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Michael Kohlhaas - the rest of my life
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Ok, ok, I AM a wuss. I don’t think theme parks are fun. Any more. Maybe that has something to do with the lack of a substantial breakfast, or a very sizeable amount of cough medicine taken just before going there, or just with the fact that however much preparation... Continue reading
This morning, I rediscovered that I don't really like air travel. I mean, it's not that I don't like flying, or travelling in general. But as an expat, air travel has long become a means to an end and flying, especially to European destinations, has long since become a chore.... Continue reading
Dear readers, first things first, I should be turning you away, citing reasons like how much time you must have on your hand that would be so much better spent reading something relevant, or interesting, educational, or simply spending the time with your friends and/or family, or - most importantly... Continue reading
Today’s post is the last one I’ll write on this blog. Because two weeks ago, we, the first MiM class, have graduated, and two days ago I got the email confirming we’re masters, and so this week – I am scared to say, but officially true – is the first... Continue reading
What is HEC’s MBA Tournament (MBAT) all about? MBAT is an annual tournament in which Europe’s top business school (LBS) and some marginal and unimportant ones of a lower order (HEC, IE, Said Business School (Oxford), Judge Business School (Cambridge), Bocconi, IESE etc etc) come together on HEC’s campus in... Continue reading
Why blog about a marathon? What to put? “I ran a lot, and then I had to run a lot more”? And why should I blog about a marathon here? Because a MiM talked me into doing it. I don’t think I would ever do such a crazy thing. And... Continue reading
‘Course not. At London Business School, one of the feelings I had to get accustomed to was that people are smart. Like, really, really smart. And charming and well-spoken and so forth. And about half of them come from non-business backgrounds. How unfair – I have a first in business... Continue reading
In my view, the problem about studying is that you spend a good two years of your degree essentially learning how to study – and my final year was crammed with technical training and what I’d like to call the real stuff. Essentially, I was trained in basic techniques for... Continue reading
When you’re coming from a business undergrad background, you might not see the point in doing a postgrad degree in business. After all, you’ve probably studied all the subjects before. Chewing through marketing theory and business strategy again might not seem that appealing to you. But here’s a thought –... Continue reading
Today’s post is the last one I’ll write on this blog. Because two weeks ago, we, the first MiM class, have graduated, and two days ago I got the email confirming we’re masters, and so this week – I am scared to say, but officially true – is the first week of the rest of our lives. On the table is my MiM yearbook, bringing back many fond memories of the past year. Interestingly enough, it leaves out most of the hard work you do, because, that is not the parts you really remember, and you shouldn’t cause that is the part that really doesn’t count at all in this field. So, a few years down the line, the memories about the MiM might be nothing but pictures of us looking a lot younger, wearing Santa beards and funny headgear and living it up in one of London’s after-dinner venues. But it is said that B-School brings out the best in people, and I feel that I have gained a huge amount from the people around me at LBS, many of whom are MiMs. In the last year, I have done some things I’ve always wanted to do, including among others acting, marathon running, public speaking and coercing a captive audience of 106 MiMs and the programme office staff into singing a Christmas carol with me, to name but a few things in no particular order of preference. OK, maybe the Christmas carol was a bit of a stopgap solution but it was fun! And suddenly, it was all over. Some guys have already started work here in London, some have gone home and started work, many are on vacation, some still job hunting, and the real life is catching up with us a lot faster than I thought it would. But the last couple of days of Masters in Management have seen some of the best times for me ever. We rocked MBAT and Disorientation Week, Parul and I had a lot of fun practicing unplugged versions of ‘Paparazzi’ and ‘Im Wagen vor mir’ for a performance at the MiM party that unfortunately never happened, we as a class dressed fancily for the final MiM party and in black tie for the awesome summer ball. Now, I am sitting at home with my girlfriend, sorting out my next flat and reviewing (and, selectively, untagging myself from) pictures depicting the festivities around the end of our year that crop up on Facebook. It still amazes me what a fantastic opportunity for development this year has been for all of us, and will be for