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« September 2007 | Main | November 2007 »

Fuzzy Good Feeling

Posted by Melanie on 30 October 2007

I left my laptop power cord in a study room on Friday afternoon and didn't realize it till I needed it on Saturday. Stopped by the lost and found on Sunday and again today. Nothing turned up. I was ready to fork out fifty pounds + twenty for speed delivery. Before purchasing, I sent out a simple email to the Campus Community and I got an almost immediate response.

"I am sure I saw it in AG02/03 today morning about 11 a.m. We were in the meeting room and thought it was one of our study group mates'. Sorry, I did not collect it assuming the person who lost it would come and pick it."

Not sure how it migrated to a different wing on campus, but nevertheless, I got it back. Thanks Campus Community.

Do you want to work in New York?

Posted by Matthew on 29 October 2007

Well, I think that I very well might want to work in New York someday, so I went on the London Business School New York Finance Trek this week. It was an excellent decision. Beyond being in the best food city in the world, I was able to visit 9 banks in 3 days with 8 other members of a motley crew led by our fearless leader, Lara. This trip was designed to enhance the reputation of the school in New York and hopefully gain employment for us as well. I also found out during this trip that London Business School truly has alumni located all over the world in many senior positions. It was a great opportunity to network and get to know these institutions better.

One thing that you may not know about B-School -- when the big companies come to visit the school, you often do not get to have prolonged discussions because there are so many people vying for their good graces. But we were a small group that was able to make real connections that will only help in the future.

On a side note, for those Americans coming to London Business School, shop as much as possible in New York before your arrival. I didn't realize how much I missed New York food and shopping before this week. Now, I get to go back to Tesco discount sandwiches.

I'm just a poor boy, and my project's still untold... (The Shadower)

Posted by Jerome on 29 October 2007

You guys all remember Gabriele who's trying to shadow Steve Jobs (cf. Stuart's post). Well now that he has Fake Steve's attention he is working very hard to get the real Steve's. Last week, with the support of his stream (C that is, as in coolest) he sang a song he and Michal had composed. Such a great song couldn't stay away from this blog. That what an MBA is about: making the impossible happen by gathering people to your cause. Well this is one of the first episodes of a long long story which I hope will lead to a great shadowing project!

Good luck Gabriele, something tells me we'll see you again soon around here.

...with an apple in my hand, Steve oh Steve, I will shadow you and write you a report, ...with an apple in my hand...

Good luck to all stage 1 candidates!!!

Posted by Jerome on 26 October 2007

it's been a week now since the deadline of the application submission for stage 1 MBA 2010 candidates. So if you have applied it is still fresh and you must be wondering "was I right to mention that in my essay?", "is my GMAT score good enough?" or even "I hope I am gonna get it, I hate my job, I just want to run away from it".

I am sure you're all tense. Well there is nothing you can do, alea jacta est. So from my own experience, best is to take time off the application, stop reading the blog (you'll catch up later) and relax. You need to be prepared to be yourself if you make it to the interview. It's another 3 weeks before the results are known so you have plenty of time to think about other things. When you're back though, you have to be at your best, honest, engaging and motivated.
Just to give you an idea, I am posting a video of one episode of the Brian Cho Show. Brian is in my stream (B that is, like best, bueno,...) and during the GLAM competition he got interviewed by the organiser. Well he didn't prepare anything, but remained himself and had the all lecture theatre in the palm of his had. Check it out, and remember to be yourself.

Good luck to you all

Another weekend has flown by

Posted by Melanie on 21 October 2007

Our weekends begin on Thursday afternoon, when our Economics professor sends us off at twelve noon.

Thursday lunches are for practicing Mandarin - I've started a series of lunches where native speakers are volunteering to coach those want to improve their conversational skills (strangely enough, I'm the only ethnic Chinese taking this course). I spent the afternoon working on the finance assignment and catching up with a friend over hot chocolate at The Windsor. Met with a group to discuss possibly joining the JP Morgan Good Venture competition. Ran late to meet another friend for tea in the Quad before he went off for the full-time AT Kearney dinner event. Attended the Alumni in Consulting event feeling cynical about the profession, but coming out in the end inspired by the passion and energy of some of them. Home late and hungry again.

Friday, up early for the Women in Business Conference - more inspiration from Entrepreneurs and CSR sessions - plus plenty of good take-aways from the Fashion workshop. Acting class. A couple of Guinesses at Sundowners. Then running off to the National Film Theater to catch the London Film Festival (and shamefully consuming McDs on the way). Home late, not so hungry and exhausted.

