Sunday, November 26, 2006

Week 7 Michaelmas

The penultimate week of Michaelmas term's lectures. It has gone amazingly quick. As usual it was assignments galore with 2 handed in and one (big one) ready to be handing in tomorrow. Actually, the mood is very subdued with everyone concentrating on the final push.

On another note, it is also nice to see that some of those interested in banking have already been offered jobs which is a good indication that the market for MBAs is as promising as quoted in the press.

Silicoln Valley comes to Oxford
This was an excellent event where some important people from Silicoln Valley best (Google, Linkedin, Facebook to name a few) came to Said Business School to sit on a panel, give masterclasses and generally spend time with Oxford MBA's.

I attended the masterclass with Reid Hoffman, founder and CEO of Linkedin, a business network website. He talked about Web 1.0 (the original internet boom), the current Web 2.0 (internet post dot com crash) and how the future will be the power of networks. He also articulated the "Brand of you" where (due to job mobility) each individual is (in fact) their own small business and should treat themselves as such.

Presentation from Kent Brittan
On Wednesday a select few had a Q&A session with Kent Brittan, former VP and global head of Purchasing at United Technologies.
This was a talk on the changes (internet auctions etc) that he had implemented prior to his retirement. He is now at Exeter College studying Theology.

Paul Klempler
During our Managerial Economics lecture we were treated to 1 hr with Paul Klempler, Edgeworth Professor of Economics, Nuffield College, Oxford. Professor Klempler was the architect of the UK 3G licence auction and has forgotten more about economics than most of us know. A very interesting Q&A session followed.

Christchurch Regatta
What we had been training for all term. We had even grown stupid handlebar moustaches for the event to go with our "Top Gun" theme (blame the undergrads for choosing that one). We lost against Brasenose on Wednesday, but beat Trinity on Thursday to go through the the 2nd round. Unfortunately, due to extreme weather and poor river conditions the whole Regatta was cancelled on Friday morning. At least we managed to row (I heard that some crews didn't even manage to do that) and "retired" among the winners.
To be honest, it was great fun. So much so, I have decided to continue rowing next term.

The crew. I am at "bow" (the front of the boat)
The Top Guns
Hertford Guest night
Another black tie evening at Hertford. This time, we managed to arrange a decent collect of MBAs and had a very pleasant evening.

The 3 Graduate Rowers (Brandon, Martin and Me) with our fetching handlebars. You will be happy to hear mine has ceased to exist.
Brandon being adored by Faryal and Tass
Risa, Namiko and Maho Tony and Claire here
Tony and Claire came to Oxford on Saturday and it was lovely to show them around the school, take them to the college and walk them over the Bridge of Sighs. I really enjoy it when people come to visit, its gives us an opportunity to show them the parts of the university that they wouldn't normally be able to see.

I am still amazed that the term has gone so fast. Recently I have been involved in panel discussions and open days for the next class. I realise how much I had to do just to get here. As one of my new friends puts it "I never had to work so hard to get to the first day of school". I couldn't agree more. Good luck to all those thinking of taking MBAs next year.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Hertford College Virtual Tour

Amazing what you find when looking on YouTube. If any one is interested in seeing a virtual tour of my college please click.
It is taylored for undergrads, but shows the major sights.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Week 6 Michaelmas

A busy week! 2 assignments handed in, 2 others being worked on and a mock Financial Reporting exam. I also managed to go home for a night so there is little wonder that the 'extra curricular' section seems a bit thin this week.

Actually everyone is now talking about being able to see the first finish line (the end of Michaelmas term) and I have to admit, it is not far off (lectures finish at the end of week 8). The problem is that once lectures finish, exams begin. Speaking of which, the timetable was released this week and includes:

  • Monday 11th Dec, 2 exams (Financial Reporting and Decision Science),
  • Tuesday 12th, one exam (Developing Effective Managers),
  • Wednesday 13th, 2 exams (Strategy and Managerial Economics),
  • Thursday 14th,1 exam (Finance).
So revising should be fun. I am glad that we have all of week 9 off to get it done.

