Saturday, February 17, 2007

My IIM-K interview

The panel consisted of 2 professors from IIM-K - one of them taught Operations Management and the other taught Economics. It was the same panel which moderated our group discussion.

Panel 1: Operations Management prof.
Panel 2: Economics prof.
Me: ME!! who else? :P
Inner Me: The Inner Me.. which again turns out to be me :D

Panel 2: Please sit down, Mr. Srinivasan. If you don't mind, can we take a look at your certificates?
Me: *offers certificates*
Panel 2: Sooo.. tell me about yourself.
Me: [brag] blah blah blah.. [/brag] [modest] blaah.. blah blah! blah. [/modest]
Panel 2: "International" Institute? Why is it called the International Institute of Information Technology?
Inner Me: hmm.. why did I never think about THAT? :-?? Or maybe I did and I just don't remember it..
Me: Sir, initially we were called the Indian Institute of IT. But then the government wanted us to follow a fixed curriculum which we were not very much in favour of since ours is a very research-oriented curriculum. So we decided to forsake the "Indian" in our name for our vision. [MS]
Panel 2: hmm..
Panel 1: Do you know Deep Blue Program?
Me: *huh?* Sir, you mean the chess playing program?
Panel 1: Yes. Do you know the significance of Deep Blue?
Me: *utters some blah-ous non-sense. *
[The panel is confused because I stated too many facts which they were unaware of. They assumed that I am a die-hard follower of chess or I was an AI geek.]
Panel 1: So then you must be knowing Fridge..
Me: *huhhh?* Pardon me, Sir?
Panel 1: F-R-I-T-Z. Fridge! You know Fridge?
Me: No sir, I am not aware of Fridge.
Panel 1: Ok. So why do you want to become a manager?
Me: *Recites the already prepared answer although deep in my heart I knew it is not true. *
[The panel is reasonably satisfied.. :D So they move on to my grade sheet.]
Panel 1: Your grades have been very bad. Especially Mathematics. In first semester, it is very miserable. *I got an F* In your second semester also, it is bad. *Thats a B-!! How dare he calls THAT a bad grade! x(* And in the third semester you got a B which is not a great grade. *WHAT!! I'd kill for a B!*
Me: *Narrates the sad story about the "great end sem screw-up". *
Panel 1: Ok.. fine. What is limit(x -> infinity) sin(x)
Me: Sir, I think the limit wont be defined. *explains*
Panel 1: hmm.. ok. Then since you must have prepared your first semester Maths topics, tell me the topics in your second semester Maths.
Me: *caught off guard. Because I did not remember anything!* err.. hmm.. well.. we had Complex Variables. hmm.. Partial Differentiation. And of course Probability!
Note: IIM profs are suckers for probability! And I love probability. So I just let it as a loose end hoping they'd pick it up.. >:)

