Shinde 15. What does FFC stand for? a. First Finance Corporation b. Foreign Finance Corporation c. Foreign Film Corporation d. Film Finance Corporation 16. UNESCO is a specialized agency of the United Nations established on 16 November 1945. Its stated purpose is to contribute to peace and security by promoting international collaboration through education, science, and culture in order to further universal respect for justice, the rule of law, and the human rights along with fundamental freedoms proclaimed in the UN Charter. Where is it headquartered? a. New York b. Rome c. Geneva d. Paris Answers 1.b 2.a 3.b 4.d 5.c 6.c 7.a 8.d 9.c 10.a 11.d 12.a 13.d 14.c 15.d 16.d

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