Showing posts from May, 2008

Indian Visa Woes Continue

I'm already here in India yet my visa woes persist.

My entry to India had been marked by a very "interesting" experience with the Embassy of India in Manila. Now, the Bureau of Immigration in India is making me jump through hoops.

Is it me or India just doesn't like me?

My new problem cropped up when I was registering in the Foreigners Registration Office (FRO) in Bangalore. Foreigners who enter India with certain types of visas are mandated to register at the local FRO. I'm carrying an Employment Visa (EV) and when I arrived at the FRO to register, I was told that my registration cannot be accepted because my documents from Infosys do not have the word "employment" in them. Instead, it contains "internship." For the Indian FRO official at that time, that was unquestionably unacceptable and I must do 2 things: (1) Get a student visa; or (2) get Infosys to rework all my papers so that it would fit the FRO's criteria to the letter (or the FRO …

Trip to Mysore and Shravanabelagola

One of the perks of doing my AC here in India is the travel to the different interesting sites. And in this country, there are a lot of places with rich history. I've blogged about some of the places I was able to visit along with the other interns in Infosys' InStep program and the most interesting trip we've had so far is the 2-day trip to Mysore and Shravanabelagola.

Mysore (pronounced "my-sore") is a city that takes about three hours of travel from Bangalore and it used to be the capital of the state that's why it has very interesting buildings like the Mysore Palace. There's also a cathedral there that's inspired my Neo-Gothic architecture (according to one of the interns) and a nearby hilltop town called Chamundi. Mysore is also home to Infosys' biggest campus and it's really like a modern town within the city. That campus is thee times the size of the one in Bangalore and the buildings are more diverse in design-- there's a building …

Infosys InStep Week Three

It's been three weeks already? Wow, time flies pretty fast.

The workload and progress in my Action Consultancy (AC) has steadily increased as the requirements of what I need to do is becoming clearer by the day. There has been some little missteps in my work because sometimes I want to do a lot of things. It's like that situation when you're doing something and a good idea comes up and leave what you're doing and jump on to working that new idea. And if that new idea doesn't work, you step back and return to the original path you had. That has happened to a few times in the past week and good thing my project mentor has been very supportive.

Speaking of my project mentor, he's not the micro-managing type and I'm quite thankful I was assigned to him. He trusts my judgment and gives me enough room operate. My co-interns here different situations (like one guy who sits next to his mentor). I've always been independent at work and I would say my project mento…

InStep Interns Play Cricket!

Infosys' InStep Coordinators recently held a workshop for us interns to know more about India's "national" sport: Cricket.

I say "national" because, officially, hockey is India's national sport but because of the number of people who play cricket and the amount of coverage it gets in the news (I'd say one-third of newspapers' contents is cricket), the sports has become the nation's de facto national sport.

The InStep coordinators were kind enough to have Infosys' very own cricket team to give us the basics of the game: from batting, to bowling and catching the ball. We used the leather ball used in official games to play with and used the proper bat as well. Good thing Infosys has its own cricket field in the sprawling campus so we were able to run around freely, bat the ball and bowl anywhere (although we obviously looked like beginners).

I've never played cricket in my life prior to playing here and most of the interns are in the sam…

Infosys InStep Week Two

This post is a bit late unlike the one I had for my first week in the Infosys InStep program, but what the heck, nobody's checking. :P

So what happened in Week Two of in my eight week stay here in Infosys Bangalore? The week could be summarized by two things: meetings at work and intern activities.

Back home, I'm used to one hour meetings with team mates or group mates but I had a few meetings that lasted at least two and a half hours and one that virtually lasted the entire day. The meetings were requirements analysis and brainstorming activities that why it was like meeting marathon that saps your brain dry. From what I experience, teams here are pretty flexible with time are concerned the momentum of the discussions. If the discussion is very good and productive, schedules are thrown out the window to get the results.

I remember those first few months in the MBA program when CAN Group meetings lasted a couple of hours and people were already complaining. Sheesh.

Work-wise, I…

AIM Get Together in Bangalore

There was a small small gathering of AIM folks yesterday here in Bangalore. Newly-minted grads from the last 2-year MBA batch were there to give us interning here in the city some "words of wisdom."

Bangaloreans Bharath Jain, Vaibhav Kapur, Fahim Salim and Sameer Tupaki (all from MBA '08) gave me and Pia Sanedrin some things things they're learning now that they don't have to deal with cases and CP. Job-hunting is on top of their priorities right now and they said more than half of their batch has already been placed. Most of them just arrived from Manila as the ceremonies for the Asian Institute of Management graduating batches were held last May 4, 2008 at the Meralco Theater. (A story and pictures of the commencement exercises can be found at the AIM Alumni Portal).

I really had a great lunch with the folks as they were very accommodating and acting like "big brothers"-- I'm glad because I never really had a chance to interact with seniors during t…

Making the Grade

Grades are out!

Grades for all but one subject have been released and if you look at my potential GPA so far, it falls in the "Satisfactory" band. (I've made a post regarding the grading system in the Asian Institute of Management, you might want to take a look.) By AIM standards, that means I'm average.

But does that tell the whole story? Does that mean I'm your "average" MBA student? I've done some analysis

The school segments the MBA core subjects in two major areas-- Quantitative and Qualitative subjects. Quantitative subjects include:
Language of Business (LOB)Economics (ECO)Quantitative Analysis (QA)Financial Management 1 (FM1)Financial Management 2 (FM2)Management of Cost and Profit (MCP)Management Control Systems (MCS)The Qualitative subjects include:
Human Behavior in Organization (HBO)Management Communication (MC)Marketing Management (MM)Operations Management (OM)General Management & Ethics (GME)Asian Business Systems (ABS)Development of th…

Playing Games

I'm quite happy my stay here in Bangalore is not all work. Yes, I'm doing my Action Consultancy (AC) in Infosys, but there are other activities I've been doing to keep the work-life balance in a nice non-tipping state.