all of you, if you decide to make it into something great for yourselves! Ok guys, that’s all I have to say. Thanks for reading my infrequent rants. For those of you who liked them, I started another blog here where I will sometimes post some of my observations about life’s little annoyances and the great ones, such as Transport for London, the NHS, landlords and their henchmen, letting agencies, and of course, being asked how I liked studying for my masters at LSE. Anyone more than myself following that blog will make it a success! Finally, a message to all future MiM vintages: have a great time, treat your PO nicely, don’t ask your careers services why Goldman or McKinsey haven’t offered you a job yet even though you’ve been at LBS for almost three weeks and don’t forget to listen to your professors AND study mates from time to time (it might be worth it!), wear a tie when you have to and don’t forget to hold up the London Business School MiM brand while you’re out there conquering the world. Anything else? Yes. MiMs are a good bunch. Hire us! Continue reading
Posted Jul 29, 2010 at Masters in Management
What is HEC’s MBA Tournament (MBAT) all about? MBAT is an annual tournament in which Europe’s top business school (LBS) and some marginal and unimportant ones of a lower order (HEC, IE, Said Business School (Oxford), Judge Business School (Cambridge), Bocconi, IESE etc etc) come together on HEC’s campus in Jouy-en-Josas, close to Paris, and compete in sports ranging from rugby to dodgeball to salsa. A tremendous talent show, and a great opportunity to socialise and network with the other programmes! By now, I recognise MBAT participants from the MBA programmes, the Masters in Finance class, and so on, whenever I walk across campus. Fantastic parties and a fantastic team spirit all along were the trademark features of this tournament. We MiMs entered the MBAT in strong form. MiMs celebrated their talent on the dancefloor (Congrats Sandra!), on the badminton court (Kudos to Aditi), in chess, dodgeball, squash (with Robbie relegating the competition to another league), cheerleading (a stunning choreography planned, practised and performed by a team led by Nadine). Ines dived for the beach volleyball team and the football pitch got rocked by Federico as goalie and Panos as striker. And I celebrated my lack of talent with a boat party on a windy racecourse in Choisy-le-Roi outside Paris. A total of zero non-participating spectators witnessed us toiling on the water, underlining rowing’s claim to fame as an evergreen crowd pleaser. Although, I have to say, entering the 20th edition of HEC’s MBA Tournament (MBAT) was the most expensive rowing regatta I’ve ever entered - £400 for an aggregate 1,000 metres and about four minutes of racing; this we covered with 150 strokes, bringing the CPS (Cost per stroke) to two quid sixty-seven pence and the CPSec (Cost per second) to £1.67. And if you haven’t noticed yet, I am SO much looking forward to our Management Accounting class. By now you will ask yourself: ‘Michael, why didn’t you play another sport? Why didn’t you play a fun sport in the first place? Why rowing?’ The answer is that everything that involves a ball is not for me. Check it out – if you want a sure win in football, put me in one team and then join the other. The rowing competition was easy, with Oxford and Cambridge fielding the strongest crews. Who would’ve guessed. But for an old oarsman with 15 years experience like me, they were no match. Except for, errh, the Winklevoss twins, which happen to be the inventors of something that became a site called Facebook, and, well, Olympic rowers of the two-by-two-metre format. As we had never trained before, I guess a third place for LBS, with borrowed rowers from 1) Cambridge for the first and 2) Oxford for the second heat, was a great outcome. It fills me with great pleasure that our girls’ crew beat the first HEC crew by miles ;-), and equally, that we had the second fastest time of the day (1:56 min/500m in what was an old bathtub). The greatest achievement of that day, however, was not our medal nor the girls whipping HEC nor the Oxford crew who TWICE managed to only narrowly avoid ramming us in the final heat. The prize goes to the LBS novice crew, who rowed the first 2,000 metres in their lives, half of that under racing conditions – chapeau! I have to give honourable mention to our bus drivers at this point, which shuttled us from the hotel to the HEC campus, and to the final party on the Champs-Elysees. Phrases like: ‘Hey! This map just contradicted itself!’ simply deserve to be immortalised, because. They proved time and again that a bus ride scheduled for 30 minutes can be extended to anything between an hour and an hour and a half. But all in all, the MBAT was an extremely cool experience I wouldn’t have liked to miss. You will have to excuse me now, I have to get back to catching up with my newly-won MBAT friends. One of them promised me a jug of Pimm’s if I play football for the other side. P.S.: Please excuse the sarcasm along the way. Rowing IS a brilliant sport to watch. And HEC is a brilliant institution mirroring the brilliance found at London Business School with a distinct, continental European flair. P.P.S.: NOOOT. Continue reading
