Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Want to know how to climb the corporate ladder in rapid fashion? After completing 12 weeks of working as an MBA Intern, I compiled my list of what I consider 10 of the greatest tips for success in you career and life.

1) BE PRESENT- This is hands down my greatest take away for success in life, relationships, and your career. When I picked up the Eckhart Tolle book that I read, it was like his words began to echo in my life. From senior executives to people I met at various bars in San Diego, the greatest wisdom I’ve gained is the need and ability to be present.

2) Be a learner- I may have heard this in an organizational behavior class. But, I have to say that in this summer I’ve learned more in 3 months than I have in 3 years because I was willing to be a sponge. I soaked up as much information as I could and now I feel like somewhat of a subject matter expert in my field. Become addicted to learning and your passion will come across.

3) Embrace your strengths – For half my adult life I have tried to improve all the things I am weak at. While it’s ok to fix things, I think that embracing your strengths is really the key to a successful life. Find what you love, and what you are good at and the rest will fall into place

4) Be flexible – Life is full of curve balls. As many self improvement gurus have said, it’s not about what happens to you, but how you react to it.

5) Be Patient- My best friend once said “It’s not a race. What are you going to do, race to the death?” Too often in life we are in such a hurry to make everything happen and the irony is being in a hurry slows you down

6) Learn to Control your energy- Energy is an amazingly powerful, yet intangible force. The right energy can literally make miracles happen in your life. With good energy you draw the most amazing circumstances. I left my car in La Jolla over night where they ticket like mad, and I got no parking ticket.

7) Know your Story- This is a strange one. But, your story is the story you tell yourself. If you tell yourself a story of failure then that’s exactly what it becomes.

8) Don’t be Realistic- Realism is just pessimism disguised as practicality. Rational thinking never made anybody famous. In fact, it might have killed a man or two

9) You’re always Networking- Whether you know it or not, you are always networking. However, you don’t want to go out with the idea of “I’m networking.” Just talk to people and let it all happen. Last year at a bar, a southern real estate mogul who owned shopping malls, practically offered me a job after a 5 minute conversation.

10) Choose the right job – Most people will make choices based on money. While we may need it to survive the people who have been willing to give up everything and take risks often have tremendous success. There is a great deal of truth to the statement “the greater the risk, the greater the reward.” It’s ironic when you’re willing to give up your attachment to things, how easy it becomes to obtain them.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Search Every Craigslist Site at Once

For MBA job seekers who are reading this, I posted this because it's extremely useful if you want to do a job search on Craigslist across multiple geographic locations.

read more | digg story

Friday, July 18, 2008

Reflections, Looking, Back and more....

This morning was I was driving to work, I was reflecting on the time that I've spent at Intuit over the last 12-13 weeks. Then I started to think about my career as a whole and the journey. When I graduated from college, I was living in a delusional world with expectations that everything should be handed to me on a silver platter and that I shouldn't have to work for less than a certain amount. It was basically the ego of the first dot com generation. We all felt entitled to say the least.

When I look back over the last 13 weeks, one thing really stands out to me. The amount of personal growth I've experience over the summer is probably equivalent or greater than the personal growth I've experienced since I graduated from college. Personal growth from come from a number of experiences, moving to a new city where you don't know anybody, working in an industry where you have absolutely NOTHING in common with the people you are working with, working somewhere that forces you to deal with people from ALL walks of life and more. While this isn't my final blog post for my intern blog, it's getting really close. But the advice I would give somebody when searching for a job or an internship is, don't just look at whats going to give you professional growth, look at something that will give you the opportunity for personal growth too because the personal growth is the fuel for your professional growth.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Business School vs. the Real World

After spending a summer working in corporate America, I realized that you go to business school to get your MBA and they basically will give you a piece of paper with three letters on the end of your name. Then you start working and you have to earn your degree all over again. While you do learn a good amount in the classroom, the classroom is about the fundamentals of business. Most of that stuff doesn’t change, but bringing those skills into the real world forces you to evolve and combine the b-school skills with the real world skills. In school things are pretty black and white. In the real world, there’s a good amount of grey area. There’s way more risk involved. But, that’s what makes it interesting!!!

