Breaking a tradition

I normally belong to the 60% of the population that doesn’t make New Year’s resolutions, at least, I don’t make ‘em for new calendar years, but I do it on my birthday. Unfortunately, or I should say fortunately, I didn’t have the time this year, since the madness called first term had already descended on me and my lovely housemates organised a surprise birthday party. So, I decided to make up for this omission and maky my resolutions at the customary time, and I’m writing them now. If I do all the things on my list, I’ll be nominated for sainthood at the end of the year!

I’m back in London after spending a blissful week at my parents’, having a lovely Christmas and getting loads of gifts, mainly Dutch food and magazines (although I’ve discovered that I don’t have to go back to the Netherlands to get my fix, my brother sent me this link to a Dutch goody shopping site). I’m slowly getting back into gear again, next week I don’t have classes save one CPSD (Career P? Services ?, they’re basically auxiliary courses like Negotiation) course called ‘Conflict Management’ on Friday. Monday Jan 9th starts with a bang: Finance I (‘the Return of the WACC’) on Monday plus an introduction to Milkround recruiting (all the big companies coming onto campus). Other subjects we take this term: Decision and Risk Analysis, Marketing, 6 weeks left of Finance I, Operations and Technology Management, and I’m also taking my first elective: Adventures in Management Innovation, taught by Julian Birkinshaw and Gary Hamel which promises to be very exciting and which I’m really looking forward to.

R1 results have brought two new bloggers on the LBS-block: my warmest welcome goes out to Angel Angie, R1 admit, and Moe, R1 admit too (I’m not quite sure if he’s going to LBS since he’s also got an admit from IESE, Moe??).

There was an interesting article in the Indian Times called Success code for CEO’s: Get a design and an interesting article from the online version of Businessweek, about how webzines are going back to paper.

My very best wishes for 2006 go out to everyone, may you get what you wish for, and I wish this for everyone (ancient Irish blessing:)

Lucky stars above you,
Sunshine on your way,
Many friends to love you,
Joy in work and play-
Laughter to outweigh each care,
In your heart a song-
And gladness waiting everywhere
All your whole life long!

Home sweet…. ehm… where is home again?

I’ve flown to my parents in the Netherlands for Christmas and I was about to say ‘home sweet home’ when I realised that although this is where my roots lie and I will call this place ‘home’ the rest of my life, I haven’t actually lived here for over 10 years, and when talking about returning to London, I call that ‘home’ too… maybe ‘home’ has become more of a mental space, calling it that place where my family and friends are, and where I feel at home. But that’s no longer one physical place.
The pictures in this blog-post are some of the pics I took when taking a walk in one of the local forests on First Christmas-day. We (the Dutch) must be the only nation that actually has a first and second Christmasday! I think it’s quite clever, though, this way it’s easier to arrange Christmas with your in-laws: one day at your parents, one day at his.

A couple of interesting weblinks: Tim Berners-Lee, the man who more or less invented the Internet, has started a weblog here, and if you’re a true consultant and you want to convince the dude/dudette you’re with why they should continue dating you, read this, it had me in stitches.

Merry Xmas!

Wishing everyone a very merry Christmas and all the best wishes for the New Year (ugh… who am I kidding, I’ll probably write something before that)!
To the R1s that were admitted: Santa came early!
To the R2s that are working on their applications due early Jan: good luck!
To my LBS-friends all over the world: have lots of fun and relaxation over the break, hope to see you rejuvenated in 2006!
To my blogger-friends all over the world: may you have lots of inspiration and time to keep on writing next year!


A photography is a secret about a secret.
The more it tells you the less you know.

Yesterday I went to the ‘Diane Arbus: Revelations’ exhibition at the Victoria and Albert museum (which reminded me of some old auntie’s attic of junk)(ouch, that was a bit impolite, it is actually one of the finest museums in London), and it was fabulous! The photos in the exhibition were great, and the exhibition itself was well laid-out, with three areas they called libraries, which had personal effects such as cameras, notebooks and books, which gave an extra layer of depth to the exhibition. I had a great time and I can heartily recommend it to anyone. Hurry up if you want to go, it closes on Jan 15th 2006.

