My DC Evenings

April 16th, 2011 by under Uncategorized. No Comments.

The last term at school brought with it the excitement of graduation, some bitter-sweet feelings of leaving the school, the pressure of job search and in my case – three evening classes. Now that might have been a lot easier had these classes been in College Park, but the fact that I need to travel to DC during the rush hour in order to get there in time makes my trips exciting. But I try to make good use of it while commuting; finish my readings and assignments for the class, read the news or a book, straighten my thoughts, observe some weird person in the metro, catch up on my sleep or eat the dinner on my way back – “I have been given the gift of time”.

I knew what I was signing up for; three evening classes in a week could be tough to manage. But I really wanted to take the courses and this was the only opportunity I had. Each of these three electives (Service Marketing, Business to Business Marketing and Implementing Strategy) are taught by very experienced professors and discusses useful frameworks and tactics that could be the key for success in any business. Another thing I like about the evening class is that there are a lot of part time students who always have a lot to contribute to the discussion. And then it always helps to network with them, as they are usually aware of opportunities that may not be posted online and may not otherwise be known.

I missed a few MBA events because of the conflict with my evening classes, and I had to skip a couple of classes to attend the events I really wanted to. But again, that is part of an MBA program and you need to be good at prioritizing such stuff to get the maximum out of it. Meanwhile, I can enjoy the last few classes I am left with. It’s hard to imagine that in a few weeks, it will be time for caps and gowns, farewells and good-byes, and more importantly stepping back into the outside world with new aspirations.

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Bringing Products to Life

February 18th, 2011 by under Uncategorized. 1 Comment.

 “Where do I get the inspiration from? Who could help me with this? I need someone with an imaginative mind”, I entered the living room wondering how I could come up with five innovative ideas for new businesses required for my New Product Development class. And that is when my gaze fell upon my nephew playing with Lego in a corner, building something that he would later call a space ship. Interrupting his creativity time, I asked him if he could help me with some ideas.

He looked up at me with a spark in his eye, “What about time machine, the time-portals?”
“Huh, no, something which is possible.”
“This is possible!! What made you think it’s not…Let me explain how it would work” and he did. This is great about kids; they are not restricted in their imagination by the limitation of resources.
“Hmm…Okay, any other idea?”…
He didn’t hold back this time either, “Flying cars!! I need one.”

Need!! That is the right word and that’s what put my mind back on the right track (though I still don’t think he actually needs a flying car). Every great idea comes out of a need. A need leads up to a solution and the solution turns into a great innovation. Need is what led us to the things we consider simply indispensible now; the number zero, vaccination, internet and even the sliced bread. Once an opportunity is identified, it needs to be analyzed thoroughly to see if it is RWW (is it Real? Can we Win? Is it Worth it?). The analysis is done using the market research, financial analysis, decision trees and other tools and frameworks. We are living in a time where speed and innovation is important, where only the best is good enough. One has to be aware of and be able to overcome the challenges of developing and rapidly bringing to the market the efficient solutions for the potential customers. The New Product Development class is all about the life cycle process of new innovations (products or services), ranging from realizing and identifying the need to the design optimization to the market launch of the product or service. Using the models and frameworks from the class, we also have term-long group projects to develop and present a new product at the end of the eighth week. Whether any of these products will eventually make it to the market, we will find out soon.

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The Final Break…!

January 29th, 2011 by under Uncategorized. No Comments.

When I was leaving College Park for my winter break, I had four long weeks ahead of me. That should be good enough, right? I thought so too. But I guess when you are having fun assuming this might be the last really long break of your life, you would always come back wanting for more. I cannot agree more with the quote, “No man needs a vacation so much as the person who has just had one”. This break was spent across three different regions of the world, America, South Asia and Middle East. For the first few days I kept drifting between Maryland, New Jersey, New York and Boston, before leaving for Pakistan right after the Christmas and a major snow storm in New York. Now weather forecasts cannot be trusted upon during these times, but what is even worse; the airlines schedules in such a weather. The airlines punish you, maybe, for not owning one of them and give you enough hope for flying out soon to keep you at the airport but no commitment at all. To cut the long story short, I was lucky to fly off the JFK airport after only 6 hours of wait.

