Wednesday, 8 August, 2012

UNC Kenan Flagler Business School - Bangalore Information Session

So as promised in my last post, here is my experience from the Bangalore Information Session of University of North Calorina Kenan-Flagler Business School. The event was on 27th July at Vivanta by Taj Hotel, MG Road. I had registered for the event via Facebook event page. The event was scheduled to start 7.30 PM. I left my office at around 5.30 and reached the venue at 7.15 PM, thanks to Bangalore traffic. A colleague from my office was also accompanying me as he is also interested in an International MBA. At the hotel, we had a little confusion over the hall where the session was being held but was sorted out immediately by hotel staff.
The session was being hosted by Dr. Sridhar Balasubramanian, Dean of Full-Time MBA program at UNC Kenan-Flagler. Dr. B (yes! This is what people call him on campus apparantely) is the Roy and Alice H. Richards Bicentennial Distinguished Scholar and Professor of Marketing at the business school. The session started right on-time. A great part of the session was that Dr. B started with taking questions from prospective students right away. He took questions from students for the first 10-15 minutes and then started with his formal presentation. The questions ranged from teaching methods (case vs. lecture), Business school’s proximity to Research Triangle Park (RTP), careers scenario for international students. Dr. B told us that one of the greatest strengths of the business school is its proximity with the RTP (Research Triangle Park). It is one of the most prominent high-tech research and development centers in the United States. The park is home to the second largest IBM operation in the world, dwarfed only by the one in India; the company has around 11,000 employees in RTP. The park hosts one of GlaxoSmithKline's largest R&D centers with approximately 5,000 employees. It provides with great opportunities to network and get internships.
Dr. B started the presentation and told us many great things about the business school, student life, career support and leadership development.  Kenan Flagler has a great reputation for leadership development. They have a dedicated Leadership course where you can have a complete immersion in Leadership. This course is so intense that once we take it, all other electives are waived off. Business school also has a dedicated fund completely managed by students where students make investment decisions. One of the highlights of the program is STAR (Student Teams Achieving Results). It is a hands-on learning program in which students learn by doing as they take on the role of consultants to real companies. Teams are typically comprised of 5-7 students, undergraduates and MBAs (with one of the MBAs serving as the Project Leader). All teams are guided by both a faculty advisor with significant business consulting/corporate experience and an executive from the client organization. Prof. Then gave details of the admissions criteria and deadlines. On financing the MBA, business school offers cosigner free student loan.
After the formal presentation finished, we made small groups for informal chat with Prof. B and other alumni present at the venue. I went to chat with a Class of 2009 alum Abhijeet Bharaswadkar. He gave us a good insight into the student culture at the business school. He was also the best person to ask about careers after the school as he graduated in 2009 i.e in the middle of one of the biggest economic crisis in recent times. Abhijeet told us the student culture is very collaborative at the school. Career Services is quite good and supportive. During his time at the school, Abhijeet told that he spent nearly 70% of the time in Networking and the remaining 30% on academics. He acknowledged that networking is not so easy stuff especially students from India but once you are there, you learn whatever comes your way. Not all companies sponsor work visas for international students but many do and the career opportunities are good enough to get what you want.
After this, I and my colleague took a break to have some refreshments that were being served and had a chat with a couple of prospective students on their goals, school selections, GMAT strategies etc. We then left the venue at 9.45 PM. Overall, it was a great experience. I feel that Kenan-Flagler may be a good fit to my aspirations. Let’s see where I land up..!!!
Some more information sessions are coming up this month. Will post my experiences on the same as and when it happens. Stay Connected…


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