[picture above: Copyright © 1980 The Estate of Diane Arbus, LLC]

State of minor depression

You can sort of tell I’m coming down off my adrenaline-high called the first term at London Business School by the fact that I’m using the same title for a blogpost as one that I used some time back… no creativity left at this point in time. [warning: shameless self pitying coming up, if you don’t care for that, don’t read any further]. I always seem to have this post-adrenaline-rush blues. Even when I was still a consultant (which seems like a million years ago now, but in reality it’s only 6 months ago) I used to get this coming-down-off-a-cloud feeling after we hit a major deadline. With 3 months of non-stop running around, I feel empty without having to run around, going to lectures, handing in assignments and studying for exams. Isn’t that typical? First I whine non-stop about being so busy, no I whine about not being busy ;-) I guess I’m not easily satisfied.

I’ve got two more days in London, and I’m planning to make the most of them. I’m going to see the Diane Arbus exhibition at the Victoria and Albert, and I want to make another trip to the Rubens exhibition at the National Gallery. And of course, my Christmas shopping needs doing. And a couple of emails desperately need replying (one of them is a long overdue email to the lovely Rusgirl).

One of the things that most MBA students at London Business School will do over the Xmas break I reckon is planning ahead for the recruiting season. The hunt is opened on the first day we get back from our Xmas break, on January 9th with a presentation about the Milkround recruitment process (UK name for companies coming onto campus), and the next day the big banks, consultancies and some of the big industry players will start to come onto campus. Even though I don’t plan to do a lot of Milkround recruiting, I still need to get my a** in gear to get an internship.

You know you’re MBA ghetto when

You take two big suitcases, two carry-on’s, three housemates, and three traintickets to zone 4 to do grocery shopping for our upcoming xmas/hannukah/kwanza/new years party tomorrow night…We discovered this incredibly cheap supermarket a while back, so now when we need to buy in bulk, we go there. With suitcases and all.

Term 1 is officially over. No more academic obligations (bar one more set of notes that I need to type out tonight). Done. Finished. Pfiew. Everyone’s either on a plane, will be on a plane, or figuring out how the h**l to make turkey in a microwave (for those staying here). Strange feeling this, no more studying for a while, nights off, going to parties without feeling incredibly guilty. Wooohoooo!

Santa came to town :-)

Technically 400 Santas came to town… The Santa Claus Pub Crawl last Saturday was fabulous!! I’ve never seen so many Santa’s in any one place together, and I reckon a lot of people hadn’t, judging by the amount of photos that I saw people take. We must be in photo albums all over the world… I didn’t take many pictures since I didn’t bring my camera (pics here are taken with my mobile), but if you go to Al’s blog, he’s got a load of pictures up and I’m pretty sure KV and MBAEurope will have some up soon.
One thing that was especially good about the pub crawl was the timing. Accounting was tough and I think everyone needed to blow off some steam and boy, did they blow off steam!

Now there’s only a couple things left to do before I go to my parents next week: handing in of the Managerial Economics take home exam (who am I kidding? It’s not just handing in, I have to start writing it. Only 800 words. About supply and demand. Or monopoly. Maybe I should whip up my old Monopoly game…), two days of Career Services Personal Development courses (I’m taking Succesful Negotiation and Conflict Management), one last meeting this year of my Young Enterprise company (more about that at a later stage), my mock interview (which’ll be taped, eeek), and a bunch of parties to go to.

I can’t believe my first term is almost over. When you read for an MBA, there’s a strange thing about time, it moves in a different way. That’s not the right way of saying it, but I’m not quite sure how to express it in words. On the one hand time flies, and I’m sad the first term is already over, on the other hand it seems like yesterday that I came here. Everything that happened more than 48 hours ago becomes a bit of a blur, since there is so much going on, you can’t really wallow in any one thing. Which is good, but also makes it hard to enjoy something to the full. But boy, did I enjoy myself these past three months. It’s like letting a kid running around in a sweetshop. And on that gooey note I’m stopping myself in my own tracks cause I need to talk to a computer about some monopoly.

It’s a bird…NO! It’s a plane…. NO!

It’s one of my housemates trying out the Santa costume for tonight!!! (No, I’m not sharing a flat with a member of ZZ Top ;-)

We sat our Managing Organisational Behaviour exam this morning (no comment, don’t want to jinx it), and in 35 minutes we’ll have our Financial Accounting exam. And then, the real fun starts! Starting 5 pm, there’ll be 400 staff and students dressed in their Santa suits in the Mbar (which is our own bar on campus). After that we’re heading into London (if you’re in London tonight, keep an eye out for us), we’ll be signing carols on Trafalgar Square tonight from around 8.30 til 9, followed by another pub, followed by fairground rides on Leicester Square, ending the night at the Sports Cafe. So if you see a herd of Santas tonight in central London: that’s London Business School!

