Thursday, September 27, 2007

HKUST in Top 20 Schools

Hong Kong University of Science and Technology has made it to the top 20 in the EIU Rankings

Saturday, September 15, 2007

The journey beyond

The Journey BeyondPG Hall 2 - I must say, this hall is one helluva a place…. We have 300 students sharing common facilities on each floor, Bunker beds, Hot water… u cant imagine how well organized this whole place is. All my stuff and my room mates fits in the provisions that are made. Its jus amazing….. compact. Our campus… It's the heights of beauty, surrounded by mountains, a sea, trees and our buildings are jus lost in solitude. The best scenes are actually from everywhere…. The mountain kissing the mist, the breeze , the moon against the sea, the huge academic buildings, the heights, the roads to class and the foggy mornings… Oh man who ever thought one can study here…This is an ideal resort spot. On the weekends we see the wealthy bring out their color full sails and I brim with envy. I donno how the days have passed, we to community eating and cooking. All the Indians normally cook together. It fun but im sure it will change as class starts. The chinese try our food :) i dont wanna comment on this. Its weird even b4 I realize I am off for my 3 Day Residential program. The hotel is jus fantastic, the rooms are huge, overlooking the airport on one side and the beautiful swimming pool on the other. I am sooo overwhelmed, the entire experience is thrilling. The showers are sexy and inviting : ) the bed is sooo cozy ( compared to the hostel) but Yes I am single here and wid no time to enjoy all this ---- cuz…I spend the whole day attended lectures, doing case analysis till 3 am… fixing crashing power points and the whole mess, running to food chains, shopping stores, observing staff, customers, service issues everything I dint do in BBM :). Food seems to be the biggest challenges the MBA Office is facing with 3 Indian Jains : ( Unfortunately we seem to be demanding quite a bit from them, soon we realize its not worth it cuz we hardly eat, so MTR rules here :) If you think 3 days were not enuf think again, cuz now we head to the 2 day Experiential Learning Program. We head to this resort, the sun is scorching and every one of us is dripping in sweat – n its jus 8 am. We use loads of sun block, especially the Indians, Especially ME … and participate in various team building activities – Passing through manually created spiderwebs, walking on Wooden blocks, Artificial Boat races, get co- ordinate, feeling the Sync and team efforts were priority. By noon we are panting and need food…poor veggies, jus get boiled spinach & Broccoli and rice : ( Yes it's a misery if you are veg. Yes I was fond of Broccoli back in blore, but no more huh…Ive had this as staple food for 20 days now : ( And then we discuss all the challenges we faced and how to over come them and Blah blah. Cant wait to get back to the hotel, its 10 p.m. Take a quick shower and go to bed.
Next morning we are back at 7 am…this time another resort, but the things around scare the crap out of me. Yes, I did bunjy jump, but this was hysterical. We had to work as teams on heights, Like protect ur self and ur partner, if he falls u fall too.. n if he doesn help u, u cant go higher : ) We had about 5 of these and I could complete 3. Flying Fox – U jump off a harness from 50 ft, and if your team below lets go, u crash : ) Well no accidents but brilliant experience!!! We now head back to University, its all back to reality. Get to my room and quickly pack my stuff – I am moving to a single room. The whole class is in the expensive hostel and I cant wait to get there. Shift in and settle my room. Its quite dirty but the good thing is someone left a good 40 hours of AC so its Freeee!!! I unpack and clean and arrange everything, Ya ya I am still extremely neat : ) will send u pictures to verify. I am now on the 5th floor a good view, but the wall is close to the shower, so I can hear the water most of the time. But hell, once u live in India wid all the traffic noise this is NOTHING : ) I do my Laundry- did I jus say that, well I hate doing laundry, Its annoying, time consuming. U 1 st wash, then u dry – I did it jus once since I got here, I hate it so much. Then I tour the campus at nite, pass the Uni bar – oh ya we do : ) and the sea…go into a prohibited area…I realize I have so much to go to yet – the Basket ball court, the gym, the pool, the racing track…I am gonna be so busy!!! The next day we start our orientation and the lectures begin. My eyes are closing, and tummy growling. The lectures go on, and I cant wait to start working again : )

Saturday, September 1, 2007

My Journey to Hong Kong :)

After all the battling, I was finally at the airport to make my 1st trip out of India. This would probably be the longest one too. A whole surge of emotions, fear, love, ambition and panic :) yes yes I was late as usual. Most difficult hugs: Mom, Ashwin, Sunny, Dolly & my Dad. Inspite of everything somewhere these were the most difficult people to let go off.

I was sure my luggage was overweight, but 30 kgs overweight I did not know. I struggled with the trolley and finally one of the airport assistants helped me push my luggage to the counter. Once my luggage was on the weighing scale, I was in for the most embarrassing moments of my journey. I opened up my entire luggage at the airport and decided what I needed the most and what I dint. Unfortunately, in all that mess I picked the opposite: ( All the frantic calls from people outside at this time definitely dint help. I was so freaked and scared and mad. Finally, got that boarding pass at a whooping 40 kgs and went for immigration. All well here thankfully. Proceeded to the flight, n it hit me. I was leaving my country… my friends … my family…. All the fun and all the food and all I had were my memories, and jus then someone said… Leave everything behind and don turn back… go ahead and make new memories. Today, every time I feel low… I erase a lot from memories and I feel better.

