US IBE- Wahington Chapter

11th June 2011:

The group getting ready to board the bus from Cranfield
A group of 21 students accompanied by the US IBE Lead- Sean Rickard- landed in Washington Dalles a 1.30 pm EST on 11th June 2011. The flight was long and tiring and the weather made the group feel a little more tired. The immigration process was quick. Our first observation about US... they had made an effort to remove the bottleneck... Interesting!

We checked into Holiday Inn Central by 4 pm. Sean took us to a place called J. Paul in Georgetown around 7 pm for dinner... a place with variety of crab dishes where I had roasted vegetables which consisted of 2/3 pieces of broccoli, exactly 4 pieces of red and yellow peppers, some mushrooms and that was just about all!

12th June 2011:

The White House
A free day in Washington DC called for a sightseeing trip. After much deliberation on whether to take the bus tour or a walking tour, we decided on the walking tour given that our hotel was just a 15 minutes’ walk from the White House! So, the day started at 10 am. Walked to the White House which took just a little over 20 minutes. Went round the building and moved towards the Washington Monument. This huge tower is a memorial to George Washington, the first President of the United States and I read somewhere that by Law, no building in DC can be made taller than this one. The view around is beautiful with all the prominent landmarks in sight from this place. The walk continued towards Capitol Hill. We stopped the National Museum of American History... saw the beautiful gowns of the most talked about women of the world...the first ladies of America... science in America’s everyday life, Julia Child’s kitchen among other things. The tour continued towards the US Capitol, the magnificent white building that shone even from a distance. However, by the time we reached the Capitol, the sun had won over us and we could walk no more. So, the next stop was Union Station...which though a station did not look like one. It looked more like a shopping mall and had I not read the name of the place outside I would have thought the cab driver dropped us at a wrong place. This is the most beautiful station I have ever seen...there are various levels to it... food at the basement, shopping at level one and two... I don’t know where the trains are though! ;) Well... actually they too are at the basement but the entrance is separate. J Some food at the Union station, followed by buying snacks for the daily muching ended our day trip. Ohh wait..there is something very exciting after order to explore the public transport system, we decided to take a bus back to the hotel. It took us about half an hour to figure out which bus to take and from where would we get it. There were absolutely no indicators on the station about where the bus stops were. Then it so happened that we were waiting for about 15 minutes in the wrong direction (confusion caused due to the Americans driving on wrong side of the road ;) haha). Having corrected this, it was another 5 minutes before the bus that we had decided on finally came and we told the bus driver where we wanted to go. She said the bus would not go there. We still remained on board the bus, opened our map and as the bus kept turning, we kept tracking our way....and when we thought we were near to the hotel, we disembarked. It was interesting coz we did not really know where we were going! We were just enjoying our ride it seems!

The day was tiresome yet lot of fun. We spotted a lot of differences between UK and USA. Most of them cultural but many business differences as well. The glaring difference was how pedestrian friendly UK is compared to the US. All roads and ways are so clearly marked in UK that you would never need to ask anyone for directions while in US there are almost no markings about directions! Lot of other differences which will form a part of my report!

13th June 2011:

A day spent at George Washington University: The group reached the University a little early and we had a photo session before starting the day. Had 3 back-to-back lectures. The first one about the various crisis in the world...the two major ones discussed were:
  1. The 2007 US financial crisis that caused the global crisis. Its causes and impacts. What is next?
  2. The Eurozone crisis.
  3. The difference between them and whether they are curable?
It gave me a glimpse of how different countries think about these crises. A very thought provoking class. There was also a mention about whether China was capable of becoming the world’s super power. This session gave me a lot of food for thought and quite of bit of a material for my report as well!!

The second lecture was about Corporate Responsibility and stimulated some discussions in the class. We questioned each others’ definitions of CR and whether it was a cause or a result. The professor acted like a moderator for the class giving the students the liberty to discuss what was on their mind, which was quite like some professors at Cranfield do.

The last lecture was about mortgages in US. More about what makes people want to buy mortgages and why all sub-standard mortgage borrowers do not default. A bit more on the psychology behind these things.
After resting for about an hour we a group of 9 of us left for Chinatown in a expectation to taste some good Chinese food. But, I would rather not mention the pathetic food there. L All in all a good day though.

14th June 2011:

The day started at World Bank office. A talk on what the World Bank does...its history and its aims. We got some insight on how the World Bank functions. Next was IFC’s talk on opportunities within IFC for Finance professionals followed by an alum talking of his experience after his Cranfield MBA. We had a delicious lunch at World Bank Cafe. Indian food in US... which tasted exactly like Indian food should... that’s the specificity of the World Bank! After the great lunch and photo session, we went to the IMF head quarters for our next session. Most of us dozed through that session after the awesome lunch. But the discussion towards the end of the session about IMF and what it has been doing about the recent crisis et al became interesting and woke everyone up.

