Hello from the other side

June 10, 2016
End of the formal education. A lifelong quest for knowledge continues.

Bonus links: Every year, HEC Paris releases a fun video at the end of the graduation ceremony. This year's video was HEC Creed! Have a look! Though, 2014 graduation day video is my favorite - HEC in the world of TV shows


Two key things that I check in my pocket before stepping out of the home are my Navigo card and my headphones. It has been about a year since I got addicted to podcasts, and I now find unimaginable to not listen to them while walking/travelling alone. It will be fair to say that podcasts have almost completely taken over my headphone time over the past year.  

For the uninitiated, Podcasts are the internet version of good old radio shows. Consider them similar to audio-books, but a hundred times more interesting. The best feature of podcasts is that you can download them on your phone, using certain apps, and listen to them even without internet connectivity. Podcasting apps typically download the latest episodes when the device is connected to home WiFi, and arrange the episodes in chronological order using the information provided by the RSS feeds. Yeah, the same old RSS feeds that were a rage during the blogging era! 

Every few weeks, I try to refresh my subscriptions by discovering and adding new podcasts to my list and getting rid of those which were not up to the mark, beyond first few episodes. Hence, this list will be periodically updated with the list of new shows as well as my feedback on the ones which I unsubscribe. Over the next few days, I will curate this list a bit more by arranging them by categories, and adding more details about each one of them.
Pic credits: https://unsplash.com/photos/TMOeGZw9NY4

1) Non-fiction Storytelling - He came in for the storytelling, but stayed on for the content
  • Serial - Season one of the Serial Podcast was probably the most famous podcast in the history of this planet. A thrilling narrative, mixed with investigative journalism, of a murder mystery. Season two was a dud.
  • Start up - Story of and narration by Alex Blumberg, of 'This American Life' show, about starting his own company (season 1). Currently on Season three, this show makes up for a good background chatter while working

2) Business & Finance - My favourite category, with a very high entry and purge frequency  
  • Planet Money - Mostly economics, sometimes financial concepts, explained in bite-sized 15-30 mins episodes. Good storytelling, and a huge archive to delve in. I usually download 20-30 episodes in one go before long journeys
  • The Investors Podcast - Mostly talk about HNWIs and their habits. More importantly, I listen to it for the crisp book reviews and recommendations

3) Others - This category on my app has seen everything from Game of Thrones discussions to Monday morning inspirations. Usually, subscribe them for lazy Saturday afternoon background noise.
  • Reply All - Broadly categorised as a show about the internet. Some of the episodes are really interesting, discussing the internet culture, people of the internet world and a lot of other things 
  • 99% Invisible - From the show description, "99% Invisible is about all the thought that goes into the things we don’t think about — the unnoticed architecture and design that shape our world"
  • Coffee Break French - Bonjour! 

That's all from my side for now. I will keep updating this list. Meanwhile, let me know your podcast recommendations in the comments!

The links I have provided are to the official websites of these podcasts, it will be better if you search for the show name directly in your app and then just press the subscribe button. 

End of the MBA Program

Update: As it turns out, I was not able to complete this post in one sitting. Hence, there is a mix of past, present and future tense in this post. 

... and just like that, it's over! It is hard to believe that this is my last week at HEC Paris. After 16 very short months, I will attend the last class of my MBA program this Wednesday.

Saying Goodbye! 
The reality of the situation hit me this Sunday when I put up an advertisement to sell the small possessions I bought for my home of 16 months - 143, Expansiel - on our campus Facebook page. It feels that 4 Sept 2014 was just yesterday, when I created a video of my empty room, to send back home showing my family a glimpse of my new life. Time flies, really! 

As I sit here and think about the time gone by, I must say that the past 16 months have been a humbling experience for me. An international, top-tier school does that to you. From being a top performer for years to realizing that every other person in the class has an unparalleled knowledge and breadth of experience took me just 4 weeks. And I believe, this early realization helped me grow both personally and professionally in a short period of time.

While an inherent benefit of an MBA is a large, global network that helps you mutually grow in the future; I will more than treasure the bunch with whom I was able to develop lifelong bonds.

As of finishing this post on 22nd December, I have had my last MBA class, went on a sojourn to Amsterdam, and finally returned back to my home in New Delhi! For the next month, I will be  found in front of my X-Box, when I am not hopping across the country for short trips!

See you guys on the other side! Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!