Though I have always been expressing my wish at home to be treated like a prince, this was the closest I could ever get to. I had to stay away from home for about a year to have that kind of attention. It was really great to catch some time off with friends and family (no…not on facebook). I did not realize until I got there how much I missed everything. And that made me cherish even the little things to the fullest. The things that were a routine for me before seemed such a joy now. I enjoyed driving on the streets of Islamabad where I grew up. I enjoyed playing cricket and tennis with my old friends. I enjoyed listening to the adhan in the middle of the day reminding me to offer my prayers. I enjoyed having late breakfast outside in the lawn while enjoying the warmth of the sun on a winter day. I enjoyed sitting around the heater with my family while having peanuts. I enjoyed eating samosas, pakoras and roll parathas from the roadside vendors. And I enjoyed messing with my mother just for fun.

The third leg of my break was spent in Dubai with my friend. Dubai has lately emerged as a global city and a crucial business hub. Tourism is on the rise for shopping and other modern attractions. The culture primarily revolves around Islamic, Arab and Bedouin traditions, with diversity added by almost 3/4th foreign born population and increasing Western trends. The skyline is enriched with tall buildings with various architectural styles, including modern interpretations of Islamic architecture. And though I may not seem like a food person, but I love Arab cuisine. I could not spend as much time in Dubai as I would have liked to, but it was a trip that will take me back there someday for sure.

Burj Khalifa: The world’s tallest building at 828 m (2,716 feet) and is designed on the patterning systems embodied in Islamic architecture. The view from the top is simply breath taking.

Palm: An architectural wonder! The Palm is a man-made island extending into the Persian Gulf and created by using sand and tons of rock.

I know I had planned a lot to do over the break but mostly I just had fun. Now I am back to School…and with 13 credits that I am taking this semester, along with the added contact hours for job search, I have enough on my plate. But I have been there before, No worries!

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IMBAA Alumni Networking Night

November 9th, 2010 by under Uncategorized. No Comments.

It was time for that one thing that you just can’t get enough of, if you are in an MBA program. Networking! That is one thing in the back of your mind when you are attending the group meetings, case-competitions or conventions, talking to your neighbors, having a chat with someone sitting next to you in the metro transit, striking up a conversation with the person standing in front of you in the queue at a grocery store, searching for and confirming the “friends” on Facebook, or connecting with the colleagues (current as well as former) on LinkedIn. Last week, our International MBA Association organized an Alumni Networking Dinner to provide an opportunity for the Smith International MBA students to meet with recent international alumni and gain valuable insights into their companies and the job market. We were fortunate to host the alumni guests representing different industries and job functions; Alexander Basilia (Pension Administration Office, World Bank, Smith ’05), Aditya Saini (Associate Director, The Advisory Board Company, DC office, Smith FT MBA ’09), Georgiana Condoiu (Analyst, CB Richard Ellis Group, Smith FT MBA ’08) and Gustavo Lopez (Manager, Deloitte Consulting , DC office, Smith PT MBA ’07).

The dinner, hosted at a restaurant in DC; The Marrakesh Palace, provided an opportunity to learn more about the Alumni’s “Smith Story”, their International experiences and professional interests. The night turned out to be great fun in the company of our fellow MBA classmates and ever friendly Smith alumni, along with the traditional Moroccan Tagines. The only thing that might have been missing was the belly dancing which usually lights up the place in the evening. No worries, we will make up for it later. Yeah right, that is another thing we MBAs can’t get enough of; Partying!!

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Being a Judoka !!

October 24th, 2010 by under Uncategorized. 1 Comment.

How can you compete with stronger rivals who have size, strength and history on their side? The answer lies in a strategy we discussed in our Game Theory course, which prevents opponents from bringing their full strength into play and emphasizes skills rather than size. The strategy is named after the martial art of judo where a combatant uses the weight and the strength of his opponent to his own advantage rather than opposing blow directly to blow. Similarly smaller companies aim to turn their opponent’s resources, strength and size against them. The focus is on avoiding head to head struggles and instead relying on speed, agility and innovative strategies to make it difficult for stronger rivals to compete. The judo players base their strategy on some of the key elements of this approach as introducing new products or pricing models to move rapidly to new markets and uncontested ground, using leverage to turn opponent’s strategic commitments and investments to their advantage and hence using the weight of opponents against them, and being flexible in embracing and extending rivals’ smart moves. There are a lot of companies which have used these strategies successfully to penetrate the new markets. Palm successfully used the strategy to introduce its operating system by first entering the market with its PDA Pilot devices, and keeping Microsoft from identifying Palm as an urgent threat. Moreover, they were organized for speed by relying on outsourcing, using concurrent engineering, and keeping designs simple in order to get products out fast. Juniper shifted the battleground by focusing on adding intelligence to silicon chips for their routers instead of software driven routers. Sega used leverage to underpin its attack against Nintendo’s eight-bit machines by launching faster 16-bit machines turning Nintendo’s investments into hostages. Similarly, Southwest Airlines offered about 50 percent lower fares below competitors’ leveraging on the higher cost of maintaining the assets for their competitors.

