I am thinking I’ll turn it into a brand. Of the top of my head, it could be the next BIG thing on TED. I could probably make educational videos of all the wisdom and knowledge I have been doling out and make money out of it. Or I could hold talks ; I could write books; I could make business models out of it. Probably give it a fancy name too – “The Risky Forces” model or something. And then I could sell it to management schools! Phew! My head is spinning with excitement!
Yeah, I know you are confused. It is alright. Most people who come to this blog are one of those. And the ones who come repeatedly are, well, more confused.
I am referring to the Whatitees Guide series. I call it the series, because this is the second of the lot. The first one was about how you have 17 simple ways to get a date. If you have read that, chances are you probably are not coming back to this blog. But since I am on the way to becoming an MBA, and I have studied marketing, I know that the customer is a moron. And hence, I am counting on you coming back to this blog. There. I think I lost another one of my readership. Sigh. Nobody takes a joke seriously these days!
So, continuing with the “Whatitees Guide” series, I will be taking a wild leap into the dark and dinghy world of the B-school and it’s inhabitants. Yes, the B-schoolers. The “overhyped-doesnt-know-jackass-but-can-talk-crap-and-thinks-he-deserves-the-fat-pay” types. Yes, your average Joe who cracks an entrance exam, impresses the hell out of the interview panel with phrases such as ” leveraging domain knowledge”, “create value to society” and “peer learning”, gets an admit and then finally switches over to consulting because that’s the in-thing to do!
Alright. You get the drift.
But I think I run the risk of trivializing the conundrum that is the MBA. And hence, the B-schooler. I guess it is not that simple. And in the transition from the Average Joe (Read: A 2-bit technical/sales guy) to the Above-Average Joe (Read: A costly technical/sales guy, a.k.a, 20 lakhs P.A paycheck), Joe transcends through several forms of the B-schooler. And you do not need to read through countless volumes of HBR articles on human behavior to see these forms. They are right in front of your eyes – in the classroom!
I submit to you – The Whatitees guide to the Anatomy of a B-schooler!
From the eyes of another B-schooler, who runs the risk of falling in one of these categories very soon!
THE ROCK BANDS – They are everywhere. In every break of the game, inside the classroom, outside of it, in the canteen and even when you are drunk! They hunt their preys mostly alone, and many of them actually hunt on each other without knowing that they are of the same ilk. And then snigger about them on their backside! But they are the rock bands; the one’s who give you the highs and lows of being in a classroom! Here’s a smattering –
They are also known as the “Disclaimers Gang”. Usually, their questions or comments start with phrases such as ” Sir, I am not quite sure I have understood fully, but just to avoid any conflict or debate on this issue, in my humble opinion…”…..get on with the question, dude! Zzzzzzzz!
They are the cool dudes! The one’s who use long sentences, and cool words/phrases such as “perspective”, “paradigm change” and “core competencies” anywhere and everywhere! Just like that. Sometimes they are full of wisdom and at other times, full of s**t. But they dole out either with equal gusto and passion!
The Last Minuters
These are the rock stars. Who care a rat’s ass what the professor just said, about the class being over and that he would discuss the Porter’s Model in the next session. They just need to get that bug (Read : The question) out of their backsides which more often than not, becomes a bug in the backsides of the rest of the classroom too.
THE STARS – They are everywhere too. But they are implicit. They are subtle. You would easily mistake them for a common B-schooler. But you’d be terribly mistaken. They are the backbone of the Rock Bands. You know that ” You look good, so we look good” phrase right? Yeah, without the Stars we cannot have the Rock Bands!
He is the quintessential B-schooler. You’d probably be thrown off-track by the Malayali surname, but he is the Clint Eastwood of the classroom – Kozhikode, Kovalam and 2 smoking Coconuts! Et al.
The “shoot first, think later” guy who considers asking questions as a major ingredient in deriving the ROI he so diligently calculated while applying for an MBA. He probably has never heard the phrase “an intelligent question” and thinks it is a non-existent entity. He is the one who raises his hands to ask a question first thing in the class, when the professor says a “good morning”! Or so you think. Maybe he had his hand raised all the time. And he just does not know that. And neither did you!
Koschan “Allota” Nair
A close relative of Mr.Koschan Nayar. Some might say a brother. A close one at that. He is also known as “Allota”. It is not a reference to any accessories he might be carrying for his early morning ablutions. But you’d know why he is called “Allota” if you saw him in class.
He is the “shoot first, keep shooting, will think later if I get the time” kind of a guy who considers questions as THE ROI he had calculated earlier! “Follow up” is second nature to him. His alter ego. Or maybe the schizophrenic dual personality the interview panel never had the time to identify because they were busy answering his questions!
He is the dude. He comes out with amazing phrases such as “repeatability and reproducibility of strategy”, worthy of being published in a paper and maybe being quoted by the professor in another class! He does not flinch from coming out with his own trademark “insights” and very often runs the risk of overrunning all the band members of “The Insighters”. He is the next MBA Guru (after you-know-who), the hardcore Financial wiz, and the Strategist – all rolled into one potent combination!
Claus Partha Seshan
As the name suggests, he is probably of Indo-German origin. With a distinct South Indian touch I might add. As a South Indian, I can say this with adequate amount of confidence, that we, by dint of not finishing our lunch/dinner without curd rice, are quite inquisitive by nature. We get our curious genes from there. And if curd or curd rice is not available, rest assured, you shall be riddled with doubts, questions and comments of an incessant nature!
“Aavtar” Claus Partha Seshan
He is a close Indian relative to Claus Partha Seshan. For some curious and yet obvious reason, his middle name is actually the first. He of course does not bother about curd rice for lunch. All he wants to do is catch up with the professor when he wishes to have a quiet smoke and a tea by the tree, and talk to him about why Accounting cannot be neither art nor science. He is the evolved avtar of his mellowed down brother.
Well, I guess I have pretty much summed up the B-schooler. It is really amazing how this anatomy has not seen any change over the years. Even when my brother did his MBA from another premier B-school, he had similar characters there as well. And 10 years down, we see the lineage being carried over generations.
However, on a more serious note, these are also the stars who come out with the most innovative and insightful solutions to the most difficult problems. And that is an ode to the quirkiness that they demonstrate. It is what makes them unique. And hence a part of the elite B-schools they are in.
In some circles here, I am already a part of “The Disclaimers” band and let me justify that by saying that all the characters above are totally real with fictitious names. Most of them are good friends of mine and amazing personalities. A few of the lines and instances quoted are real, and much more than that, funny as hell! However, this was intended to be as part of my efforts to try and tickle the funny bone. And I would expect and hope the reader to have one. More so, if the reader happens to be one of the above!
P.S : While all my efforts in the last few lines above have been to make some amends, however, I get the distinct feeling, at 1:54 AM in the night that I would be questioned severly by Mr. Koschan Nair tomorrow!