Tag Archives: reviews

Observations from my daughter’s spring break

Now that I am done with my MBA, I have weekends for myself. More than anything else, I am happy to spend time with my family and learn many things that I missed in these 2.5 years. In the last couple of weeks I observed many kids playing in my neighborhood and parks which helped me develop a perspective on their behavior.

I have observed enough kids to categorize the sample as below.

Leaders: These kids wants other kids to follow them. They don’t care what other kids think. Unconsciously they show direction, they lead and there are “some” who follow them. These kids often are very assertive and they do stuff no matter what others think.

Followers: Clear…! These kids follow the leaders. Not because they like them because they need someone to show the path. They want someone else to entertain them. So, the leaders take this opportunity and take the followers for a ride. Followers simply can’t decide or they need some assurance from others. So, they fall pray.

Observers: Observers pretty much sit beside the Leaders and Followers and jsut relax. They are not very dynamic in nature and they like watching the action from outside. They have the most fun because they do not get involved in any action directly or indirectly. If a kid falls down, they laugh; If couple of kids are fighting, they still laugh; Pretty annoying to see such kids.

Discoverers: These kids are explorers trying to understand themselves and others. They want to try, understand what they like and what they don’t like. They lead based on the situation but not necessarily a leader personality. They usually don’t get into fight, because they want to learn and experiment. They don’t care about the cool kids.

Haters: No matter how kind and gentle a kid is there is always a kid who hates him/her. These kids usually try to be a leader, fail and then start blaming the other kids for unsuccessful attempt. They induce poison to other kids and instigate some wrongdoings. The hate in the minds of these kids so sophisticated that these kids are pretty hard to identify for the first time.

Now, think about these kids and fast-forward their lives for 20 years. Do these kids remain the same with their traits? What re-shapes them when they are growing? Does parenting influence a LOT? or is it just a personal trait that does not change over time?

While it is easy to push everything that a child behavior on individual traits and parents, there seems to be lot more factors that influences what they turnout to be as an adult. Did we not hear parents saying that my son/daughter is “very intelligent” at young age and then they turn out to be real “hope less human beings” as adults? It would be pretty interesting to study some of these factors that drives a child’s future. I will write more on what i find and when i find.

UC Davis GSM : Classes that made a difference to me!

OK, now I am done with my MBA, many current students asked me about my personal preference of classes at UC Davis GSM. I have posted all of them in “UC Davis Class FAQs” and for those who like to see it in a single place, see below 🙂

Markets and the Firm (Victor Stango) – I never studies economics before and Victor brings in many many practical examples in the class from various industries. I only wish it was a case study based class but never the less, his class really was my foundation for future classes and I apply the basics everyday.

Data Analysis for Managers (Roger Edelen) – Simply put this is a statistics class. But with a twist of how to represent the numbers in spreadsheets and present it to senior management. I like the practical aspect of using the spreadsheets and getting things done. Don’t miss the Bayesian concepts : it just becomes so important as a manager.

Organizational Strategy and Organizational Behavior (Gina Dokko) – Covers the fundamentals of the strategy and human behavior and biases. This class is case oriented and this makes it much more lively and enjoyable. Everyone in the class has a different opinion. That’s OK. There is tons of reading and there is a lot to learn in this class. In my view, this strategy class is foundation for anyone going into (or planning) general management.

Negotiation in Organizations (Joseph Radzevick) – Negotiations is part of everyday life and this class makes you aware of various techniques. Irrespective of who is teaching this, the material and the class interactions makes it worth. At least when i took it, every class had at least 2 negotiations with fellow members using the techniques that i learned in previous class. I highly recommend (again, if you don’t practice it’s of no use).

Mergers and Acquisitions (David Petroni) – My time and money was well worth for this class. David is a industry veteran with a lot of M&A experience and brings in the financial, organizational, cultural, legal and industry aspects to M&A. He brought in many speakers who lived through M&A and that was very insightful. Most interestingly, I was involved in two M&A teams after that.

Executive Leadership Seminar (Jim Wundermann) – This class is very different compared to what we have in GSM. This class has two parts to it. First part is to make you realize your strengths and leadership style. Second part is that you get a perspective on various industry leaders. CEOs from various industries (DELL WYSE, PG&E, Virgin America, Silicon Valley Bank, Citi Bank California, etc…) talk about their leadership challenges and experiences and you get a chance to ask them questions too.

Product Management (Marcus Lowe) – This class needs a *lot* of work. Pick a good group that you can work with. This is a highly analytical and quantitative class and a must for anyone who wants to do product marketing, product innovation (R&D) and new product introductions. Though i do product management for work, the markstrat simulation puts you in various phases of product life cycle that one many not always gets exposed to.

Multi-Channel Marketing (Rubel, Olivier) – Olivier is very knowledgeable and one of the very few professors who presses you to think “as a decision maker”. I have got a lot out of his multi-channel marketing class.

International Marketing (Peters, Kay) – This is a very interesting class for people working with international firms and looking for global expansion of products. This is a one unit class and Kay provides a wonderful framework to think about the international product marketing. This could be a three unit course and get into more details of the nuances of the international marketing.

Technology Competition and Strategy (Hemant Bhargava) – People get what they want to get out of this class. Due to the inherent nature, the class discusses a lot of technology companies and products. This is a must class for anyone building the technology products in startups or corporations. The modern nature of the platforms (internal or external) and network effects makes it much more challenging for the survival of the technologies and this class addresses exactly that. This class provides a framework to think about when building products. Its difficult to appreciate this class if you have not faced any challenges to promote your product or standard in your firm.