Sometimes it just feels like today…

Is just not my day. And today IS not my day. I shouldn’t be in this country, I should be back home in my hometown to celebrate carnaval (this is the first time in a very very very long time that I haven’t celebrated and I’m getting very antsy), what am I doing here? Yesterday felt sort of the same, since Sunday’s the day of the big float in my hometown, and I’ve either been in it or watching it for the last oh… 26 years. It feels so odd not being there (although dad sent me some great pictures, thanks!). So I decided to take some radical measures yesterday. First I booked my ticket to fly home to my parents over the spring break (which starts in three weeks’ time). And second, I booked Eurostar tickets and an apartment to spend a week in Paris in the first week of spring break. I’m going to Paris! And live there for a week :-) I’m so looking forward to it, I can hardly contain myself. And it’s nice to have something to sink my teeth into, figuring out where to go (Louvre, Musee d’Orsay, Palais de Tokyo, and as many department stores and chocolate shops as I can fit in are on the list) and where to stay (I found this lovely apartment, but I’m still negotiating). Anyone got any more good tips on what to see and do keeping in mind that I’m foodie and biblioholic?

If you happen to be in London and love art, I can highly recommend the ‘Canaletto in Venice‘ exhibition at the Queen’s Gallery (see this link for the whole exhibition online). It contains 14 paintings and 40 odd drawings by Canaletto, and I really loved it. It’s a small exhibit, but well laid out, and with a great audioguide. I fell in love with the Venice of Canaletto, and Venice has definitely moved up the list of 1001 things to do before I die.

And to top this cosmopolitan list off, I’m now trying to figure out how to get hiragana on my trusted laptop. I’m taking the follow-up basic Japanese course (a steal at 10 pounds for 6 lessons) put on by the Japanese Interest Club, and I’m slowly starting to recognize my hiragana. Slowly.

[update: I’ve found the hiragana. Woohooo.]

Lazy Sunday…well, not really

But I did have a lazy Saturday yesterday, spent walking around the city (London is such a great city to (re)discover on foot), getting my groceries from the Japanese store and visiting a Chinese supermarket for the first time in my life (what can I say… I’m from a small town) and buying books. Which I really shouldn’t do. It’s going to be nightmare moving out of place this summer with the amount of stuff I’ve already gathered. My only excuse is that I’m an information junkie/hoarder and that at one point in my life that is bound to come in handy. I think.

I owe you guys some reports from speakers that were on campus this week. On Monday, Bill Griffin, the managing director of Kiss100 radio station was on campus. He talked 75 minutes in an hour, and I enjoyed seeing his perspective on the future of radio. See, it’s my theory that new technologies never fully replace old ones for a long time, so there is definitely a spot for radio in the range of information dissemination. Mr. Griffin talked about what he has been doing at Kiss100 to make it ready for the future, a lot of which had to do with the brand of Kiss100 and how that appeals to listeners and a wider public.

The second set of speakers I saw on Wednesday, Sir Peter Hall and David Fletcher, both big names in the UK theatre world. This was an interesting duo, David Fletcher is a financial man, Sir Peter a director and former general manager of the National Theatre (which is a big deal here). It was interesting because both sides of the coin were highlighted: both the business process behind theatre productions but also the creative processes and the best way of letting both run smoothly without having them get in each other’s way. One of the best quotes: ‘You can only interest an audience when you’re interested in it [the production] yourself’.

[As a little aside, since it’s not an official speaker, but it did make my day: someone (let’s call her Scarlett) came up to me at Sundowners and asked if I was the Divine Miss N… wow. So there are people who read this? Amazing.][Yes, I know that people read this, I just have no idea who you guys are (apart from a few people) or why you read this. Or what you think. So it’s nice to get some feedback. And no, that is not a veiled attempt to get everyone to put comments in. See it as me thinking out loud.]

On Friday, our Dean Laura Tyson came to speak and answer questions about her recent trip to the Davos World Economic Forum. I *love* Dean Tyson, I think she’s feisty and gutsy and very knowledgeable and I love hearing her speak. She’s so enthusiastic about the things that she does, and this time was no exception.

Last but not least, a few links I want to share:
* Malcolm Gladwell, of “Blink” and “Tipping Point” fame has started a blog
* The Tate has a free online course called Introduction to Modern and Contemporary Art on offer through their website
* Web 2.0 does strange things to people… have a favor to give? Want a favor? Check out Favorville.

