domingo, noviembre 26, 2006

Finance done

Finance exam is done, over, finito. A quite fair exam in my opinion, so we'll have to wait for the results to see how did everybody do in relation to the rest, since it's graded on a curve. A quite nice celebration afterwards: we headed to the Windsor Castle, the 'unofficial' LBS pub, for pints, tequila shots and laughters.

In the evening, after a nice (and very much needed!) nap, E and me went for dinner to ping-pong (delicious dim-sum restaurant in the Marylebone High Street area). After dinner we went for a great walk in the centre, doing some window shopping and enjoying London's beautiful Christmas lights. We walked in the Bond Street area where there are so many luxurious shops, all nice (and apparently out of sight for poor students like me). All in all, a very relaxing evening...

Now, there are only 2 weeks left in the Autumn term, and 3 exams. 2 of them are take-home (Strategy and Managerial Economics), and 1 sit-in exam for Financial Accounting. I'm mostly worried about the latter (since my knowledge of accounting has always been quite limited), although after seeing the Finance one, I just think it will take study time to do satisfactorily well enough. Unfortunately, time is the most scarce of all resources...

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jueves, noviembre 23, 2006

a note on workload

Before coming to the MBA, I read many times that the approach in all the top business schools is to throw more work at students than what is humanely (?) possible to do, so that people learn "the hard way" how to prioritize, manage time, and be more efficient. The rationale is, managers need to be very time efficient, and this is a risk-free environment to learn it. There are many urban legends about days until 3a.m. at school, endless assignments (mixed with study group dysfunctional behavior), and 500 pages of readings per week...

Well, this is a myth.

Maybe it's due to Al's theory that we MBA2008's don't have MOB (Managing Organizational Behavior) in the autumn term. And yes, I have heard that this course is very time-demanding, including a group project for an external company that requires a lot of field work.

Maybe I've already become very efficient, without even noticing it (although yes I've been hinted that I'm a bit stressed a couple of times, and I admit I was). I doubt this one, you can't change years of procrastination, disorder and bad organization in 8 weeks. Not to mention my love for oversleeping...

However, I must say that I'm pretty much enjoying my time. I enjoy courses (and attending them)
. I gave up pretty early on all the recommended readings, and focus on the case preparations and the assignments. And, even if I don't have that much free time, I still manage every once in a while to go out for dinner, for a walk, to Camden town, or even to Spain ;). Maybe the novelty keeps me energized...

The next term looks attractive already: MOB, milkround, trying to get an internship.....looking forward to it!

martes, noviembre 14, 2006

weekend review

Finance assignment is almost over!! Who would have told me some months ago that I would be evaluating the financial feasibility of the Boeing 777 and the Airbus A-380 projects. Indeed, I have to say that it's really cool to do a case on products that raise so much media attention. And to deal with real, uncertain data, changing every other day (especially in the Airbus case).

But let me recap what happened over the weekend, since there have been quite a few things going on...

First, we had the Strategy Double Session last friday. This was a case on the Strategy of Dell. We had a lecture in the morning, starting at 10, and then the afternoon to prepare a 1000 words document. I must say that my group did pretty well, even though we got a bit of last-minute pressure (what pressure?). After that we rushed into the Windsor castle, the local pub, for a few pints, and ended up at a houseparty of one of my classmates.

Saturday I took the day off the MBA. My parents had come to visit, and I spent the day with them. We visited the Borough market, walked around that area, and discovered the new slides at the Tate Modern gallery. Unfortunately we couldn't try them out (there were hour-long queues!), but we did indulge ourselves in a nice expresso at the 7th floor café restaurant....incredible view of the Thames and most of London!!!

At night, we had something planned. Since also Esther's mom and sisters were here, we went alltogether for dinner. We don't like official mumbo-jumbo, and it was their first 'meet the parents' time, so we went to a very informal albeit great restaurant: the Busaba Eat Thai on Bird Street, very close to Selfridges. Great thai food, nice environment. We continued at our apartment with some chocolate cake and champagne (happy birthday, Esther!!), and then we headed to Rahul's party to say hi to the people and a couple of drinks.

Sunday I also took half-a-day off (apparently the Strategy stress had affected me more than I thought). I also walked around with my parents, paying the n-th visit to Camden town market and discovering there are many shops I hadn't seen. There are many antiquity and furniture warehouses that are really worth visiting. I'm thinking of skipping the next IKEA visit and go to Camden instead ;). We then moved on to St. John's Wood, where we had lunch, and in the afternoon I went home to get my Accounting, Finance, et al. assignments ready for Monday deadline.

One thing is clearer to me now, after this weekend: I had spent too long in the Marylebone-Baker St. area. Of course I want to do well in the MBA, but "the truth is out there". London just offers anything to everybody....

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jueves, noviembre 09, 2006

short escapade home

It's good to come home every now and then, even if just for a few hours....I am now in my old room, after having gone out for dinner with my parents and sister. Time goes in a different pace here.

Many things to do tomorrow, let's hope I can manage all....and then, back to London for our Strategy double session. Some second years have told me it's a crucial day in the MBA, because it's when groups have more trouble working together. I am confident we'll do well, though.

I miss Esther....

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viernes, noviembre 03, 2006

Weekend excursion: visit to IKEA

Today, together with a couple of friends, we decided to take the car and drive all the way up to Wembley and visit the local IKEA. There is something about this company: consistency. One knows what to expect, and in fact, we found everything that we were looking for. I was happily surprised when we asked for home delivery (the 2m long shelves didn't fit in our car, which was already quite full) and I was told that it would take "at least a couple of hours"!!!! My God, this is delivery speed (compare it with the delivery speeds we had at my former employer in certain areas of Spain....).

When we were driving back in the A5, we found that a lot of Londoners were also in their cars, heading out of the town...oh yes, thy famous Friday afternoon Urban Exodus. In the middle of our conversation, however, we discovered that there was smoke coming out of the engine of the car!! Apparently, the cooling system was not working properly, and it got too hot. Luckily, we just refilled the cooling dispensoir and managed to get home. However, this is going to cost me a trip to the mechanic and some time without a car (and some couple hundred quid.)

But well, our flat at least now looks much more like a home....;)

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miércoles, noviembre 01, 2006

wine & cheese

The wine & cheese club is usually one of the most active clubs in any MBA....and I can understand why....hicks!!! I just came back from an event with 6 zifandels, 3 from California and 3 from Italy (the lat
ter are pretty strong ones, so be careful!!!). It has had some strange effects on Esther, who is currently singing some 80s' songs from her iPod....

Again, I proved that time stretches away when you are doing an MBA. I had classes in the morning (Finance and how to value risk in stocks), a meeting with my study group, some time for self-study Econ for the upcoming midterm test on thursday, I gave a tutorial to some classmates (since I am a bit advanced in that classs), attended a panel event about Business Development roles in Industry (truly interesting speakers from a variety of companies, from Microsoft to Sainsbury's), and enjoyed the wine & cheese event....and even found some time to blog!

One side note if you are thinking about what to do before your MBA. You can do like me old mate Chimo, sell all your stuff and start travelling. If you are in or around Paris, look for bargains at his website...good luck with your Asian experience, buddy! I'll try to
visit you in spring or summer term!!!

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