Archive for December, 2009

My Chill Pill

December 15th, 2009 by under Uncategorized. No Comments.

I don’t know what leads to the frequent brain surges I have, but I can tell how jeopardizing they can be. The least I would want that to happen is the weekend before the exams, but I guess that is what makes it interesting enough to be a post up here.  I had spent the past two weeks sweating through sleepless nights to finish my last bunch of assignments, case studies, team projects, presentations, and term papers. The moment I submitted my final due paper, my last few cells carrying any remains of sanity burned out and I started to think of a plan to relax. I somehow felt as if it was the last thing to do and I was done with the fall semester altogether, downplaying the fact that I had to take three exams right after the weekend. It’s not that I was completely oblivious of the significance of these exams; it’s just that part of my life where the unnecessary voices inside my head make me ignore the tasks on hand and allow me to cool off in a grand style.

They say “there is no pleasure in having nothing to do; the fun is in having lots to do and not doing it.” And so the story begins; my apartment had been a mess for the last few weeks, and I chose this to be the optimum time to clean it all up and put it in some order. This was just a kickoff; with three exams coming up next week, I set off for New Jersey to spend the weekend at my sister’s. The highlights of the next two days would be: catching up on my sleep, watching some of the episodes of Everybody Loves Raymond that I missed over the years, playing monopoly with my nephew and niece (who is not even old enough to be able to differentiate between different colored $5 and $ 500 monopoly bills), watching 6 hours of cricket match between Pakistan and New Zealand and spent another 6 hanging over the unexpected defeat. Yet, I maintain, I shouldn’t be blamed for not trying. I opened my notes in between, lingering on a single topic before realizing that I was still too tired and would need nothing less than a steak party to freshen me up.

After two days of complete fun and no productivity, I came back to College Park, now with circuits inside my brain functioning properly. Another sleepless night was awaiting me, but I had enough sleep in the bank to take care of Professor Lele’s exam. The strategy, though still not recommended, somehow helped me focus better and I could study well with a clearer mind. Luckily enough for me, the course and the exam are based more on quick analytical thinking and application of concepts rather than long theoretical answers. I knew that I’d be okay the next day as long as I don’t have another short circuit right in the middle of the exam. It held through and I was able to do well.


Marketing…through Rear View Mirror !!

December 8th, 2009 by under Uncategorized. No Comments.

“Wait a sec, what? Marketing plan for ODI’s new and only product – a contact lens for chickens? What on earth is that? Why would any chicken want a contact lens? Even if it does…? Am I on the right case? Alright, let me go through everything once again”. I was reading through the first few lines of the case I was preparing for my BUSI650 Marketing class, and was finding it hard to make some sense out of it. When I was going through the syllabus earlier, I was a bit alarmed to know that ODI actually stands for Optical Distortion Inc. And now I was completely thrown off by the only product, ODI manufactures. Speaking of which, this wasn’t the first perplexing statement I came across in this course. The tone was set on the very first day; “If BUSI 650 is the only Marketing course you take at Smith, you should leave with an understanding, appreciation and respect for the discipline; and this is not the only Marketing course you take at Smith.” This was the criteria set by Professor Godes at the outset of the course to confirm its success and though I liked it, I did not fully comprehend it. Isn’t that an oxymoron? Anyway, after digging through eight weeks of case studies, several business articles, class discussions, supporting lectures and group project, I know what it meant and acknowledge how well the goal has been achieved. And once understanding the pricing strategy and the ACCORD framework, I know now why I had to go through the 25 pages case about chicken lenses.

 The course is primarily based on case studies and I must say it is some experience for me. I always thought that it would be hard to take away some concrete concepts out of a case discussion but, as it has been the trend this semester, I was wrong. It is quite the other way. It is easier to remember the concepts once I have a better idea of their application to a real life scenario. Admittedly not always, do I leave the class with one absolute solution to a problem, and that is what this course has helped me understand. It encourages analyzing the problem critically and thinking outside the box. There is no absolute recipe to succeed when you are working on a marketing strategy; there may be more than one right answer.

 The course has a broad coverage of diversified topics focusing on the impact of Marketing on an organization and industry. Marketing Strategy and its key components are discussed over different industries, ranging from hardware tools to software development, cosmetic products to household appliances, biocides to carbonated drinks and coffee, financial institutions to chicken farmers market. We read about the ideas that worked and the ones that did not. The course is about to end soon and I would be leaving the class with a good understanding about Marketing. And yes, this is definitely not the only Marketing course I am going to take at Smith. Also, in case you are wondering, the idea of contact lenses for chicken is still out there for grabs, even though it is more than 30 years old now.