Thursday, October 05, 2006

Second year term 1

It's been a long time since I posted anything on the blog. It's partially due to lack of good content, but also because my laptop crashed at the beginning of this term and I am having to use the school's Windows machines to do everything from checking mail to finishing assignments!

Let me start with my electives this term. The courses I have taken in this term are Venture Capital and Private Equity, Hightech marketing, Macroeconomics and Corporate Finance.

It's a good spread in terms of breadth and here is my rationale. Fuqua MBA program, and at least some if not all top school MBA programs, are general management courses with emphasis on building leaders with broad skills that can be utilized in their careers that will span another 30 years. 30 years! And I am still not 30! One of the questions I asked the alumni who interviewed me for Fuqua was how do you keep yourself updated with new stuff after getting out of the school? He answered my question well - that's not important - but what is important is that this MBA is a kind of thing that you do once in a lifetime and it has to last a lifetime!

So my electives will span a spectrum of functions and industries: right now it's marketing, economics and finance. Pretty soon, I intend to cover strategy, operations, accounting (shudder!) and decision models. (By the way, if you plan to follow this path, be careful because every time a recruiter asks me any question like "where do you see yourself in 10 years" or "what are your long term career goals", my answer sounds wishy-washy incoherent stream of words... and I prefer it that way.)

Coming back to my electives; being from the software industry and the kind of exposure to finance I desired, venture capital and private equity fit in nicely. It is a subject that would interest the analytical person in you, the entrepreneur, the hard-nosed business person, all at the same time. It is an industry that is immensely interesting, and full of seemingly heroic stunts pulled by people!

Hightech marketing was sort of an obvious choice for me although I thought my MBA is becoming a little marketing-heavy. The core marketing course, then a couple of electives previously, an internship in marketing and now this! Well, some amount of Duke would rub off on everyone I guess, and it's just hard to avoid such great courses in marketing with very good faculty and research pool at Fuqua. In any case, I am glad I took the course, but I promise to cut down on marketing going further! :-) The course itself talked about the nuances associated with high tech, cutting edge products, be it in biotech or IT. We learnt models on diffusion of technology, forecasting and more traditional concepts like managing channels etc. in such products.

Macroeconomics is one of the courses that I came to MBA for! It sounds lame, but I was dying to understand global economics of countries, currencies and what not. Yes there was strategy, there was marketing, finance and the rest, but macroeconomics was something that you read about and wondered about a lot! The course turned out to be great and it feels good to be a little more knowledgeable and have more topics to talk about over dinner at home!

Finally, Corporate Finance. I just can't describe how useful this course was and how good it feels to understand the engine behind corporations. Great professor, fantastic course structure and team assignments that completed your understanding like nothing else!

We have our exams next week, the fall break, and then we will all be set for term 2! I know this post read like a forward for a horrible book, but it's hard to get your creative juices going sitting in a computer lab at midnight, even if Fuqua feels like home. (By the way, I have been brooding over the end of first year since summer and very soon, this will all be over. Three more terms and that's it! It really can't get any sadder - I have come to love this place!)

2 comments:

mohayana said...

Shivesh ,

Nice to see you post again.
Your posts have quite a detailed description of the courses and academics. Very informative.

I see your point in using the MBA as a learning experience - much as I intend to when I matriculate.

All the best.

Ritesh said...

Very useful insight for a prospective Indian student...