Free Money...Compliments of the IRS

It’s no fun sitting on the sidelines while the IRS gives out $100 billion in free money -- and you watch friends and family spend it to fill their gas tanks or take summer vacations.

read more | digg story

Free Money...Compliments of the IRS

It’s no fun sitting on the sidelines while the IRS gives out $100 billion in free money -- and you watch friends and family spend it to fill their gas tanks or take summer vacations.

read more | digg story

Monday, July 14, 2008

Being in the Moment

I wrote a previous blog post about this subject where I talked about being present. The reason I'm writing about it again is because I feel like it's really an ongoing theme in my growth this summer. The power of presence has made me realize that it really is essential to your happiness. What I've found is that in my career and in my life, I've always been worried about getting ahead. It's ironic that the extreme desire to get ahead can actual be counterproductive. You'd think that a focus on getting ahead would get you there. Ironically excessive focus on getting ahead reduces the quality of the work you are currently producing.

After reading a ton of books this summer, listening to podcasts, hearing executives talk, I realized that when you can master presence, the rest of your success in life is just a byproduct of being present. Looking back over the course of my internship, I would say the major thing I was guilty of was being so obsessed with making my internship lead to a full time offer that it actually took away from the experience to some degree. So, my one piece of advice to anybody in any internship is to go ahead and let the cards fall where they may, enjoy yourself, work hard, and live in the now, not the future.

Friday, July 11, 2008

The law of attraction

I thought I would post this as a blog post today because it seems to be very relevant to my life. Recently I read a book called a New Earth by Eckhart Tolle and for some reason every time I'm out in public or everywhere I go, I seem to attract people who have read this book. It's happen probably close to 6 times in the last month which makes me realize that your own thought process is tremendously powerful. If something as simple as a book is drawing these people to me, then imagine the power behind what you can do with this. So, just a cool video I wanted to share.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Patience and Humility

One of the things that I realized yesterday after hearing the talk from our CMO, was that patience has been something I’ve never been really good at. Yet, the value that patience has is tremendously valuable.

Patience is a sign of power and control, and most people don’t have it, so when you are patient other people are influenced by it. One of the members in my marketing group was tremendously patient and I learned more from him than I ever expected. He was extremely patient in highly turbulent periods of the semester and made our team run like clockwork. When I think about this desire to get ahead, the desire to get promoted, the desire to climb the ladder I always remember the words of my best friend from college when she said “It’s not a race Srini. What are you going to do, race to the death?” To me those words are so important now that I will probably print them out and put them on my wall in my first office when I get done with business school.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Intern Briefing with Intuit CMO

I wanted to write this blog entry right away while all of the ideas/career advice that Intuit CMO shared with us. One of the first things he did was he talked about his career journey which I think almost all people who do these kinds of presentations do, but he had an interesting spin that I hadn't seen before. He showed his career journey in terms of the trajectory (jobs, life events, etc) on the x axis, but on the y-axis of this he showed his emotional energy level which was really an interesting way to think about things. After he talked about that and about Intuit, he opened up the floor for questions and this was really great because one thing I've realized with these executives is that time with with them is invaluable because they really are booked back to back. So, I've written a pseudo-transcript of my questions

If you could give us three pieces of career advice that you would say have really been responsible for your success what would you say those are?

1) Foundation- Choose a place what will provide you with a solid foundation for your career. Make sure it's somewhere that will give you the kind of training/experience that will be invaluable throughout your career. When I look at resumes I always will look for whether this person has had the foundation necessary to succeed.

2) A role that gets noticed- Make sure that whatever you are working on has a great deal of visibility. This can be challenging in large corporate environments, but if you are working on something that has a great deal of visibility, then you will be at the top of mind across the organization.

3) Innovation/Teamwork- Well, I can't remember if this was exact. But, he did talk about how companies are being forced to be innovative in order to succeed and those that don't innovate are becoming obsolete. Even the most old school businesses are innovating.

What are the things that you took into consideration when choosing your first employer and what do you think are the main criteria to choosing the right employer?

Look for companies that value these criteria. The problem with companies that don't value these criteria is that you may get ahead by stepping on people, but you have to ask yourself is that the kind of environment you want to work in?
1) Leadership
2) Problem Solving
3) Communication

What are your thoughts on the speed at which somebody gets promoted and moving up the ladder quickly in your career?

Don't be in a hurry. Believe it or not, usually when the times it took me longer to get promoted were the most valuable to my career. As a result of having two extra years before a promotion, I was able to observe at least two extra business cycles which ended being very different than the first and as a result I had even a stronger foundation.

What do you think of this Web 2.0 thing? Are we headed for another 1999-style dot com bust or have we learned from our mistakes? (this was really interesting)

Google actually believe it or not has hired a guy who's like an internet historian. He's like a professor of the internet and they hired him because they can hire anybody. But this guy's job is to sit around think about the internet and where it's headed. The prediction is that the internet as we know it today has reached about 10% of it's evolution. This basically means we've probably still got some boom and bust cycles to come, but we're getting smarter and more disciplined about how we do this. There will definitely be shake out, but the downturns also always result in creation of new businesses.

