Monday, July 23, 2007

Summer in London

Its been a couple of weeks since I blogged last. I am now in London and have just started my 3rd week of the strategic consulting project at The Diamond Trading Company (DTC). Our offices in Charterhouse Street, London are right next to the 'diamond academy' (where they have lots and lots of diamonds), is very comfortable and right at the heart of the organisation.

Our project – reviewing the value proposition of one line of products – started off very broad and so our the first week was mainly taken up in forming a realistic scope with which we could direct our line of attack. We have so far had two reviews with our sponsor, who seems to be happy with what we have achieved/the direction that we are going in, and been introduced to both the Managing Director and several members of the executive committee who all seem to have a real interest. It seems that this project is really high profile and I am led to believe that real decisions will be based on our results. As proof of their intent, and in addition to the office based work, two members of our team (there are four in total) will travel to India next week to visit customers so as to understand exactly what they require from the company offering. DTC are certainly ensuring that there are no barriers to us collecting really robust data with which to make our recommendations.

Mark and Swapandeep strategisin' in our office
Kaysa, not strategisin' (in all fairness, it was late)
From a ‘non-work’ point of view, our apartments are quite luxurious and perfectly placed for exploring London (being located in the centre of Marylebone). We have more restaurants within walking distance than we realistically can visit in the time allocated and can walk as easily to Oxford Street as we can to Regents Park. In the evenings I am even managing to either get to the gym or, when the weather is nice, take a run around the park. This is certainly very different to the ‘MBA hours’ that I was pulling less than a month ago.

Every Tuesday all the MBAs that are in London for the summer meet up for dinner. Last week was Italian, this week Sushi. It’s great to hear how everyone is doing/adjusting to working life. Seeing as there are about 20 of us here, it makes for a nice evening.

So that is it so far for the SCP. I am really enjoying the DTC and remember now why I love London so much.

Photo from night out in Camden

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Week 10 Trinity... Last Oxford Exams!

The end of Trinity Term. I can't believe that it is over.

This week I sat 3 exams in the Exam Schools (on High Street). One on Monday, one on Tuesday and one on Wednesday which also marked the day that I finished all formal assessment for this term. Where has the time gone? Just the SCP and Capstone, and this MBA is over...
Swapandeep summing up my emotion following the Restructuring Exam on Wednesday
Arash and me following our last examFollowing our last exam, and in line with tradition, we all piled down to the Turf for a well earned drink (it was, after all, 11am). Unfortunately, most of us didn't last long as we had been up most of the night with some last minute revision.
It would seem that the Turf is now 'Award Winning' Archit, Saim, Gaurav, Kaz and Shariq at the TurfOn Thursday I went down to London for a welcome BBQ at McKinsey's Kensington office. This was arranged by the recruiters to welcome all of the consultants (currently in the UK) joining this year. It was a great event and I managed to meet plenty of people. Most were joining at the Business Analyst grade (for people who have just finished their undergraduate degree), however I did manage to meet some who (like me) were joining as Associates following the completion of their doctorate/MBA. Everyone was full of enthusiasm, intelligent and a seemingly fun loving, I am sure that I have made the correct choice.

On Sunday Namiko and I attended Paul and Liz Evans' son's Christening. Little Ethan was very well behaved during the ceremony and was then treated to a party on a train. It was a lovely event for which even the weather was well behaved (for a change)
Liz, Paul and Ethan Namiko, Bump and TrainSo, with Trinity over, I have now moved out of Oxford and back into our house down south. The next week will involve me preparing the house for sale (it should go on the market tomorrow) so that we can move to London in November. And I thought that I was going to have the week off!