As I always say, “When in Doubt, Read Murakami” and this book is no exception. As clear from the title, the book is a set of short stories (7 in total) that revolve around a common theme- life of men who have been devoid of presence of women in their lives due to different reasons. All stories have plots, characters and setups common to a typical Murakami tale- lonely men who love to read, mysterious women, disappearing cats, quaint bars with weird frequenters, overthinking characters and endless rumbling about life, loss, death & sense of being.
While the first four stories actually follow plot and seems normal, you experience the real Murakami in last three stories- mindless rumblings, chaotic thoughts, and random brainstorming overpower the central plot and you are reminded what it is to read a story which is very typical of Murakami.
It’s the 6th book of Murakami that I have picked up. I didn’t regret.
Marketing is a stream where ‘nothing is wrong or right’- it’s all about the perspective. ‘Crack the Marketing Case and Interview Like A CMO’ takes this idea forward to build up a perspective for extremely varied sets of Marketing cases through well-defined and clear frameworks. The book starts with introduction to generic behavioral questions that an MBA student might encounter during placement interviews for a marketing role and then finally move to the technical questions.
All the frameworks introduced by the author are explained well, before finally moving to the cases. There are 18 Marketing cases in total and each case is solved by the author using the frameworks in extremely detailed way.
The reason I have given the book only 4 stars (instead of 5) is that the author doesn’t mention anything about how to do industry knowledge preparation. Also guesstimate based Market sizing, Market Entry etc questions are not discussed at all.
This book needs a second edition and better marketing (oh! the irony) so that more and more B-School Students get to know about it.
Once again, thanks to Bloomsbury India for sending a review copy.
For more reviews, follow my blog- www.kumaranshul.com
CAT 2017 results are out (and so are some of the IIM calls). While those having calls must be preparing for GDPI, others need to ponder what to do next.
This article has been exclusively written for ardent (and eventually disappointed) CAT aspirants, who are completely clueless about ISB and GMAT/GRE (and hence, be prepared for a lengthy article).
Before you go ahead, you must know who is the author (i.e. who am I). I am a student of the current flagship MBA program (called as PGP- Post Graduate Program in Management ) at the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad Campus.
ISB is a B-School with campuses at Hyderabad & Mohali, which is currently ranked 27th in the world by Financial Times for its flagship full time 1-year MBA course, called as the PGP (Post Graduate Program in Management.
Who is eligible for PGP from ISB?
Anyone with full time, paid work experience of more than 2 years is eligible to join the PGP course.
What is the total intake every year?
The class of 2018 is a strong batch of 879 students (Hyderabad + Mohali) and the annual intake generally revolves around the same number.
What do I need to apply to ISB?
You either need GMAT or GRE score and then you need to apply online. The online application consists of 2-3 essays, details about your work experience, 10th, 12th & Graduation score, your awards & achievements, extra-curricular & hobbies.
What is an ideal/cut-off score in GMAT & GRE to get selected?
There is NO CUTOFF. Please understand that unlike CAT/XAT, the exam scores are only a small (though significant) part of your application. Your application is holistically evaluated by the admission team with separate weightage given to every part of the application. Though ofcourse, you should aim for a high score. Below is a screenshot for ISB’s website for the Class of 2018’s profile
As you can see the accepted GRE scores range from 303-335 and GMAT scores from 600-780.
When should I apply to ISB?
ISB has three modes of application :-
YLP (Young Leaders Program)-This is for pre-final and final year students. If you get selected through YLP, a seat will be reserved for you and you can join when you have atleast 20 months of work experience.
Early Entry Option (EEO)– This is for working professionals who have less than 24 months of work experience. If selected through EEO, a seat will be reserved for you and you can join when you have atleast 24 months of work experience.
PGP- All working professionals with more than 24 months of work experience can apply through the regular PGP route
At this point, please keep in mind the following two facts :-
YLP, EEO, PGP are just 3 different routes of applying to the same 1-year flagship MBA program at ISB. They are not different programs, just different ways of applying (depending on how many months of work experience you have) for the MBA.
While the EEO & PGP applications are exactly similar, the YLP application differ. Since you don’t have any work experience while applying through, the essay topics and few other details in the application are different as compared to that of EEO/PGP
When do I need to apply?
Every batch starts in mid-April and for that particular batch, there are two application rounds- Round 1 deadline is in October of the previous year and Round 2 deadline is in January of the same year.
For example, for the class that is going to start in April 2018, Round 1 deadline was on October 15th 2017 and Round 2 Deadline is on January 15th 2018.
If you apply to Round 1 and don’t get an admit, you can’t apply to Round 2. You can apply again in Round 1/Round 2 for next batch with the same GMAT/GRE score (as these scores are valid for 5 years).
The application cycle for YLP is different, please check the website for more details.
How can I prepare for GMAT/GRE?
GMAT/GRE, unlike CAT/XAT takes 4-5 months of preparation (along with your work) and these exams can easily be aced with proper focused preparation. I have already written a series of articles on GMAT Preparation :-
I have personally no clue about GRE but I have heard that it’s comparatively easier than GMAT (Specifically the Quant Section) but the aspirants need to mug a lot of words to ace the vocabulary based questions in Verbal Section.