In a highly competitive environment, simply opposing force to force is not a wise move especially when the competitor is much larger and stronger. Thinking in terms of judo helps the managers understand the competitors and target their weaknesses that lurk among their strengths.

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X-Treme Supply Chain Management

October 10th, 2010 by under Uncategorized. 1 Comment.

We are living in a time where natural disasters and extreme events are on the rise. Modern media and heightened news reporting make the trend look even worse. In 2010 only, we have already seen some of the worst disasters in history; earthquakes in Haiti and Chile, floods in Pakistan and China, blizzard in US and Iceland volcanic ash clouds among many others. No one would ever want to experience any such calamity. No one even wants to think about them. Yet, they happen. Some come with a warning like a storm before the flood. Others like earthquakes strike you in no time. Welcome to the modern world and feel sorry for the self-inflicted man-made disasters; oil spills, pipeline explosions, toxic wastes and leaks, and terror attacks. We all are wary of them, we sometimes see them coming, but often we fail to act and are caught off guard.  We may never be able to prevent and prepare for all potential disasters, but once a catastrophe occurs, all we can do is cope. The science of emergency management and extreme supply chain management help our ability to plan for avoiding the aftermath of these events.

This week, Smith School CIBER organized a special event to highlight the importance of emergency management in managerial responsibilities and businesses. The lecture featured distinguished speakers; Disaster and Emergency Operations Specialist, John Schulte, Radiological Program Analyst for USDA, Gordon Cleveland, founding co-Director of the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business’ Supply Chain Management Center and author of “X-SCM: The New Science of X-Treme Supply Chain Management”, Dr. Sandor Boyson, and Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs at University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business, Patricia Cleveland. The students learnt about all the work being done in the Federal Government and at the Smith School to address the extreme volatility, shocks to the supply chain, and other emergencies facing modern managers and their communities.

The speakers discussed different calamities as Gulf Oil Spill, Katrina Hurricane, 9/11 Terror attacks and virus outbreaks like SARS, H5N1 and Exotic Newcastle Disease. They explained how supply chain issues arise in such emergencies with time sensitive actions required. For example, in case of Columbia shuttle disaster a shortage of personnel to perform search and recover the debris created severe problems, during 9/11 attacks a shortage of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), dust masks and other specialized tools restricted the rescue work, and during the very recent BP Gulf Oil Spill there was a severe shortage of equipment like booms and skimmers. Speakers also highlighted the external problems faced during such situations that further complicate the supply chain issues; language and cultural differences, unpredictable social behavioral factors and real time international media covering every minute of action and scrutinizing every decision made.

The discussion then shifted its focus to ICS: Incident Command System, a set of personnel, policies, procedures, facilities, and equipment, integrated into a common organizational structure designed to improve emergency response operations of all types and complexities. ICS provides a common framework within which people from multiple agencies can work together effectively. The system is designed to give standard response and operation procedures to reduce the problems and potential for miscommunication on such incidents. Some of the key concepts of ICS are Decentralized Decision Making, Use of Common Terminologies, Unity of Command and Modular Organizational structure.

The event touched upon a topic which is often ignored in competitive business environments, and yet is a very sensitive and important issue for a modern day manager. The world may not end in 2012, but until it does, we need to play our part to keep the flow of life on this planet uninterrupted.

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Recap..

September 8th, 2010 by under Uncategorized. 1 Comment.

“If everything seems to be under control, you are not going fast enough”… This was one of the tips I got from 2nd year MBAs at my orientation last year. Now I don’t know if I was fast enough or lacked control throughout, but looking back at the last year I can only wonder at what has passed and ask myself “How on earth did I get through all of that?” It was kind of a juggling act to maintain the balance between the ever increasing demands of studies, club duties, GA work, family, other activities and still retain the last bits of whatever sanity I have.

