Reliving the hostel life through startups

If you really miss hostel life after graduation, just work at a startup I guess.

How can you get hundreds of people to work in sales and marketing for the lowest possible wages? One way is to hire people who are right out of college and make work seem fun. You give them free beer and foosball tables. You decorate the place like a cross between a kindergarten and a frat house. You throw parties. Do that, and you can find an endless supply of bros who will toil away in the spider monkey room for $35,000 a year.

On top of the fun stuff you create a mythology that attempts to make the work seem meaningful. Supposedly millennials don’t care so much about money, but they’re very motivated by a sense of mission. So, you give them a mission. You tell your employees how special they are and how lucky they are to be here. You tell them that it’s harder to get a job here than to get into Harvard and that because of their superpowers they have been selected to work on a very important mission to change the world. You make a team logo. You give everyone a hat and a T-shirt. You make up a culture code and talk about creating a company that everyone can love. You dangle the prospect that some might get rich.

Source: My Year in Startup Hell at Hubspot – Fortune

Another year, another shift

And another round of classes begin in SJMSOM. In fact, they began last week itself (22nd July). This semester is filled with elective courses, and I’ve opted for Systems, Marketing and General Management courses. I’m also doing the Photo Communication course offered by the IDC, and it should be a useful learning. We’ve also kick-started our club sessions this week with experience sharing sessions from my batch. SOM11 has also joined, and they outnumbered my batch by almost a score. In fact the freshers’ party is scheduled this Sunday.

As for the shift that I mentioned, it was the hostel shift. The entire SOM senior batch was transferred from Hostel-1 to Hostel-13. So, all of us now have single rooms. I was one of the few to have enjoyed a single room in Hostel-1. This was due to a roof leak during the monsoons last year when my side of the roof started dripping and I moved out to another leak-free room. It is quite a coincidence that I once again ended up with a room closest to the bathroom. It does have its advantages I suppose. Hostel-13 is a pretty good place to be in though it is at the fag end of the campus. The bus passes come in handy over here and the mess (shared with Hostel-12) is also pretty good.

There are quite a few things lined up this semester other than the academics. We had the Finance and Marketing Continuum a couple of weeks ago. There’ll also be industry interaction sessions over the course of the semester along with the usual club meets. The big event will be AVENUES 09, our annual fest at the end of October. As of now, I’m helping out with the IT work and the IT event (HarIT). We’ve also started a twitter stream for our school that’s gaining traction gradually and we’re chalking out the policy and publicity strategy for it. It will definitely help us open up a new and more interactive channel for both the SJMSOM members and the external world. Let’s see how that goes.

Settling down at SOM – I

The last one and a half months since the orientation programme for the new entrants to the PG courses in IIT Bombay have been very eventful and really hectic. In fact, the first term is almost over and the end term examinations are scheduled to begin within a week (the management course divides each semester into two terms of around 7 weeks each). I guess it is about time I posted my experiences during this period.

Hostel – from one room to another

The hostels were allotted on the day of the orientation itself. However, the increase in student intake for the IITs seems to be straining the infrastructure quite hard as we got rooms on a shared basis, i.e., single rooms with double occupancy. Then again, construction is underway for a new hostel (scheduled for completion in 2010, so won’t be of much use to us) and there are talks of expanding some of the existing hostels.

One of the interesting aspects of our hostel accommodation is that our entire batch was accommodated in the same hostel, thanks to our HOD and seniors, which is indeed a bonus considering the fact that we have numerous groups activities. In the initial room that I was allotted, I had a local resident for a roommate, and things were going fine till the roof started leaking after 4 consecutive days of rainfall. I subsequently moved to another room in the same wing, and now both my former roommate and I have individual rooms :-). So, I guess roof leaks are not that bad after all.

The first room that I got also had its share of peculiarities other than the roof leak. The former resident had decided to generously leave behind his philosophies in life on the various surfaces that he could find. Here’s a sample:

Hostel Room

In fact, the new room I got also had some philosophy on the walls, but fortunately in pencil. So, I put my eraser to good use.

LAN connections

With double occupancy of single rooms comes the problem of LAN connectivity, as there is only one port per room. However, one of the advantages of being a management student is that you’ll be using a laptop rather than a desktop. This is where network bridges and wireless ad hoc networks come in handy. To get two or more laptops connected to the LAN through a singe hub, just do the following on the machine connected to the LAN:

  1. Create a network bridge using the LAN and wireless connections
  2. Provide the TCP settings (IP, gateway, DNS servers etc) for the LAN in the network bridge if required
  3. Create an ad hoc wireless network, and connect to this. This step is very easy in Windows Vista, but a bit tricky under XP (steps provided in this article). Also note that some of the security and encryption settings provided for the ad hoc network may not be supported on older OSes, so you might need to opt for an open network

Once this network is setup, the TCP settings (same as the LAN settings) need to be configured in the other machines before connecting to the network. Once connected, the LAN should be accessible.

I made a small screencast too (for Windows Vista)

(You can also check it out directly on viddler)

Incidentally, I got myself a Lenovo Ideapad Y510 on my first weekend in the hostel (can’t live for long without a computer I guess). Not only did it get me connected to the internet after almost a week without connectivity, but also provided my first encounter with Vista. And I must say that I like Vista over XP, especially the search.