Wednesday, November 21, 2007

choices and changes

I should be doing a hundred other things but I also have a hundred things to write about so I'm playing hokey on strategy & finance to write this post. Its been over three months at INSEAD and the world has changed. Without any real time to digest any thing we hear or learn about in class and absolutely zero connection with the outside world, it took some time coming & then it hit me. INSEAD is slowly, insidiously transforming us!
Reading my CV, I suddenly knew I would never have written it this way three months ago.Looking at my selection of electives, I wonder is that really me? are these really my interests? Some of the courses which would have attracted me earlier hold almost no sway on me now and I have no clue when this happened.
I also found myself applying for the European Entrepreneurial Accelerator program to do a project for a company. Again I surprised myself, I chose a company whose business plan would be Greek to me and surprise, surprise, it chose me! So I now have a real world project to do and I'll get a nice little credit for it.
Life is about choices and sometimes those choices can define me. I'm choosing differently now than I would have some time ago and I'm not really sure why.
Maybe all this introspection has been bought upon us since it is the season of choices. We the J08 as we are called, are moving into 3rd gear. We now choose our electives which effectively takes away all bitching rights. From now we cant crib about the course, the professor or the workload. It's all been laid out before us & we must partake of the feast. Indigestion would be very hard to explain.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

The INSEAD life

The Montmilian ball lived up to its infamy, four hundred MBA wannabe's sinned over too much alcohol, too much dancing, too much poker and just too much everything. Barely four hours after the party finished the first pictures are already up on facebook - i wasn't joking when I said its an INSEAD obsession. This should tell you something about the drive people have here. Most normal people will require a few hours to recover post a party that rocked till 7:00 am but no not INSEADers!
Before you are awake, you have been tagged, you also have three lunch invitations and you are already behind the rest with the corporate finance reading due on Monday. when they said it was hectic, they meant it. When they insisted they need motivated, driven people who live on less than two hours of sleep(squeezed between classes or sometimes in class)and who partied as hard as they worked, well they meant that too.
This is just an MBA but for all of these reasons and many more INSEAD is so much more than just that and its very hard for anyone outside of our famed bubble to understand the irrational, illogical self inflicted way of INSEAD life.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Tragedy has stuck again at INSEAD. We came back to campus on a rainy cold, dark morning to hear the worst. it could have been us...Singapore, we feel your pain.
to friends we never met....

Friday, October 19, 2007

Class(ic) Quotes

Just some of the stuff heard in the last classes of P1

"Future income has a negative correlation with grades"
(M.Lobo, UDJ)

"In one of the bad bad years for MBA recruiting,Goldman Sachs came on campus & only hired 1 student -a girl who flunked Finance 101"
(Harald Hau, FMV)

"If you are stressed right now just remember, in 10 years this will feel like Club Med & eventually you are all going to be RICH and GOOD LOOKING (well, most of you, anyway)..."
(Nikos Vetas, P&M)

All this motivation....sigh, last day of P1 and I'm already nostalgic.
So,Is this the best year of your life then??

Friday, October 12, 2007

exam fever

The exams are not important. The dean tells us, the finance professor tells us and the amiable UDJ prof makes a joke about how if the paper is difficult we will all be clustered around the mean....
No one though is listening. There are sponsored students, there are brilliant students, there are students who have done most of this all their waking life but are they listening? Nope, not at all
The library has replaced the bar as the new hang out joint. A week ago most of us wont be caught dead going there but this week your cool status depends on which seat you managed to grab as the early bird.
The tests score will never be revealed to recruiters, or parents or spouses or siblings, basically anyone with any stake in our lives.
Statistics show a negative correlation between the deans list & professional success (apparently a successful CEO is more likely in a rock band than in the library!)
So if we are still not listening, what would you call it? pigheadedness? super competitive? just plain dumb?
LPG taught us the importance of why are we still not feeling incentivized to not care about a bloody test?
I think the riddle lies in this - we dont care about the deans list or grades but somehow we'll look so much more cooler saying that when we are on it :)

Sunday, October 07, 2007

The typical INSEAD week

No excuses for my absence but I'm sure my fellow INSEAD bloggers have left you with an accurate impression of life in the forest. They have also reminded me that i have fallen off the rodeo horse & must at least make an attempt to scramble back on.
so this is my version of a typical INSEAD week -

Monday - late for class - champagne fine,dozing in finance class - champagne fine
Panic at lunch as you realize that you dont even know what language your professor is talking in,
run to your cubicle to study but find solace in Skype & facebook - the two INSEAD obsessions apart from costume parties
brains fried & off to Margarita Mondays with the chicas to discuss the various hook ups which are commencing with alacrity

Tuesday - dazed & hungover, 5 cups of coffee & more strange concepts to fill into your head, Bar of The Week comes to the rescue
Wednesday - You decide enough is enough, you really need to hit the books but the Dean comes calling & then somehow the company presentations or the leadership summit or the scholarship dinner keeps you busy hey they offer free food & drinks....and we are poor students after all

Thursday- stressed out beyond comprehension now, you start to dolefully look for the contat info proided by INSEAD for the free counsellings sessions..yup the same one you laughed & sniggered at but saved in the depth of your locker! But then you figure a good pirated downlodable movie will be equally therapeutic & so organize a film fest of your own for the rest of the stressed out humanity

Friday - and hey the week is over & yes the exams are closer but how much can a girl in france leave your untouched books untouched again & go on the hunt for the costume you really should have packed but somehow forgot

Saturday - the party was so much fun & you had so much to drink with so many people you never saw in school that now you have decided with some of them to finally get some city air - you really need the pollution, the lights, the buzz & of course the shopping!

Sunday - you wake up & count the number of hours you slept through the week & congratulate yourself for surviving on what must be nothing short of torture. You decide you still haven't seen France & go off looking for a quaint lunch by some river front & ogle at picturesque towns that are so beautiful & how you wished you lived there...completely forgetting that last night you couldnt get enough of the city. You make promises to yourself of becoming organized & prioritizing & studying & writing your CV & hunting for jobs....and then its Monday again.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

At sea...alone

I'm feeling weird. the first pangs of nostalgia for my life- as-it-was have started and we are not even a month into the new one....i miss my husband & he's the only one who knows how tough this is for his wife to admit on a public forum (most often spousal compliant is that he is missing from these pages)
As my head spins with new concepts, classes, people, cultures, clubs, groups, assignments, readings, parties & a little bit of wine too I look for my anchor and suddenly I realize it isn't there, suddenly I feel lost, a bit adrift on uncharted waters with not so much as a sketchy blueprint for this grand new life I'm trying to create....
Its only a feeling, a moment & it'll pass

"We'll do it all, everything. On our own.
We dont need , anything or anyone...
If I lay here, if I just lay here
will you lie here with me & just forget the world"

Chasing Cars, Snow Patrol