Monthly Archives: November 2009

The exams are fast approaching and we decide to let off some steam by playing paintball! Read more

I am returning to Kellogg from a welcome week-long break for Thanksgiving. I now have a week left to finish classes, group projects, take my fall term final exams and enjoy a couple of farewell parties before I head back to England for Christmas. Read more

Oh, my word. It is just never ending. The endless stream of work. Homework, group work, individual work. Work, work, work.

Today started pleasantly enough but spiralled out of control with three group meetings and plans to go out later. I miraculously left my house keys at home today which allowed me an hour’s peace on my front step with my laptop. Read more

Networking… This is one of the words I have heard the most since I came to SDA Bocconi.

What is “networking”? People gathering and socialising in “networking events”? Getting to know people working in the industry of your interest? Or is it creating future job opportunities for yourself by getting to know people in high executive positions in big corporates? Read more

National weeks are an Insead tradition and take place throughout the year (about two per period). The week, hosted by students of one nationality, showcases their culture, food, music, dance and other activities.

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The task for Exploring the International Business Environment (EIBE) was to assess, using scenario planning, whether the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) would meet the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in a Panama Gulf region country of our choice by the year 2020. Read more

As one of five Americans in my cohort of 43 here at Vlerick, for me in particular it is an enlightening experience to hear the perspectives of my non-American classmates on ‘Americans.’

Since moving here to Europe (and out of my comfort zone), I’ve noticed that America is being characterised as the villain in discussions more openly and more often. I don’t think the intent is malicious at all in most instances; it’s more of an unconscious habit – like rubbing your tired eyes after a long day in front of the computer. Read more

Firstly, I have to apologise for the gap in my blogs – I have had a suspected case of swine flu! I’m all recovered now though so normal service will resume.

Our first “real” course on the MBA was entitled Exploring the International Business Environment (or EIBE for short). Read more

To have McKinsey-designed programmes, world-renowned professors, personal mentors, high-profile events, a triumvirate of corporate/public/social projects and a host of other day-to-day experiences in Moscow is exhilarating for just the first few weeks of the MBA programme.

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What company started as a result of the marriage of two sisters – Elizabeth and Olivia?

Know the answer? You might just be enough of a know-it-all to win the Tata Crucible Campus Challenge. Read more

I had a good old chat with my career advisor the other day. He, too, agreed that I am going nowhere…fast. He then helped me with a few contacts and names of people to get in touch with to pursue my rather varied span of interest -from wine importing to bank relationship management. Read more

It’s 9pm in Milan. I am at my house, studying for tomorrow’s exam on Organisational behaviour and negotiations.

I took the same course during my undergraduate degree; International Trade in Bogazici University, Istanbul, Turkey. Yet the course feels very different this time round. Read more

It’s that time of a term when we begin to bid on classes for the next term.

At Chicago Booth, the academic year consists of three terms and students take three-four courses per term. So, as the autumn term draws to a close, it is time to figure out the classes I want for the next (winter) term. Of course, this is Chicago and we believe in the free-markets to solve most of our conundrums; so who gets what courses is determined through an electronic stock-market like bidding system, where each student is assigned some points (“money”) and then you bid on classes.

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On Wednesday evening I attended a lecture given by Paul Krugman the Nobel Prize winning economist.

Dr Krugman was discussing “Getting Out of the Crisis” and it was presented by Universite Catholique de Louvain in Louvain-la-Neuve (the French speaking part of the country). I owe a very big thank you to my Vlerick classmate who heard about the conference and shared it with the rest of the class. Read more

Oh, woe is me. How do I despise thee November? Let me count thy ways..

  • 1 I have two major presentations due this week over and above my usual number of daily homework assignment submissions. Where would you like me to find the additional 45 hours I need for these tasks, November?

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Grades for the first period came out last week. Thankfully we are now well into the second period to worry about how we did – as long as we passed!

Insead operates a non-disclosure policy for grades. This means that grades are considered confidential to everyone – including recruiters. To have gone through the rigorous selection process for the MBA programme and to have obtained the degree is considered a significant achievement in itself.

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SDA Bocconi has a challenging and busy academic programme which encourages students to develop their academic skills and knowledge, interpersonal skills (through numerous group work), time management skills and of course, networking skills. Networking skills are developed through the Career Development Service at the school, as well as through activities and student clubs. Read more

Last Thursday I had a chance to attend a lecture with General Michael Hayden, the retired United States Air Force four star general, former director of the National Security Agency and former director of the CIA from 2006 to 2009. The lecture was followed by dinner with the General, his wife and other students. Read more

I couldn’t have avoided [American] football in the US this term even if I had tried. It is a huge part of the American culture I wanted to sample coming to a US business school. I could not have imagined how much I would have taken to it however. Read more

I’m at the departure terminal of Chicago O’Hare airport, getting myself a bite to eat while waiting for my flight. Seated next to me is a US armyman, dressed in battle fatigues, perhaps between flights. There have been at least a dozen people, complete strangers, who have stopped by to shake the armyman’s hand, to say, “thank you for serving, we appreciate it”.

Imagine that – complete strangers, at a busy airport, stopping by to shake the man’s hand and to express gratitude for his service to the US. Wow! I know this is the Midwest and patriotism runs high in these lands, but this was something to experience.

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The one thing that has pleasantly surprised me about pursuing my MBA at Vlerick is the non-competitive atmosphere of our programme. I believe that part of the reason for this, is that it is ingrained in the culture of the school and is a large part of the structure of our programme. Working as a group has literally been a part of the programme since our first introductory class with the Dean, where we were assigned to small groups to analyse our first case. Read more

Today I have had my first personal meeting with my coach from Lee Hecht Harrison. As I headed to the meeting room around 6:30pm lots of things were going on in my mind. I wondered whether the meeting would be like a job interview or a simple introductory meeting where we would review my CV and talk about my future career goals. Read more

A week ago I was sitting in the office of the manager of career services here at Vlerick discussing my future. I told her that after a few months of sitting in classes I was certain that I wanted to get back into the entertainment industry.

I told her I was concerned about future employers in the entertainment industry placing any value on my having an MBA. She wisely told me, “You must decide that your MBA has value to you first.” Read more

The international experience at Insead is about interacting with the 80 nationalities represented, studying on your choice of campus in France and Singapore, as well as having the option to spend a period of time at Wharton at the University of Pensylvannia in the US and taking advantage of the opportunity to travel with your classmates.

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Here is a remarkable story of two of my classmates at Chicago Booth – David Lieb ’10 and Jake Mintz ’10 – who started a new technology company while pursuing their MBA at Chicago Booth. Their company, “Bump” started off as a wildly successful Apple iphone application that allows users to exchange contact information easily, but is now fast morphing into a universal mode for information exchange across platforms and perhaps might even become a payment gateway for mobile devices, among other things. Read more