Now, as I close my eyes, I see thousands of mental pictures in a flashback. Images are filled with the scenes from… different corners of the VMH building, the lecture rooms, the community breakfasts and lunches, Rudy’s cafe, our SMG room where I work as a GA, and the case rooms where we spent more waking hours of our last year than any other place.

Then there are the memories of… the February snowmageddon that allowed us a mini-break in the middle of a crazy schedule, the Littlefield project week where for once everyone’s focus was shifted from their status update on facebook to cash update of their factories, the weekly games in our Digital Markets class which our team never even came close to winning (perhaps due to the fact that none of our team members were really fond of the winning prize; a jimmy johns lunch), DMD exams where we wished we had more time but were actually glad for it to be over, and the fun we had making the international students video for Smith website (yes, it’s a good time to promote it once again  : http://www.rhsmith.umd.edu/mba/programs/fulltimemba.aspx ). And obviously there are the happy hours, the festivities, the celebrations, the bowling nights and the sports fixtures.

And how could I forget those numerous sleepless nights, out of which a few would stand out; the ones when the eluding DMD problems would feel out of reach like that accidental strand of hair in your mouth that you can’t quite grasp, and the ones when I would find myself substantially divided between the ethical theories of Kant, Aristotle and Rawls wondering if it was indeed ethical of them to keep me up at this hour, and perhaps the ones when the Keynesian and Supply side economic theories would keep me away from a warm bed in the middle of cold winter nights.

I also cherish the time I spent at my summer internship in New York, where I was introduced to a totally different work environment than what I was used to, where I got the chance to put the theory into practice, improve my research and analytical skills, learn about the work processes and client management practices, make some friends, and develop professional contacts. Well, more than anything, I miss my lunch breaks at Bryant Park, and the occasional birthday cakes at work.

In between, whenever I got the opportunity to travel and see places, I did and had some memorable trips to Boston, Philadelphia, Atlantic City, San Francisco, Grand Canyon and Death Valley (well, it wasn’t the smartest of ideas to visit the valley in mid-August at noon time with temperatures soaring up to 115 degrees, especially when I was fasting… but it was worth it). And for someone who is not a big fan of museums I visited a lot of them in DC and NY, usually dragged along by someone else. But I must say that most often than not I was impressed.

 

Now this past year has been a great learning curve for me, both inside and outside the classroom. I took some great courses and developed some fine business skills. I learnt a lot about US culture and the lifestyle here, and more importantly I learnt a lot about myself. I found out my weak areas and worked on them, and I managed to exercise my strengths more often. I figured out that I could survive longer without sleep and food than I had imagined. I learnt that I cannot be burnt out as long as my motivation to work is greater than the workload itself. I learnt not to assume and jump to conclusions, but to process the facts/inputs and analyze them thoroughly. I learnt that obvious solutions might be easier to find but the best ones are NOT usually INSIDE the box. I learnt that there comes a time when procrastination is a solution rather than a problem (okay, I am not so sure about that one; but allow a man his comforting delusions). And I learnt I still find it hard to go to bed early and I still get up at 8 o clock feeling plain terrible.

To say the least, it sure was a crazy year, but one of the best ones I’ve had. It sure was tough, but undeniably good and I would have it, could have it, no other way!!

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We still have a lot to learn

June 21st, 2010 by under Uncategorized. No Comments.

I was watching the news coverage of Tony Hayward’s Congressional hearing the other day and was agitated by his obstinate refusal to respond rationally to any question put to him. I wondered if he was truly clueless about what actually happened in the Gulf or was just trying to soberly insult the committee with statements like: “I am not a drilling engineer”, “I wasn’t part of the decision-making process”, “I had no prior knowledge”… How could he shy away from the responsibility just like that? Is he not the chief executive officer? Is it not his job to be the “part of the decision making process”, not even after more than 700 safety violations in the last three years? And that reminded me of the saying; “An executive is a person who always decides; sometimes he decides correctly, but he always decides”. So even if he was not part of the decision making process, he is still to be blamed for the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon, its aftermath and the absence of a reliable process for stemming the leak. A day after the hearing, he is relieved of his duties in the Gulf and soon after he is found at a yacht race, perhaps celebrating “his life back”, when the people he left behind in the Gulf cannot even think about fishing, let aside yachting. I don’t know about others, but for me a lot of wrong people are a little too comfortable !

