Friday, October 25, 2013

And the Journey begins..

...fruits of all the thinking that went into the MBA application process (not to mention the customized crafted essay stories packaging me into a one hell of a product - which even I did not know before this) , I managed to start my elusive MBA journey at the University of Minnesota, Carlson School. Why Minnesota: If anyone is thinking what was I thinking while choosing to study in the snow, then I have only one answer that unfortunately the U never stops working and classes never stops despite the thunderstorm...   :-) The rigor of the program stops me from thinking when it ends after two years because I am loving it!

I have heard about people blocking times and always in super rush in the first year of the program. I am becoming a testimony to that. In the two months of beginning the program the amount of work achieved is comparable to what I used to do in an year. I bet that! It also includes travelling to 3 states in US to the last list of opening a bank account on just the third day of arrival to the States. My term A has ended and I am sitting in San Francisco currently on a career trek visiting few companies to figure out what I want to do with my career. If I read my essays I always knew that Healthcare is something what I wanted to do but what in Healthcare is the question I am finding answers too. For a person like me who wants things quick, speedy, action oriented with a ironic complexity of wanting to make a larger impact, there needs to be time of self reflection and exploration. Carlson career treks has been extremely helpful in that till now.
Right now I am sitting at a Starbucks near Ferry building in SF waiting for an information interview that I have scheduled with a friend working with one of the fastest growing public health organization in the US. I hope the visits to the companies, meeting these beautiful and the rigor of strategy class or fun with Finance at H-MO's class - (H-MO is the nick name of my finance prof who seems to hate her (infact anyone's) full name). I think too much number crunching makes you crunch names also. No offence intended Prof. I love your teaching :-)

I should end writing the academic note of my life here with some fun. That is what MBA is all about. Easing the week at the TAPS... that is what we call the Thursday Happy Hour or at least the two Sarahs (whole and sole organizers of TAPS) call it. Sometimes in life we get so much attached to our career that it becomes important to revisit the pictures that you just clicked and get reminded that now is the time to have some fun!

With Goldy Gopher @ Carlson School of Management

Dandiya Fest with Bharat (India Association of UMN)

Yes sometimes our class does crazy stuff :-) 

Chicago Career Trip - I was finding my career at Downtown but honestly you got to travel with all the career things happening simultaneously :-) 

Zombie Walk - Stumbled upon this during one of my morning bike rides

With Classmates at San Francisco Indian Restaurant - Shalimar

China in SF

Musical SF - this is a painting on a building

More SF 

Harley Davidson Museum - Made the most of my flight stopover at Milwauke while coming back from San Francisco Career Trek

More Harley

I miss my Marlin but this is cool (expensive)
And here I am paying tribute to the excellence of Harley Davidson!
...................more to follow as soon as I am able to steal some time from the roller coaster ride!

Monday, January 28, 2013

The Journey Has Just Begin...Thank You Toastmasters

From displaying sheer nervousness during the ice breaker speech to smacking lips, clasping hands, going blank, forgetting the content, losing the connect, irregular body movements, and numerous grammatical mistakes in the following nine speeches, I feel the Toastmaster journey has just started now. It took me an year and excessive mentoring by valuable Toastmaster Club of New Delhi (TMND) friends to complete my Competent Communicator award. I feel delighted about it!

As I embark the trek on the real ladder of communication and leadership through advanced manuals and opportunities in the professional and personal life, I would like to look back and thank all my friends and fellow Toastmasters for their continuous support and encouragement.

Thank you TMND for truly living the spirit of Toastmasters, where leaders are made.

I value the feedback and encouraging remarks, CRC approach  ;- ), shared by my fellow Toastmaster friends. I have decided to preserve these before they die a short life of paper.
PS: I will strive that these will also be preserved in my communication and leadership style.  

Tarun Jain

Monday, November 12, 2012

Delhi, the time we Copenhagenize!

