Wednesday, November 30, 2005


empty water bottles everywhere

Most of the trash bins in IESE have lots of empty water bottles at the end of a day. Since most of them have lids open, it is not hard not to notice the empty bottles. Is this a problem? I think it is a problem because we are generating too much waste which can be reduced by more than 50%. Second, we do not seem to have any recycling bins, so they are not recycled and hence become a burden to the landfills, or basically to our mother nature.

How can it be solved?
By having recycling bins. I will suggest this idea to Student Affairs. Generally they are very receptive, so hopefully we will see recycling bins at IESE in the future.

2) By reusing the bottles. I frequently reuse my water bottles. If there are "20 or so liters mineral water jars" dispensers in common places, I am sure many students would opt to refill their bottles as it would save them time of going to the bar to purchase a bottle, money as you have to pay something like 1 Euro to buy a 1 liter bottle in the bar and of course personal satisfaction in contributing to less plastic waste.

On this topic, I think even "tap water" dispensers would be better than having nothing. It may sound awful to some students, but I drink tap water in Barcelona. In the beginning I didn't like the taste at certain times, but nowadays I am used to it and it tastes just fine. And I am told that it is safe to drink tap water in Barcelona. If it was Kathmandu, I wouldn't be drinking tap water directly.

Sunday, November 27, 2005


my camera slapped me on my face

I realized today how important it is to have a good camera with you. I have this Canon A20 camera, more than 3 years old. The lens cover is half broken. It is bulky, looks awfully antique compared to slick cameras you find today. It generally doesn't take good pictures if there is little light, even with its flash. But it was working. It was taking good pictures for me for most occasions. It was way much better than the cameras you get in the mobile phones. Few months back, it stopped working for half a day but after that half-a-day glitch, it started working fine again. So I never bothered to buy a new one. Or just waited to buy a new and fancy one when I have a good summer internship or when I know about a good paying job after my MBA graduation.

But today it slapped me on my face. It dinged me. It broke the trust that we had with each other. My wife had invited two Spanish friends and their Portugese boyfriends for dinner today. We took some pictures. It worked fine. Then my wife brought them to her room and dressed them up in Sari. They looked very beautiful. That was a special moment to have Spanish girls dressed in Sari. My wife and I tried to take pictures and thats when the camera said "adios". It acted like it was working. The flash worked, but it didn't capture the picture. What good a camera is when it cannot take a picture when we need it most. So I am taking the memory card out and then dumping the camera. If you want to try to play with it, let me know. Or I will put it in Ebay for 1 dollar for those who want to break it apart and want to find out how a camera works (or doesn't work).

Few weeks back, we had a marketing case about Kodak films. Kodak saw its market share of Kodak Gold film decreasing because of cheap films coming out. But Kodak didn't really decrease the price of the Kodak Gold film and the main message it wanted to give to customers was "Kodak Gold is for special moments". You are right, Kodak. I couldn't agree more after what happened to me today.

I am attaching the picture my flatmate took out of his PDA. Its not the best quality one, but its better having something than nothing.

Thursday, November 24, 2005


status of my midterms

I did well in my Financial Accounting. For someone with no accounting background, I am happy with the grade I got. But I would like to do better in the finals. (of course, who doesn't want to?) Lets hope that I will put more efforts in doing the FA cases/homeworks regularly. I am also saying this because I think I got more marks than I deserved. There was one question where I practically bullshitted. But it turns out that I actually answered part of that question correctly and got 66% on that question. Using the knowledge from Decision analysis class, I can say that the probability of me getting lucky like this again is not high. So I better get my act together to prepare better for Financial Accounting. That includes doing homework for tomorrow. :)

I did even better in Decision Analysis. I am doing "okay" in Organization Behavior and ABP. But one class I am not doing good is Marketing. I haven't had guts yet to actively participate in the marketing class. For the class which puts 75% weight in class participation, I should be participating more than I should.


I became sick because I didn't write a blog

Last few days have been very tiring because of classes, homeworks, and applications for summer internships. The weather is not helping us either. It has been getting really cold lately. Its not the sunny and warm barcelona anymore. Many of my friends are sick because of the cold/flu. We can notice the empty chairs in the classes. I have also been "under the weather" since Monday but it hasn't got much worse. Nevertheless, today I felt like it was getting worse and didn't go to my classes after the first one and came home to take rest, have hot lemonade and hot soup. This way I will not let it become worse. But I felt bad for missing my ABP, DA and Spanish class. I was feeling guilty when I was staying at home sleeping. But I think it is the best strategy, missing a day of classes now rather than missing more classes later on after I get more sick. I am already feeling much better now after taking the much needed rest.

