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One hot Week

Posted by Guillaume on 09 July 2006

Truth is, this week has been really hot here in London, Monday setting the tone with temperatures in the 30 / 35 °C (around 90F). However, what’s making this week really hot for us the graduating class of 2006 (and that includes all programmes: MBA, Sloan, MiF, PhD) is that it’s the last one!

So, before leaving for a week of vacation in Mexico and starting with American Express in London, I came back from my Parisian exile (I had no more credits in the last term) for this great festivity programme.

The Capstone course
For the first time, the school has planned a 3-day wrap-up class taught by two of its most entertaining faculty (Dominic Houlder & Freek Vermeulen). On the menu: case discussions around corporate turnarounds and personal transformation, writing our personal ‘statement of intent’ to capture our commitments, aspirations and how we envision our personal transformation. And for desert, an alumni panel, a drink with the Dean and a study of different leadership styles and transformation à la Gregory Peck (1949 movie Twelve O'Clock High).

Dis-orientation
I think this was also the first time the student association planned an official disorientation to end our 2 years as they started with drinks and parties: picnic, scavenger hunt, Hawaiian pub crawl and the second football world cup semi-finale.

Here I have to stop and say that the “pillars” of the French Club (of which I happen to be) all met at the Sports Café nearby Trafalgar Square to watch the game among French people -everybody was welcome of course and we spotted a few Mexicans among others. France qualification to the last game (which was not expected at the start of the tournament) is of course adding to the “hotness” of the week. Like the London Italian community did on the night before, the French Londoners gathered to party in Soho (especially in Piccadilly Circus).

Congregation
But that’s not all. The biggest day of the week, from an academic point of view as well as from the viewpoint of everybody’s parents, was the congregation on Friday: An awesome ceremony in the giant marquee installed on the lawn followed by a great champagne garden party on the front lawn itself were the highlights of the day. Wearing our gowns and hats, we were called to stage to shake the Dean’s hand and receive a certificate (the Degree will be awarded at the end of July). As the date coincided with the commemoration of the 7/7 London attack, 2 minutes of silence were observed at noon.

I appreciated to have my family around, to see all my friends and to meet their families, as others have. Besides, I had a short chat with our Dean, Laura Tyson who is leaving at the end of the year. During her final speech, she claimed to belong to the class of 2006 and promised she’ll be among us for the 5-year reunion. I am looking forward to it.

Summer Ball
Last but not least, the Summer Ball was the true capstone of the week. The theme picked up this year by the organising students was “Venetian Masquerade”. After a garden reception, the evening started by a very nice dinner and ended with an amazing party, all in a formal “black tie” setting on the campus ground. On the dance floor, at the casino table and between the bars and tables, endless discussions and fun sealed not less fun and endless friendships. This was truly a memorable moment for all of us, as the final event of our studies at London Business School and the first of many parties as Alumni.

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