Every morning when a Delhiite gets ready to begin a new day at office, school, or college, He or She hopes to reach home early in the evening without the stress of the traffic. The stress of boss or an exam sometimes becomes secondary for them because it is more important to reach on time to face that! Despite this we dare to take out our cars and wait for that next green light in vain to find another red light signal.

I recently met a public transport activist, Mark Gorton, who was on a visit to India to speak with Delhi Cycling Club project members to discuss issues and learning from public transport in US and possibilities of promoting bicycle to work irrespective of the social status of the commuters in Delhi. He discussed about some of his initiatives in the US, notably getting Times Square car free at some weekends, advocacy of bicycle to work, and sincere efforts in replicating the model of Copenhagen in some towns.
Copenhagenization: Denmark is called the bicycle capital of the world with more 50% people commuting to work on their bicycles and still phenomenal efforts being made by the authorities to increase this further. Recently the public authorities announced the construction of 26 bicycle super highways of which one is already functional between Copenhagen and Albertslund. Imagine 11 miles of car free highway marked by water bodies, birds and beautiful landscapes, where you ride to work!
The life must have become more blissful for the Danish people and we can just imagine and hope the same for us someday. It is important that we also take the urban transformation of Delhi seriously before it gets too late, as warned by Mark citing the New York bridges.
The first step is to unlearn the notion that the means of transport are related to one's social status. The same notion has caused the use of cycles in India from 30% (1994) to only 11% (2008) as per a recent study conducted by CEPT University, Ahmedabad  The change of mindset will solve most of the problems and everything from government action, cycle infrastructure, and traffic decongestion will follow.
I also recommend going to local markets, gyms, tuition  and doing other routine tasks on bicycle. Further it would be nice if we can organize mass rides in our society to sensitize our friends that it is equally cool to ride a bicycle as it is to ride any good car. Once the culture comes in the society then it can be extended further!

Celebrations after first Critical Mass Ride in Delhi - Over 100 People Rode Together on Sunday Morning...

So how to start?
Remove inhibitions, buy a good bike and safety accessories, call up your friends and tell about this, and the next day at least buy your groceries on bicycle. You will love the change you will bring to your health, traffic and pocket;-)

Tarun Jain

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Inspiring Innovations in Action_Must Watch

Courtesy View Change:

Ever imagined how small ideas can solve big problems....... noticed the rats used for mines? amazing!


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Lance Armstrong, We Live Stronger With You and Not Your Medals

It would have been great to see Lance coming out innocent in the doping investigations and his conviction has definitely brought the sport down. However he is still a hero for the many other achievements of his life. We can not condone his mistake but we can learn a lot from him for who he is otherwise. 

The real feat is not measured from the medals on the chest or the stars on the shoulders;it is measured by the love from people and their support despite the outcomes. 

Lance Armstrong, there are millions of fans who still love you for who you are! 


Saturday, October 20, 2012

Someday...I will go for Tour d'Afrique...

Africa, has never been popular among tourists from my part of the world but if one loves biking then I would recommend to rethink. Biking in Africa can be most adventurous of your biking expeditions and when it is the 11,800 Kilometers cross country from Cairo to Capetown with the team of Tour d'afrique then it is an experience of a lifetime. The riders cover the following countries: Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Zambia, Botswania, Namibia, and South Africa. The cost is high and I will not disclose it here and would like you to know more about the tour before comparing cost and adventure [I am not an  agent, I am just a fan of the tour  ;-) ]  . Shibaji Sahu, a biking friend in Delhi, introduced me to this tour when we screened the tour's commencement video at YMCA, Delhi auditorium in March 2010. I was amazed by seeing the powerful video and talking to some of tour veterans. I was recently contacted by few friends about more information about it then I thought it is better to post here. One can find most of the information about the tour from their website : 

If you are in India and plan to go for the tour, please do let me know...I would like to meet you :-) 


Life is a cycle....

Friday, October 19, 2012

Secret of Einstein... o/o

“I thought of that while riding my bicycle.” ~ Albert Einstein (On the Theory of Relativity) 

Image Courtesy - “thinkexist”