But I have another hypothesis. I think I became sick because I was not writing my blogs since Nov 16. Thats already 8 days. After writing a blog, I always used to feel very good. My stress would go down. But I didn't have the privilege of wearing my stress down earlier because I didn't write blogs. And hence I got sick from the accumulated stress.

Will be blogging regularly for the reason I just mentioned.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


dark suits

I better buy a dark suit soon before I feel like the odd one out again in a cocktail organized by a big name bank or consulting firm. I have been procrastinating so far, but when you are one of the only 2 or 3 students who is not wearing a dark suit during a cocktail event, you definitely feel odd, which is how I felt yesterday during an event. Pobre Pradeep, you should have done it when you were back home where it was much cheaper compared to Barcelona to buy a suit.


mock interviews and class presentation

Monday and Tuesday were eventful. Monday was more eventful than I wanted it to be. We were supposed to have mock interviews with various companies on Monday. I signed up for a bank interview. I got an email from the Career Services that I was in the group that was supposed to be interviewed in the first half of the day. Everyone was supposed to get a slot of half and hour, of which 20 minutes would be for the actual interview and 10 minutes for the feedback. Since I was the last one in the group, I calculated the time I was supposed to be and went to college half an hour before my actual time. Right after I reached the room where I was supposed to be interviewed, things started falling apart in front of me. I saw all of the rest of my group in that room with an interviewer. For the whole time, I was thinking that it was an one to one interview. I was wrong. It was supposed to be a group interview and everyone would get a half an hour slot in that group interview.

I panicked and quickly went to meet someone from Career Services to explain my problem. (My flatmate who I met in the hallway suggested me to do that. Thank you Kapil!) Career Services was very helpful and got me hooked up with a bank representative who was free. In the end, I got a chance to have an one to one interview with the bank representative from the department I was most interested in. The interview went well. I was calm. I got good feedback. It is indeed right when they say "everything happens for our own good" , isn't it? I am so glad that the disaster that was unfolding was prevented for something better to come. And yes, I suggested Career Services to be more explicit next time because it wasn't obvious from the email that it was not a one to one mock interview. I met some other people who felt the same but were lucky enough to reach the campus before the group interview session started.

Today I had a class presentation in my Managerial Communication class. This was not something I was really keen on doing but I did it because somebody from our "group" had to do it and there was basically no one else to do it. I prepared for a presentation on why high tech companies from Spain should have an offshore operation in Nepal rather than the popular destinations India or China. I was more nervous than I normally would be before the presentation. I am not sure why. I need to avoid this in the future. Perhaps I was not as much prepared as I should have been.

But after I reached the podium in the class to make my presentation, I calmed down and wasn't as nervous as I was before coming to the podium. The presentation then turned out to be really funny for the class, especially when I compared Nepal to the core of a sandwich in which the two pieces of bread were India and China. That whole example made everyone laugh and that made it easier for me to continue with my presentation. At least I was able to capture the audience. The feedback I got was great. One suggestion was to have a balance of humor and the serious stuff. It was a great presentation for the class but might not have been great for the potential investors. I also mentioned some negative press images of Nepal and made some arguments to clear away any doubts but I was suggested that it could backfire. In any case, I am glad the presentation is over. It was a good learning experience.

Friday, November 11, 2005



It is indeed going to be a relief weekend. This weekend, I would like to relax and then spend more time researching about companies I like to apply for summer internship. The deadline for most companies offering internship opportunities for IESE students is Nov 21st which is coming very close.

Midterms went okay. I was very confident in the morning before the Decision Analysis exam. But in the exam, I was nervous and rushing most of the time. I would have liked myself to be "tranquilo". Perhaps, it was my first exam after my GMAT which I took many months back. But the exam in itself went okay. I know I didn't answer one "calculation intensive" question correctly. However, there was no weight specified for the questions, so I am not sure how that is going to affect my overall score. Nevertheless, I am not worried too much. Even if it went bad, I can always try to do better in the Finals as the final grade takes into account the exam in which I did the best.

Contrary to Decision Analysis, I was not confident on Financial accounting. This is the first time I am getting introduced to Financial Accounting subject. However, I was "tranquilo" most of the time in the exam. ( I adapted positively from the exam yesterday.) I think I did the first 2 questions with 60% weight pretty good. I though I did those 2 questions really well but you know how it is when you get out of the exam and talk to your friends. I realized that I didn't do as well as I thought I did. No wonder, one of my good friends used to advice me "Never ever talk about the exam right after it is over." He is right. It is just going to ruin the weekend if we realize that we did worse than we thought. So heeding his advice, I didn't talk further about the exam.

