Archive for November, 2009

I just got back from an exhausting event that basically involved a large number of companies that recruit at the GSB. The Company Networking Night (or CNN) which follows a day full of informational presentations from various firms involves moving from table to table, making introductions, exchanging business cards and at times handing over resumes.

Some interesting firms at the event were Zynga, the social gaming startup, Ideo, and because of my tech background Intel, Cisco and even HP. There were some particularly nice individuals at the HP table which luckily for me was the first that I approached. The nice lady from Zynga spoke at length about the pet friendly office, the many four day weekends, the frequent vegas trips, free lunch and dinner in the office etc until I was drooling.

There was one moment when after a particularly engaging conversation, an individual asked me my visa status, for a moment I stuttered before answering that I was a permanent resident. For a moment I felt the way I did when I was on an F-1 or an H-1B visa and every conversation about work authorization was dreaded. I can feel how hard it must be for students on F-1 to be out looking for jobs in the current environment.

There was some amazingly good food served too. I had made the mistake of having dinner prior to the event but I managed to grab enough tastings to still be impressed. Maybe two months of student life have lowered my standards on food, but it was yummy!

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Recently, I bought a flat screen TV. A 46 inch beauty that takes up about half the space in my tiny EV studio. The TV is made by Panasonic and the picture quality and black levels are amazing. Most readers of this blog, familiar with technology will by now know that the TV I bought is a plasma (the flat panel technology that Panasonic is backing).  As I was doing my research to buy my TV (the P46G10), it struck me that the TV that has better picture quality, better black levels and better viewing angles in almost the same form factor is being ignored and is therefore cheaper. LCD TVs are really ruling the flat panel TV world. The reason I’ve heard quoted many times is that people like to buy TV at stores which are typically brightly lit environments and in that setting LCD provides an eye-catching, bright image that salesmen love.

This obviously has many advantages for me, a plasma TV buyer who prioritizes picture quality and black levels in movies over everything else.  I also have the advantage of being an almost exclusively online buyer, shielded from the charms of salesmen at the big electronics stores. Because of the lack of demand, excellent plasma TVs like the one I bought made by Panasonic are heavily discounted. The legendary Pioneer Kuro line of plasmas is also no longer in production. As I think about this, I feel really bad for consumers who are pressured in stores to spend thousands of dollars for the latest in LCD TV, when they can easily purchase similar or better quality plasma screens for a fraction of the cost.  The only party that seems to still believe that plasma is alive is Panasonic that continues to churn out amazing TVs with constantly improving picture quality. However, I can only guess as to how long they can continue to do this in light of the onslaught from vendors who aggressively push LCD technology on consumers.

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I haven’t kept my promise of updating this blog more regularly and it’s been almost three weeks since I last posted.  What an amazing three weeks it has been. Mid-terms have come and gone, and the exclusive academic period is now just a memory. I’ve signed up for more clubs and groups than I can keep track of which I’m now realizing was not a great idea. Recruiting is upon us as well. Three-on-one resume reviews with peers looking through your resume, with a career center professional, were interesting. I was told that I need to structure my resume in a functional way so that as a career changer, my skills stand out rather than the various roles I have played at firms in other industries.

We’ve trekked to Cisco and seen their telepresence demo (quite interesting but more evolutionary than revolutionary I think). A group of students went to Sonoma over the weekend on two party buses that involved large amounts of drinking. Small group dinners (a recent student innovation where the school pays groups of people to have dinner together as long as the dinner is publicly advertised) have been really good for getting to know members of the class. Over the last couple of weeks we’ve had an amazing range of dinners from regular american fare to elaborate Singaporean food.

I was at the C4C (Challenge for Charity) formal and the Halloween party (that my wife joined me for as well). Both events were a lot of fun although the C4C event was my favorite because of the nice location it was held in, the less cramped space and the great music.

Today a couple of my friends came over to play Pro Evo (or winning eleven for those in Asia) on the Playstation 3. We have a formal competition organized by the high tech club in a few weeks which is exciting, although, I’m not a particularly good player. Playing on the giant screens in classrooms will undoubtably be fun.

This may be really early to feel this way but I’ve been increasingly thinking how wonderful the GSB environment and the life around it is. This optimism may have something to do with the fact that we’ve submitted our last CAT paper and the only thing left to write now is a group paper for global (where we will analyze the hypothetical entry of a US company into a foreign country of our choosing).

I love my leadership squad mates and my CAT group and I dread the day when all this comes to an end. The CAT and leadership squad is already pretty much done, which is sad.

We had some interesting (good) news on the curriculum front this week as well. The GSB decided to allow us a lot of flexibility over the next two quarters in terms of taking some electives instead of taking predetermined courses in subjects like HR. I managed to get through the data and decisions test too so I have another opening for a potential elective on my schedule. I plan to use as many of these slots as possible taking classes “across the street” in the engineering department.

This week will be a busy one with global papers and presentations due and recruiter day on Wednesday. But I look forward to flying back to Miami on Friday to spend some time with my wife.

Singaporean Dinner 003

Random GSB 013

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