Startup Hackathon

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A week has passed since I had this amazing experience.  The event was kicked off last Friday evening with almost 20 of us pitching their business ideas. It was fun.  There were few phd and UG students as well. Then we voted the top 6 ideas and they were selected for the next step.

People formed teams around the top 6 ideas. It was a crazy icebreaker to form a team of random people whom you met few mins before, to work on converting the idea into a real business.

We were team of 5, working on Vacation trip planner. To kick start the next day, we did a need finding workshop using business design methodology to understand what really vacationers want. After a detailed empathy sessions with almost 15 people we found the common theme that trip planning time > actual vacation time.

We started working on fixing this problem and came up with amazing ideas.  REVCA club had arranged for mentors to help us out. We had 2 mentors who told us to focus on niche market. They were entrepreneurs running their own startups successfully.  It was a valuable feeback and we pivoted our idea to serving only a niche market of customers who spend really long time planning for a vacation – A family guy. So our idea pivoted to “Family vacation planner” Continue reading

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An exciting day in life of an MBA

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To me this is what I call as an exciting day

8:30 to 10:30 statistics class
10:45 to 12:45 finance class
Grab lunch
1pm to 2 pm  brain storming with my Startup advisory team mates while eating
2 pm to 3 : personal time, pay bills, read news, check facebook, signup club events
3 to 4pm : prepare for strategy class
4 to 6:30pm : brainstorming for AT Kearney case competition
6:30 rush to bar for meeting with REVCA club executives
8pm drink and pitch event from REVCA club: pitch business ideas over drinks
9 pm: rush back home
9pm to 11 pm: read case for tomorrow’s strategy class
11 to 12pm : read about twitter financial statement for tomorrow’s accounting class
12 pm: blog, set alarm to wake up in 6 hrs.

Finance class

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Canada had Thanksgiving day on Monday so we had a long weekend.  I was hoping to catch up with resume etc but then came the bomb. We had to submit an assignment for finance class even before finance class began on Tuesday.

Felt lost, but when I looked into what the assignment was about, I got excited. It was to calculate the Value of your MBA ( net present value). That was an awesome start to real world application of finance concepts on PV and FV that I learnt in pre-MBA.

I am not sure if other school do it too but Rotman courses so far has been always about applying knowledge to real world problems.

Business Design Workshop

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One of main reasons why I joined Rotman was because of Business design. Rotman is an expert in this field.  Rotman Design works is a design consulting agency inside the Rotman building. They offer workshop on business design and I enrolled for the first workshop.

The whole saturday flew fast with hands on learning about the business design framework. We were doing empathy workshop for finding user needs, then brainstorming, then strategic planning and finally prototyping . We were given a business problem and we were solving it step by step throughout the day.

It was amazing how ideas flowed in when the brainstorming session was just for 2 mins with the restriction that nobody is supposed to negate ideas. Continue reading

Foundation term

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Two words to describe it so far, “Absolutely Amazing”

I loved every bit of it and told my mom over phone, that it was the reason why I wanted to do an international MBA. Its not just learning its the learning experience.

But it was really an intense term with just 1 month timeframe. The 1st test was in 2nd week. The subjects were real foundations for an MBA, which were Managerial economics, Ethics, Decision making and Integrated modelling. Profs were amazing and especially Prof Avi. I became a big fan of him. Continue reading

Rotman Orientation day

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It was a true orientation day,and I have never attended such orientations in my life. I was expecting that orientation will be boring and just explaining what I already know. But Rotman Orientation days were really insightful.

Prof Mihnea ran a session on Integrative thinking. All 350 of us were divided into groups of 5 each. The prof gave us some notes about a case study and we were supposed to solve it in 1 hour. It was brilliant experience when none of us had any experience of solving business problems. It was purely because of using common sense, our group came to a solution. After an hour , the prof reviewed all our solutions and made best teams to present on how and why they arrived at that solution. Then he walked through the process of Integrative thinking which is embedded in our coursework at Rotman. Then we grouped again and continued solving the case using what he taught us.  The day was like a big workshop on Integrative thinking and didn’t feel like orientation.

We were solving business problems even before attending a single course. And that was an exciting experience.

By end of day Prof gave us valuable insights and then said “thats how you should think at Rotman”.

The next day was on networking. Again it was a group based workshop on Reciprocity ring , a concept that relies on human tendency to help. By end of workshop I believed in the power of networking. Prof ended the day with a note “that how you should network”.

Having learnt how to think and how to network , I was excited to step my foot into the first day at Rotman

Rotman pre MBA and Boot camp

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When Rotman announced pre MBA, i was wondering if i should leave for Toronto that early.  I didn’t want to miss spending time with family , especially my second son who was just born.  I decided against attending all courses and joined only for the last week of sessions.

One highlight about the 1 week session that i loved was Voicing Yourself. It was provided by the Self development lab. The teacher was an actor and i was amazed how one can present well just based on voice. She taught us the techniques to enhance our communication during presentation.

Another best reason for me to attend the 9 AM session when i actually landed at Toronto just a day before in the noon, was my interest to meet other Rotmanites. I made lot of amazing friends in that 1 week.

Boot camp was the AMAZING part of the beginning. Continue reading