Monday, September 25, 2006

A couple of weeks unemployed

So, the 29th September is only 4 days away. For that is day before the Oxford Pursuit (Orientation) event and the day that I finally (finally!) move to Oxford.

Since leaving work on 15th September, I have had to go to Oxford a few times in order to:
1. Pick up books (bought from outgoing students),
2. Register at my college,
3. Measure up my room,
4. Get my PC networked with the University,
5. Meet some of the incoming students at a social event,
6. Attend a careers forum/workshop (well, actually this is not until 27th).

Being without a car (for the first time since I was 21) I have been using the bus to commute, which I have to admit, is an interesting feeling as before last week, I cannot remember the last time that I used a bus. The experience is quite novel, and so I include the photos taken of the bus station (no, not pretty) and the view from the bus as I pass SBS on my way home.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Last Day at Honda

8 Years. That is how long I was at Honda. Friday 15th September 2006 was my very last day. The send-off was truely touching and the work that went into the 'This is your life' presentation was enormous. Whilst there have been many milestones since I decided I was going to do this MBA, none have effected me quite so much as the last day at work. I will truely miss the place and the people.

And so this leap into the great unknown continues. I now have a week or so to collect my thoughts, pack my bags and move up to Oxford.

The photo below is Honda of the UK Manufacturing. Where I spent 5 out of the the 8 years.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Outgoing and incoming Students

Last night Mike from the outgoing batch arranged a get-together in the Radcliff Arms Pub in Jericho. Whist there were only a few incoming students in attendance, there must have been 40 or so outgoing ones letting their hair down and willing to offer much of their hard-won advice to us 'newbies'.

One of the things that interested me was the split in the group between those that had already been looking for (and found) jobs and those who were only now thinking about starting their search. Apparently the split is roughly 50:50, which is not the impression that I originally had. I expected many more to have decided where they are to be working by now. That being said the attitude of those without seemed relaxed and all were extremely confident of getting the work they wanted.

Another great thing about the meet was that I could discuss with both Mike and Vaniah, whose blogs have been a great source of research into the Oxford MBA, and in essence, the catalyst which pushed me to start writing my own.
A great evening.

Monday, September 11, 2006

College Registration

Today, on a daytrip to Oxford I managed to register at my college (Hertford) and with that came my Oxford University ID card, plus all 1,140 pages of the 2006 Exam Regulations book. No, that is not a typo: there is a book (which every student gets) with over 1,000 pages of exam rules and regulations. Note the thickness in the photo on the right.

Actually, there is a lovely story in a blog which I read a while ago about a student who (having read elements of the book) turned up to an exam and 'demanded the mug of beer that he was entitled to'. After much scurrying around and checking, the invigilators stated that they would (of course) agree to his demand, just as soon as he laid down his sword. Thats what you get with 800 years of tradition... I think its great!

In addition to this registration, Janet, at the Hertford College Graduate Centre, kindly showed my around the room which is to be mine for the comming year. It is larger than I expected, ensuite (which I had hoped) and seems perfectly adequate. The view outside is also very pleasant. I also saw my kitchen (shared between 7 people), a laundry room, a common room and a computer room. One thing that is great is that not only do all the rooms have LAN there is also WIFI as well. I must admit, it really is a class above the accomodation that I had when I was studying for my first degree, I am looking forward to moving in.It was a great day, and to top it off, I took my sister along to give her a feel of what I am going to experience. I really hope that she and her husband manage to come and visit when I am established. It would be great to show them around properly.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

New York and a light breeze

So we are now home. That's it, the last trip prior to starting the MBA...honest.
Namiko and I have just come back from visiting family in Greenwich, CT but actually spent most of our time in New York City.

Unfortunately we happened to be in Downtown Manhattan when Ernesto (a tropical storm) decided to visit, however the days that followed had beautiful weather and we didn't mind trading 3 days of good for 1 day of bad. Actually, when we got back to Greenwich that day, it was carnage...big trees felled causing widespread blackouts. Luckily we got the power back later on in the evening, however others in town were not so lucky and had to wait up to TWO DAYS.

Other than that one day of interesting weather, the trip was great and, seeing as it was Namiko's first time, we managed to see all of the necessary tourist attractions. One that particulary impressed me was the 'Top of the Rock' (top floor of 30 Rockerfella Plaza) which only opened late last year. Much better than the Empire State for all round views and (most importantly) no queing.

The two photos are of me atop the rock (one day I will learn to smile) and Namiko at the Met.

So, the trips are done, the money is paid (gulp) and Oxford is only 3 weeks away...