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Whew, where do I begin?

Posted by Nick on 22 January 2009

I can't even remember when the last time I blogged was, either on the school's blog or my personal one.  I'm sure the school admins are regretting selecting me as a blogger... I shall do my best to redeem myself in the coming term.

It is impossible to write about everything I've been up to in the last few months.  I suppose you will have to be satisfied with a list of highlights.  So, without further ado:

  • First term's classes - well, what is there to say?  They are over (with the exception of Corporate Finace which has extended a few weeks into this term).  I am amazed, I mean positively floored, at how much I've learned since school began in August.  And this was only the first term!  I can now use various frameworks to analyze a company's strategy, calculate bond prices, explain to you how exactly a company handles warranties in its accounting books, and why exactly Lehman Brothers is like an unlucky camel*.  WACC and CAPM are no longer meaningless acronyms, and I can tell you everything there is to know about women's lifestyle magazines**. 

  • Exams - pure stress, but good outcomes overall.  Apparently in professor-speak, "This year's exam will be exactly the same as last year's" really means, "They will in no way shape or form be similar".  Se la vie.  Overall, I got good grades, and I learned more in the week studying for exams than I think I did all term.
  • Travel - What would be the point of living in London if you couldn't travel frequently?  I continued sailing with the London Business School Sailing Club in the Solent Sun Sail Regattas.  I gotta tell you, sailing in the English Channel in the middle of November is a freezing cold, wet experience.  It was lovely!  At the end of the term, a college buddy from the US came over and we spent a week partying in London and Amsterdam.  Good times had by all.  I went home to Philadelphia for my first Christmas there in four years, and then I spent a fantastic (but cold!) week in Morocco with some classmates.  Marrakesh and Fes were spectacular, but I advice you to A) not go in January... you are NEVER warm as most buildings are not heated, and B) don't let the snake charmer guy put a King Cobra around your neck.  I don't care if he tells you it doesn't bite and had its venom removed that day!!  It is still a highly unpleasant experience which may require a change of pants afterwards!!
  • Internship recuiting - now the real fun begins.  Almost every day one or more companies are here on campus to give presentations about themselves and recruit for summer internships.  It is a strange sight: well dressed students walking around campus in, dressed for the corporate part, trying desperately to hide their neuroticism ("Did you hear anything from XYZ company yet!?"), and sporting the bloodshot eyes that come with trying to balance five core courses (Discovering Entrepreneurial Opportunites, Managing Organizational Behavior, Corporate Finance, Marketing, and Decision and Risk Analysis), 1-3 electives, company presentations, internship research, and the general "networking" that is required to land said internship.  At this time of year, most students subsist on a diet consisting purely of chicken skewers, spring rolls, crab puffs, or any other h'or durve that the school's catering facilities provides at the networking functions.  I personally am going for industry, not banking or consulting, so my real fun doesn't begin for another week or so, though I have started attending presentations (to learn about the companies, not for the free food, I swear).

Overall, my experience at London Business School so far has been almost entirely positive.  I absolutely made one of the best decisions of my life coming here, and I am already sad that time is flying by so quickly.  The summer is fast approaching, and with that graduation after that.  I know it really still is 1.5 years away, but it feels too close nonetheless.


Alright, time to head up to Sundowners.  AB InBev is hosting it tonight and providing copious amounts of delicious, free beer.  Lets hope they have some internship opportunities afterall! 

* Quote of the term - "Lehman Brothers is like unlucky camel who gets screwed by polar bear" ~one of my professors

** No, I am not generally in the habit of reading Vogue, Cosmo, or Marie Claire... my group did a market research report for Managerial Economics on the UK's Women's Lifestyle Magazine market.  Needless to say, I will NEVER go into the publishing industry.

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