Posted May 23, 2010 at Masters in Management
Why blog about a marathon? What to put? “I ran a lot, and then I had to run a lot more”? And why should I blog about a marathon here? Because a MiM talked me into doing it. I don’t think I would ever do such a crazy thing. And I mean, just now, when I waddled down the escalator slope at the Eurostar terminal that is meant to provide maximum convenience to travellers, I realised how crazy it was, because right now, I am walking like my great-grandmother, and this slope proved to be a big challenge for me. My hips and knees are positively destroyed. I won’t bore you guys with the preparation. It means running lots and, in the last week, eating lots of carbs. Pasta and banana, cake, jam sandwiches, some more pasta, all different combinations possible. Spaghetti with a banana, jam and cake crumbs sauce is not too bad! But yesterday, when I was walking towards the start in the morning sun, dressed in a smart rubbish bag with “Jogging” written all over it in font size 500, I could not believe I was really gonna do this. Since it was the first time I... Continue reading
Posted Apr 12, 2010 at Masters in Management
‘Course not. At London Business School, one of the feelings I had to get accustomed to was that people are smart. Like, really, really smart. And charming and well-spoken and so forth. And about half of them come from non-business backgrounds. How unfair – I have a first in business admin and now I don’t even seem to have a tangible advantage! But here comes the effect the courses will have on you. My initial reaction was – “Hey, I know this stuff already!” And then I listened some more. And I felt – “I know this stuff – sort of”. Phase three is when you say: “That would’ve been really useful had I known it before.” Ultimately, you admit that you don’t know about 75% of the matter you are being taught. Here is where your environment helps you. I’ve learned a lot from lectures, but I learned perhaps even more from my peers. The diverse backgrounds of the student body create a wealth of knowledge that is readily on tap. As a MiM, I’ve found it extremely helpful to speak to the more experienced MBA’s, Masters in Finance students and so forth. Your study group keeps you on... Continue reading
Posted Mar 18, 2010 at Masters in Management
In my view, the problem about studying is that you spend a good two years of your degree essentially learning how to study – and my final year was crammed with technical training and what I’d like to call the real stuff. Essentially, I was trained in basic techniques for two years, got a huge amount of subject knowledge in the final year and then found myself within an analyst training programme that was like an executive MBA and brought everyone up to speed. At the end of ten weeks of sitting in the stuffy training centre at Smithfields meat market, every last “I’ve got a masters in Shakespeare” spoke banker lingo. So why study business if you get taught seemingly everything you need to know by your employer? Let’s revisit my idea of learning everything in the last year of a business degree – essentially, with a one-year masters degree, you double your training time used on teaching advanced, truly value-adding concepts. And this time, it’s at masters’ level – this time, our professors mean business. At London Business School, where most students are coming out of two to six years of work experience, your background is taken into... Continue reading
Posted Mar 11, 2010 at Masters in Management
When you’re coming from a business undergrad background, you might not see the point in doing a postgrad degree in business. After all, you’ve probably studied all the subjects before. Chewing through marketing theory and business strategy again might not seem that appealing to you. But here’s a thought – I discovered that so many opportunities are only open to me now with a masters degree. Once you’re out of uni you’ll probably spend a lot of time exploring the opportunities with an undergrad degree – and you might miss some really good ones, just because you don’t fulfil a seemingly statutory requirement only. There’s more to it than it seems. In the UK, the job market seems to be very permeable for people with degrees in science and arts of all sorts and virtually all employers welcome applications from people with bachelor’s degrees. That is not the same everywhere. In France, graduates are expected to have a “Bac plus cinq” level education before the job market takes them seriously. In Germany, where people were told that their previous five-year diplomas were equivalent to a three-year bachelor course, employers quickly looked beyond the Bologna conversion and asked for masters’ level... Continue reading
Posted Mar 1, 2010 at Masters in Management
PING! This is Michael going live! Continue reading
Posted Feb 4, 2010 at Masters in Management
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Feb 4, 2010