Group Discussions 101

I have been making notes on GD’s (I have a long way to go), but my professor’s feedback during the session was like Thor: solemn, all-knowing, except you couldn’t really see the hammer.

I figured I might as well post it here. A caveat, though. Group discussions here primarily refer to ones conducted by B-schools during admission procedures or companies out on campus recruitment drives.

In case you are too lazy and/or love downloading pdf files for everything (I cannot be the only one), there’s a link at the end. It is free!

before you begin

Moderators love it when you make mistakes. Their job is to track the number of mistakes you commit and eliminate people. Continue reading

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Once Here, Now Gone: My Message in a Bottle

Long ago, I had a friend in the eighth grade.
My class teacher would often comment that we looked like two ducks waddling together. We went together wherever we went.In the ninth grade, she chose to admit herself in one of Delhi’s most prestigious schools; I stayed behind in good ole Somerville.
It was a shock to my routine at first. I wasn’t used to her not being around…

We wrote letters to each other fairly often at first, sharing all that happened during our day at school.
She would tell me about her new teachers and how big her new campus was compared to the old one. I would try to imagine a bigger school with better teachers, fall miserably at the task and go back to doing homework, this being the time when homework was still a priority in the ninth grade.Over time, the calls became occasional and the letters stopped. Continue reading

TOI vs. The Hindu plus Book Review: India Unbound, Gurcharan Das

A question on Quora recently turned into TOI bashing and apparently, for sound reasons.

I have been reading TOI since I was small. I have loved their hold on the English language. To me, they once personified good journalism: the last time I read a copy, they would report *and* they actively initiate campaigns to mobilise the society in response to developments in the country and local initiatives, a recent one being the iLead campaign. There are countless instances where I would read of action being taken on local matters on account of it having been reported on the front page of the national daily.
The editorials have been interesting: Swaminathan Aiyer’s Swaminomics, Jug Suraiya’s Jugular Vein, Bachi Karkaria’s articles which always ended in an incomprehensible Smart Alec joke, the inimitable Gurcharan Das and MJ Akbar were always a pleasure to read. I love reading while I eat and while I am home, I pore over every page of the paper, invariably the longest on the editorial.
The view/counter view section picks current debatable situations and presents two sides to the coins/ One side would be endorsed by the Times called the Times View. An individual would give the counter view. This section would allow me to reflect on both banks of the river and pick the greener one (note to self: improve on metaphors)
Times View was a familiar sight on every other page. In matters where decisions would disappoint the public, the newspaper would add a Times View with suggested steps and/or their take on the issue.
While I was interning at a firm this summer, a fellow intern was telling me how boring The Hindu could get.
Why read it, then? I asked.
That’s because my teacher at <insert MBA prep class’ name> asked me to read it everyday.
I gave it a try and while there was content, the paper seemed like an insipid, monotonous drone.
Moreover, Times’ supplements were one thing about weekends I would look forward too, especially Times Life. Did I while away my time reading about the Kardashians? You bet I did. I even sang Miley Cyrus songs while I read that stuff and twerked religiously because that is what the Times of India has taught me. That I have been writing since I was small and am becoming increasingly conscious of what titles I spend my time reading, it makes sense I pick the trashiest newspaper in town.
Click to read the article

Click to read the article

This article stopped me in the tracks. Before I read this guy’s account, TOI was unassailable to my eyes. Does the Times really indulge in Continue reading