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Last activities

Posted by Don on 28 June 2009

So – the MBA is over. The final course, after the speech-writing GLDP (Global Leadership Development Program, a course including various aspects such as writing, presentation and other soft-skills training), was a block week in International Finance. Its lecturer regularly receives awards from students as best faculty – and we were not disappointed. Prof. Uppal is very approachable and friendly, yet also very very knowledgeable – even compared to the high caliber of finance faculty at LBS. He gave the impression of being able to teach any finance course in any area (option/fixed income/valuations/currencies) at a very high level. He also spent a lot of time on the case discussion, making sure everyone understood the solution and the way it was reached.

Additionally Prof. Uppal spent 10 minutes of each class talking about life and life changing events. This was fascinating as it shed a light on very interesting, moving and touching events, people and lives while at the same time offering perspectives from a seasoned professor with a lot of experience in life. The only unfortunate thing was that this class was almost to good to be taught in a block week – there was so much additional reading that a normal format might have been better.

I added a weekend training course to become a Dive Medic – increasing my knowledge of Decompression Sickness, CPR and wound suturing to be able to handle dive emergencies better. This also included a dry dive in a recompression chamber to 40 meters which was very funny.

The following two weeks I spent with my team mates on finishing the second year project. I was very fortunate to work with two great guys on a very interesting subject – a Funded Search to acquire a medium-sized German company. This investment idea originated at Stanford and has become quite standardized in the US. First-round investors invest $20,000 on average to fund a search process for up to two years. Equity step-up and right of first refusal ensure that the risk is offset by quite a lot of advantages. The whole report was quite long but very substantial. In the current climate we were unfortunately not able to secure enough investors – the other two wanted to really do this full-time after the MBA. We however agreed to keep in touch regularly regarding the funded search and see if the situation will improve in a few years. The only real challenge was the current economic climate and the drying-up of credit – there is certainly no lack of potential target companies.

When I look back on the MBA then it is this I will miss most – working together with great people on very different projects, each bringing different skills and experiences to the table. Having dinner together and working until late at night or during the weekend, trying to deliver the best possible result. Very similar to the consulting world, actually, but with very different topics.

So we went to the MBA Program office together to hand in our report - and the MBA was over. Unbelievable - it went amazingly fast. So many things to do - so many activities and events to attend, trips to go on, people to meet. Now it is all over - and a new chapter begins.

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