How is the interview process?
If your application gets shortlisted, you will be called for interview (3-5 days will be provided). The interview panel consists of 3-4 people from the admission team and alumni. The interview majorly revolves around everything that you have written in your application. So it is extremely important to give enough time & attention to your application.
If you are thinking of applying to Round 1 deadline (October 2018), you should focus on GMAT or GRE preparation now and then start working on your application by September.
In May 2016, we, a group of 12-15 ISB Admits started The Bootcamp Consultancy Pvt Ltd with an aim of helping students apply to ISB and other B-schools in India & abroad. In less than 2 years we have helped more than 100 aspirants grab their dream seat at ISB (through YLP, EEO and PGP application) and many others at world’s reputed B-Schools such as INSEAD, HKUST, Columbia, Imperial College London, Michigan Broad, IIM A, IIM B, SP Jain among others. Also read- 5 Reasons to choose The Bootcamp for ISB
First of all, thanks a lot to Harper Collins India for sending me a review copy of this book. To make things clear, this is not just another book invoking memories of partition. Remnants of a Separation is a unique and honest attempt to revisit the gory days of Partition through ‘materials’- the objects that were carried by the refugees with them when they left their ancestral land and crossed the border. These objects range from jewellery, utensils, clothings and so on, remaining latent & undisturbed for generations. They are now testaments to the struggle, sacrifice, suffering and belonging of their respective owners.
This actually started as an academic project, eventually converted into a book by author Aanchal Malhotra, who is an artist & oral historian and is a must read for history buffs.
Nadia Hashimi debuted with ‘The Pearl That Broke Its Shell’, which soon topped many bestseller charts. While that book described the trials & tribulations of two Afghan females from different generations, while highlighting the ugly menace of ‘Bacha Posh tradition’ in Afghanistan, ‘A House Without Windows’ is different. It is set in modern post-Taliban Afghanistan, a land torn by years of war, trying its best to adapt modern code of conduct, but still tightly shackled in the traditions of past where a woman’s testimony is still counted as half of that of man and her honor is something that lies between her legs and must be protected at all costs.
Zeba has killed her husband (or she hasn’t) and has been put into Chil Mahtab, a women’s prison. Yusuf is an Afghan-born, American raised lawyer who is willing to put all his efforts to get Zeba acquitted. Then there is Gulnaz, Zeba’s mother, the sorceress of yesteryears who is all set to put her powers in use to get Zeba out of Chil Mahtab. The book, with its description of ‘jadu’ (magic) has a mysterious touch to it, even when dealing with the sensitive topic of ‘zina’ (adultery). I did find the narration a bit dragging, but still it never digressed from the core plot- the trial of Zeba. A satisfying & engaging read to start off my reading journey of 2018.
This is one book in a long long time that I finished in less than 12 hours- I picked it up and just couldn’t put it down! “An Unsuitable Boy” is Karan Johar unabashed, unadulterated and unedited! If you have watched lots of “Koffee with Karan” episodes, you can actually read the book in his own voice- it feels as if he is sitting just in front of you rambling, bitching, dissing and appreciating.
With an innocent, no-nonsense narration, Karan Johar bares his heart out in this memoir- his initial struggles with weight, low self esteem and being effeminate, his emotional equations with an aging father & a strict mother and so on. Then there is an entire chapter on ‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’ which is an admirable account of how a young boy with an experience of just one movie (he was the assistant director of DDLJ) came, saw and conquered. In this book Karan has been extremely open and candid about everything- his vanities, struggles, vulnerabilities, anxiety issues, fallout with Kajol, his relation with Shah Rukh and Aditya Chopra and in my opinion he couldn’t be any more honest and profound.
The chapters where he puts down his struggles and vulnerabilities of consolidating Dharma Productions (having no sense of business whatsoever) are not only gripping but also motivating. The book has its own share of vanity, flamboyance and elitism and Karan never tries to hide it. Neither he tries to be politically correct while saying “Screw you” to all his twitter trolls. The book might seem a bit dragging when he discusses his friendships but then it looks justifies given the fact that how emotionally attached he is with his friends. At the end he even reveals that he is thinking of having a child just because of a selfish reason that he wants someone to take care of him when he gets old! All in all, this is a candid, gripping and honest memoir- something that has come straight from Karan’s heart and deserves a read for sure.
There are books that you like, there are books that you love and then there are books that shake you, make you introspect and force you to rethink about many conventions, comfort and things that you take for granted. The story of a neurosurgeon (Dr. Paul Kalanithi) dealing with terminal cancer, written by himself and the epilogue written by her wife after his death- the memoir is not only different & ground-breaking because of its theme & content. What makes the book that it has become to be is that Dr. Kalanithi, who had been a literature major and then, being a neurosurgeon, had seen & experienced death & its various manifestations and consequences, has woven an extremely pristine & profound piece of memoir. ‘When breath becomes air’ is a meditation on death, the practice of neuroscience & neurosurgery, god & metaphysics and the gory question of “What matters & what not when your time is limited”