Panel 1: Ok tell me the most famous formula in Partial Differentiation.
Me: *Idiot!* hmm.. Euler's formula.
Panel 1: What is Euler's formula?
Inner Me: Why did you not tell Probability in the first place! Jackass!! Now answer Euler's formula..
Me: err.. If a homogenous equation.. hmm.. of degree n is present.. then the partial differentiation of.. no no.. err.. *hoping they'd move on to probability :(( *
Panel 1: Ok.. fine. No problem. What is degree of an equation?
Me: Answered.
Panel 1: What is the degree of e^x?
Me: One.
Panel 1: Ok.. you said you studied probability, right? *evil gleam*
Me: err.. Yes sir.. :-s *acting unprepared.. *
Inner Me: *evil gleam*
Panel 1: If there are n jobs and n operators in how many ways will you assign the jobs to n operators? *hands me a pen and a paper to calculate!!*
Me: *in a flash* n!
Panel 1: *stares at me for a second and then announces triumphantly* Correct. Now if there is a fast operator and you cant assign him the fastest job, in how many ways will you assign the job now? *slides the pen and paper*
Me: *stare into space for a couple of seconds and answer* (n-1)! * (n-1)
Panel 1: *taken aback at the speed at which the answer came! * Yes it is correct. How did you arrive at the answer?
Me: *explains by shaking hands dramatically in an emphatic fashion! :D Whatever you do, do it grandly! :D *
Panel 1: Good. You seem to be pretty comfortable with probability..
Inner me: No no no.. Do not brag!
Me: Sir, Maths is my favourite subject. *smiles* [MS1]
Inner me: You had to tell it!! You had to brag!! Now he'd think you're arrogant!! Useless jackass.. x(
Panel 1: I see.. I think we'd do another question in probability then.
Me: *scared and in despair but still smiling* Sure sir.
Panel 1: If you have n envelopes and n letters, in how many ways will 1 letter be always present in the wrong envelope.
Me: *Hurrah!! Thank you AP intermediate board of Education!* Zero.
Panel 1: *Thinks for a second* What if n is odd?
Me: *Confused.. huh?? * Still zero sir.
Panel 1: *waits for a second* Correct.
Me: *Sigh of relief.. #:-s*
Panel 1: Ok so what are your areas of interest?
Me: *Happy to be back in familiar territory* Sir, I have been interested in Cognitive Science. *blah blah*
Panel 1: ok.. lets move on to other technical subjects of yours.
Me: *Sigh of disbelief! :-<* Panel 1: Define algorithm. Me: *???????????* Sir, you want me to describe any algorithm? Merge sort, heap sort, quick sort? [MS2]
Panel 1: No No No. DEFINE algorithm. You're a computer science student. You should be knowing this.
Me: ok sir. err.. Well, an algorithm is a general step-by-step systematic process to find the solution of a problem. *blah blah blah.. Hoping he'd shake his head in agreement when he thinks I've arrived at the correct answer but no response from him. I look to the other side and panel 2 is half asleep! So I stop*
Panel 1: Ok do you know the Turing machine?
Me: *hain?* [ignorance] blah blah blaah. BLAH blah blaaah [/ignorance]
Panel 1: *Waiting for me to continue*
[I think they were amazed or amused by my ignorance or innovation. So they wanted me to carry on with the entertainment.]
Me: [instant-innovation] blah blah blaahhh.. [/instant-innovation] *couldn't go on. I have a cap on my creativity!*
Panel 1: Its the wrong answer.
Inner Me: As if I did not figure that out already.. :|
Panel 1: Turing machine is blahh blah blah.. *explains a very complicated answer*
Me: *graciously accepting my mistake* ooh.. ok. ok
Panel 2: So you're interested in Cognitive Science. Do you know that there are two halves of the brain?
Me: Yes sir, the left half and the right half.
Panel 2: Yes. So a few abilities are controlled by the respective halves. Like your analytical skills. Do you know anything about it?
Me: *Mindless BC of which they had little idea. Got a bit too technical for their liking. Avoided answering the question because I had little idea about it. Give them other facts to ponder about. They were somewhat impressed.*
Panel 2: I think you misunderstood my question. *Repeats question.*
Me: *dammit! smiles* Sir, no I am not aware of such facts.
Panel 2: Ohh.. ok. Fine. Ok.. so over the years the size of the brain has not changed at all. But man has made so much progress. Why do you think so? I mean, the brain activity also should be more or less the same, right? So how did we achieve so much development?