Saturday morning was meant to be easy before I meet two friends (a Croatian 08er, and my Estonian former flatmate from Delhi) at the Interdependence Day event at The Royal Geographic Society. But then got a spur-of-the-moment invitation for brunch at Le Pain Quotidien to celebrate the sunny weather. After the seminars: Starbucks at Knightsbridge; minor window-shopping to put the business fashion skills to practice. Then back at Baker Street to meet others for the Navratri event in Chiswick. Wiki says:

Navratri (Sanskrit:नवरात्रि) is a Hindu festival of worship and dance. The word Navaratri literally means nine nights in Sanskrit; Nava - Nine and Ratri - nights. During these nine nights and ten days, nine forms of Shakti (metaphor for goddess Durga ) i.e. female divinity are worshipped.Navratri (Sanskrit:नवरात्रि) is a Hindu festival of worship and dance. The word Navaratri literally means nine nights in Sanskrit; Nava - Nine and Ratri - nights. During these nine nights and ten days, nine forms of Shakti (metaphor for goddess Durga ) i.e. female divinity are worshipped.

So dance the night away we did indeed.Garba_4  

...till 1am. Home with friends at 2. Chatted over midnight snack and a glass of wine till 3:30. Pass out.

There was no way I was going to make it to football practice at 10 on Sunday. Got a call asking where everyone else was anyhow. Finally arose out of bed at noon. Made pasta for lunch. Touched base with team at 2. Read through my pigeon hole mail in the sunny quad - played with the daughter of one of the Japanese 09s. She's quickly learning more and more English. Dove into the computer lab to upload photos and finish Finance and Accounting reading. Greet the same familiar faces. Hour-long tea break on Baker Street as everything else around campus is closed on Sundays. Pass a djembe class in the Fairbairn room. Back to basement to finish Accounting and reward myself by allowing time to blog. I promise myself I will give myself enough time to cook the spinach in the fridge and be in bed tonight by midnight.

The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs!

Posted by Stuart on 20 October 2007

So I feel the time has come for bloggers to unite, one and all and give a hand to one our MBA clan!

My colleague and friend Gabriele is on a mission to 'shadow' Steve Jobs, the brain of Apple Inc. and one of the most unconventional CEOs in business history. We had the good fortune of studying the rise, fall and rise of again of Steve during our Understanding General Management (UGM) classes and I have to say he is certainly a 'leader' rather than a 'manager', a visionary and a sure fire indication that success in business is more complex than simply having the right 'tools'.

Gabriele has worked hard to contact Steve through a number of avenues and has his own blog dedicated to shadowing Steve which you can read by clicking here 

There is a rather famous 'Fake Steve ' blog that has actually mentioned Gabriele's efforts (click here to read it) and although not entirely complimentary (this is the usual 'style' of the blog so it is actually quite in keeping with how Mr. Jobs himself might actually write!) it will increase the chances that the real Steve will actually read it. Rumour has it that Steve Jobs does actually read the 'Fake Steve' blog so there is some hope for Gabriele.....

The shadowing project (although now no longer compulsory) provides the opportunity to spend up to a week with a high profile manager/CEO/CFO etc. watching how they 'do business' in real terms, in the work-place and whilst following their normal, daily routine. I think it is a fantastic idea, although at present have no idea who I want to shadow (now that Steve Jobs is taken!!!). London Business School is very supportive of experiential learning and we are encouraged to really experience business within the corporate setting rather than simply be 'spoon-fed' a business education. It is one of the main reasons why I like the school curriculum and why I believe the students here are a bit more rounded when they enter the work-place!

So although 'Fake Steve' is not a big fan of business-school education, the hope is that the 'Real Steve' might realise that what Gabriele is trying to do is simply emulate this experiential learning but on a grander scale. I personally wish him every success and promise that next time the 'Mac parade' happens I will come along with my shiny white MacBook and support his efforts. Anything as high profile as shadowing someone like Steve will not only be a coup d etat for Gabriele but also a great achievement for us at London Business School....

If you wished to do the same, then have a look at his blog and send him a message of support!

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Parlez-vous chinois? (Mandarin classes)

Posted by Jerome on 20 October 2007

20101020_img_1_3 You guys must all be familiar with the language requirement. London Business School's vision is to be a pre-eminent global business school. As a result, a good level of English is mandatory but not sufficient: you need to be able to speak another language at a commercial level (we call it level 2 at the school). For more than half of the class, who are not native English speakers, it is no problem at all. My language requirement is fulfilled by my French for instance. However, like many others, I found that the MBA experience is a unique opportunity to start learning another language.

Guess which one I chose? Mandarin of course! After I had made up my mind I told m20101020_img_2_3y friends, and they were going "you're crazy that is too difficult, it's gonna take too much of your time" or "you don't need to take a language, you're wasting a credit". Well I am happy I made that choice though. We have 4.5 hours a week, for the first year (for a total of 90 hours). But this is really fun. You are not expected to know as many words as you would in Spanish for instance, but the vocabulary will take you as far as the grammar is much simpler. No genders, no tenses.

