Memoirs of one who lived to tell the tale


NUS MBA student Kuruvilla Alexander blogs about his experience in school and how he lived to tell the tale. 

They say the first semester of an MBA program makes you wonder why you ever spent so much time and money in exchange for never ending assignments with unreasonable deadlines. While, the (not so old) working days, did demand similar kind of superhuman efforts, there was at least that one sole monthly credit entry in your bank account at the end of every month that you could look forward to and that kept you going.

Must admit the NUS MBA was not that different. The first SEM was truly one experience and guess no amount of books/blogs can capture those feelings. Guess ‘Snapshots from Hell comes the closest. Hopefully this blog would give some flavour as well.

I guess getting back to books/benches after a corporate work culture gave a kick in itself (literally). I had also made 2 promises to myself before embarking on this journey
1) I wouldn’t go pursuing the perfect CAP (would like to believe that I am capable of it)
2) get my mandatory 7 hours of sleep

I had a lot of plans to execute in the first semester. Top of the list were learning a foreign language and maybe a new sport (learning what was being taught in class was obviously a given)!!

Realizing my first promise was easy; Guess being surrounded with a peer group that takes academics really seriously makes your task easier. I guess the Micro Econ Mayhem in the mid terms also helped. Literally we had specimens from all around the world with different study habits. We had the ‘Dark Vaders’, nocturnal assasins who attacked books by night and happily slept through classes by day. There was a good mix of ‘worker bees’ who diligently attended all classes, did pre-readings and even had time to do other textbooks ‘for extra practice’. Then we had the ‘silent geeks’ who turned party animals by night. One of the rarest specimens and whose true colours came out only with the results.

The second promise was even easier to fulfill, especially after long days of classes, individual assignments, presentations and the most dreaded ‘group assignments’. The mind was willing, but the body (read eyelids) never listened. In this bargain, I did miss a lot of things. A whole lot of marks and my contribution to midnight ‘b’day bumps !!

Looking back, there was a perfect –ive correlation between my 2 promises. A Perfect hedging opportunity!! This brings me to one thing that I was really apprehensive about before my MBA. “Finance”. To get matters straight, having worked in a bank or having learnt it earlier doesn’t make it any easier. ‘Going Long/Short’ itself was pretty greek to me and when ‘on a Put/Call’ was also added in the same lines then the only option for me was to ‘disapparate’. Well, I survived and will be revisiting Put/Call soon.


While these thoughts might not even closely encapsulate all that we went through the first semester, some of these instances of the first SEM might do a better job
· OBS (for making us realise that true value of synergy)
· Worried faces after the Accounts and MicroEcon exams (making us realise how true Murphy was)
· Oktoberfest (for the craziness is brought out in all of us)

People say the MBA ride is chaos personified. However as in Hamlet I am still in the process of discovering ‘a method to this madness’. Guess the supposedly more relaxed second semester might give me the opportunity to discover the same and to also realise my “learn a language and maybe a new sport” dream. Till then let me enjoy my Xmas break and look forward to the next semester of upcoming chaos.

Yours Truly,

Kuruvilla Alexander
Class of 2010

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