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I've been rather lax...

Posted by Nick on 23 September 2008

I've been rather lax with regard to my blog posting.  When I was researching schools, I would follow some bloggers' blogs almost religiously and I found myself getting annoyed/disappointed when they would stop posting or post intermittently.  Being a blogger myself, I understood only too well how difficult it is to post on a regular basis; sometimes you are too busy and sometimes you just lack inspiration.  That said, I made a promise to myself that once the MBA started, I would keep posting on a regular basis because I know how much reading others' blogs helped me.

I've decided to take a crack a "Day in the life" post.  The difficult thing about this however is that each day in the life of an MBA student is so varied that it is difficult to write about a typical day.  The best approach to this will probably be to write a series of these; the reader will then be able to see how different each day can be.

So, here's my last Thursday in detail -

7:00 am - alarm goes off.  During the first two weeks of school, I had absolutely no problem getting out of bed.  I think that was due to the excitement aspect of being back in school again.  Now the excitement has worn off and I'm cursing the alarm clock.  While eating my cereal, I read CNN.com and FT.com to see how much more of the financial world has collapsed today.  Crazy stuff going on!  I make a mental note to start looking at alternative careers to finance, because the prospect of getting an internship in finance this summers seems rather dim.  Quick shower to wake myself up, and then its time for stats.

8:00 - 11:30 am - Sit in front of Excel trying to determine the statistical model that predicts store profits for a fictitious retailer called Store24.  The possible variables include management tenure, crew tenure, number of local competitors, sales, etc., etc.  After a few hours, of trying to figure out which root power gives the better adjusted R squared value for our model, I pack up my computer to head to school.

11:30 - 11:45 am - Walk (quickly) from my flat in Saint John's Wood to campus.  I love the walk... St. John's Wood is a beautiful area and along the way I pass some Middle Eastern shops which I buy stuff like hummus in.  Today though I'm in a hurry, so I pass by quickly.

11:50 - 12:30 pm - One on one CV review session (oops, I'm 5 minutes late!).  After being given instruction on exactly how the "London Business School CV format" works, everyone in our class prepared a new and improved CV (or resume as we say in the US).  Career Services is one of the most important aspects at any top MBA program, and at London Business School they are top notch.  I sit down with a woman from career services and we go over my new resume achievement point by achievement point.  She has lots of constructive things to say, and I go home with a CV covered in notes.  I'll have to prepare a second version for another round of "CV surgery" so that I can have a really good CV to post on the school's portal.  The student CVs will all be visible to employers starting sometime in October, so it is important that we get this right.

12:30 - 2:00 pm - Lunch and bit of a break.  I buy a sandwich from The Bite and sit outside in the quad eating and chatting with classmates.  I use some of this time to reply to emails via my trusty new iPhone (I'd say 2/3 of the class has one... we're all followers apparently...)

2:00 - 3:15 pm - I head over to the Fairbairn Conference room in Plowden for 1hr15mins of "Networking Skills".  Now, don't get me wrong... I see what they were trying to do with this, but most of the students felt that it was kind of a waste of time.  Basically we were told that networking is important, that we should do it, and that we should start doing it now.  Hopefully the next session in October which actually focuses on specific skills such as how to properly introduce yourself, inject (and remove) yourself from a conversation, etc. will be better and more interesting.

3:30 - 6:00 pm - Lorenzo from my study group has booked a meeting room over in A-wing for my study group.  We spend the next 2.5 hours discussing our data analysis for the stats assignment and decide on the best model to use and how we intend to split up the report.  I repeatedly curse myself for not opting out of statistics... all I had to do was take an exam which I would have easily passed having been an engineer, but at the time I thought my stats were pretty rusty, so I'd better re-take the class.

6:10 - 7:00 pm - I cross the street and walk over to the gym.  2000 meters on the rowing machine (that thing finds muscles I never even knew I had), and a few weight machines later, I start the walk home to Saint John's Wood.

7:15 - 8:00pm - get home, shower, change... I've got a date tonight (yes, the MBA still leaves time for romance...)!

8:15pm - arrive at my date's house.  She's cooked dinner for me and her flatmates, all of whom are either lawyers or bankers.  The four of us spend the evening discussing the crazy things going on in the financial world.  The bankers speculate as to whether they will have jobs in the near future or not.  Again, I make a mental note to look into alternative internships to finance. 

Well, that's my first "Day in the life of an MBA student".  I hope it helps you get some idea of what we do in school.  I'll follow this up with others that will give you a better idea of how varied our days are.

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