I understand, the role of politics and legislation could be debated upon here and the regulatory authorities should also bear the brunt of the blame. As we found out in the case of financial institutions and health care industry, relaxed standards and a lack of regulations are part of the problem. I believe that corporate malpractices, such as WellPoint’s (Anthem Blue Cross) and the ones used by Credit Rating agencies fueling the housing bubble, should be made punishable law. But I don’t believe that laws and regulations alone can turn things around. Smart and greedy will always find a way to bend the laws or work around them and even influence the lawmaking process. There is a strong call for bringing morality into corporate conduct. We all know that whatever is legit is not necessarily ethical. So are we only required to meet the law and not care about the moral and ethical implications of our actions? I remember spending hours on the ‘Google in China’ case where we discussed the need of ethical leadership for Google versus merely following the laws of the country. I don’t have problem with corporations finding out new complicated ways to make money, but does it have to be at the expense of lives of others? Is it necessary to cause wreckage on earth in order to grow progressively? Isn’t that the same greed that led us to the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression? I remember looking at the housing prices a few years ago and wondering what’s going on; loans were offered to almost anyone, mortgage fraud was on the rise, debt was another name for the wealth and it seemed like a giant casino with everyone gambling on the housing.  And the guys in charge of all this, overlooking the crazy feast, just chose to ride the bubble instead of being the ones to stand up and burst it before all hell broke loose. I am not sure how they could live with themselves but I know they found a way, while the rest of us suffered. Lives were ruined and trillions were lost, with empty homes mocking the misery of homeless.

But there is no reason we cannot believe that it can now be different. We cannot just sit back and always wait for a catastrophe to happen before we react retrospectively to outlaw the evil practices. Nor can we simply allow ourselves to take unethical and inhumane actions in the name of short term profits as long as they are within the laws. It’s about time that we start owning the responsibility and address our ills, it’s about time to reinvent and renew our ethical values. We don’t always need laws to tell us it is illegal to inflict pains and suffering. True, law has enforcement power, but shouldn’t decency come from within. Here at Smith during the last year, I sensed the urgency growing around to have business ethics as an essential part of an MBA toolkit. We went through an extensive core course “Social Responsibility in Business” where business cases with ethical issues were discussed. Frameworks and theories from different schools were used to discuss scenarios involving intellectual property, employee management, customer relationship, environmental sustainability, government interventions, human rights and more. Center for Social Value Creation and Net-Impact at Smith School are dedicated to engage students with projects to bring positive economic, social and environmental changes. MBA students have been frequently involved with TeamMBA events to serve the community. Recently, Smith MBA students kicked off a movement to encourage fellow MBAs to embrace MBA oath, a pledge to create value responsibly and ethically. And it’s heartening to say that more and more business schools are taking such initiatives and putting emphasis on the significance of business ethics. So while I hope that the laws will be reformed and enforced, and the guilty will be punished, I believe that at the same time we can all lift ourselves individually and collectively to confront the challenges of corporate world more ethically. Right now, we certainly don’t have “too many” people working to save the world !!

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A weekend getaway

April 16th, 2010 by under Uncategorized. 1 Comment.

“Only Robinson Crusoe had everything done by Friday”. We MBAs live on a whole other island. We need weekends to keep things moving. Sometimes we use them to catch up with exceedingly rapid pace of studies. Sometimes they are spent working on the term projects. And sometimes we get through them looking for internships, jobs and other opportunities. But most importantly they are used to breathe life into MBA drenched souls. As Scott puts it; first year of business school feels like time management boot camp (http://blogs.rhsmith.umd.edu/scott/?p=100). Our “to do lists” are longer than what is humanly possible “to do”. It is here at Smith that I first realized it is too much to ask someone “Hey, do you have a minute?”… “Hey, do you have a second?” seems to be a more reasonable approach. We are so much time stricken and sleep deprived that a weekend feels like an oasis amidst a hostile week of steaming activities.   

Last weekend my sister visited me with her kids. My nephew is eight years old and he has this impression that I am not much older, if not the same age (meaning I am expected to entertain him all the time). It is hard to even reach out to my books, let alone study productively, when he is around. Some time ago, in my usual moments of insanity, I promised him that I would show him around Washington DC. One should be careful making promises with kids; they make you stick to your words. Now one of the reasons for many Smith MBAs to choose this school is its close proximity to Washington DC. After trudging miles around the National Mall for two days, between the Lincoln Memorial and the US Capitol, visiting museums for hours and answering a stream of endless questions, you wouldn’t hear that argument from me for some time.

