Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Consulting and conflict management II

This course has been a great learning so far.

Next time, we shall have a role play on Conflict management.
A set of students would be entrepreneurs and the other sets would be doing role of management consultants.

Fortunately, I am on the consultant side. Prof is asking us to leave the place in order to brief the the other set of students.

Today's sessions was informative, resolving and lead to quite a bit of learning.

The learnings from Entrepreneurism class helped crack the U-Haul case. Yipee !
Strategic Investors :).....double hits !

Need to order the book of Getting to Yes ASAP. It has been too late.
Prof recommended another book too... Flawless Consulting

We saw a few video clips (Tepper Management Game) . Another audio clip between Management Team representation and Labor Negotiator. Surprising but true, the negotiation showed how the relatively coy ppl make it to the BSchools.

Analysis chart was used for analyzing them.

This includes 5 sections with various traits broadly divided in 2 columns:

5 sections are:

Somebody would also track body language and resistance-meter (on 4 counts of Emotionality, Irrationality, Closedness, Competitiveness)

However, I am enjoying this course.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Org Mgmt - session 2

This class gets better and better !

We had 2 cases.

Case I: Levi Strauss and global sourcing

In 1993, senior managers at Levi Strauss & Co., the world's largest brand-name apparel manufacturer, were deciding whether the company should have a business presence in China, given the human rights and other problems there. The China Policy Group has been asked to use the company's "principled reasoning approach" to make a recommendation based on the company's ethical values and newly-adopted global sourcing guidelines. Teaching Purpose: Intended to develop decision-making skills. Allows for discussion of the concept of human rights and of company responsibilities for the activities of suppliers operating in different economic, cultural, and legal environments.

Well, first one had all the regular stuff about
1. Do business with China
2. Do business with China only if they comply with rules of engagement (ethics)
3. Do not do business with China.

Levi Strauss did start but in 3 years they stopped business with China (Chinese would rationalize most of their guidelines for showing compliance).

Case II: Karen Leary

The case describes the evolution of the working relationship of Karen Leary, a new manager of a Merrill Lynch retail branch, and Ted Chung, a new financial consultant in the branch. Leary has some concerns about her working relationship with Chung and with his performance. Chung makes what Leary perceives to be an unreasonable request for a private office. Leary must respond to this request, taking into account the implications of her decision for her ambitions for the branch office and her career.

Subjects covered:
Diversity, Ethics, Financial services, Human resources management, Interpersonal relations, Management styles, Managers, Organizational behavior & leadership, Performance appraisal, Sales & marketing, Sales management, Service industry, Superior & subordinate, Supervision.

Well, considerable inputs could be provided by me based on experiences in Infy.
a. Infy's Delivery Manager's funda of why is relative rating good, etc was completely supported by the Harvard MBA faculty citing case of Harvard relative rating curve itself.

b. If somebody is a rebel and cannot conform to company culture, he needs to be ousted in a certain way....or rather attitude adjustment needs to be done....

c. It should be imperative for managers to learn about cross-cultural practices or they would keep on losing talented employees like Ted Chung.

d. This also reminds me of an individual at Infy who tried negotiating for extended onsite (a reward) in vague after having a perception that single-handed client interaction would help him get an upper hand in negotiations with management.

This course has a graded assignment due June 5th (case on Oxfam). Well, now the pressure has started building up...w.r.t. assignments and regarding the mgmt course.

"Made in India" phones set to tap global markets

This is awe-freakin-some !

Check out the Reuters link.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Course: Strategic Cost Analysis

....I am liking this class already. The speed is neck-breaking and hence, I might take this as a Pass/Fail course rather than a grading course.

However, Prof Lynne is teaching fantastic and is going to cover Products as well as Services.

I need to desperately exempt the Java course since I would get 12 units free and take up this mini ! Otherwise, I shall have to put speaking and writing for next sem (but that doesn't make sense...since I would need that knowledge for placements). Darn ...that's a tough decision.

Book: Managerial Accounting from here.

Stats class

Stats for business managers - 2nd episode.

It is better than before....since we are not taking the GMAT test examples for the class.. we are getting hands on to the math of it.

I just hope we get to MiniTab soon. I am so planning to exempt this class. This is not giving me a good feeling that my $ are being put to good use.

Someone exempted Professional Speaking stating that outside it was cheaper.
I figured out that most of the courses being taught here are cheaper outside.

For e.g., Acct, this that...etc. All are damn cheaper in other community colleges. Just 500$ instead of 3k.

That brings us to the topic of feasibility of these courses.
I have learnt a costly lesson ... that to take up basics in community schools and then take up the advanced courses only in the schools....such that money is put to good use.

Yday's Consulting and Conflict management was a cool course though...worth the money...
So, I think I would have to compromise by looking at the overall picture than just this one.

One thing for sure...US education is simply a money minting business for these trusts !
India and the education system is far better value for money. But costs are increasing there too... ISB charges bloody 18 lacs for their one year PGP !

Doing back-of-the-envelope calculations, approx cost per course would be 3k$. My rest of settlement with Infy fetched me that much of money ! WoW ! One wrong course and my savings for 1.5 months down the drain !

