Monday, June 30, 2008

Leadership, Career Growth, and Evolution

“Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness.”
-Eckhart Tolle

I was trying to think of a subject line and a starting point for my blog entry today and as I was listening to the Eckhart Tolle Audiobook, A New Earth, I stopped when I heard the above quote and decided to write today's blog entry.

A few days ago, I had written a post on being present, which was inspired by an employee orientation that I attended. One of the components of the new employee orientation was a presentation from one of the senior leaders in the company. The senior leader described her own evolution both personally and professionally here at Intuit. This was yet another thing that really amazed me about the culture here at Intuit. Employees at Intuit are empowered to succeed and build on what their strengths are and focus on what they are passionate about. Her own passion was building and leading teams. She also talked about how she had helped others become focused on areas they were passionate about. Finally, she concluded her presentation with some general career advice, and the one that stood out to me the most was to "Be Present."

Although I already wrote about it when I heard the quote at the beginning of the is blog post, it made me think about careers, personal growth and more. I look back at the earlier part of my career which was an unpleasant but character building experience, and realize that life was giving me the experience that was most helpful for the evolution of my consciousness. So my advice to MBA students, regardless of your situation, if you're at a top tier school with more jobs than you know what do with, or if you're at a second tier school struggling to find the right job, or if you are applied and didn't get into your dream school, is to keep the above words in mind.

Friday, June 27, 2008

How to live longer

Last night I was lucky enough to see the legendary blues singer BB KING. What amazed me wasn't his ability to perform but, the guy's energy. At the age of 82 he still had the energy to sit on stage and entertain a large crowd. For a guy who is on the verge of dying, he seemed to be in quite a jovial mood. He was a great story teller.

The one thing I realized is this guy has lived to be 82 because he's happy. People spend so much time making life more difficult then it needs to be. So, may one tip for the day is find whatever you can to make you smile and spend at least 15 minutes a day thinking about it. It'll probably add 10 years to your life.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

5 Best First Person Narrators- Actor’s whose voices you wish where in your head


It would be difficult to argue against the fact that Morgan Freeman has the greatest storytelling voice of all time. In Shawshank Redemption his ability to tell the story was what made the movie. The guy’s voice is so great he managed to make a movie about Penguins with no actors absolutely incredible. If the voice in your headed sounded like this you’d probably sleep like a baby every single night. This guy could probably narrate a story about two people staring at each other for 5 hours and you’d find it interesting.

2. Daniel Stern “The voice of the Wonder Years”

Let’s face it Fred Savage was pretty worthless without that voice inside his head. Those quirky insights and hilarious commentary was all Daniel Stern. Yes, it’s that other guy from Home Alone who was Joe Pesci’s partner in crime. He is the voice of Kevin Arnold. Can you imagine waking up every morning with that voice in your head? Just brushing your teeth and taking a dump would be a captivating story.

3. Edward Norton- Fight Club

Talk about a storyteller. Having his voice inside your head might be a bit disturbing. But, this guy in my mind is one of the most versatile actors around. Hopefully you’d have his voice in your head and not Tyler Durden’s voice.

4. Johnny Depp – BLOW

After watching this movie, I wanted to be the largest distributor of narcotics in the US and hang out with Pablo Escobar. The way he told the story made every moment poetic. When he described Pablo Escobar and said “For those you have been on the moon the last 20 year’s, he was it, the king of it all, El Majico” that made the scene.

5. Robert Deniro-CASINO

After this you feel like you want to be in the Maffia. Can you imagine walking around, going to bars, clubs, etc, with this guy’s voice in your head. “When she ordered a long island, I just knew right then and there I was F#$#$d.

Be Present

I know that I've spent a good deal of time writing about thinking about your future, thinking about your job search and more. One of the things that humanity as a whole has become completely obsessed with is progress. Ironically, so much of our progress has led to misery. We become obsessed with getting ahead and moving forward, so that there is never any ability to be present. You can see this all around you.

  • The person who sits in a restaurant or a bar looking at their cell phone or their watch waiting for the other person
  • The person who spends all their time planning for the future, writing down ideas, and never acting on them
  • The person who lives in the past and constantly starts stories with "I used to"
  • Waiting for events or circumstances to be favorable in order to have a favorable emotional response
When you are not present, you are in a mental prison which keeps your from reaching your full potential. This mental prison is really responsible for the state of misery you are in. At the rate that information reaches us today through mediums like the Internet, there is a tremendous danger that humanity will not only perpetuate this misery but fuel rapid spread of this misery.