As to those 'extra curricular activities', there is only the evening out with the rowers from Lincoln (no photos unfortunately) and rowing a couple of times. I did, however, row in part 2 of the Winter League today (which I was unaware existed). We performed much better than last week and managed to find a decent rhythm for quite a while. The icing on the cake was overtaking the Worcester crew with a good margin to spare. I include some photos taken last week.
The crew. Left to right; Martin, Scott, me, Brandon, Dave, Henry, Tom & Ben
Me, Brandon and Dave

Next week promises to be as busy as this one (if not more). Although we have a guest dinner next Friday in Hertford, so I will upload the photos in the next post.

I am happy to see that there are now over 1300 hits on this blog. I really hope that the people reading it are enjoying. If you would like to contact me directly either Skype me (and if I am not on line can pick up the message later) or send me an email.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Week 5 Michaelmas

During this week it seemed like the pressure abated a little. After a couple of weeks handing in two assigments, this week's one meant we had the ability to relax a little (not a lot). We now only have 3 weeks of lectures left and many many assignments. Next week we have a mock financial reporting exam, 2 assignments to hand in PLUS 2 big assignments to start working on. I think that sleep will be placed far down on the list of priorities.

Anyway, as usual please see the list of activities for this week (unrelated to assignments or lectures)

MBA Group Photo
All 216 of us dressed in sub fusc (see earlier entry for explanation of this dress code) for a formal photograph.
I even managed to get one with my study group...go group 25!
James, Pawan, Julie, Me, Tass and Vijoy

Rowing Social
An informal pizza and vodka evening designed to assign silly names to all rowers for the Christchurch regatta in week 7. Erm, we have gone with a Top Gun theme and I am 'Jester', although I am not sure whether it is because of my age or sense of humour.

EP Dinner
During our time at Oxford we have to complete 2 big projects. One is our SCP (summer consulting project) and the other is the EP (entrepreneurial project). For the past few weeks all students have been going around trying to build their teams (of 5) and mine is excellent. Whilst I don't have a photo yet, I will post one as soon as I can. The dinner was for all of us to thrash around some ideas for projects and get to know each other a bit better.

Japanese night
This was great. Nami and I arranged a dinner (with the help of Maho and Hiro) for anyone with a Japanese link; be they students, partners of students, children of students, friends of students etc. The format of the evening was 'bring a dish' and over 40 people turned up. There was an amazing sellection of food ranging from Gyoza, Nabe, Oden, Nimono, Green Tea Tiramasu, Sushi (and the list goes on) and it was so good that we have all decided to do another one next term.
Maho, Me, Allan, Andrea, Martin, Shoko

Someone's child, Swapandeep, Me, Simon, Emily and ShokoNamiko among a crowd

Soul night at Hertford
Another MCR (Middle Common Room) party at Hertford College. The theme this time was soul and the 70's. Whilst I wasn't 70's I did have soul as you can see by the pink boa.
Rowing Winter League
Today we had our first regatta as the Hertford Novice B's. This was a 1.5Km time-trial and it took us about 6 mins. To be honest, it was the first time that we had actually rowed at full pelt for that period of time so whilst we were far (far) from perfect, we gained valuable experience which should bode us well for the Christchurch Regatta in week 7.

This is it, another week through a my MBA. Its now push push push to get the assignments in, find the time to row and do some background study. Until next week...

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Sunday, November 05, 2006

Week 4 Michaelmas (Halfway through)

Yes, its true, this Friday marked the halfway point of Michaelmas term for us. Where has the time gone?

It was another 'double assignment' week which made it rather busy, however the good news is that next week there is only one to hand in. We may actually get a chance to start some of the other larger assignments (due by the end of term).

So as usual, in addition to work, there were a few events (but not as many as last week)

Midterm party (Thursday)
A great party organised by John Stanton which most of us used to celebrate mid-term. After a reasonably stressfull week of group work, it was a great opportunity to de-stress over a beer or two.
Shoko, Swapandeep, Simon, Takashi and me

I managed to get out on the river for the first time this weekend in the Hertford Novice B's crew. I rowed on both Saturday and Sunday and realised that I quite enjoy it. It seems that we are going to enter into the Christchurch regatta next week, so that should be fun...

I don't have a picture of us on the river, so this will have to do for the time being

Post Halloween party (Saturday)
A Hertford MCR run party where we decided to go in silly hats,

Me, Swapandeep and Mark

In addition, this week I discoverd Facebook. A great online community website which seems to be mainly used by students to keep up with friends, share photos and plan events. A very impressive site.

The week ended up with my parents, grandmother and sister/brother in law coming to Oxford for Dinner tonight.

Another great week.