Financial Accounting class

We had the second installment of the Financial Accounting class.
Balance Sheet, Income stmt, etc quite a few basic acct stuff.

I have asked the professor if I could exempt this class and join her other class in Cost Accounting.
I would be overrunning the Information Security class. However, I think this is a risk worth taking. Anyways, I didn't have the Information Security for the current semester.

Apparently, the faculty is looking for a Director position somewhere and while that is going on she is having the position of a faculty at CMU.

She encouraged me to attend the other class but was not sure if I would be able to exempt her Fin Analysis class without a test. So, letsee..if I can crack her test. Her first assignment is due next Mon/Tue midnight.

2 links:
1. Welch's online book
2. Principles of Accounting

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Course: Consulting and Conflict Resolution

This is the first Tepper course I am taking this semester. It is a 6 unit course and the prof is really nice.

A brief summary of course is:

Dr. Rich Young had his PhD from CMU for an interesting dissertation.
Some fantastic revelations as the class is going ahead.

Looking back, I am realising what I could've done differently during conflicts with various entities, say clients, within Infy, etc.

Management Consultants always yearn for a conflict since it would come up with a better solution than what the individual parties might've thought.

Otis elevator example and it's solution from a psychologist was validating what Dad had once mentioned.....take perspectives from different ppl for the same ppl. You might hit an out-of-the-box solution.

Well, break is getting over and would hit back to class again.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Financial Analysis, Stats for IT managers and Entrepreneurism

So, I had 3 more courses today....

Financial Analysis

Our faculty Prof. Lynne (mostly southern looks and a little bit of accent too) did her MBA from CMU about 10 years ago. Now, she is teaching Financial Analysis at Heinz School at CMU.
Accrual and Cash flow was supposed to start but it shall happen on Thurs.

Most of her coursework is need to buy books !

Stats for IT managers

This faculty is a PhD from CMU (2002) and was teaching at Stanford and then at UMich Ann Arbor. She is very intelligent and reminds me of Tara Kopf (the admin from AT&T) !

Stats book - I saw it and I was drop dead...such an oversized book for Stats !


Mr Fajerski (Paul) was a veteran in the field of entrepreneurism. He has been teaching since 8 years and has a new offer from someone. In the past, he had been an AT&T engineer who started his own business (Hyperion was his baby)..he was with Adelphia for a while too. Taught some good insights with his experiences. His course should not be as tough..except for the book which we need to buy and read and has a lot of cases which he is not planning to teach.

Came home and got to know about the realty services guy mentioning that we are illegally occupying the place...

Retiring off to bed early ~!

Expenses !

CMU Masters is Expensive !

I just splurged $2100 on an IBM Thinkpad and $13700 on their fees.
Now, this tuition is after $3k of scholarship.

Letsee how many other expenses come in.

Org Mgmt and Telecom Mgmt ....

Organizational Management.
The faculty is a Harvard MBA with quite a bit of experience. His teaching method was awesome...though typical Harvard MBA type case-class.

However, what I liked was the faculty's background.
He did his MBA while GM sponsored him..but he never went back to GM and paid for it.
He was in Bufalo where he floated a regional bank along with his brother and later sold it off well.
He looks more like a turnaround specialist...since these days he does independent consulting for the same.

He is a typical Pittsburgher (as he says) since he is back to da Burgh. Lives life on his own terms and has come to teach since he is liking it a lots !

First day was absolutely awesome with the Disney case.......
.....Looking forward to more action from his class !

Telecom Management
This class was as boring as "boring" could be. The faculty is highly knowledgeable. However, due to accent and speech delivery, he can get monotonous. He has sea of information with him but unable to put it forth.

Some students were aggravated and planning to talk to the concerned authorities about the same.

For me, I missed my Negotiations class....darn it !
Negotiations is more important for me since Linda Babcock (author of a book) is going to take it.
But, wait....I get to know right now that Linda didn't take it and J. Simmer did....hmm... he is an arbitrator ! WoW !...but..students say that even he was boring...

Letsee..if I do not get an exemption from the Telecom guy...I shall have to take Negotiations in next sem.

All said and done, after 3 classes, first day was awesome and I was fully fired.
I got an exemption from DBMS and that was cool..need to figure out the same for Java.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Course : Org Mgmt

This course at MISM is pretty much case studies based.
The first one is "The smile factory: Disney"


Drove down 620 miles from St Louis to Pittsburgh and reached at the destination at 4:30 am on Sat morning, 20 May 2006.

This was a little sad journey....
1. I was alone.
2. My bumper broke while I deviated to 71 E in a random action due to a random decision due to a random thought of visiting a friend in Cincinnati while I was at Columbus Ohio. I had covered 2/3rds of distance to Pittsburgh by then.

Anyways, the townhouse is large....only issue I can see is that the previous occupants have left a mess here and we have to negotiate with the leasing ppl about the same.

Slept just 3 hours for Sat.

Shall post some snaps of the townhouse soon. I dun have my laptop with me ...have to yet collect it from the computer store at CMU.

CMU MISM it is !

I've decided to be with the one which seems to be a natural progression to my existing experience.

Final objective is to be able to lead the revolution and the mega-shift from west to east.

The journey towards such a leadership begins now !