Me: *gets prepared to deliver the knockout punch* Sir, I believe that the most important factor in the learning process is learning from mistakes. Even a child cannot start walking immediately after birth. He falls.. he stumbles.. he learns from his mistakes and finally manages to learn how to walk. Similarly, over the years, man has learnt from his mistakes and improvises and will continue to do so, because there is no limit on making mistakes.. :D
Inner Me: That didn't turn out to be so awesome.. :( And you forgot to quote Einstein! Useless fellow! x(
Panel 2: *very impressed* hmm.. good. You're right.. in a way. Ok since you said you were interested in teaching did you read the latest news on AICTE's announcement?
Me: I am sorry sir, but I am unable to recall it.
Panel 2: What is this? You're interested in teaching so you should keep yourself updated on the front. Anyways, AICTE has announced that they want to close all B-grade colleges. What is your take on that, especially with govt allowing FDI in the education sector?
Me: *told something. Dont remember. Not a very satisfactory answer.. but not a bad answer either.. :D*
Panel 1: Ok.. so what is hexadecimal representation of a number?
Me: Sir, when a number is represented in base 16, it is ..
Panel 1: ok ok.. What is the decimal representation of the number 60..
Me: Sixty sir. In decimal right?
Panel 1: Let me complete my question, gentleman. *smiles*
Inner me: *ayyoo!! useless fellow.. dont be so eager to answer.. listen to the question*
Panel 1: What is the decimal representation of the number 60 expressed as in hexadecimal system? *this time offers a pen to calculate*
Me: *again in a flash* 3C
Panel 1: *takes the paper and calculates*
Me: *looking at panel 2 and smiling serenely*
Panel 1: Its correct.
Me: Yes sir.
Inner me: You and your arrogance! DAMN YOU!
Panel 1: Ok fine. Tell me something about Operations research.
Me: Sir I did not take the course because it is being offered as an elective in our college. However I was somewhat interested in the course and I know a little about the course. *Actually someone happened to tell me that it was similar to Linear programming.. ;)) *
Panel 1: Ok then tell me what do you know about Operations Research.
Me: *Explained the transportation problem at the same time thanking the heavens that I took Advance Cognitive Science instead of Operations research.. phew! *
Panel 1: But that is a specific problem is Operations Research. Do you have a more general idea?
Me: Sir I'm not sure if this is it but if you have a situation along with a set of constraints then you go about finding the optimal solution using various methods. *Some BC and technical jargons*
Panel 1: THAT is operations research. *visible impressed and satisfied. looks at panel 2*
Panel 2: *stares back at panel 1*
Me: *stares at panel 1 and 2 interchangeably*
Panel 2: Are you interested in literature?
Me: Not much sir. There was a time when I used to read books..
Panel 1: Have you read Sherlock Holmes?
Me: Arthur Conan Doyle, sir if I am not wrong. yes, I read it in my fifth - sixth standard. Sign of four.. err.. hmm..
Panel 1: Agatha Christie?
Me: Sir, I dont recall reading her novels. But if I'm not wrong one of her works was the longest running play at Broadway.. I cant recollect the name of the novel.. *goes into deep thought*
Panel 2: Is it mousetrap?
Me: Ahh yes yes. Mousetrap it is. Well.. actually.. I am interested in dramatics, as I've pointed out in my form. In fact, I am part of the college theater group. We wanted to leave behind a legacy as we'd be graduating this year. So we revived the dramatics club. We even enacted 2 plays..
Panel 2: Ohh.. ok. What do you think of Vishwanathan Anand's *mindless crap which went over my head* Kasparov *mindless crap*
Me: Sir, I dont follow chess very intently so I am not aware of it.
Panel 2: ohh.. so you follow chess only when machines are involved? *Both start smiling*
Me: *sporting laugh* haha.. no Sir, it is not like that. Actually I recall our professor telling us about the Deep Blue machine in our Artificial Intelligence class. So... *smiles*
Panel 1: Ok. *smiles.. exchanges glances* Thank you Mr Srinivasan.
Me: Thank you Sir.
Inner Me: I'm alive!! :D