After my recent reading of the Eckhart Tolle Book A New Earth, I realized that when you get to the future you are still in the present moment, and the future will continue to exist until you die.
You will find that the more present you are, the more power and impact your interactions with people will have. Just to be clear, I'm not saying don't have goals, don't plan, the key is to make plans and not concern yourself with arriving at your destination. In other words, enjoy the journey.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

9 most pointless groups on Facebook-The Power of Web 2.0

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Pure Energy

This is an article written by my friend Brent Smith and I thought I'd post it here for the world to see.

Pure Energy (by Brent Smith)

I'm always telling you that it's your "energy"
that's the key to having an extraordinary life
but some of you are having a hard time grasping
the concept. So, I think it's time that I explain

Here it goes:

Nobel Prize winning physicists have proven beyond
doubt that the physical world is one large sea of
energy that flashes into and out of being in
billionth's of a second, over and over again.
This is the world of quantum physics. They've
proven that thoughts are what put together and
hold together this ever-changing energy field into
the "objects" that you see. So why do you see a
person instead of a flashing cluster of energy?
Think of a movie reel. A movie is a collection of
about twenty-four frames a second. Each frame is
separated by a gap. However, because of the speed
at which one frame replaces another, your eyes get
cheated into thinking that you see a continuous
and moving picture.

Think of a television. A TV tube is simply a tube
with heaps of electrons hitting the screen in a
certain way, creating the illusion of form and
motion. This is what all objects are.

You have five physical senses:

Sight, sound, touch, smell, taste.

Each of these senses has a specific spectrum; for
example, a dog hears a different range of sound
than a human does; a snake sees a different
spectrum of light than you do; and so on. In
other words, your set of senses perceives the sea
of energy from a certain limited standpoint and
makes up an image from that. It's not complete,
nor is it accurate. It's just an interpretation.
All of your interpretations are solely based on an
"internal map" of reality and not the real truth.
Your "map" is a result of your personal life's
collective experiences.

Your thoughts are linked to this invisible energy
and they determine what the energy forms. Your
thoughts literally shift the universe on a
particle-by-particle basis to create your physical
life. Look around you. Everything you see in
your physical world started as an idea, an idea
that grew as it was shared and expressed, until it
grew enough into a physical object through any
number of steps. You literally become what you
think about most. Your life becomes what you have
imagined and believed in most. The world is
literally your mirror, enabling you to experience
in the physical plane what you hold as your
truth...until you change it. Quantum physics shows
us that the world is not the hard an unchangeable
thing it may appear to be. Instead, it's a very
fluid place, continuously built up using your
individual and collective thoughts. What you
think is "true" is really an illusion, almost like
a magic trick. Fortunately we've begun to uncover
the illusion and most importantly, how to change

What is your body made of?

Nine systems including cardiovascular, nervous,
and skeletal systems.

What are those made up of?

Tissues and organs.

What are tissues and organs made of?


What are cells made of?


What are molecules made of?


What are atoms made of?

Sub-atomic particles.

What are sub-atomic particles made of?


You are pure energy. Energy that is constantly
changing beneath the surface, and you control it
all with your powerful mind.

If you could see yourself under a powerful
electron microscope and conduct other experiments
on yourself, you would see that you are made up of
a cluster of ever-changing energy in the form of
electrons, neutrons, photons, and so on. And so
is everything else around you. Quantum physics
tells us that it is the act of observing an object
that causes it to be there where and how we
observe it. An object does not exist
independently of its observer!

So, as you can see, your observation, your
attention to something, and your intention,
literally creates that thing. This is scientific
and proven. Your world is made up of spirit,
mind, and body. Each has a function that is
unique to it and not shared with the other. What
you see with your eyes and experience with your
body is the physical world-which we call BODY.
Body is an effect, created by a cause. This cause
is THOUGHT. Body cannot create. It can only
experience and be experienced; that is its unique

Thought cannot experience-it can only make up,
create, and interpret. It needs a world of
relativity (the physical world, i.e. body) to
experience itself. SPIRIT is "all that is;" that
which gives life to THOUGHT and BODY. Body has no
power to create, although it gives the illusion of
power to do so. This illusion is the cause of
much of your frustration. Body is purely an
effect and has no power to cause or create.

The key to all of this information is how you
learn to see the universe differently than you do
now so that you can manifest everything you truly
desire. Change the way you look at things and the
things you look at will change.

Try it and let me know what happens!

Top 10 Reasons to get your MBA (ridiculous reasons included)

1. Change Careers

Among the list of reasons that many people go back to business school, probably the top one is to change careers. I would venture to say that half of my class came in to change careers. What’s the downside for career changes? Be prepared to take some steps back in pay, and status. The entertainment industry is notorious for having Harvard MBA’s working in the mailroom.

