Friday, April 29, 2011

Back with a surprise!!

Hello my dearest readers (hope i can still say that!)

If you hear people saying that business school life is tough, I would say that’s a serious understatement. B-school life is notorious! My b-school life started in September 2010 and as a proof of the notorious schedule I haven’t posted a single blog post since then. Now after two and a half terms into the MBA, I am getting a feeling that the schedule is easing a bit and hence my decision to get back to blogging!

But i promised in the title for a surprise..... (drum rolls....) I have started a brand new self hosted blog! You can access my new web space at The blog is relatively new so there are not many posts yet but i have a feeling that my past readers would like the 2 latest posts (this and this). These two posts are basically a two part series of my 8 months of business school experience! I have many more exciting and interesting posts coming up (more often than last time - that's a promise). So please feel free to visit, subscribe and post your valuable comments and feedback on my new blog!!

I am not going to close this blog down - not a chance. I hope this blog might still help some of the future MBA aspirants. The new blog would serve as an information source (at least that's the intention!) for people in b-schools, MBAs, aspiring MBAs or for anybody just looking to read about interesting stuff related to business, tech, social media, internet and the world around me!
So i ask of you dear readers and subscribers to extend the same level of support you gave me, to help me put together this new blog!

Muchas Gracias!!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Time Management

I decided that this should be my first post on my MBA experience here at IESE Business School - Time Management. This is by far the most important trait that one has to learn or will learn at a business school. I figured out that I am not the most qualified of people to speak about time management, so I'm attaching a video by the legendary (late) Prof.Randy Pausch giving one of the best lectures on Time Management. Unfortunately this legend passed away on July 25, 2008 due to complications from pancreatic cancer.

You can find more lecture videos of Prof.Randy Pausch here.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

I love British Airways!

The day of an international flight is the day one is most anxious especially if you are traveling as a student. I was too, on the 24th of Aug. as i frantically finished my final packing. I always believed packing is an art and an acquired skill. But thank god, my mom is a born packer. So after weighing my 2 bags and hoping that British Airways wouldn't have a problem with 5 extra kilos, I started to check-in online. After two unsuccessful attempts of trying to check-in online, I called BA to see if my flight would actually be flying the next morning.

I spoke to a nice lady and before hanging up i asked her about my extra baggage weight. The following conversation transpired between us:

Me: I'm going to Spain to study and I have a lot of stuff that i would like to carry. So do you mind if I put 5 extra kilos on my bags?

BA: Are you aware of the Students offer with BA?

Me (obviously surprised and curious): No what is it? (hoping the discount would be on the weight)

BA: Thro' this offer you can carry another bag weighing 23kilos along with your 2 bags of 23 kilos ea.

Me: aaaaaaaaaa...... dddid you say an extra bag?

BA: All you have to do is give me is your visa number for verification.

Me (running in excitement to grab my passport): Sure, my visa number is ..........

BA: Alright then you are all set. Hope you have a great flight!

Now thats what i call a student friendly flight!

18 hours later........

I arrive at the airport with my three bags loaded into a cart barely able to see whats in front of the cart. I go thro' the scanning and reach the check in place. And another interesting conversation takes place....

BA: Hello. can i have ur ticket and passport please.

Me: Sure. (I give her the ticket and passport)

BA: Sir can you wait for some time as our systems are not yet ready to log you in as a student! If you could bare with me for 15mins, i'll check you in and you will be able to carry all the three bags.

Me: Sure I'm in no hurry..
(This is why you need to get there 3 hrs before the flight time!)

After 15mins...

Me: Are you ready to check me in?

BA: Yes sure.

Then she goes on a typing spree and finally looks at me and says:

BA: Sir, you are all set. We are giving you a complementary upgrade to the Club class! Here is your boarding pass and have a nice flight!

Club class!! 15 hours of flying in Club class. I couldn't have asked for more.

And as you might have expected I have a nice, and comfortable flight with all the goodies. Hmm when i come to think of it, i think they forgot my request for a pedicure. He he just kidding!

Anyways, that was my flight experience and right now I'm all settled in the most amazing city of Barcelona. I'll update you on my experience here at my first week at IESE in my next post.

Till then take is easy and keep it cool!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Mixed Emotions

Its 22nd August which means in 3 days from now, I'll be on a flight to Barcelona. I'm actually not sure what I'm feeling right now and as a matter of fact I never was for the past several days. I'm overjoyed at the prospect of starting my MBA journey, meeting all the wonderful people there and visiting a new city/country. But at the same time I'm starting to feel sad at the thought of leaving behind my wife, parents and my brother. It'll be the first time in the past 5 years that I'll be living away from her (wife) and the thought of it is very depressing. But as she says I guess I'll have to do this to get myself an MBA and a 100K+ job to finance her shopping list. Jokes apart, I know the move is going to be tough and I know I'm going to miss her dearly!

Anyways lemme not invite any tears here! Coming to my pre-MBA preparations, I have been very very busy lately with my financial accounting pre-course, which i hope to finish by tomorrow, and with my packing. You know what I realized, packing is not only uninteresting but also one of the most laborious tasks - take it from a GMAT three timer! You need to have the right set of skill and planning to fit in a cupboard, a pantry, half of the washroom and a mobile Circuit City inside a single baggage and still make it weigh 23 kgs. Lucky for me, my mom is a packing-genius!!

I hope to squeeze in one more post before I say adios to India. Till then take it easy!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

How to get a Spanish Visa?