The flight was freezing… yes I was warned … but wid a sweatshirt and 2 blankets I was still cold. Jus got some sleep and there she was waking me …. The airhostess, "Mam, what would u like to eat" Gosh that was so freakin annoying. Anyways, put on a smile n said Veg – No meat plz. She brought me some weird rice and boiled vegetables, some ugly strawberry desert – ate a little and went back to sleep. Woke up to my stop over – Thailand….. What a gorgeous airport so organized, its huge…. And really clean. Got my boarding pass and I had to wait for 4 hours so I decided to tour the airport. I did not change the time in my watch, it was 5am IST.
Went to all the beckoning stores of makeup, perfumes, bags, shoes…. But when your on a student budget u can only gawk. Now I was tired so jus headed to some chairs and crashed. I occupied 3 chairs, used my bag a pillow n jus slept. I woke up wid that horried frenzy that I missed my flight, looked at my watch and dint know wat time it was in Thailand. Looked around and right next to me was this South Korean man- Asked him wat time it was, n he goes like 9.30am. Breath – I had a good hour left : )

Boarded my flight and went right back to sleep. Woke up in a bit to some food, I was jus messing wid a fork – n was wondering wat on earth looked veg like this… well nothing… so called the airhostess n said, VEG – she followed wid a 1000 apologies : ( that was fish, and she replaced it wid rice and boiled vegetables, by now I knew this was gonna be staple diet for the next 2 yrs.

The Hong Kong airport landing is the most wonderful and scary – It's the run way wid jus gravel and stones on either side and beyond is the ocean. I was gawking at this gorgeous scene. Got out of my flight, and follow the crowd. Everyone moves into this super fast train, and I am so hell confused. I cant leave on this train wid out my luggage, there is not a sole to ask so I hop on jus before the warning starts " Pl stand back from the doors beep beep beep" In the next min I am out and heading for immigration. Little trouble here, I look quite diff now, so he asks me to take my glasses off and put them back n the Chinese man keeps lookin at me and clicks some buttons. Finally, he stamps it, and I breathe. Go into the lobby, get my luggage and call Poonam, she says I have to wait for 3.5 hours. So I go back to sleep. Wake up hungry to push my entire luggage to Burger king and ask for Veg, they have jus one Veg burger but the bun has egg. So I say no, n my eyes fill up. Sat down for a bit and then decided to wear my lenses, jus get out of the wash room and I am delighted to c Sachin. So Poonam could not make it and asked Sachin to pick me up.

We headed to some bus and he was teaching me how to swipe the octopus card etc. Got to their apartment on the 27th floor… stunning & elegant. The view is breath taking …one side is the ocean n the other the mountains. Had a quick shower n v left for dinner. Met Poonam, it was a pleasure. Had some thai food and some good beer : ) Came back chatted, called home said I reached and crashed.

The next morning ate, showered and left for my university and tour of Hong Kong. With the entire luggage in the MTR, ferry, bus was exciting. My 1 st time in the MTR, all the hustle and rustle I was quite nervous. Got to the university, it was breath taking. Jus like the pictures, heavenly. This is where I am goin to be for the next 2 yrs : ) Went to the hostel, its quite small and my room mate is Chinese. I dump my bags and leave to tour the city.

We went for lunch to an Indian restaurant, shopped for some things that I needed, got a cell connection, and headed back to Poonams place. We watched the blue umbrella and slept. The next day we had poori allo for Bfast and watched Cash – its horrible. Then I had to leave on my own wid 2 bags back to my uni. The bags were really heavy, 1 st the bus, then the ferry, then walk to the mtr – shift mtr and bus again – 3 hours from Poonams to the college. Get to the college and the walk to the dorm killed me… 2 Km wid the bags of 30 kg was not a joke after all the travel. Reached my room, unpacked and settled in. Quite an adventure. Just then I had a knock – and Indian boy – introduces himself as my classmate and calls a gurl n tells her I have arrived. In the next few mins she comes over – my Indian classmates. And the bonding begins : )

The next day I go to shop for my pillow, rug, sheets, etc… its all quite far. Manage to get it all back and dint loose my way : ) Got my account done, my HK Id and a lot of stuff. Within 2 days I am quite settled… and happy. The view from my room and everywhere on campus is jus so amazing. It's a little warm but I am loving it.

Why? Why?

Why was this blog created?

This blog was created to describe the experiences of 6 Indians in Hong Kong going through the most wonderful experiences in one of the top B-Schools in the South East Asian Region. The purpose therefore is to help future applicants/students of the HKUST MBA experience life@HKUST virtually. We had a tough time researching this school and knowing more about this school which is among the best on quite a few parameters. So a small step in easing that pain for future HKUST students.

Links to some of the Blogger's own personal blogs which might contain more relevant information are given below:

Randhir's Blog

Prathap's Blog

Why did I join HKUST?

Lots of reasons. Here are some of them:

+++ Rankings: Easily way above any other school in the region (41st in FT-2006 Ratings). IIMA, the only Indian school comes in at 98.

+++ Best Finance School: One of the best in finance. You should just see the number of finance junkies from across the world who come here either on exchange or for the full time MBA to believe it.

+++ Diversity: Our class alone has 21+ (not sure of the exact number) countries represented and there are only two people in a batch of 76 that come from the same company. Hard to imagine this sort of diversity in an Indian School. Just meeting so many different people and experiencing the cultures helps you grow as a person.

+++ Hong Kong: The financial hub of the SE Asian Region provides lots of opportunities and openings post the MBA

+++ English works: Don't believe people who say that you need to know Chinese to work here, etc. Yes, you need Chinese to work in China or maybe even in a China related consulting company. But there are lots of other opportunities here. In fact, I'd say that your English is actually an advantage here in a way.

+++ Exchange programs: HKUST has some of the best exchange programs with schools across the world including the top schools in the US.

These were some of the top reasons for my coming here. So far, so good.