Monday, 26 May 2008

TT Week 5

Every Saturday I think of writing something about the school, the course, the professors or 'words of wisdom'. But by the time Sunday arrives, I run out of time, I start thinking who am I to tell about philosophy of life and criticize Oxford profs. So the blogs turns into one more newsletter...

Not that the news are not interesting. In fact so many interesting things happen here everyday that a full magazine can be printed for every week's events. Considering my not-so-social nature, I attend mere 10% of the events that many socially active MBAs go for. Few distinguishing people attend most parties, participate in many sports, work on many committees, attend many dinners and still manage to get into Dean's list. How cool are they.

Alternatively large portion of these events is parties and bops. I don't understand the concept of getting drunk and dancing. I mean I like dancing. But I don't feel like doing it randomly and for no reason (or even if the reason is couple or more beers). This is not to say anything less about the people who like it. Its just me. Though consequently that cuts of 60% of the events and hence socializing. Right now I am not sure if I am missing something or not... Let the time tell...

Nonetheless. The headlines of the week are as below.

Right now, don't remember much of it except assignments and stuff. But I like classes more and more. This week M&A class and Corporate Valuation class were very interesting. Now feel like doing MBA.

Jackie Chan in Oxford

Jackie Chan's visit to Oxford was arranged by PPE society. As a kid, I didn't know English. So the first few English movies I saw was essentially only Jackie Chan movies for you don't need to understand what they talk. Just see the amazing action. And the other thing was the English of Jackie himself. He is astonishingly poor in English. During his speech also he had to ask others many times for English translation. I can't believe he did so many Hollywood movies with this poor level of English.

And I had in mind his image as a shy, humble guy. But he is salesman personality. By that I mean he is very confident, non ashamed to call himself great and iterate his achievements, talkative and knows how to sell himself. But it was cool to see him just few meters away. Here is a video:

Oxford - Cambridge sports event

Saturday was another sports event between Oxford - Said Business School and Cambridge - Judge Business School. This is organized alternatively by each and this year it was The Other Place. Most Oxford MBAs love to hate Cambridge building and I must say, they had a point. The building is really flashy and it is indeed hard to explain why anyone will paint a business school in red, yellow and blue. But the event was organized very well. Cambridge class is smaller and more diverse. So the class is just like family where everyone knows each other well. Just like BEIT class. It was a nice sunny day and everyone enjoyed a lot. Out of 15 events oxford won 8. Considering small size of 'The other place' they did very good. The rugby was touch rugby with mixed team of guys and gals. So there were enough people and I wasn't very keen on playing touch rugby. So instead I played Table Tennis. If anyone cares about the results, I won, thought overall Oxford lost. All in all good day, good game and fun time.

This 'other place' seems to have many big and nice colleges. Though the city is small. Here are some snaps.

Judge Business School Building

Celebrity college in Cambridge. King's college

I guess thatz all. May be I will break self imposed rule of writing only on Sundays and write when the impulse to address the word will arise. If not, then next newsletter on next Sunday.


Sunday, 18 May 2008

TT Week 4


So here are the pending Paris snaps. I liked Paris more than London. London is very constricted. Paris is more green, more beautiful and has typical Europian city look. Some people hate this thing though I liked it.

The site seeing was more of a formality. We didn't really have much time in hand... So we went to places, took snaps and moved to next. Specially at Louvre where one can easily spend whole day, we finished it in an hour. Just visited the famous thing we knew are there.

Though there were many benefits for people under 26. Like very cheap train ticket and I even got free entry to Louvre... lucky me... most MBAs are well over 26, so I was special case



Normal week, busy in assignments and all. This term is pretty interesting though for number of reasons. One is the subjects. I always wanted to know about Mergers and retailing which are the subjects I am learning and so kindda fulfilling my goal to do MBA. Another reason is guest lectures. Many classes are taken by well know guests from Industry like McKinsay partner, ex-HMV CEO and high profile people like that. So it is really intersting to hear from them about the real, first hand experiences.

Week end

Apart from meetings, celebrated Bday of team mate, noelia with cute little cake on Saturday. On Sunday I was invited by April at her place for lunch. She laboured a lot from buying vegetables to chopping, cleaning and cooking just to cook vegetarian taiwanese food for me. Can't express my gratitude for this gesture. And the food was really lovely. Great to have such a nice friends and nice food at Oxford. Here are some snaps:

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

TT Week 3 - MBAT Rugby

When I got admission into Oxford, I decided to try two sports. Rowing and Rugby. Well Rowing schedule was very weird and couldn't make it. But I was practicing Rugby regularly. To tell the truth, compared to people playing competitive Rugby all the time, I am very incompetent. But otherwise considering I never played before, I am ok.