Disclaimer: The information on this post limits to obtaining a Study visa or a student Class D visa. Although this post is targeted for Indian visa applicants, others might also find the information presented in this post useful in their visa application process to Spain. Also the following is based on my personal experience and is to be taken only as a friendly suggestion rather than a step by step guide. The information in this post holds good at the time of writing and the process could change in the future. Hence please don't hold me liable to any misinformation.

So if you have survived the GMAT, the essays, the interview process and managed to get an admit, then i suggest give yourself a pat on the back and take a vacation. This is because if you think you have overcome the tough part you are in for a shock!

If Spain is where you are going then you better be prepared coz my friend the visa process is not a walk in the park. Well this is in no way to scare you but I just want to alert you as the entire process is pretty time consuming. So without further ado here is how to get a Spanish Study visa:

There are two types of Spanish visas: Long term stay and Short stay. Basically if you are going to Spain to study and your course is more than 3 months in length then you need to apply for a "long term stay visa".

Timeline for application:

Keep in mind that even if you are applying for a long stay visa you will be issued a visa with only 3 months or 90 days validity. This is the norm so don't panic. What you need to do is to get a Student Resident card after going to Spain. So since your visa needs to be valid till the time you get your Resident card (which is after your school starts) do not apply too early. Yes, you read right - Do Not Apply Early.

So if your schools starts by September 1, do not apply before June 15th. Original

Requisite Documentation:

  1. Original Application Form.

  2. Three photocopies of the Application Form.

  3. Bank Draft in favor of Embassy of Spain, New Delhi for Rs. 3,424/-

  4. Photocopy of Bank Draft.

  5. Photocopy of passport (all the pages including blank ones).

  6. Original Police Clearance Certificate with the Apostille (More info on this below)

  7. Photocopy of the Police Clearance Certificate.

  8. Admission letter from the educational institution where admitted (in English).

  9. Admission letter from the educational institution where admitted (in Spanish)

  10. Letter from the school with the contents of the program of studies.

  11. Proof of health insurance coverage during the course of the program. In my case since IESE covered my insurance, i got a letter from them stating the same.

  12. Original Medical Certificate.

  13. Photocopy of the Medical Certificates.

  14. 10th and 12th std. marks cards.

  15. Graduation Degree certificate.

  16. Official transcripts from my Undergraduate University (Just in case)

  17. Proof of financing the program. Eg. educational loan sanction letter etc.

  18. Proof of funding for living expenses. Eg. Affidavit or letter of support from parent.

  19. IT Returns for the past year.

  20. Pay slip from the latest employer for atleast 3 months.

The Process:

There is a Spanish Visa Application center in Mumbai called IVS but unfortunately at the time of writing this it processes only Short term visas. Nonetheless, the IVS website has all the information about Long term visas too. You can find more information on their website -
There are certain important documents that are required by the Spanish Consulate for processing your visa (also mentioned in the above website). Obtaining each document is in itself a process so let me split them into 3 stages as follows.

Stage 1 - Police Clearance Certificate (PCC). This document should be issued by the Regional Passport office where you have been living for the past several years (5 years I guess!). PCC falls in to the Miscellaneous Services section of the RPO. Its simple but a painful process considering the fact that you probably would have to stand in que for atleast 4 hours depending on the Passport office before you will be able to turn in your request form along with the original passport.
You require: Your original passport, a copy of it, an address proof if the address on the passport is not current, a copy of it and a photo to be stuck on the application form.
Time to get the PCC: You should get your PCC (which is a certificate stating that there is not criminal record against you) within a week at your address delivered by speed post. Make sure you are available at home as the passport and the PCC will be only hand delivered to you.

Stage 2 - Apostille from the Ministry of External affairs. Certain countries need the External Ministry to endorse Government issued documents. PCC being one of them and Spain being one such country, you need to get the PCC apostilled by the ministry of external affairs in Delhi. The apostille is simple a stamp or rather a Sticker stamped on the back of the PCC and it states that this PCC is genuine. Now there are two ways to get this.
- IVS center can get the apostille for you for a fee. All you have to do is take send the original passport, the original PCC, two copies of both and a draft covering their fee. Then send all these to their address (in Mumbai) or take it to their office. You can collect it from them in about 7-10days.
- Another way to get the apostille is to go personally to the Ministry of External Affairs, Patiala House Court, New Delhi and get it done personally. Its a 1 Day process, and the fee is Rs.50 per apostille.

Stage 3 - Submitting the Application:
Once you have reached this stage then you can breathe easy. Coz this is the simplest stage.

There are two Spanish Consulates - one in Mumbai and one in Delhi. The one in Mumbai processes visas for Gujarat, Maharashtra, Chattisgarh, Andra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Goa plus Daman & Diu. Check the IVS website to make sure you go to the right consulate. So once you know where to apply, go to the consulate in person with all the required documentation and submit the documents at the counter when you are called. Basically that concludes the application process. If you are curious about the status of your application you can call them and inquire about the status by using the phone number mentioned in the IVS website. Give them atleast 10 days before you call them with status inquiry. Oh btw you have to go and collect the passport stamped with the visa in person from the consulate. While collecting check whether your name is printed correctly on the visa, whether the validity and expiry period mentioned are correct and whether you have infact been issued a class D visa!

Also they tell you that it takes 3 weeks to process your visa, I got my visa within 2 weeks and so is the case with many of my friends. So you can try your luck by calling them.

Write to me or leave a comment if you have any questions.

All the best.