Alright, off to pack my trusty calculator and pencil and my throat lozenges (bad cold, second time this term) to head out to Financial Accounting! Wish me luck :-)

We’re putting the band together again

Even though everyone’s fretting over the upcoming Accounting and Managing Organisation Behaviour exam, some guys still find time to do some extracurricular stuff (this has to be one of the understatements of the year…), point in case being the MBA2007 band called 10.30 Dining Room (that’s when they had their first performance). And truth be told, these guys rock!!!! Half of them are MBA2007 from my stream (stream D!!!), and a couple are Master in Finance students. Tonight the band is playing again, the picture here is from their last performance.

One other picture I promised to put up is one of one of my lovely stream-mates with his lo

vely 6 month old son (are we looking at a potential MBA2030?). Some of my classmates have wives/husbands and even kids and I must say, I couldn’t do it. Life here can be/is (depends on how you look at it) very busy and it must be so hard combining this with family life, although I think my classmates are handling it very well. And it’s just so much fun seeing the better halves of the people I share a lecture theatre with ;-)

We’re gearing up to do the Santa Claus Pub Crawl, just got my Miss Santa suit today, and the skirt is short… don’t know if these guys didn’t get the memo, but London winters are pretty cold! Ah well, we’ll manage ;-)

[Edit 1. OK, winters in London are actually not that cold (but cold enough), I just don’t have the legs to carry off such a short skirt…. ]

The answer to my problems…

Is applesauce! Who knew! I love cooking, and you know how other people need to work out in order to prevent them from becoming cranky? I have that with cooking. I love thinking about what I’ll cook, looking for recipes, going grocery shopping (one of my life-maxims is that I never try to leave a supermarket without buying at least one item I’ve never bought before), the chopping and slicing and the stirring and tossing. I dunno, but I find it terribly relaxing. And last week was a bit on the hectic side, so dinner was either non-existant, or a quick sandwich. Needless to say that the lack of cooking added to my general feeling of crankiness. Tonight I decided to cook a nice meal for myself, and I made the most fabulous (even though I say so myself) applesauce for dessert. With a little help from mum, I must admit (she’s a fab chef and I couldn’t quite figure out which apples she uses for her applesauce but a quick call home sorted that problem). I feel human now! What a difference applesauce makes…

007’s are

gearing up for our final week of the first term, which promises to be one of the most manic (well, at least for me). There’s the Managerial Economics take-home exam which is released on Monday, and this Saturday we’ll sit the Financial Accounting and Managing Organisational Behaviour exams. And then, on Saturday night after the exams: Santa Claus Pub Crawl! On this occasion, 400 students and staff of London Business School dress up in Santa suits and go on a pub crawl. It is apparently THE event of the year, and I’m so definitely going!

One last thing before I return to crafting my Financial Accounting crib sheet: tomorrow night at 6 local time (London time that is) is hosting a chat with London Business School adcom and students. For more info, see the website.

Too many balls in the air

Life feels a bit like a juggling act right now, and I’m trying to keep way too many balls in the air. And although I love all the stuff that I’m doing, when it rains it pours (heck, it feels like a thunderstorm) and it feels like I’m running around like a headless chicken. Over-committed is the right word. And whining, you-are-responsible-brought-this-on-yourself-don’t-whinge is probably true too ;-)
Every time I start whining and whinging, I remind myself of the Exec MBA’s. These guys and gals work so incredibly hard. Theirs is also a two year program, but they only come to school every other Friday and Saturday and they work full time. Hats of to you guys!

Tonight’s the last night before the deadline of the hand-in for the Strategy take home exam and I’m almost done. I need to be to, since tomorrow morning’s tai chi class, followed by the handing in of the exam, followed by a day of running around, helping out with the preparations of the Social Entreneurship Symposium on Saturday.

With all the stuff that’s going on, I’m trying to incorporate some of my recent reading into my life and to live in the moment. Never knew something that sounds so simple could be so hard in real life. I seem to always be trying to plan the next hour, the next day and the next week. Or thinking about what I ought to have done yesterday but didn’t get round to. But slowly and surely, I’m learning to be in this moment. Now is the only moment that counts. So, now I’m going to stop writing and finish my Strat!