The Final Stretch

Well, I thought I'd write a quick blog post on the final stretch. I'm about 12 working days away from being done with my internship. I started much earlier than most MBA students, but it has been a jam packed summer with a ton of learning opportunity. I've gained significant expertise in areas I was previously unfamiliar with. I'd like to think that I've added value to my resume that will make me quite marketable. I was in the middle of wrapping up one of my projects and came to realize how much I really did use skills from my MBA to work on my projects. I think the biggest challenge I've had as an MBA is to be concise and to the point. But, when I write things now, I think about how much shorter I can make everything. I'll have another update on my wrap up and some video footage posted pretty soon. Oh yeah, if you ever get to live in San Diego, do it.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008



1) JOB ALERTS- and allow you to setup numerous job alerts based on keywords and can also be setup with an exact phrase. For example, if your interest is internet marketing positions for MBA’s, setup an alert that says internet marketing MBA and every job with that combination will be sent to you daily or weekly.

2) LINKEDIN- Linkedin is probably the most awesome thing in the world for finding jobs. Linkedin can help you find hiring managers, contact info and more. Here’s some cool ways to get right in touch with people.

· Find a job on indeed or simplyhired

· Do a search for the title/department and company on Linkedin

· Make a list of names

4) FACEBOOK- Today with massive growth of Web 2.0, companies are setting up Facebook pages constantly. Many are even recruiting from Facebook. Do a simple search under Facebook groups and you’ll see groups dedicated to careers with specific people you can reach out to.

5) JOB BOARD FORUMS- Simplyhired and have discussion forums on companies. Sometimes you’ll even find recruiters there looking for resumes.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Feedback, Innovation, and more....

I thought I'd share a little bit of information on my performance review and the general guidance that is provided to interns from a career standpoint. One thing that continually amazes me about working here is how strongly managers work on helping you shape your career and align it to your strengths. The great thing about the feedback process at Intuit is that you don't just get one person making a decision and deciding your fate. Feedback is provided from all the teams and all the people you work with. They also give you advice in terms of what you're doing well, what you can do better, and what you shouldn't do. This is really great because it makes you well rounded and you get very well rounded feedback. I had a positive review, with some suggestions on things I could improve. The great part was my boss said he would help me no matter what I decide to do. AT the end of the day I've seen how business planning and strategy is done for a business that generates over a billion dollars in revenue in 12 weeks.

Another thing that's really amazing about this place is that it is truly innovative. With the recent addition of unstructured time (similar to Google), there's opportunities galore that are very entrepreneurial in nature. That means you get 10% of your time to work on projects and there is now Intuit labs. Needless to say, working as an Intuit intern is a very mind-blowing experience.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The most efficient construction company in the world

With a title like that you must be wondering, what kind of construction company can become known as the most efficient construction company in the world. Well, somehow I seem to keep coming back to the same theme. It's the one in your head. That's right, it's known as your brain. The world around you, the life you have, the job situation, life as you've come to know it as a mental construct, created by energy and thought. Think about how fast things go from idea to inception in today's world. Think about how much has changed in just 10 years from Web 1.0 to Web 2.0. The failure of Friendster resulted in the success of Myspace and Facebook. People can micro blog and tell you every detail of their life in on Twitter. The rate at which information transfers is something that was inconceivable a few years ago. Only something as efficient as your mind can construct and conceive such rapid innovation.

So, what does that have to do with my internship, career success, etc? If all of it is a mental construct created by energy and thought, that means that you can ultimately control how successful or unsuccessful you are in your career. It all really depends on what the focus of your life is on a daily basis. In the early part of my career I worked in sales and I spent about 80% of my time fearing that I wouldn't make quota and wouldn't have a job. That thought pattern carried over into other areas of my life, and needless to say it was a self destructive pattern. If there's anything the first year of my MBA program taught me, it was how to control my focus and be aware of self-destructive thought patterns and tendencies.

The other night I had dinner with a high school friend who is now a doctor. When I asked her about residency she described some rather stressful experiences like trying perform a surgical procedure at 3am after no sleep, where one slip could cause somebody to die and nobody was there to help. She was an extremely mild mannered person in high school, but I could tell the experienced had actually made her quite a bit tougher, in a good way. So, I guess what the point is that life, your jobs, your internships, will all throw curve balls at you, and it's now what happens but how you react to what happens that will determine your success.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

10 Classic TV Show intros