We start with pinyin which means that you write using the same alphabet as English plus 4 accents. I'd say there are about 400 different 1 syllable words you can write with those (x4 including the accents). With this set you cover a large part of the 50k+ Chinese symbols that there are. For the level 1 we have to be able to have a simple conversation, recognise a few characters (I think about 120-150) and know about the grammar.

It is a commitment though, but if you feel that you have a genuine interest in Chinese, either professional, cultural or just aesthetic (the 3 apply to me :) you should go for it!

Tattoo: the video (with sound!!!!)

Posted by Jerome on 17 October 2007

This won't be a surprise if I tell you I was at Tattoo last Saturday. I started off helping to prepare the French booth (we had 100 croque monsieurs, 500 crepes and about 15kg of cheese :) It has to be stressed that the student association and the school's catering team did a fantastic job. Everything was taken care of, we just had to focus on our food, all the rest was supplied.
Then wandered around to have a taste of the different gastronomies. I loved the little cake the Portuguese did, it tastes a bit like flan patissier. Anyway, there was treats for the tongue and also for the eyes. I can't share the former but I hope that the video will allow you to have a feeling of the latter. Looking forward to the next year's!!

More Tattoo!

Posted by Melanie on 16 October 2007

What a treat! African food, pisco sour, bhangra AND salsa dancing all in one night! Not to mention all the cute kids at the Halloween Party during the day. It was quite tiring as a volunteer photographer for the day, but I had a great time. Can't wait till next year! (As Kajra Re is stuck in my head...)

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TATTOO!!!!!

Posted by Stuart on 14 October 2007

So my fellow bloggers have been asking me where I have been.....'off the blog scene' for a week or so I say but this is a tactical maneouvre on my part! Why? Because I wanted to be the first to blog about this year's amazing international multi-cultural event that is TATTOO!

So what is it?

1. An amazing multi-cultural show with representatives from dozens of countries all over the world
2. An opportunity to experience the national dress, traditions, food and entertainment of 50+ nations
3. A chance to learn all about your business school class-mates and see them in their own cultural surroundings
4. The best deal in London - £15 for an all-you-can-eat international buffet and booze cruise!

This year we were entertained by two student bands, a mariachi group, flamenco dancers, gypsy musicians, samba dancers, indian music and dance......the list truly goes on and I could not do justice to all the entertainment that was laid on for our delight in this short blog - you will just have to come to next year's event or check out the photos which I am sure will start appearing on the school website soon...

For my own cultural stall (the Great Britain and Ireland club) we had a combination of 'toffs' and 'chavs' as well as some good ol' english grub - fish & chips, sausage & mash and the ever-popular cream teas. We discovered that for next years event we will go heavy on the cream teas and light on the fish & chips. Even if the most popular of our national foods was the sweet, it was good to have people coming back for more and telling us it was the best dessert they had ever tasted.

Oh and to top off the evening England won the rugby as well!!! All in all a great night for all :o)

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Best study group: B9

Posted by Jerome on 13 October 2007

That happened last week at the end of the Managerial Economics class. The lecturer, excellent one by the way, very funny too (no wonder he's French!) made an announcement: "I have an announcement to make. Somebody's turning 30 today. I told myself "hmm interesting, somebody in the stream is born the same day and the same year as me". Then he added "being 80 in the room, the odds are that he will be somebody's birthday every week so we are not gonna celebrate them all". And I thought "this is a bright teacher".

But whose birthday was that? Well when one of my study group mate stood up, I was like "crap, that is me". I was quite embarrassed and extremely touched at the same time. All the more touched as they pulled out from nowhere the biggest cake I had ever seen. Alex invited the all stream to have a bite at the cake, which everybody did. That was quite impressive. So as soon as you receive your offer from the school, make sure you're in study group B9, because that is the best one.

PS: Alex, Jack, Kanwal, Sangyoung, Udi: a big thank you!

Where has everyone been?

Posted by Melanie on 11 October 2007

I'm sure all the applicants have been checking back every other day wondering, "why aren't there any new posts?" We have been, technically speaking, swamped.

09s have been inundated with at least one assignment, plus one-plus hours of reading per class. Not to mention all the new club kick-offs, and for some asians interested in banking, already interviewing for summer internships. (Bain China has already completed their interviews last month!)

08s have just returned and been drowning in the milk round.

I've been through two of each course now. It's amazing to see how the ability of the professor to hold the class' attention reflects amazingly on how much I feel like I'm enjoying/learning from that course. Accounting regulations was never more entertaining! (The assistant professor just finished his Ph.D. at The University of Texas, my alma matar. And he did say, "I've been here one month now. I hate it. It's expensive. I miss Texas.)

And microeconomics, which I remember from my senior year in high school being extremely dull and senseless, has become very relevant to my everyday encounters with business, culture and politics. (Plus it was a perk that fresh bagels were offered right before our discussion about the bagel and cranberries case.)