PS The picture of one of my classmates, top left, was taken the day before our last Finance exam… I’m glad I wasn’t the only one struggling!


And I mean real options this time. Not those fancy-schmancy puts and calls and options that Prof Cocco spent a lecture on teaching us, but real options. On what to do for summer.

I’ve been talking about the summer internship before a couple of times (ok, so I’ve yapped about this till my tongue falls out), but there are several more options to spend an interesting summer, all of which I’m investigating:

* lie on the beach for three months. Great option, downside is that I don’t have the money to do this. But it is a great option!

* summer internship. Find a company (or more than one company, we’ve got three months to dally around) to do an interesting project with and get paid for it. Hopefully. Option that most people choose.

* summer consulting team. Every year 6 LBS students are chosen to be on the summer consulting team, which is an independent, student run consultancy that operates out of LBS. They get their own clients, do their own work and get to keep the money! How cool is this!

* summer entrepreneurship experience. Start-ups can post jobs for students to help out over the summer. Great for getting some entrepreneurial experience, but not start your own job yet. I’ve heard great stories about this.

* summer entrepreneurship school. This is a summerschool (free for LBS students, but outsiders can join in for a fee too), where you develop a business plan. You get lots of help, workshops, tutoring/mentoring and access to investors. Looks like a great way of starting up your own business.

With all these options, it’s hard to make a choice! For more information, see also this page.


It’s the season of choices again. Come to think about it, at LBS it’s always the season for choices ;-)
This week’s menu of choices are exchange for starters, summer term electives for mains and job offers for dessert. And even with my love of desserts, I haven’t yet got any job offers to choose from but plenty of classmates have. So I’m stuck with choosing exchange schools and choosing electives.

One of the reasons I choose to come to London was its large portfolio of exchange schools that LBS partners with. Yesterday was the deadline for the applications and I handed in mine. The process works as follows: you can pick up to three schools off the total list, but you can’t go to schools in a country that you’ve lived in as an adult for more than three years. Then you write an essay of 350 words each giving reasons why that particular school, hand them in and cross your fingers. These essays are read by a panel of judges and on March 10th, we’ll hear which school we can go to. I’ve applied to the maximum number of three schools, and although I’m tempted to reveal which, I won’t, since I’m afraid I’ll jinx the process.

Second choice we’re faced with: electives in summer term. As of next term, the serious elective taking starts (I’m already taking a small elective this term, see last post). The most popular I think are Finance 2 (and for the attentive readers out there, you can probably guess that taking that would equate to academic suicide for me, so that’s out) and Understanding Entrepreneurial Management (which I think I’ll take). There are also some Marketing courses, and Advanced Strategy on offer for first years. I’m still considering how much is too much, I don’t want to overstretch, but on the other hand be well prepared for my internship.

Some good news to share: KV’s got an internship!!!!! Well done, dude! I’m so happy for you :-)

And one more thing to share, one of my classmates named Arnab takes the most amazing pictures and puts them on his website. He also writes a blog which you can find here. I’ve been bugging him about allowing me to link to his stuff for ages, and he’s finally agreed. Well worth checking out.

[edit 1. Yes. I know we’re supposed to say London Business School instead of LBS. I’m too lazy today.]

Raise your hand if..

…you want to be a leader?
And now raise your hand if you want to be a manager?

If you are the audience I think you are, i.e. 90% MBA or potential MBA students and a handful of others including family and friends, most of you will have raised your hands to the first question. Everyone wants to be a leader. No one wants to be a manager. Yet, most of the skills you learn in the core courses at an MBA are geared to making you a first-class manager. You learn the basics. The nitty-gritty. How to read a balance-sheet. How to calculate an NPV. No one mentions leadership. Everyone thinks they have those elusive leadership talents, but few claim out loud they want to be the next generation’s leader. That would be pretentious. And people don’t want to be thought of as pretentious. So we dabble in this technical subject, and that financial calculation but no one mentions what we’re doing this for: to create the next generation leaders. It doesn’t feel like that though. It feels like the next generation managers. To create the next generation leaders, you need to inspire and encourage dreams. What if we could change the world? What if we could also be a force for good instead of just a force for more money?

