Take a Walk....... t

Monday, December 19, 2005

"High Touch, High Tone, High Octane" at darden

Well I was on for my first information session for a foreign B-School and for that matter anyB-Schools, the venue was Hilton Towers (Mumbai) and the guest of honour, Dean of the school Robert F. Bruner and the Admissions director Everette Fortner. There was an initial informal chat with Mr. Fortner for about half an hour before the dean came in and gave a small talk of about 30 minutes or so. He stressed on the need for an MBA, importance of not settling for anything less then the best B-School, segmenting the market accordingly and getting to know the place well before making what would be one of the most important career decision of one's life. The most important part about the dean's speech was the three point about Darden which he emphasized as the factors which differentiate it from the other top B-Schools in the US or else.

1) High Touch - This is the one point that touched me the most about the speech and the school was the emphasis on close student-to-student and student-to-faculty contact. On my question regarding community service Mr. Fortener had to say 'The first community that you work for is the darden community', and in the words of the dean 'The doors of the faculty is always open, the difference between different profs may be that for some it less open and for other its all.' The one point both stressed on was that their faculty doesn't has a working hours concept as such, you can catch them anytime of the day and they are there for you. Even if some of it is an exaggeration (quite possible since they were marketing their school), the remaining still sums up to be a touching reputation.

2) High Tone - This one thing was basically to do with ethics. Although they tried a lot to stress on this point and they do have something called code of honour declaration before one joins them, I was not really impressed. Somehow I could not feel the real passion in the words or might be I've grown too sceptical and deaf to boasting when someone talks of ethics in this highly unethical world.

3) High Octane - As obviously it tries to suggest, the faculty and students at darden are always high on energy or are required to be so. But in my opinion this is very much true for most of the B-Schools as you really have to slog in your first year be it darden, duke or our own desi one's.

Apart from the Mr. Brunner and Fortener there were few Alumni's, prominent among them Mr. VN Dalmia(didn't divulge his profile though) and some one called Mr. Rajan, some senior manage or partner at ebay india(one of the bazee guy's).

Coming to some of the questions that were asked by the participants.

1) What are the chances and your advice to someone who wishes to take up a job in India after an MBA from US say from darden? (My question to the Alums, as I don't wanna leave my country forever)

reply :-) Both the Alums and the Mr. Fortenner were of the view that working for atleast two years would be a good idea before shifting to India. The obvious reason being the cost/benefit. Mr. Rajan went on to specifically mention that there would be a great difference in the salary that you can earn with and without the few year abroad after your degree and that although a US B-School graduate might be offered more money over and Indian(I know its very debatable) it won't be enough to pay the US loan which probably the person would have taken.



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