By the way, I must mention one person who is super smart in Financial Accounting. When I was just finishing up my 1st question, Gabriel walked down the auditorium and submitted his papers. I was super surprised, but now that I know how smart he is, I shouldn't be surprised anymore. He comes from Texas, US.

After the exam was over, I headed home. My wife had prepared wonderful Nepali lunch. Wow! that was fantastic. Lucky me!! After lunch and a siesta, my wife and I went down to La Ramblas for a walk and to do some shopping. It was great to spend some time with my wife after many busy weeks.

Many of my friends from Section A and Section B are going to a dinner organized by student representatives. (Our class of about 220 is divided into 3 sections. The language of instruction in Section C is Spanish.) I couldn't go due to a prior commitment. I am sure they are all having a nice time there.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005



We have midterms this Thursday and Friday of Decision Analysis and Financial Accounting subjects. For those of us like me with no FA background, obviously this will be a challenge.
However, Decision Analysis doesn't seem to be that bad compared to FA perhaps because I come from an Engineering background. But it is not that easy either.

On other updates, marketing cases have become more interesting nowadays as we discuss more strategic issues with less number crunching than in earlier cases. In the earlier cases, we just had too many tables to refer to and make calculations from. Today, we had a case about the company who created the SpiderMan character and it was quite fun.

Saturday, November 05, 2005


I love Skype

Everyday I am loving Skype more and more. The sound quality is awesome. As I do not have many friends using Skype yet, I use SkypeOut service to call PSTN numbers mostly in the US and UK. It costs just about 2 cents a minute to call those numbers. I don't think it can get any better than this. But more and more of my friends are now using Skype after they are impressed from my marketing pitches. In fact, last week I was pitching a customer service lady from a bank on Skype describing how amazing it was. My flatmates were laughing when I was doing that. I think she was impressed and at least, she is not new anymore to this brand called Skype. But ironically, I don't think I am doing good in my marketing class. I need to be better prepared with my marketing cases.

Skype is way above all the other VoIP services I have used. I think Vonage is very good too, but it doesn't have this free computer to computer service.

Thursday, November 03, 2005



The disadvantage of having a public blog is that I have to be very careful when I am venting out my frustrations. I should not use any names as Google can cache my blog for decades and one of those unlucky ones I mentioned my find out my gripes in days to come.

Yesterday, few of us were having an informational session with a bank. Then suddenly one guy came in late. He was not dressed properly (we were all required to wear suit and tie). Then without wasting a minute, he started asking questions to the bank representative. He was asking all sorts of complex questions, and didn't pause between asking questions. He acted as if he was the one taking interview of the bank representative. He seemed very cold, with no expressions in his face. And guess what, he left as soon as he was done with his questions. I am not sure what he thought of himself. That was so rude on his part, both to us and the bank representative. I think that kind of attitude also gives a bad impression of IESE to the recruiters. I am not sure how the hell he was thinking of scoring on his personal skills if he were to apply for a job. Luckily, the representative was an alumnus of IESE. He was very approachable and down to earth. After that rude fellow left, we got a chance to ask at least some questions in a comfortable environment. In Nepali we rightly say, "सन्तान थरिथरिका" , which translates to "different people, different behaviors".


a long and busy day

Today I reached college at aorund 8 AM. Caught up on details of some cases before other group members came. Then had the regular classes before lunch break. I had two presentations I had to go to during my lunch time. During one break between the classes after the lunch break, I was finishing off my Spanish homework. Spanish homeworks are now the last in terms of priority after the regular MBA classes started. I feel bad but I have no choice. But, unlike some students, I haven't bunked any Spanish class and I still enjoy it a lot although it is the last class of the day. And I also do my Spanish homeworks regularly( except in few occasions when I am really tight on time).

Right after the Spanish class, I had a group meeting where we discussed a OB homework we need to do as a group. I still think our group has a long way to go in terms of being really organized. We tend to cut off other members, side talk with someone, talk really loud, among many other things. I think we have too many "aggressive" members. I hope we will learn from our past mistakes and the classes and make our group the best.

It was already 7:30 pm when we were done with the meeting. Came home, had some biscuits and juice and just relaxed. What a long and busy day it was!

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