2. Career Advancement

If you are looking to rise in the ranks, these days an MBA is pretty essential. It gives you an opportunity to apply for higher level positions, take an internship in a higher level position, and more. Additionally, you can probably get a higher salary.

3. Intellectual curiosity

This is a high price to pay to satisfy intellectual curiosity. You could just read articles on and reddit all day for free.

4. Move to a new location

This is a great excuse to jump ship from your current location and move somewhere new. Moving to a new location is a tremendous personal growth experience and forces you out of your comfort zone.

5. Happy Hour

Let’s face it. No B-school experience is complete without a bit of excessive drinking. In the MBA world, we call it “networking.” Some of the benefits of “networking”

  • Random Conversations
  • Bar tabs that make your eyes pop out of your head
  • You celebrate when the bar tab is below triple digits

6. Study abroad programs

It’s the perfect excuse to make up for not studying abroad as an undergrad. Get to b-school and plan your exodus for the following fall and you’ll be the envy of your friends and family. But, don’t forget to keep searching for a job while you are abroad. Or you may have to retire to the beach in some exotic location and open up a lemonade stand (maybe that’s better than being an i-banker)

7. New friends

The academic setting forces you to make new friends by default. Since you are going to spend countless hours together suffering through finance, marketing, and other things that are “useful”, you might as well make some friends in the process

8. Three more letters on the end of your name

Nowadays, acronyms are in. When you spend all day long (ADL) online talking people and LOL, what’s one more acronym? You get to hand out business cards that say MBA.

9. Undergraduate girls

If Playboy can make an entire series of DVD’s out of this, they must be on to something. This is your opportunity to be the next Van Wilder. It’s like getting to be an undergrad with 10 times the brains and 5 times the money you had the first time around. WARNING: This could lead to excess unnecessary purchases.

10. You get to wear a cap and gown after 2 years and listen to Pomp and Circumstance.

Monday, June 23, 2008


"Don't flail against the world, use it. Flexibility is the operative principle in the art of war."
-Sun Tzu

I wanted to write about flexibility because I have been thinking about my job search and how I ended up in the position I did. One of the major mistakes I've seen numerous people make over the year that I was in school was unwillingness to be flexible. They would not consider living anywhere other than LA. The would not consider any deviation from their plan. While there's something to be said for persisting there's also something to be said for flexibility. Einstein defined insanity as "doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results." Flexibility has caused an enormous amount of personal growth for me. I have had to come to a new town where I don't know a single person and start from scratch. Fortunately, I got trapped in paradise. But, I would have taken the same approach anywhere, and I was willing to go where the job took me for the summer internship. I knew that the most important thing was the quality of the internship, not the location. I was even willing to go to Tunica, MS. So, I hope that when students contemplate their job search next year, they are flexible.

Friday, June 20, 2008

The coolest job at Intuit, defining your identity, and more...

Today I was on a call with a business partner and when I described the projects I'm working on, he responded "wow, it sounds like you have the coolest job at Intuit." When I thought about, I realized, I really do have one of the coolest jobs I could possibly have. I get to constantly work on cutting edge stuff and get exposed to a bunch of different things. This topic actually ties really well to something I wanted to write about today. One of my good friends is a Life Coach, and I'm a big believer in investing in resources such as that because it is investing in yourself. People invest in tons of things to improve their lives, but they often forget to invest in the most important place which is themselves.

So, when we were talking the other day, we got into a discussion of identity. Identity can be thought of in numerous forms. You might identify yourself by name, ethnicity, job function, etc, etc. But really there is a deeper level of identity I think it's important for everybody to explore. I know that a good amount of students at Pepperdine are struggling with the internship search, and while it's easy to complain and discuss all the downfalls of our career office, I realize that this is quite self-destructive. This is where the concept of identity becomes important. So, I asked my friend "how do you change this identity or change what you want to have happened in your life?" The example I'll use is one that anybody who reads this blog can relate to. Let's say you are struggling in your job search or internship search. You go out and talk to your friends and they ask how you are doing and you respond as follows:

"You know, things are not going that well. I keep submitting resumes and I get no responses. When I do get responses, it's for a job that I hate or a salary that is unacceptable. The economy is terrible, and we're not Harvard MBA's, blah, blah, blah........"

You get the gist of it. That believe it or not is your identity. You associate yourself with the statement above when you are in that situation. The strange thing is you think that in order for that to change the situation has to change. What's funny is the situation will change when that changes. Every time you tell this story to a friend or tell it to yourself, you are reinforcing that identity. So what's the key? Change the story. Write it out, put it on your wall and read it everyday.

