Wednesday, April 26, 2006

This is it. Last few days as an FY!

This is our last week of classes for this year. 4 terms, 9 months, 15 courses and upwards of 75 cases have gone by. I know I want to write something, but there isn't really much to write. I can talk about courses, but I guess I will do it later.

As I sit to write, I have no idea what to write about. I enjoyed writing all this while. Suddenly, it doesn't seem as much fun. I have become comfortable with the MBA life, have made friends here, know the ropes and things no longer seem surprising or even shocking as they used to! I wrote about parties, about singing, about courses that were so different from what I had learned so far, and about life at Fuqua that was so different from what I had been used to.

Suddenly, I am at home here. I am at an equilibrium again. Even the dreaded N-word seems to have lost its luster. We are the rising SYs now. I guess if you read from my very earlier posts to this one, you will notice that they have changed not merely in the topics, but also in their very nature. Fuqua Days! was about the life at an MBA school, the life of late nights, assignments submissions, classrooms, case discussions, parties, career planning, company presentations, seemingly unrelated and unconnected courses and diversity of students. Some of my recent posts have been quite off-topic, as I get on with my life here. Yes there are parties going on (as a matter of fact, almost a party a day with all the clubs wanting to exhaust their budget before year end), but they are always going on. I love it, but I am home.

I guess I will keep posting in my SY as well, but those will be quite different. I don't think they will be as dramatic as some of the posts so far. They will be about life of an SY (duh! of course) but what I mean is, they will be (and I hate to say this) more advisory than "you know what happened today". I hope that doesn't piss people off! :-) Maybe I will change the name of this blog to Fuqua Ways!

So here's my last post... for year 1.

There is one core course that we are still taking, and it's Strategy. It is one of my most favorite courses. The cases are great, the profs. are great, the class discussions are intense and the course structure is really good as well. This afternoon, we submitted our last assignment, a 15 page Consultant's Report on a company of our choosing. The company we chose was Federated Department Stores, the owners of Macy's and Bloomingdale department store chains. I had a feeling that choosing a retail company was good for analysis, a great way to learn about customer mindset, supply chains, competition, product and so on but I never expected this to be so enriching! The industry is tough, the competitors are varied, the customers are diverse and supplier, simply numerous. Imagine the playground that we got!

The electives I have taken in this term are both marketing subjects; Marketing Intelligence and Product Management. One piece of advice that I have is that if you are looking at marketing, take marketing electives in term 4. I have seen people take MI and Corporate Finance in this term. While that will have its benefits, taking marketing subjects helps you make a case while interviewing that you are indeed serious about pursuing marketing in your career. The other argument is that you are looking at GM, so a finance and a marketing elective serve you well, but then you should pursue GM in that case.

That being said, Product Management is a very pure CPG-type marketing course. The discussions are mainly qualitative, revolving around customer value, packaging, promotion, advertising so on and so forth. I can totally see people simply not interested in such a soft course. It was a great course for me in the following sense: It gave me a good insight into American consumers and consumer companies. The amount of thinking that goes behind a product's packaging or a simple advertising is simply amazing and this course gives you a lot to talk about. If you are not the brand type of person, chances are you might be disappointed. This course lives and breathes brand management.

Marketing Intelligence is widely regarded as a must-take course for everyone in Fuqua. It's almost a core course in that respect. It goes behind the scenes of marketing. Analysing data, gaining insights, making hypothesis, driving conclusions and taking decisions, all based on information that you gather from your consumers, test markets and market research agencies. It is a good mix of quantitative and qualitative discussions. One of the profs. John Lynch, is a world renowned researcher in this area and his experience and expertise just shows as he teaches. All in all, very well-balanced, useful and enriching course.

This reminds me of something - It's almost 2 and I have an 8 AM MI class! I better get some sleep, I have a feeling John is going to cold call me...... (Life story of an MBA!)

1 comment:

mohayana said...

Shivesh,

You have quite a cool blog here , jus the kind of perspecitve an Indian needs.

Keep writing man.

Thanks.