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Mid-MBA resolutions

Posted by Nick on 08 August 2009

Well, I have accomplished exactly that which I set out not to do; I have gone many, many months without posting anything, either to the London Business School blog, nor to my own.  Shame on me.  I think its time to make some mid-MBA resolutions.

But first, before we get to that, I think I had better fill you in on the last two terms of my MBA life.

Some highlights:

  • Most of my classes were superb.  I am continually impressed by the knowledge level of the professors at this school.  While there were some exceptions to the rule, most of my classes were enjoyable, and provided me with a high level of learning.
  • Spring break was spent with a small group of my classmates on a certain Communists island in the Caribbean of the Southern coast of Florida.  Good times had by all!
  • The Managing Organizational Behaviour audit is a project that all study groups must complete as a part of their MOB class.  It is basically an outside consulting project, where the study group must source a client, and then perform some type of audit for them, looking at Organizational Behavioural issues.  My study group, C7, had what was probably the furthest client from London; we were hired by a small chain of kickboxing/fitness studios in Iowa, USA.  Myself and another study group member were flown out to Des Moines by the company, and spent one week there conducting our research.  The end deliverable was an academic paper to our professor, and a 23 page report to the company on what OB issues they are currently facing, what issues might arise with their expansion, and how they might resolve those issues.
  • The Market Strat simulation was great.  Each group was given control of a virtual company producing an imaginary type of electrial product.  Some companies started off as large, market leading companies, and others (like mine) started at the back of the pack; little money and few customers.  Over the course of a few weeks, we had to decide how much money to spend on marketing, what segments to do, what other types of products we would develop, etc., etc.  In the end, each group was judged not for its final position, but how it had performed relative to the other groups in a similar starting position.  Great fun, and a welcome change from sitting in LT9 all day.
  • Some classmates and I decided that we didn't actually feel like taking one of our finals, so instead we booked a week long sailing course down in Souther Portugal along the Algarve.  (Actually, what happened was that we booked this course months in advance, planning around our classes/exam, but after we had booked it, one exam was moved).  So, with two LBS chartered boats, 10 LBS students, and 2 sailing instructors, we spend one week in the sun and waves learning all of the basics of skippering a boat.  In the end, we each earned our RYA Day-Skipper license!  One of the best trips I've been on!
  • Our Operations and Technology Management course sent us down to Venice, Italy for a two-day long field trip to see a coal power plant and learn something about Lean Management (something I had PLENTY of in my last job).  Most of us extended for the weekend... so basially I got to explore Venice largly on the school's dime (they paid for our flights and hotel for one night, the rest was one us). 

Well, I know that those few bullet points can't possibly summarize the past 10 months of my life very well.  There is so much more to tell, but I will have to let it rest as is.  My two resolutions for the upcoming school year are:

  1. Read more case studies prior to class.  For those incoming 2011's... I can't stress enough how much better your classroom experience (let alone not having to worry about whether the prof will cold call you) will be if you just read your case studies!
  2. Blog.  More.  School & personal.  'Nuff said.
  3. Make more of an effort socially - during the past two semesters, I've become somewhat of a recluse when it comes to school activities.  I need to attend more Sundowners, parties, conferences, etc.  Shouldn't be a problem since next term I only have classes on Monday evenings, and all day every other Friday. :-)  I'm going to try to get a 2nd internship during that time to add to my CV, earn some money, etc.
  4. I'll be spending Spring term of this year (Jan-early April) in Barcelona on exchange at IESE.  I resolve to see as much of the surrounding area as I possibly can! :-)

Well, I guess that's it for now.  But how am I spending this summer, you say?  I am interning at Shell Chemical in London, in a strategy analyst role.  It is very interesting working in the largest company in the world (according to Forbes, July 2009).  I'm learning a lot, and have already been sent to Rotterdam, Netherlands once.  I'll be going back in a few weeks to present the findings of my project. 

Ok, now its time to end this post.  I've been putting off schlepping my bike across London to have it repaired, but I guess I need to get on with it.

Nice to be back!


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