"You know, it's going really great. I keep getting all these calls for interviews. Every one of these jobs sounds so exciting, and they all pay really well. It's going to be hard to figure out which job to choose. The economy....for some reason....well let's just say it's irrelevant in my job search."

It's amazing how the way you use words and construct language impacts the results in your life. So, that is my take away for today. Below are some pictures of yet another perk for working at Intuit: FREE CORP HOUSING

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Web 2.0, Infancy of the Internet, and other more Intuit Perks

I know I haven't actually written about my internship for a while because I've been on this sort of spiritual trend of what may seem like some hippy new-age nonsense. Anyways, I figured it was time to get back to some more internship specific stuff. One of the really cool things about this summer is I have had the opportunity to sit on meetings with numerous partners, vendors, and agencies. One of the great things about those meetings in a company the size of Intuit is you meet the highest level people in each of those organizations, like Vice Presidents, CEO's, etc. Last night I got to attend a dinner with a vendor, and we were talking about the Internet and one of the insights I got is that the Internet is still in it's infancy. Funny that somebody who's worked in the industry since it's practically existed would say that. But when you look at technology, and the industry as a whole, it really is in its infancy. Sites like Facebook, Twitter, etc have only become huge in the last 3 years. If you compare it to something like the steel industry the Internet is like a little kid who has more time than you can possible imagine to mature.

When it comes to taking care of interns, the Intuit HR team really goes above and beyond. I've never seen anything like it. Some of the interns don't have cars, and the HR team has not only worked on setting up car pools, but they are compensating the drivers with a stipend that would cover your gas costs for the entire month. So, the perks just keep on rolling.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Ego, Waiting on the world to change, and more..

John Mayer once said in his song Waiting on the World to Change "When you trust your telelvision, what you get is what you got. When they own the information they can bend it all they want." So, what does this have to do with our jobs, our internships, etc? Pretty much everything. Most of our lives we are so influenced by external factors and fail to look for answers in the most obvious place, inside ourselves. I recently picked up a book by Eckhart Tolle, called A New Earth: Awakening to your Life's purpose. What amazed me about it his how much of our lives are driven by our ego on an unconscious level and how we give meaning to everything, including success and failure. But if we can get to a place of peace in our mind without these labels, we have achieved the ability to be successful far beyond just finding the right job or the right internship. This is the level that allows us to excel and really shine in any environment. This is my latest revelation. More internship-specific stuff tomorrow.

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Power of Your Thought

After this weekend, I thought I would write a quick blog entry. Most of us don't realize it but our mind moves at a million miles an hour and we are thinking about things all day long. You'd be amazed if you actually paid attention how self destructive our own thought process can be. For example in a 15 minute drive, you could start from being in a great mood when you get in the car to being completely pissed off when you reach your destination. Why does that happen? Let' s look at the process for this

1) You get in the car
2) Something external (some guy cuts you off, somebody drives too slow) triggers an emotion
3) That emotion is tied to a certain negative memory
4) You're now in the state of mind that was created by that negative memory
5) Now you're going to spend the rest of the car ride thinking about that negative memory and by the time you get to your destination it's almost as if you had that experience again during you car ride.

But it's worse because you did it in your mind and now you've had that miserable experience twice instead of once. Isn't our mind amazing? :). Well, actually it is. If you watch the above video, hopefully you'll realize how to use this exact process for doing something better. Ok, so you're probably wondering what this has to do with my internship. Believe it or not, this is the underlying key to your own success/failure and if I had known this early in my career, I would have been much more careful to pay attention to what many dismiss has hippy new-age bs.

This weekend I took a surf lesson and it was almost like a philosophy lesson. The instructor kept telling me to relax and not fight the waves but embrace them and everything would be easy. Sounded like the universe and life work in kind of the same way.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Parallel Universes/Living on the Edge

They say that the best thing about the past is that it's over. While there are good and bad things in all our pasts, I try not to look at how bad it was, but how good it became because of how bad it was. Lately for some reason, I have been pondering the idea of the parallel universe and I wonder what that universe would look like, and is there somebody out there in a parallel universe who made the opposite of each the decisions I made. Is it possible that one different decision could shift the entire direction of your life. Well, according the movie Mr.Destiny, one incident can have that much of an impact, but I think it's only if you let it. Last night I was talking to a guy who's lived in La Jolla for 20 years so I'm guessing he's done ok financially. The advice he gave me was remember to live on the edge, just don't jump off it. So, for a second I wondered what the hell does that mean? Then I told him that was the smartest thing I've learned since I've lived here in SD. So, on that note, take risks, take chances, but control your emotions and keep your proverbial s#$#$t in check.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Dream Lifestyle

