viernes, septiembre 22, 2006

managing assignments

One week to go before the orientation-september term is over! And still, assignments here and there, to give us a grasp of how it will feel like in 3-4 weeks, when we'll be in the middle of our MBA's first term.

So far:

  • finishing/polishing our CVs (with the London Business School house style), and giving feedback within the Study Groups
  • working on our Personal Development Plans (which "soft" areas we want to improve during the first year
  • reading the first cases for all our next week courses
  • a Business Strategy group assignment, and another personal assignment coming in tomorrow
  • a Business Communications online test

Apart from this, there is already quite a high email volume, a lot of presentations on different MBA competitions (I managed to join one of the consulting case competitions, but there is also a banking deal competition, venture capital competition, social venture competition...), the clubs are starting to be alive now that the 2007 are back, etc, etc.

Moreover, the social scene: I've been already to Oxford with Esther and to Cambridge with my Study Group, done a pub golf with the Rugby team, been to a couple of housewarming parties (and missed quite a few more!), started planning a few trips (skiing in New Year's Eve, Spain with our Stream, etc), and managed to do a bit of jogging, swimming, and rugby training...exhausting!

The bottomline is that the workload (correction: activity load, it's not a job!) is piling up, and there is a lot more to come. So far, I have got the impression that the day is much more productive here than in my previous job (maybe due to so many new things to do and try). However, everybody keeps telling us how stressful is it going to get, how bad it is, that we will break down in the middle of november, etc, etc...

Therefore, I have decided to take very seriously my time planning. All of your tips, dear readers, are welcome. And yes, I already have a PDA...and yes, I hope to manage some time for blogging as well!

jueves, septiembre 21, 2006

Blogging with Impact

It struck me yesterday while having the 'business communication' course on 'writing with impact', that I actually don't pay much attention to style, structure, or language while blogging.

I guess it's because the immediateness of this great means of communication. Right now, for example, I'm blogging from the quad garden in the School, thanks to the wireless network and my beloved MacBook. Of course, the fact that I just try to 'follow and catch' my own thoughts has a lot to do with the apparent chaos of my posts...and you don't need a NEO personality test to find out where in the order-disorder continuum I fall!

However, the workshop has had quite a possitive impact on me. I remember at work, receiving 50+ emails a day, and all requiring a lot of attention and action. So, from now on, I'll try to stick to the rules of business writing:

  • Keep it as Simple as Possible, but not more Simple than that
  • Structure your thoughts from more to less (inverted pyramid)
  • Think before you Write
  • Edit and Trim: most information you are writing is redundant!
  • Bulletpoints are acceptable!
Besides: You can make use of formatting to enhance IMPACT

I hope this rules will help me gain some efficiency in blogging, so that I'll be able to blog more often then!

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jueves, septiembre 14, 2006

time flies...

Yeah, it does. It's been already 10 days without posting anything...and this time I'll have to make it short: there is a CV (resume fo rthe Northamericans) waiting to be finished, another assignment pending for tomorrow, and a case to be read....

However, I can't but reflect that this past week has been pretty close to my expectations. Even though the "real" programme hasn't started yet, and we are getting "soft" courses on Leadership and Teamwork, everything has been really interesting. Ok, there's business stats as well which is even a graded course, but I don't expect many issues from that one. What makes me feel really good is that everybody is so motivated! Example, for our Global Leadership course we were asked to make a short sketch, 2 minutes max, and people were coming up with incredible, very creative ideas. One of the groups even shot and edited a 4-minutes video in about 3 hours!!

The bar is raising...


lunes, septiembre 04, 2006

Globalisation at the MBA

I have been challenged by a friend of mine, and INSEAD admit, that London Business School is not really that internationally diverse compared to the programme he has been admitted into.

Well, I would expect him to make that statement only after having actually startied the programme next january... But of course, looking at the 'cold numbers', he might seem right. From the Fontainebleau's Institution website, we can read that there are 73 countries (nationalities?) represented at their programme. At London Business School, if I'm not wrong, there were 58 last year (MBA Class of 2007) and a few less this year (MBA Class of 2008). And in all their marketing materials it's clearly stated that no nationality makes up more than 12% of the student body. At London Business School, the most numerous group is that of North Americans, who in total (USA + Canada) make some 22% of the total class.

I can contend those numbers by stating that, on the other hand, there are more female students at London Business School, which might not add to the internationalism but does increase diversity a great bit. Or that even though there are less nationalities, being a smaller programme the class feels probably as diverse at London Business School as anywhere else. And yes, I can mention that most people (I think one third of the students) do take advantage of the opportunity of going on the International Exchange Programme and study abroad (priority given for people who want to go somewhere else rather than their home country).

However, my acquaintances know that I try to see things from an international perspective... I have lived in 7 different countries, visited other 30, and love to learn about other cultures, languages (myself I speak a few), traditions, gastronomies...and, in those terms, I cannot really compare one school to another, because all the data I have is my own experience here. But I have met many, many people in this School who are in the same situation. A lot of international work experience, a lot of travelling experience, a lot of different languages...the world is flat, and my classmates have experienced it first-hand!!

So, in that respect, and without any intention of offending admits / students / faculty / staff / alumni from any other Business Schools aroung the globe, I think that London Business School is probably the most international one.

PS: will have to go to Singapore and check how's the atmosphere there myself...