So finally I was in Oxford Rugby team for MBAT ( where top B schools in EU competed for sports. We did damn good. In first round we washed out LBS (London Business School) team B and INSEAD. Those poor kids are still rehabilitating from their injuries. In Semi we made ESADE bleed. Final was with LBS and was very competitive. Still great performances from my team and great show. We won and we won the gold.

So we are official MBA Rugby world champions :)

See the medal

Didn't play and won sports since school. I used to play Kabaddi in school and I could say I was good. No way for sports in 11 / 12. Then for engineering, I wasn't interested in Cricket and lack of power games didn't motivate me to participate in games like Volleyball. And again due to Students' Council, time was another problem. So feel really great about this. One thing less from the to do list.

See the pics of match. To find me, you have to look carefully in the snaps... but I am there and I really played :)....

MBAT Rugby

I will upload the pics and update of Paris trip soon.

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

TT Week 2

I know I am being rather irregular in wrting posts this term. But this term time management is all messed up. In two weeks many times had to press the panic button. And no improvement is in sight... so bear with me!

Well, I have already written about most of the week. Another thing to mention was- got my Hilary Term results. Of course pass in all subjects. But to my greatest dispair no distinction. I am dieing to blame someone else for this but I know only I am responsible for this. Some of my class mates got rather very good results while some smart people are at the same stage as I am. But again no reason to compare or justify. I won't say I didn't study or didn't give it all my attention. But the result is what it is... the result. And the result is pass but no distinction.

One more swollen half broken finger and bruises after the Rugby game. We practice for tackle this time. And there are good chances of injuries if you are tackled by a six and half feet giant boxer running at the speed of 30 miles per hour. So it hurts to type right now. But don't worry as you always... I will be ok :-P.

So here is the event of the year or whatever. MBA olympics. In Paris students from top and only top business schools in Europe gather for MBA Tournament (MBAT). What am I going to do there? Well I am represeting Oxford University in Rugby....ummm...well.... I know its not as great as it sounds. but who cares... Good opportunity to visit Paris. Though the hassle I had to go through and the extra work I had to do I sometimes think its not work the efforts. And I might not enjoy there. But I am going anyway. This also means next blog post might not be on time.

So thatz all. Now I have to finish the assignment, sleep for about 90 mins before getting up for the class... so all you folks enjoy the life. Everytime you waste a food, remember of people in Africa who don't get to eat for days. And everytime you stay up to watch stupid cricket match remeber of MBAs in Oxford who don't get to sleep in days....

Thursday, 1 May 2008

TT Week 1 and Week 2 1/2

Why 2 1/2? Becase second week is only half done. The new term started and took speed within no time. Some little time mismanagement from my side was also responsible for it partially.

Week 1

Week 1 was miserable. As I had to make 5 teams + SCP team this term. There were so many fluctuations and changes that at one time I had all team and next moment none. I had to spend many hours in frustration trying to find out team members. Eventually teams for the elective subjects were formed. But there was no hope for SCP (Summer Consulting Project). I was keen on internship and hence didn't form teams with friends before. So all of them who wanted SCP formed there teams. And eventually I realized that I couldn't get any internship and have to form SCP team. The big problem in forming this team is companies look for diversity of backgrounds and experience in the team. But if you have people from different backgrounds, each one wish to do different projects and it becomes hard to find the common list of projects. The deadline for registration was Monday morning. By Sunday morning we still were three people looking for one more. And in frustration I dropped mail to program coordinator if we can form a team of only three. Eventually she replied negative. To make the matter worse there were three assignments due in pipeline.

Thankfully Shasha Huang who wanted to do SCP but was fluctuating between decisions met Jenny and Sirena. I had worked with Sirena in first term and working with Jenny in many times. Both of them are very good friends. They nicely told Shasha about our team and recommended me. Finally we got the team at 5 in the evening. After that many many many hours of work for:

Writing 7 cover letters for SCP
MBAT practice (I might play Rigby)
Visa preparation for MBAT. Appointment on Monday
Corporate Valuation assignment on Monday
Mergers and Acquisition assignment on Tuesday
Strategy assignment on Thursday

Long story short, From Sunday morning to Thursday morning my cumulative sleep is sheer 12 hours for four nights. But I guess I have done all I needed to.
Enough of whining. Here is something pleasant.

May Day

Every year 1st May is celebrated in UK, specially in Oxford. The tradition is on 30th April people go to different ball or parties and stay up all night. Then in the morning all gather at Magdalen College where are 6.00 am a church choir sings madrigals. This is followed by number of impromptu performances on street. Until two years back there was a tradition of jumping from bridge in river which was cancelled last year after injuries due to shallow water. Thought at the cost of highly priced sleep, this event was very pleasant and enjoying way to spend a beautiful morning with good friends.
This nice morning ended with nice breakfast at Jerico Cafe. Catch up a bit with sleep after that then after eating and some study, here I am writing this post.
Here are some snaps stolen from Jenny and Aashima.