There were three master strokes here in the interview.

MS: I avoided bringing up the reservations issue by not mentioning the fact that we wanted to pick our students based on merit and not reservations. However I made the same mistake in my IIM-L interview which of course I again managed expertly.. :D I really need to stop bragging! Reminds me of someone.. :-<

MS1. Math-is-my-favourite-subject. It could have worked against me but I kind of justified it time and again by answering all the questions that were posed to me after I made that statement. Someone remarked the other day that IIMs like proud people who are confident of their abilities. I might have sounded a bit arrogant but I choose to overlook it as pride.. :D

MS2. When he asked me about algorithm I asked him about all the different kinds of algorithms thus giving him the impression that I was prepared on all those topics and thus avoiding them. *I wasn't prepared for any algorithm! However it was a risk I took and it paid off.. being a manager is all about taking calculated risks! :D * Almost every other person was asked about complexities of the different algorithms. They were even asked to compare the algorithms and state the conditions when they'd be useful. I'd have come across as a dumbass had they asked me to do the same. Or maybe I was just plain lucky. But let me bask in the limelight! :D *bask bask*

Thought for the day:

Practical people would be more practical if they would take a little more time for dreaming.
- J. P. McEvoy

PS1: My K-GD was kinda awful. But then I was the third least awful in our group of 9. Which I think should give me an edge.. :D They dont call me the optimist for nothing!
PS2: I think my interview went pretty well, because I gave them quite a few reasons to select me.. meaning my strong analytical skills.. ;))
PS3: And if you thought this interview was interesting, then wait for my Lucknow interview! It was awesome! :D :D Awesome in the sense.. quite entertaining.. ;)) Why do all my interviews have this knack of being entertaining? :-??
PS4: But before I blog about the L interview, I need to blog about this year's unforgettable valentine's day. It was/is/will be unforgettable! Unforgettable boletho all tenses combined.. right? I think I need to go sleep.
PS5: B'lore chicks are hot. Seriously. But they are the yucky hot types.. At least the ones I saw. Now dont ask me what/who are yucky hot chicks.. Come on guys!! Use some brains.. :D :D
PS6: Baba is rocking in all his interviews. Giving himself 8.5 - 9 /10!! :D :D
PS7: Used html kinda tags but they dint show up in the post. So had to revert to orkut kinda tags! :-<
PS8: AKON's Konvicted is not bad. And why is it that I am not able to go to bed? Might again get back to the insomniac routine.. :(
PS9: Naruto Shippuden ROCKS!! :D :D GTO is not bad either.
PS10: Thank you to all those who wished me for this interview.. it meant a lot to me. :D One of the weaknesses that I wrote in my IIM-K form was "I am always relaxed and people mistake it for casualness" And I was relaxed throughout the interview.. at least I made such an impression! :D
PS12: Tell me whether based on this interview, you'd be selecting me or not. Not that its going to affect me.. :D But just for the heck of it! :-j
PS13: A very, very, very, very longgg post. :-< My interview was only for 20-25 minutes though.


Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Random Ramblings..

Yes. I am done with my first IIM interview. It was IIM Kozhikode. And I must say I was pretty impressed with the interview panel. 10 minutes into the interview, they realised that academics was not my forte and so moved on to "other" things. Even I was quite relieved when they moved on. I'll be blogging about my interview once I get green signal from my CL faculty. Hopefully I make it through.

My second IIM interview is on the day after tomorrow. For IIM-Lucknow. I heard that they have air-conditioned rooms at Lucknow! Now wouldn't that go very well with my coldness. yes, of late I've been very cold and sarcy to loads of people.. lets just say I am venting out my frustration arising out of my technical incompetence.. :D So, I am motivating myself with the fact that I'd get to live in AC rooms if I clear the interview!! Please pray for me.. [-o< I cannot think of IIM education without AC rooms.

Moving on to some non-IIM news, I restarted my private blog. There was a time when I used to blog. In private. I absolutely loved that blog. It had a 6-year old's touch to the posts which of course is relatively more mature than this blog of mine. But then I deleted it sometime during the last summer. However suddenly I've found lot more things to write about and so am blogging again. It's kind of nice to blog in oblivion. In fact, I remember making this point in one of my primitive posts.. hmm.. :-?

