Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Give Me Double Entry!!!!!

We're halfway through Week 3 and I've found all warning I received about the intensity of the program before coming here grossly understated. Every minute of the day is literally accounted for! I guess this depends on your level of activity outside of traditional classes. I try to be active in a lot of things, hence the pressure.

Anyway, talking about classes, we have six courses this term...Strategy, Decision Science (sort of like statistics but decision science sounds more intellectual), Marketing, Financial Reporting, Finance and Managerial Economics. I must say i've enjoyed all of them so far (mostly due to the lecturers). Tomo Suzuki (Financial Reporting) is definately my favourite! In Tomo's world, everything can be reduced to 'DOUBLE ENTRY!' I suspect the class has internalised this view point as a classmate came up with the double entry for buying a beer (Cash on the Right (Reducing Asset), Beer(Increasing Asset) on the Left....genius! An honourable mention goes to my Decision Science lecturer who's made the course bearable (almost) with his eccentric and highly dramatic performances!

I've however had to learn to adjust to the way classes are structured here. The lectures are based primarily on case studies which are made available in advance. Students are then expected to read (actively read) these case studies (typically ranging from 5-20 pages long) prior to classes and form a well considered opinion. Then a good chunk of the class is spent talking about the case and listening to other opinions....the lecturer hardly ever puts forth his/her opinion. Their job is to sort of guide and facilitate the discussion. We're also expected to question the lecturer's viewpoints (I almost had a seizure when a classmate got into an argument about a concept and the lecturer seemed to welcome the argument)! Coming from a background where the lecturer strides majestically into class, being the all knowing wise one, and reels out pearls of wisdom to his fortunate students, who accept his view point without question, this represents a significant shift. It can also be a challenge for those who don't have a lot of experience analyzing case studies as you're expected to hit the ground running. I'll recommend this book (Ellet, William. : The case study handbook :how to read, discuss, and write persuasively about cases) to anyone coming for an MBA....I wish someone recommended it to me before I came here! 

What else have I been up to?
A-Z Bop at GTC....yes that's a real person (well done Daniel!)


Sexy Sub Fusc....a Bop right after Matriculation where students have to wear something from their Sub Fusc (official matriculation outfit) and try to look sexy....(Matan, Elias and I all trying and failing miserably) I have 'sexier' pictures of people who totally pulled sexy off....but I shall spare their future political careers.

With Ananth and Haben at the Emirates living it up!

Good times...

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Three weeks in....

Three weeks??? Already??? Time has absolutely flown by...leaving the relics of parties, dinners, induction sessions, career sessions, OBN meetings and episodes of 'How I met your mother' (That last one is specific to me) in its wake. Let me attempt to recall some of the memories....

One thing i have learnt within my short time here is to 'Just Say Yes'. You'll find that your best memories are formed by saying yes to the strangest things. So when someone said...'Let's go punting', my natural instinct was to say no (given that I'm as good at swimming as Ashton Kutcher is at trying to replace Charlie Sheen). But I said yes.....and we had a great time!
With Manish, Ines, Joe, Mario and Matan
Trying to make it seem I wasn't terrified
Celebrating our safe return

Food Update
So after my fifth burger in two days, I realised I had a problem. My creative side kicked in...there had to be a solution. I needed Nigerian food desperately....and then it hit me! Look for a Nigerian church! Where many Nigerians are gathered, surely Nigerian food shall be in abundance...and i was right. I went to a Nigerian church and met a lady who specializes in making Nigerian food in bulk and selling to desperate souls like myself. Now I have a big bowl of Nigerian stew sitting in my fridge....I can finally call Oxford home.

OBN Election Update
I decided to run for the Chair of the Private Equity OBN and sent in my 250 word personal statement. I also organized (with the help of a few friends) an information session on Private Equity which was very well received. I spent a lot of time on the presentation but the reception from my classmates meant it was time well spent.

Dinners, Bops & Pub Crawls
These are three words that will come up over and over again during the course of the year. There seems to be a dinner happening somewhere in Oxford every other day. Bops (don't google this, its an Oxford specific term) also mean parties and colleges regularly have them. My college had one last week which I missed and has another tonight which I WILL NOT miss. They're usually themed parties and tonight's theme is A-Z (come dressed as something starting with the first letter of your name). So I need to figure out something starting with the letter B. I've still not figured out what I can go as. All I have so far is Brazillian model and seeing as i'll require plastic surgery for that, i'll probably have to pass. Pub crawls are basically crowds of people moving from pub to pub...zombie style!
We had our college induction dinner last night.....good food, wine and conversation with amazing professors that must have forgotten much more than we know...

Career Stuff
Had a meeting with a career counsellor who reviewed my cv and cover letter. Had a great chat with him about the future and 'finding myself' (yes terms like that are in fashion when you are doing an MBA). Sent off an application to a bank....fingers crossed.

Still can't figure out what to go to the party as....might just settle for going as a.....wait for it........BLACK dude!