Bangalore is a city with nice sites to visit and I've shared in my previous post about my first week that us interns went to visit a few of them like the Lalbagh Botanical Gardens, the Bull Temple and the ISKCON Temple. But I also have been able to play some games leisurely inside the Infosys campus.

There's a basketball court inside the campus and the moment I saw it, I've been looking forward to shoot some hoops. It took me one week to play there and it's good to know that there are a few guys (and ladies) playing basketball here in India. India is primarily a Cricket-crazy nation and that works in my favor-- with few people playing basketball here, the skill level of casual players is so-so at best. (The same way, Filipinos playing cricket …

Infosys InStep Week One

It's already been one week since I landed here in Bangalore, India and it has been pretty eventful.

My first days in Infosys have not been without hiccups, but thanks to the very good hand-holding by the Infosys InStep coordinators and mentors, the whole transition process has been smoothened. I've described in a previous post about my initial impression of the company and things have been pretty consistent. Interns here are really taken care of but at the same time, but are given challenging project to work on. That last statement really applies to me because my project involves trying to put new technology platforms like Web 2.0 where it best fits in a given business and marketing framework.

I really have to be exhaustive and know my stuff that's why I'm very happy with the flexibility my project mentor has given me. I've already been in a couple of meetings to brainstorm and solve immediate problems the project. An in those meetings, my inputs are given the same w…

Indian Flavors

I've found cup noodles in Bangalore!

But to get my cup noodles, I had to travel for at around 45 minutes to a place called the Star Bazaar in the city, brave the rains and deal with the horrendous city traffic. But it was worth it, at least partially.

I say partially because the brand that I was looking for (Nissin Cup Noodles) was not available in Star Bazaar, despite the big number of products it sells. It seems cup instant noodles are not a big thing in India as there were only two brands that I saw in the hypermart and one of them was a newly launched product! Perhaps the market in Bangalore for instant noodles in a cup is not big or just emerging. (This may be an opportunity for distributors :P)

I also was able to eat a McDonald's here in India. For obvious reasons, the McDonald's here do not carry their traditional beef burgers. Instead, they have a wider range of chicken burgers; as a matter of fact, in lieu of the normal Big Mac, stores here have a Chicken Maharaja Ma…

You can find everything on the Infosys Bangalore Campus except...

Cup Noodles!

The headquarters of Infosys in Bangalore is a pretty big place (43 acres or 17 hectares) and pretty self-sufficient. BBC described this campus as:
The most spectacular commercial development is the 43 acre Infosys Campus at Electronic City. It is a self-contained city for its 20,000 workers, and contains shops, restaurants, a health club, a basketball court and even a golf course. Golf carts take the many visitors around on tours, while video conference facilities link it to Infosys offices around the world.But for all its facilities and self-sufficiency, I have yet to find a place inside the Infosys campus where I could get cup noodles. :P Most likely, I will find some in the city, which I haven't ventured into.

If you know of a nice place to buy cup noodles here in Bangalore, I'd appreciate the assist. :D

A Filipino in Bangalore

After the saga of dealing with the Embassy of India for my visa, I am now here in India, particularly in Bangalore, for my Action Consultancy or AC.

The AC is what the Asian Institute of Management calls its internship for the MBA students. The AC is an official school requirement that counts as a subject that an MBA student needs to pass. Its main objective, at least from how I see it, is to validate what the student has learned from the core subjects by letting him/her deal with a live project that has an impact to the enterprise. In my case, I'm doing my AC in a company called Infosys as part of its InStep Internship Program

My first couple of days here have been pretty eventful. I arrived here Sunday and rode a taxi to the Infosys campus. Let's just say the cab ride was a "multi-sensory" introduction to the city-- I briefly experienced the both the good and the bad in the transit from the airport to a place called Electronics City.

I arrived and checked in the compa…

Helping Others, Part 2

Blogger's note: Please read "Helping Others" before reading this post so that everything will make sense. :)
I'm really the panicky type, but when the voice on the other end of the phone was an automated message saying "Your number cannot be completed at this time. Please try again later" over and over again, I felt like hitting the panic button, no make that slamming the panic button.I immediately went back to my scheming mode to cook up a plot to dupe the guards into letting me in the village. Here were some of my plans:Ask one of my female Indian classmates who is here in Manila to accompany me to the village and pretend we're husband and wife; A modification of Plan #1: Ask a few of my Indian classmates to accompany me to the village and pretend I'm their driver and they are the ones who need to go to the Indian embassyLet my friend Ninoy do the talking. If you notice, my plans are toeing the ethical line, test of whether the end really …

Helping Others

I was really tempted to entitle this post "My Experience with the Embassy of India in Manila" Part 2, but realized there was something good that came out from my frustrating attempt to get my visa at the Indian embassy in Manila.

In the last post, frustration was high as I learned that there were key procedures in the visa application that was not published and made known to the public until you reach the area where the Indian embassy is located. But I played their game and followed the necessary procedures to get my application through. To make the long story short, on April 29 (Monday) I learned my expedited visa was approved and the embassy will send me my passport with the visa during their batch sending April 30 (Tuesday), 7:00pm.

However, I'll be leaving Manila for a short trip in Singapore on May 1 (Wednesday). According to the embassy, the courier will be able to deliver the passport on May 2 since May 1 is Labor Day, which is a public holiday. I told the embassy s…