lunes, mayo 21, 2007

The breaks are off...

... as we hurtle down to the mid-point of the MBA. A week has passed since the mid-terms, we have back our results (except QMM and Global Econ) and I managed to do well in all. At least I managed to do as well as I expected to do (i.e. *barely* scrape by in Corporate Finance) so no complaints. Now if only QMM and Global Econ don't turn out to be shockers, I will have survived the first half of the last term of the first year.

Post mid-term is a whole new story. We seem to be working endlessly, including on weekends. Apart from the daily stuff (which most of you know by heart by now), we're supposed to hand in three project reports until the end of the term, which is a mere 3 weeks away.

The first one's for Operations Strategy - a real life case for a Sports goods manufacturer / retailer in Europe, that will be discussed with the company in concern. The second one is a mock M&A negotiation in Corporate Finance between AT&T and McCaw Communications, but mock or no mock, there's a ton of stuff to do. Finally, my pet project is the one for Competitive Strategy, where we had the liberty to choose any company we wanted. Mine's a well-known telco in Spain / LatAm, and considering I'll be doing telecom consulting for my summer internship, it's the one I'm most interested in.

Needless to say, our final grades depend on how well we perform on these projects, so I better get back to them. Now where did I leave my coffee??

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sábado, mayo 12, 2007

Another finde..

So finally another set of midterm exams is over. The good part is that they end quickly so there's no prolonged torture. The 2nd day of exams brought Quantitative Methods (QMM) and Operations Strategy papers. QMM seemed to go uncomfortably well, so either it *was* easy or I screwed up big time. I think it's option A.

The Ops Strat exam had an HBS case on [German luxury car manufacturer] that had trouble in finding a good place to locate their new production plant. I think I did OK, but so did the other 219 of us so it's up to the profs to bother about the grades.

Finally yesterday we faced our fears (well some of us anyways) - Corporate Finance and Global Economics. For once I'm certain I screwed up Corp Fin big time... like I was telling someone, "I have a lot of numbers, I'm just not sure if they're right". But then I only want to be partially blamed for this - we were told we'd have a sheet with formulae on it, but the one we got was barely sufficient. Now if we were allowed to bring our own cheat sheets, it would have been a whole different case... Only now I'm glad I didn't choose finance as a career. I got whacked by the WACC.

By the way, we had a question which promised 1 Bonus point to the best answer in the class (which I have my doubts on, but that's what it said). The question? "What would you rather be doing right now?" There sure are going to be a few creative answers to that one!

Global Econ went pretty well (again, my opinion only!) considering Melissa and I had revised a couple of key concepts (Open/Closed Economies, Fixed & Flexible exchange rates) just before the exam and 2 of 3 questions were directly based on them. Sea lo que sea, exams are over!

Oh, we also had our first ever Beach BOW right after the exams, and the party ended at 3 AM (for some of us) at the awesome Danzatoria up on Tibidabo. Cheap beer, warm sun and eye candy is probably the best post exam therapy ever.

¡Hasta pronto!

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miércoles, mayo 09, 2007

Exam Time

Mid Term time again. Did case on [Spanish Airline] for the Competitive Strategy exam today. 1 down, 4 to go. Up next - Quantitative Methods and Operations Strategy.

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miércoles, mayo 02, 2007

Houston we have...

Having gotten into the third term routine, a few of us (actually all of us) were a bit surprised to get an email from Student Affairs informing us that the Operations Strategy course won't be held in our usual classroom, but was going to be held in another, in a different building.

Now it so happens that in every operations class, one study group has to prepare a presentation about the case, analyse the competitive situation of the company with a focus on operations and suggest possible alternatives. Today's was about a German textile manufacturer that catered and supplied products to basically all the major car manufacturers in Europe and a few in the US & Asia.

So why the change in class? Well our professor had a word with the CEO of the company under consideration, and the two decided that the conclusions that we would arrive at as a group would be presented to the CEO to get to know his thoughts on the same... through video/teleconference. Imagine our relief when, after listening to our recommendations, the CEO replied "I came out of a board meeting 5 minutes ago, and we've decided to do the same". Phew, disaster averted.

By the way, I think Georgio may have won what could probably his 30th COW with "Why did [Italian Car Manufacturer] turn around so spectacularly two years ago? Uhh..because I left the company!" . I'll find out on Friday.

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