Saturday, February 28, 2009

I’m dying for a good movie about junkies in Edinburgh….

Ugh! I've said it before here but I'll say it again, "Danny Boyle, you should stick to making movies about junkies in Edinburgh! Look mofo, your exploiting India's poverty for titillation to accompany popcorn chomping is not cool. Your connection with India is zilch! In fact the first time you visited the country was to shoot the film. And, did you even watch City of Joy and Cidade de Deus before decided to go slumming?"

I quote from the Financial Times February 23 2009: The film (Slumdog Millionaire) has been sharply criticised as "poverty porn". Well-respected local filmmakers have described the film as titillating western audiences with its portrayal of slum life. Priyadarshan Nair, an India film-maker, complained strongly that the film makes a mockery of India. "It's nothing but a mediocre Bollywood film, which has used references from several Hindi films very smartly," he wrote in the newspaper India Today at the weekend. "India is not Somalia. We are one of the foremost nuclear powers in the world, our satellites are roaming the universe. Our police commissioners' offices don't look like shacks and there are no blind children begging in the streets of Mumbai." Even some who like the movie are unhappy with its title. "Dog is really offensive for us Indians," says Krishna Pujari, a former street child who now organises ethical tours of the slum.

Yeah, no shit Boyle! Your calling an Indian street-child "Slumdog" is like a white person using the N-word. This is not the f**king Raj and we're not your f**king coolies.

indieWIRE flays it as a "A noisy, sub-Dickens update on the romantic tramp's tale. Poverty can be so much fun with M.I.A.'s ubiquitous "Paper Planes" pop-pop and ching-ching throughout. Jamal's success on the TV show makes him a hero to slumdogs everywhere, but he doesn't care about being rich. He just wants to be with Latika. Quite instructive to the billions of poor people in the world foolishly aspiring to subsistence, let alone wealth! Love is all Jamal needs. Love and a lobotomy." Another disection of the structural flaws of this sub-par film is on this blog.

On other fronts, we had a kick-ass Winter Masquerade Ball last weekend and the organization of London Business School Crossroads Art Exhibition is going smoothly. I'm debating whether I should accept a second internship with Accenture's ADP program. Its 7 weeks and ultra-cool! ADP provides strategic advice to nonprofit organizations, foundations and donor organizations operating in the development sector, helping these organizations achieve social and economic development goals. Sample engagements include building supply chain capabilities for a humanitarian aid organization in South Africa and developing an IT industry growth strategy for the government of Guyana. But after 10 weeks of an I-banking internship will this be overkill and am I better off working pro-bono for a local non-profit? Plus I'm planning on moving to Portobello Road before fall trimester starts in October. But I'm so tempted to do this …. plus its for a good cause! Decisions, decisions!!!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Milkround post-partum

Randomlist of going-ons in my life at LBS:

  • Helping organize London Business School Arts & Culture week – showcasing art created by LBS'ers, week-long lunch time events including free concerts, string quartets, performing arts, open-air plays culminating in the Art Investment Conference
  • A project for my Managing Organizational Behavior class with MyBnk, a charity that eradicates financial illiteracy. MyBnk organizes fun financial workshops in schools in underserved areas and sets up a school micro-bank which is administered by pupils who deposit their savings into it. My study group is helping them develop a business growth model with a focus on recruiting.
  • Excitement about upcoming Japan trek during spring break – Tokyo-Kyoto-Osaka, Bullet Trains, Temples, Kimono dress-up, Mt. Fujiyama, Sake at the "Lost in Translation" bar, Cherry Blossoms
  • A Discovering Entrepreneurial Opportunities project. My study group is developing a plan to start a restaurant chain offering healthy and inexpensive fast food and beverages
  • Serious retro-cringe about not having networked effectively
  • Serious respect for this bit of poetry by Lupe Fiasco:

    Got a daddy serving life and a brother on The Row
    Best homie in the grave, Tatted up while in the cage
    Minutemaid got his momma work like a slave


    He picked up his son with a great big smile
    Rapped every single word to the newborn child
    Then he put him down and went back to the kitchen
    Put on another beat and got back to the mission
    Of get his momma out the hood, Put her somewhere in the woods
    Keep his lady looking good, Have her rolling like she should
    Show his homies it's a way, Other than that flipping Yay
    Bail his homie outta jail, Put a lawyer on his case
    Throw a concert for the school, Show the shorties that its cool
    Throw some candy on the Caddy, Chuck the duece and act a fool
    Man it feels good when it happens like that, Two days from goin back to selling crack

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Dis’es, Dings, Zings and Investment Banking Bling ….

Firstly, thanks to you, my readers, for your comments about my blog and about LBS. I usually suppress them to maintain confidentiality and so I can tell it like it is in my response -- but feel free to email me your questions at I'll try to respond within the week.

By now you've figured out that Milkround is an artifact of British uni recruiting. A week of 9 to 9 corporate presentations and schmoozfests. My networking season started much earlier, during week 3 of the fall trimester, and a career change to banking in this economy meant having had 30-minute coffee chats with 4-5 bankers per bank, times 7-8 banks, times as many trips to Canary Wharf or The City.

Prepping for finance interviews means studying every major story in the Wall Street Journal and Financial Times EVERYDAY, having your point of view on credit default swaps, and knowing where US, UK and ECB interest rates, 10 year bond yields and currency futures are headed. You need to know what the Dow Jones closed at and what the FTSE opened at, and why. Additionally it's a given that you know your garden variety Valuations, WACC, DCF and LBOs in and out and can speak knowledgably about major M&A deals, providing both a strategic and transactional perspective

whiteknight takes king financed by stock swap, cash on hand and debt … endgame!

Knowing that the absence of a finance background made switching careers difficult, I had to hedge bets with consulting. This doubled the interviewing pain. Between prepping for i-banking interviews AND practicing consulting cases, I threw my resume into the ring and got a few Dis'es (when your application is outright dissed). But then, I got love from the usual suspects: McKinsey, BCG, Roland Berger, ZS Associates, Accenture, Deloitte, Parthenon Group, Deutsche Bank, Nomura (Lehman Brothers EU), Mubadala (PE/Sovereign Fund)

A few Dings (when you get a post-interview f@#k off email) later – I have a Zing that counts, an offer from Nomura IBD and I'm taking it.

Thus ends a month and half of hardcore prep, sleepless nights and daily back-to-back interviews (My personal best was 3 interviews in a day for a total of 7 hours). I am so pooped and emotionally spent, having had 5 hours of sleep in 2 days and a fat looming finance exam on Saturday – but I had to burp out this post to let ya'll know "All's well, I'm back in business and I finally have my life back. My B-school bet paid off – I'm at the numero uno B-school and finally, I'm an investment wanker!"