Knowing is Half the Battle

I follow this forum site called Pagalguy and it is one of the best resources in researching for your MBA program if you're a prospective student. One good thing about these kinds of forums is that when a person not familiar with a topic, particularly AIM, poses a controversial question, people with a better vantage point could bring clarity.

A good example is one thread in the discussion boards where one prospective MBA student posted this:
One of the negative feedbacks that I have received about AIM is that Phillipines is not a safe country to reside with coup attempts often. I had attended the AIM Open House in Mumbai and this issue had been raised during the Open House as well after it was mentioned that the coup militants had tried to occupy the AIM building since its one of the tallest buildings in the area. I have two questions:

1. How safe are the student during such coup attempts?
2. Doesn't such political instability repel recruiters?
The questions were posed to Prof. Rafael Azanza, who has been active in questions from potential MBA students. Prof. Azanza's response was very good, direct and puts the point across:
"the coup militants had tried to occupy the AIM building since its one of the tallest buildings in the area."

No, AIM is not "one of the tallest buildings in the area". It's so not "one of the tallest buildings in the area" that I almost laughed reading that.

If you are referring to the recent takeover for A FEW HOURS of the LOBBY of ONE hotel by a SMALL GROUP of soldiers who had already been charged and were promptly put into jail again, no, they did not attempt to takeover AIM, and AIM was never at all imperilled. They could not have come anywhere near, and in fact they could not have left the lobby of the hotel.

You know, when you hear of a group of people demonstrating or taking over a building in some foreign city, if you don't know how big that city is or its geography, you think the whole place is in an uproar. Not at all. Manila is a big place. If the lobby of the Oberoi in Mumbai had been taken over by 15 or so disgruntled ex-soldiers , would you, in any other part of Mumbai, feel in danger? No.

There was only ONE time when a civil disturbance affected AIM, and that was the December 1, 1989 coup. Well ,we evacuated all the students to other campuses, and when it was over after about 4 days, we brought them back. We have contingency plans of course.

Asians are used to occasional demonstrations and riots. Unless you happen to be RIGHT THERE where the violence is happening, and AIM isn't, then it might as well be happening on the moon. I taught a seminar in Pune right after - immediately after - there had been significant violence in certain parts of India, and I was there in Mumbai when the railway bombings in Mumbai occurred just a couple of years ago. Well, that's life. Did recruiters not come to India because of the bombings and the violence in Kashmir and all that? No. Nor have they stopped coming to the Philippines because of our occasional violence.

But, if you get very upset by these things, even if they happen only rarely and even then nowhere near you, or if your family will get upset, then it's OK, perhaps you should think of other places. But there are occasional , isolated incidents of riots and violence in most parts of Asia, including India and the Philippines. I lived for 17 years in New York. Man, I am a lot safer in Manila than I was in New York. London is not perfectly safe. Madrid. Etc. Would you not go to these places?

Accept that occasional riots and violence happen; but major cities are very big and the chance of being personally involved in any of these events is exceedingly small. Recruiters are not kids, they live easily within this world.
The moral of the story: If there are no stupid questions and knowing is half the battle, then not asking a question puts you in the "ignorance is bliss" region.


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