Yesterday I went by happy hour on the way home at a nearby hotel and ran into two women, who were both incredibly beautiful and 40 years old. One was half pakistani and half Japanese, and provided proof that mixing Indians and Asians together results in nice offspring. Ok, that has nothing to do with my internship, MBA's or anything else, but I had to share it. But when I came back from getting my drink one of them said to me, we were talking about how you have the "dream lifestlyle." I was thinking "I'm a poor MBA student, in debt, and ended up at my absolute last resort for business school." Actually, that's not at all what I was thinking, but I also wasn't thinking I live a dream lifestyle. And her definition was " you get to travel all over the world (a byproduct of growing up as the kid of a college professor), you're young, and you have no baggage (i.e. kids(to the best of my knowledge), ex-wives, divorces, etc)." That led us to the discussion of "would you change anything in your life if you could go back in time?" Tomorrow, I'll write about my life in a parallel universe which should be interesting, but looking back I realized that I learned so many lessons from the worst experiences of my life. And personally, the worst of it is over. I truly believe that my life only gets better as I get older.

While we are caught up in a world of midterms, recruiting, consulting jobs, ibanking interviews, and a bunch of other nonsense, real life is going on around us. IT just reminded me that few people in the world are really conscious. They just go through the motions. In the movie Joe vs. the volcano somebody once said "few people are awake in the world. Those who are live in a state of constant and total amazement." So, my goal in life: Live in a state of constant and total amazement.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Time Flies

I have been trying to think of what an appropriate blog topic would be and the only thing that came to mind was the fact that time flies. With Pepperdine ending so much earlier than most business schools, I started my internship early and I'll be done July 25th so I can go to Sao Paolo Brazil. When I started to see the calendar of meetings and events planned over the next month I realized that time really flies. Lately I've been watching a good amount of old movies and I recently watched the Matrix again and High Fidelity. The matrix is truly a metaphor for life. I encourage you to unplug as often as you can because you'll realize how much power you have.

While, I've spent a good deal of time talking about professional stuff in my blog, the fact that time flies makes me realize how important it is to enjoy life. I'm in probably one of the greatest cities on earth, so this weekend I WILL hit the beach and get my surfing lesson in no matter what.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Networking 101

If there is one reason you enter business school, it’s for networking. What’s interesting is networking opportunities are all around you. Sometimes the old lady sitting next to you at a nice restraint could be the wife of the CEO of a multi million dollar corporation who wants to offer you your next job. As a good friend of mine has always told me “You’re ALWAYS only one interaction away from having the life you dream of.” The other day I went to Taco Tuesday at a local bar in Del Mar, CA. Conveniently the University of Texas MBA program was having an alumni event. So, I walked over the girl running it, introduced myself, told her I was an MBA student interning in SD for the summer, and before I knew it I was making the rounds and connecting with UT Austin MBA’s. So, what’s the point? Did anything come of it? Well, I made some new friends. Another woman invited me to Thunderbird MBA happy hour. So, now I’m outside the Pepperdine MBA network, and just part of every MBA network.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Never be realistic

One of the things that happens to us throughout the course of our lives is we are taught to believe a bunch of nonsense that some people convince us is worth believing and actually is serving you some good. One of those gems of wisdom is "be realistic." For anybody who knows me, you know I'm highly delusional and I actually believe those delusions to such a degree that most of them become true in my life. It's kind of like the job search process when career counselors tell you "be realistic." While there intentions are good, they usually have no idea what they are talking about and sucking you into their reality. So I thought I'd post this interesting video I found on youtube. See Above.

Monday, June 2, 2008


Lately my blog entries have taken an interesting turn and become sort of a reflection on life. A good friend came to visit me this weekend from the bay area and noticed that I had become much calmer, despite having tons of energy. It made me think about something that people throughout my life have talked to me about.

The first person to talk to me about this was my dad. When I was younger, he always used to tell me “Srinivas you need to be patient.” It ranged all the way from a computer that wouldn’t boot fast enough, to an internet browser that wouldn’t load a page fast enough, to the old lady who wouldn’t drive fast enough. I was listening to the audio book The 48 Laws of Power this weekend and it talked about the power of patience. And it made me think back to the job search and about how if I had just been patient everything would have been fine. It all turned out the same regardless of my impatience. So, I’ll end today with a quote by somebody very wise. As Ferris Bueller once said “Life moves pretty fast, if you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you might miss it.” In other words, be patient and don’t get caught up in the race.