It's Thursday afternoon. The sun is shining. I need to go buy football cleets. And Tattoo is coming up in two days. I'm outta here.

Finally ...

Posted by Don on 06 October 2007

I am starting blogging ...

Apologies for the delay, but these have been some very intense days. I will later come to my current top-ten tips for the MBA, but this time I wanted to comment on the variety of offerings here at London Business School.

Apart from all the courses there are clubs for probably every possible area of interest. I could happily fill my whole week just with club activities. There are the professional clubs such as the Finance, Investment Management, Private Equity but also Marketing, Industry and Consulting clubs to name but a few. Then there are the regional clubs such as the Latin America, Africa, Asia or China Interests Club. Finally the sports clubs - Rugby, Tennis, Scuba-Diving etc. - as well as fun clubs such as the wine and cheese clubs. Aha - the wine and cheese club recently invited to a high-class event with wines from 1983 and Baron de Rothschild himself making an appearance. Ahem - at a price tag of 425 GBP. I prefer to pay 2-3 weeks rent of that ...

But also speakers on campus make for interesting breaks. On Wednesday, between Financial Accounting and Business Ethics I went to a seminar with Mr Sonu Shivdasani - the Chairman/CEO of the Six Senses Resorts & Spas on the Maledives and Thailand. Very interesting story - seemed like he was describing my dreamjob. The day continued with a meeting of the Rugby club where our revered coaches explained the subtle rules of the game to us - ensuring a constant flow of beer, of course. This fact worked favourably for the subsequent panel meeting of the Investment Management Club which was ended with a drinks reception. I stagered home tired but happy - and got up 6 hours later for early morning Rugby practice.

But again Thursday was action packed with Corporate Finance, study group meeting over lunch, a 3 hr introduction to speed reading, the club fair (more free beer from the Rugby club) and sundowners - a weekly institution of free drink, courtesy of a company (Bear/Stearns in this case). Afterwards I went for a Indian dinner with some guys from my stream and other streams. Fine day!

Today should have been a non-scheduled day but I had a 1-on-1 session with Mohan Mohan, a former top shot at Proctor & Gamble. Very interesting - after talking to me for 20 minutes he told me directly in which area I should work on myself and challenged several of my assumptions. Great stuff to think about. While getting a coffee I met Francisco of my stream and chatted with him (about jobs and life) and then returned to uni for the kick-off of the Private Equity Club. Off afterwards to a feedback session to help the Marketing department of London Business School and then to meet another good friend of mine ot chat about club involvements. Finally home and start working on those assignments!

My intent in writing all of this: the school offers an incredible amount of possibilities - it is up to everyone to use them.

Take care, wherever you are,

Scuba-Don

This time around..The Milk round saga continues

Posted by Manish on 05 October 2007

It has been a while since I posted anything and that has partly to do with the manic summer job that I wrote about a few posts ago.

With October has come back the recruitment season. I was somehow concerned about how quickly this time was going to come ever since the day I got my summer job (about 6 months ago) and here it is to haunt me again. However it feels a lot different this time.

Firstly, working over the summer has given all of us an inside view of the industries and jobs we put on the pedestal 6 months ago. Many of my peers came back with rave reviews. Many others did not find their bliss. Many came back with offers. Many are still looking for jobs. Invariably everyone is a lot more focused this time. What then has summer done to all of us over enthusiastic MBAs? I think it has given us a sneek peak into the real world.

Things seem clearer to me now. I know specifically which jobs i want and am focusing on them only. I went to a couple of banking presentation in January only to realise that those jobs are not for me. I know exactly what to do at milk round receptions this year. I go with specific questions, the answers to which will help me put in a better application.

To a lot of first year students "networking" seems  intimidating. It could be if you make it that way. I found it tedious in the first round but now i see the value in it and make it a point to go speak to people when i get a chance.

In the end, the tension of looking for a job remains. That will not change whether it you are looking for an internship or a permanent job. I just hope to get what im looking for. 

Steve B

Posted by Matthew on 02 October 2007

Steve Ballmer (CEO Microsoft) came to London Business School yesterday.  Well, technically the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, but we will let that slide.  He spoke to a full house that was eager to hear Steve Ballmer comment on vision, leadership, and Microsoft's goals for the future.  He also demonstrated a new product called Microsoft Surface.  I won't elaborate on that too much since I am not paid by Microsoft, well, yet...  Nonetheless, it was very cool and it was a great experience to be able to see a leader that you see in the news up close. It reminded me of back when I was at the University of California (who happen to be Nr 3 in College Football!!!). 

Anyways, Steve Ballmer only had time to take several questions at the end, but he encouraged us to send our follow-up questions to his Microsoft e-mail account, and I did.  And shockingly enough, he replied only four hours later.  He even answered my question.