Sunday, April 29, 2007

Week 1 Trinity

Week 1 started well and despite not attending all lectures (due to an interview) I am happy with my choice of electives. The Media Studies for a Networked World elective looks particularly interesting; the first lecture tracked the structure and history of the internet. Fixed income was very good considering the subject matter (it is, after-all, an elective on bonds). Business in China was a fascinating romp through the Chinese political system and a case study on why a joint venture (in a beer company) failed. In Private equity (which is co-taught by Humphrey Battcock, a Managing Director in Advent Internation), we delved deeper into the world of management fees and carried interest... And learnt that only the top 25% of funds actually beat the stockmarket.

On Wednesday, we were treated to a lecture by Dr Erk Thorsten Heyen from Infineon (used to be Siemens Semiconductors) who talked about "Fundamental structural changes are transforming an industry – Semiconductors". I attended due to a passing curiosity and thoroughly enjoyed it. Actually, as I was leaving the lecture theatre, Murtaza commented that within the space of an hour and a half we had gone from knowing nothing about the industry to actually having a pretty good grasp of it. I couldn't agree more!
This weekend my brother, Daniel, and his girlfriend, Daisy, came to visit us. As we do with all visitors, we subjected them to the Oxford tour which included: A trip through my college (and brunch there), New College, Said Business School, Blackwells, The Covered Market and Christchurch College (everyone wants to see the Harry Potter Dining room!).
Daniel, Daisy and Namiko inside the bridge of sighs
Daniel and Daisy in New College
And now the bad news, after the training an heartache we did not manage to beat Cambridge in rowing this weekend (see a dejected me below). I suppose that the good news (as if it could compensate us) is that we smashed them at every other sport! Never-mind (erm...) we have a rematch in Paris in a couple of weeks time.
Both the crews together Just the Oxford Crew Mark showing his dodgeball prowess So that was it for this week. Next week is mostly taken up with my Texas trip...wish me luck!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Week 0 Trinity

So the final term begins (forgive me for being a day late with this posting).

Actually, this week has been particularly interesting in so much that I received my first job offer! As you can imagine, the party following this new information is one that I probably should forget (although, to be honest, I can't remember most of it anyway). As to the company, I will not write any of the details for the time being as I now have two other offers and so will need to work out which one to choose.

Its amazing. Like waiting for a bus. You wait and wait, and then three come along all at the same time.

Other activities this week included submitting my first assignment for Trinity term (the Private Equity case study), doing a lot of rowing and attending the Said Business School Private Equity Conference.

On Saturday 28th Oxford MBAs will be hosting a sports day against Cambridge MBAs during which we also have a rowing race. Obviously we have no desire to lose to the other place and so have been putting in some water time so as to ensure that this doesn't happen.

Private Equity Conference
On Wednesday the school hosted its annual Private Equity conference. I attended the early afternoon session and was fascinated by the topics under discussion. For me, the most interesting session was the one during with John Moulton (Managing Director of Alchemy Partners) gave a speech entitled "Have Private Equity Returns Reached their Peak?". With all of the new players in the market the answer seemed to be an emphatic "NO".

So that is about all. Other than the above, the week ended with a family get-together in London. It was nice to see everyone.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Spring Break

So its spring break and I have had a couple of weeks off. I must admit, though, it hasn't felt much of a holiday. So what have I been up to?

Interviews - during the break I have flown to Germany, visited London a couple of times, had a few phone calls and a video conference. Watch this space for updates.

EP - The deadline for the written document is Tuesday 17th April (a couple of days time) and so some of the break was dedicated to making sure that we do as well in the written submission as we did in the presentation (we also have to submit a similar document for the Moot Corp Texas competition, so there was some added pressure).

PE - The Private Equity class that I am taking next term required a load of reading and one assignment to be completed before the first class. Nice.

Other than that, Namiko and I have used the opportunity to catch up. Its funny, the MBA really can suck you in and absorb all the time that you have available. So it is nice just to hang out. We had a couple of day trips. One of which was to Leeds Castle in Kent. We picked a great day for it and spent several hours there.
Leeds Castle (I took this picture...)

Namiko inside Leeds Castle

We also went to London to watch the Oxford Vs Cambridge Boat Race. Our boys, who were the underdogs anyway, didn't manage to come from behind to beat Cambridge. Never-the-less, it was a nice day out and (again) the weather was kind to us.

Oxford, losing by a length (or so)So, that is it. The sum total of my holidays (well, it was only 2 weeks this time). Work begins tomorrow with the finalisation of the EP paper and the term is lining up to be a busy one with the Texas trip, a Oxford Vs Cambridge MBA sports day (on 28th April) and the Paris MBA Tournament in May. Can't wait!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Hilary Term MBA Video

As per last term, I have used the break to go through the hundreds of photos taken during the term and have put some of the best ones together to make this video. Enjoy.