And I spent my valentine's day writing two very inconsequential exams. Now how pathetic can one get! Anyways, as usual I screwed up both the exams. No surprises there. And also people here have found better ways to spend their idle time. Like playing badminton. And playing badminton. And some also play badminton. It's somewhat freaky when you wake up early in the morning some time at four and see T3 playing badminton. But then it's fun watching them play. But somehow, badminton 24x7 is something hard to digest.. :-< Even CS 24x7 is acceptable! :((

Speaking of which, this time around they have the same prize money for CS. This seriously sucks. Not that we are confident of winning, but for the sake of pride at least, we should have increased the prize money.. kinda sucks. And people are still stuck in we-wanna-play-dotA mode [-(

PS1: Happy valentine's day for all those readers who believe in love. For others, HAIL BAL THACKERAY! :D
PS2: I know.. my blog caters to all kinds of readers.. :D
PS3: Satish got screwed big time when he tried messing with us. Poor fellow.. :P :P :D
PS4: It's fun. Blogging in oblivion. :)
PS5: How can team India time and again snatch defeat from the jaws of victory? :(
PS6: Exams over! <:-p


Saturday, February 03, 2007

Updates - II

"Maybe you were so engrossed in making it to the IIMs, that you forgot why you wanted to make it."

Soo... lots of things happened during the past 14 days.

Jan 18th: I got placed. YES! I got placed at Aricent technologies. Its a decent company, but then I don't think I'll be joining it. Anyways, finally someone was sensible enough to select me! :P

Jan 24th: Something happened but I am not able to remember it! #-o Will keep you guys updated if I manage to recall it. I've marked it on the calender. kkkuch toh hai.. :-?

Jan 27th, 28th: Attended the CL bootcamp for all the IIM call getters. Awesome experience. Its really worth joining CL. We had a nice practice session for GDs but the best part of the camp was yet to come. We played lots of management games. And then we played cricket as well! Sreenidhi resorts is a decent place. A very memorable experience :D

Feb 1st: Attended my IIFT interview. GD was a very peaceful affair. So was my PI. Except for a couple of unanswered questions, I think the panel was satisfied. But then I don't think I'll be joining even if I get through.

Feb 1st: Got screwed in a mock interview. BIG time! The panel made me accept that I am technically incompetent during the interview. And then they made me accept that they shouldn't select me because I would be making zilch value addition. It was a very frightening and horrible experience. The lesser I speak about it, the better :-s

Leaving you guys with the lyrics of the song, Sound the Bugle by Bryan Adams. Kind of captured every emotion I went through during the past couple of weeks. Reminiscence, resignation, confusion, despair, loneliness, defeat, rejection, hope, clarity.. what not.

Sound the bugle now - play it just for me
As the seasons change - remember how I used to be
Now I can't go on - I can't even start
I've got nothing left - just an empty heart

I'm a soldier - wounded so I must give up the fight
There's nothing more for me - lead me away...
Or leave me lying here

Sound the bugle now - tell them I don't care
There's not a road I know - that leads to anywhere
Without a light feat that I will - stumble in the dark
Lay right down - decide not to go on

Then from on hight - somewhere in the distance
There's a voice that calls - remember who you are
If you lose yourself - your courage soon will follow

So be strong tonight - remember who you are
Ya you're a soldier now - fighting in a battle
To be free once more -Ya that's worth fighting for

PS1: Have my IIM-K interview coming monday. Will be starting for B'lore tomorrow evening. Pray for me.. [-o<
PS2: Shilpa Shetty won Big Brother. Overhyped. Yes cheesy, overhyped! :D
PS3: Tata - Corus deal has been finalised! (I'm going to be a business manager. So I need to write about business happenings as well :( And I need to be excited as well.. )
PS4: India won the ODI series! 3-1!! And Sachin hit a 76-ball century! He rocks! :D :D
PS5: Congrats J, for topping in the exams :D
PS6: Illusionist - nice movie. Raging discussion going on in cybergames mailing list. saki vs yarg.. :P
PS7: I still cant figure out why I want to do an MBA. I cant figure out what I want to do with my life :( Chari rocks big time.. :D So does Krishna. And Shivku :D (CL faculty)
PS8: When will I learn to ask for help in times of need? :-?? :-<