Flags at the World Bank
A quick coffee at starbucks and then back to the hotel for some rest followed by a small party at the hotel. We are off to New York tomorrow. So, the next blog will start tomorrow. 

US IBE- New York Chapter

15th June 2011:

The journey to New York started at 9 a.m. We were finally going to NYC!! Yay yay yay. The excitement grew as we neared NYC...the infrastructure as we neared NYC changed and the view made us gasp. It looked beautiful. Checked into Novotel at Times Square and after freshening up we headed to find our way to Manhattan. Took a subway to World Trade Centre and then walked around Manhattan...saw the 9/11 memorial, the new WTC in the making, then we walked to Wall Street...Fed Reserve, NYSE...all the big banks... wow...this was the place to be. The only hitch was while taking the subway, we had a tough time getting the tickets...there were again no instructions and no one to show directions. However, the views at Manhattan took away all the irritation. After walking all this long...we did not give up...we even walked across Brooklyn bridge. After a tiring day, returned to the hotel after a filling meal at a Deli at Times Square. Ohh yes...I should mention them, all around there are these 24 hour Delis which serve hot food. Its a buffet and has good variety and awesome taste. There were two right in front of our hotel.
On our way to New York
 16th June 2011:

The morning was occupied by a session at Barclays Wealth where an alum briefed us about the ‘truth after MBA’!! It was the most truthful and unbiased view I have heard till now. In the evening we went shopping...Times Square shopping. We stayed at Times Square past midnight and it was full of people. It was such a great feeling especially as compared to UK where one does not find such crowds anywhere so late in the night. Finally I did some shopping...!! J

Times Square at midnight
 17th June 2011:

A late morning, a brief meeting and then shopping. Bought gifts for family. Lots of walking again. In the evening arranged for cake for Rahul for a 12 o’clock celebration and then retired to the hotel to relax a bit. The tiredness was slowly sinking in. In the evening, we again went to Times Square, its a place you can’t resist going to!!! Was supposed to meet an old friend but it had to be cancelled. Then at night we celebrated Rahul’s b’day and then spent some time at the terrace of the hotel. It had rained in the evening and the entire place looked beautiful.

 18th June 2011:

Our final day in US. A visit to the Statue of Liberty. We were taken aback by the long queue for the ticket and another one for boarding the boat. But we were lucky enough to have our dear friend Sinchan with his famous crutches which helped us get a priority treatment and skip the queues!! The scorching sun itself was a deterrent enough and the long queue would have only spoilt the fun of the visit. The best part of the visit was the view of the NYC skyline from Liberty Island. Had a delicious lunch at Saigon and then we left for the airport for our flight.

The Statue of Liberty

NYC skyline
So now, we are all back to the bubble, still jet lagged and trying to meet the deadlines for report submissions et al.


A little over 2 months since I finished my MBA or a little over 1 month since I officially finished my MBA… and I have only been thinking of writing my last blog for the year (after this, I will go back to my blog titled “words” and “pperspectives” (  Life after MBA has been a roller coaster ride… if MBA was busy, post-MBA has been busier. No, I have not yet found a job and a job is not the reason for my being busy.  Sometimes I feel, I did an MBA to become a hunter…house-hunting followed by job-hunting!! These are the things that have kept me busy.

I intended to sum up my MBA experience in this one post but then I thought… if I wanted to do that I should rather just attach my SOAR II report here (for those reading this and not aware what SOAR II is: it was one of the MBA assignments where we had to put the entire year into perspective and write about learning et al). So, this post will no longer be about that but about the find memories I have of this one year.

It has definitely been a lovely year with some wonderful people. And I did learn something or the other from most of the people in the cohort. The fun and the laughter we all shared through various celebrations and get-togethers… we celebrated all the festivals… had some superb international evenings will forever be missed.
For the last 2 months I have wondered, what is it that changed in this one year? Am I the same person I was a year back or has something changed? After much introspection, I concluded that things certainly have changed. The year was mainly about knowing myself, introspecting, working on ‘soft skills’. A year gone by…a year thoroughly enjoyed… a year of transformation!

Last Thursday, we had a get-together for our cohort. It was wonderful to see people, to share our frustration from the recruitment processes, to congratulate the ones who had got jobs and say ‘same here’ to the people who were almost getting broke by now trying to make survive in this expensive city!

Well, so adios everyone… see ya at my other blogs… hope the year gone by has a good ending! All the best to my friends still job-hunting and to those who have already started their new journeys!!