Nevertheless, it was a weekend well spent. I always love spending time with Shayan. It washes away all the fatigue, takes away all my blues and lifts my mood. I think I am pretty good with kids (it’s the adults that get on my nerves at times :-p). On Sunday evening, after having a lovely dinner my sister had made for us, I glanced at Shayan who was lying flat on the carpet exhausted with tiredness. I thought it might be a good opportunity to study some cases and opened my laptop. That is right when he got up, came close to me and asked: “What are you going to do?” It was about time to make him realize that I am here to get my MBA and for that I might be required to actually study. I locked eyes with him and said in a very soft tone: “Shayan, why do you think I came to US?” He looked down for a second and then at me with a face that could be described by a thousand metaphors: “To play with me!!”, completely ignoring the important point I was trying to make. I did not have the heart to reveal the exact idea. “Oh-kaye, but did I not just spent the whole day with you?” “Yeah, but we were out all day in DC. We did not play anything”. Kid had a point and I couldn’t argue more. I shut down my laptop, put aside my books and turned on the Wii.

What can I say? There aren’t just enough days in the weekend!!

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The air I breathe !!

April 9th, 2010 by under Uncategorized. No Comments.

Even though cricket is the second most popular sport in the world with a following of about three billion fans, it may still be a mystery to much of North America. But, to most of the South Asians, it is a passion and in cases like mine, an obsession! I have stayed up more nights to watch live cricket matches being played across the globe than I have to study for my exams. I have stood in mile long queues to get into the stadium at 6am in the morning to watch this game. It once took me all night to travel back to school for my final exam in the morning after watching the World Cup Final in another city. I have played this game all my life, since the time I was about the same size as a cricket bat, in scorching summer afternoons and in cold breezy winter nights. And I have four screws and a metal plate internally fixated in my left arm, thanks to the game I simply love playing, watching and talking about.   

I was obviously thrilled last week to find out that Smith was invited over to Darden to play an inter-MBA cricket tournament. It had been some time since I picked up the bat. The idea of playing competitive cricket is enough to keep me excited for weeks. We reached Darden last Saturday to participate in the tournament which had four other teams, three from Darden and one from Kenan-Flagler. The matches were played on artificial fields which are not ideally suited for cricket but are as close as it can get here in US. We won the first two matches comfortably to book our place in the final. We even got enough free time before the final match to make a trip to Thomas Jefferson Monticello, which is a truly picturesque site to visit.   

We came back to play the final against a strong outfit from Kenan-Flagler under lights. Both teams played well to justify their positions in the final. Kenan-Flagler batted first and posted a challenging total of 103 runs in 15 overs. Smith team started the chase well with Jayraj and Akhil (both 1st year FT MBAs) playing handy innings. We lost a few quick wickets in the middle overs before Aravinder (2nd year FT MBA) and I put up a solid partnership. Now cricket is a strange sport with vast number of variables involved and multiple games within a game. I have played many other sports (field hockey, soccer, volleyball, squash and tennis) and all require physical fitness, stamina, athleticism, sharp reflexes, mental strength and well planned strategy. But what makes cricket unique from other sports are the brief pauses in the game; there is space to think and evaluate options after every ball – few bizarre moments that allow you to catch your breath but lose your mind, the ones that make you do silly things when everything is going well according to the plan. You are observing subtle changes in the field and wondering where the next ball would be bowled. 

Every ball has a background story! With 12 runs to get off the last two overs, the bowling team was taking forever to decide who to bowl the crucial overs. The pressure of final was mounting up and the feeling of “so near, yet so far” was creeping in, sending shivers down my spine. The whole contest had been reduced to those two overs and the match could still have gone either way. I took a moment to say a prayer, calmed my nerves and settled into my stance. I struck two sixes off the next three deliveries to get Smith past the target and after that, it was pandemonium!! It was left to our exhilarated captain Raj (2nd year FT MBA) to raise the trophy that he deservedly led his team to.

                Smith and Kenan-Flagler Teams                              Best Bowler, Best Batsman
                                                                                                          and the Winner’s Trophy
 

Moreover, the day was not just about cricket, it was also about networking, establishing rapport and fostering camaraderie with fellow MBAs from Darden and Kenan-Flagler. We shared stories about our MBA lives and talked about our insights and experiences we have had so far in pursuit of our goals. At the end of the day, we returned back to College Park with a trophy, new friendships and lasting memories.   

Jeez I love this game!!

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