Wednesday, December 07, 2005

What a week!

It’s been a week since my last post and what a week this was! Extremely busy with all kind of stuff, both serious and fun. Since this will be a long post so I will put it in 3 parts:

1. Fun stuff
2. Serious stuff
3. More fun stuff (what I heard in class)

1. Fun stuff

Lots of activities. It all began last Thursday with a band formed by INSEAD students: “Sing ‘n Pour”. They arranged a performance in a bar downtown. About 100 students showed up, making a bar a crowded, damp, but oh so good place to be. The band played about 15 songs and did a very good job. A few of the highlights: Hey Jude (everybody singing along) and Smells Like Teen Spirit (the crowd went nuts). The owner of the bar stopped by and sent a message to the band leader the next day. His exact words: "When I looked around and saw the crowd going nuts, I remember why it was that I wanted to be in this business; absolutely amazing!" The fact that the liquor consumption was probably at an all time high at that bar, might had something to do with it as well :) And yes, it was on a Thursday so we had class the next morning at 8.30. It was not a pretty sight, and then I don’t even mention the smell…

Next event: Sinterklaas! The Dutch (including me as I am also from the flattest country in the world) organized a traditional festivity on Friday after class. Once a year Sinterklaas (comparable to Santa Claus) to The Netherlands with his assistants, Black Petes, to give presents to the children. It’s a bit of a long story to really explain how this works in Holland, but anyway, it was a lot of fun. All students could ‘put their shoe’ the evening before and they received a nice present from the Sint. For the day itself Sinterklaas and 3 Black Petes showed up to reward the good students and punish the bad. We prepared a presentation about 16 people that had to come to the Sint to explain why they did what they did. Fun stuff and we had some good reviews about it as well.

This week: the German/Swiss week. Each couple of weeks the students one or two countries organize a whole week with all kinds of traditional activities. Some examples of those activities: Monday was the Swiss cheese night (cheese fondue), yesterday there were 2 movies, tomorrow there is beer tasting, and this Friday will be the final party with free and unlimited German beer. As can be expected, the whole week is organized very well.

I’ll try to post some pictures about these events soon.

2. Serious stuff

Exams will start in 8 days and we definitely feel it. Everyone is working their butt off and you can see people looking like zombies all over the place. To make it even worse, last week was also the deadline for a number of group assignments. Working in a team should be more efficient that doing things on your own, but it practice it usually is a big, tiresome struggle. The next week will certainly only be worse when it comes to workload. The INSEAD library will be packed at 11pm each night. That’s what you get when you put a two-year program in just one year.
But there is light at the end of the tunnel: after the exams we will have our first real break (two and a half week!) and I’m sure ready for one. After that: Fonty!

And now, the periodically ranking of classes.
1. Management Accounting (amazing prof and interesting, practical topics)
2. Finance (remember the comments of the finance prof of the first part of the course?)
3. Marketing (lot’s of funny commercials)
4. Process and Operations Management (the best of the ‘not so good’)
5. Organizational Behavior (do I actually learn anything here?)
6. Strategy (I strongly disagree with the concepts discussed and the way the course is taught. The prof is fully aware of that, so I guess I can kiss my class participation grade goodbye on this one)

3. More fun stuff (what I heard in class)

Management Accounting 1
Prof: “You just answered the question I was going to ask? How did you read my mind? Well, I guess that is outside the scope of this course…”

Management Accounting 2
Prof: “In competitive markets you are automatically protected to extreme stupidity in pricing issues.”

Process and Operations Management (POM)
Students are talking in class when prof wants to say something. Some other students make the ‘Shhhhh’ sound.
Prof: “I can yell even louder, don’t worry”

Organizational Behavior
Prof: “If you can’t here me, that’s probably because you all went deaf again after your POM class”

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