Monday, November 21, 2011


Reading through my last post again, its clear those were the words of a sleep deprived man, driven over the edge by excess caffeine. I am happy to report that I am back within acceptable blood/caffeine levels after a weekend without any coffee! Its the beginning of week 7 and the end of term is within sights...scary stuff! The MBA is definitely all about choices...What do I mean?

Silicon Valley Comes to Oxford
This without doubt is one of the headline events at the school....leading practitioners within the technology space come together to discuss. Its a great opportunity for students to network with leading lights at firms like Google, Linkedin, Facebook etc. Some students even got to do what's called speed dating....a quick one on one meeting with one of the executives. But I decided to skip it and finalize my other assignments to free up space to study for exams. Although there are many potential benefits of sitting through the event, I feel that given my objectives, my time would be better spent at the library. Tough and potentially wrong choice but one that needed to be made. Meanwhile, another classmate is currently at the CBI conference in London, listening to David Cameron and the Turkish president give speeches....

Picking Electives for Next Term
We have to select two from six electives next term; Branding & Communications, Finance 2, Macroeconomics, Global Strategy, Rethinking Business and Strategy & Innovation. Now the question is, do I stick with what I am familiar with (Finance & Macroeconomics), specialise in finance, and deepen my knowledge of the subjects, or attempt to take on fresh knowledge with some of the other courses? After thinking long and hard, I decided to specialize in Finance and choose both electives. I figured that those two courses are most likely to improve my on the job skills. Thankfully, we have the option to audit (sit in on classes without taking examinations) an additional course, so I'll probably audit Branding & Communications.

Entrepreneurship Project
Here at Oxford, we're mandated to form teams of five to come up with a business idea and draw up a business plan for it during Hillary Term. There are loads of ideas to choose from as classmates and external bodies alike pitch their ideas to students. One of the great things about being in a school like Oxford is the interaction with other departments. Its arguably in this area that the benefits shine through as people come from different departments to pitch awesome sounding ideas to students. They'll most likely have invented something great and just need MBA students to draw up a plan to make it a viable business! Its tough to choose because of course, some of these ideas might eventually become full fledged companies! My instinct however is to do something different, something i've never done before...the easiest thing to do would be to do a finance related project, but in this case i would love to explore previously unchartered territories. So when I saw a classmate post the possibility of an EP in the sustainable solutions area (I'm being deliberately vague), I decided to explore the opportunity...lets see how that goes!

Having handed in the marketing assignment on time (Oxford are extremely strict about time limits. Any form of lateness leads to deductions....a classmate ran from the business school, assignment in hand at after printing his work at 11.50 am (with a 12 noon deadline).....I feared for him initially, but he clearly has the skills of a long distance runner as he made it to the High Street based Examination schools in 10 minutes), like good MBAs, we celebrated by heading to the swankiest joint in Oxford 'The Randolph Hotel' for a black tie celebration of a classmates's birthday...
Beginning of the night...looking all civilized

Later on....looking less than civilized...yes, the assignment was that difficult!

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