So what sparked this rant? The elective I’m taking this semester, called Adventures in Management Innovation, taught by Julian Birkinshaw and Gary Hamel. The course is about past Management Innovations (ranging from cost accounting (isn’t it strange… I’d never realised that for the longest part of humanity’s existence, we didn’t have cost accounting… aahh…. bliss ;-) to brand management, to total quality management) but also, and probably even more so, about new Management Innovations for the future. Julian and Gary believe that new models of management are needed for the future, and they are now doing a lot of research into this field. And they want to inspire us. To think beyond what we know right now about management and leadership. To challenge current beliefs about management structures and practices. And to search in different ways and in different areas for new inspiration for the next generation management innovations. Talk about inspiring! I walked out feeling like for the second time since I’ve been here (first time was a talk at Orientation), there’s more to life than just the here and now, more than just the established ways of doing that we’re taught, there’s a whole sea of ideas out there waiting to be discovered. And I love it!
If you want to know more, try and get a hold of a copy of Feb 2006’s Harvard Business Review, where Gary has published an article on this topic.

[As an aside: Don’t get me wrong, I do think that the technical skills are of utmost importance. You don’t want to be visionary, facing you gaze up to the sky and fall into a hole because you weren’t watching the ground too.]

Last night’s Winter Magic party rocked! The decorations were splendid, the vodka luge a big hit (apparently, it was too cold for me to venture outside), the waiting staff walking around with desserts a luminous idea, in short: it was a big success. Well done Al and the Winter Magic team, and thanks for putting so much effort in!

One of my favourite weekly reads is Mrs. Moneypenny’s column in the weekend edition of the FT, she’s feisty and witty, works in the City and has her own views on life, work and love. I’ve got to share this excerpt in last week’s column, which I thought was absolutely brilliant, both in thought and in execution:

It’s a privilege to be a woman working in the City — nowhere else will a competent woman come to the attention of others as easily. Putting it in another way, there is no other environment quite so full of intellectually challenged testosterone-fuelled human beings who are so susceptible to flatter. If you can’t use being a woman in a scenario like that, when can you?

[copyright Mrs. Moneypenny for the FT]

Sorry for the long post. I’m on another procrastination fest, I’m supposed to be writing my exchange-program essays. Which I’ll start on as soon as I finish this post, check on our OTM simulation, cook some dinner (risotto tonight), eat it, chat to my housemates…

‘It’s great to be here.

It’s great to be anywhere.’ (Keith Richards, quoted by Eric Nicoli, chairman of EMI)

One of the great things at London Business School is the great speakers that come onto campus (see various earlier posts for my reports of earlier speakers)(sorry, I’m too lazy to link right now, it’s been a long day). Today we had the opportunity to hear Eric Nicoli speak, the chairman of EMI, the record producing and publishing company. And he was cool! He started of with the above quote, and then went on to give a great presentation detailing his background (he’s the guy that developed the Lion bar… my hero!), EMI (they’re 109 years old and own brands such as Blue Note and Virgin Music), and the challenges in the music industry (piracy (99% of all cds sold in Paraguay are pirated) and new technologies). What I found surprising, and that sort of shows how little I’m up to speed with the music business, is that apparently there is less piracy now than in 2003 when piracy was at its height. And even in the US only 15% of the population has an iPod (I sometimes feel they’re everywhere), so the market for online music is set to boom in the next few years, something EMI will try and profit from by setting up new channels for the distribution of their music. The big thing for the future will be the opportunity to download and listen to music at any time of day, any place you are and any music that takes your fancy. All in all a very interesting guy with a great sense of humor, and in my top 3 of speakers that came onto campus so far.

Next week sees a bunch more on-campus-appearances: on Monday Bill Griffin, CEO of Kiss100 radio station here in London is going to come, followed by Sir Peter Hall (big theatre mogul) on Wednesday and on Friday Dean Tyson will talk to us about her recent trip to the World Economic Forum in Davos. As always, expect reports after the show.

[edit 1: added ‘be’ in the quote… guess I was too tired last night to do a proper spell check.]
[edit 2: the Marketing course has really sparked my interest in creative marketing ploys, one of which I saw earlier this week. Topshop’s paper bags are replaced by paper bags advertising an Anna Piaggi exhibit called Fashion-ology at the Victoria and Albert. If you’ve ever been shopping on Oxford Street, you know how popular Topshop is. These bags were everywhere! Here’s a report.]

It depends

People occasionally email me and ask me for words of wisdom about the MBA. I try and answer these questions as truthfully and completely as I can, elaborating on interview questions, giving advice on recommendations and generally pretending that I know what I’m talking about. It dawned on me today that I’ve been holding the wrong end of the stick all this time. No need for elaborate answers in the future. See, the most important thing that we learned so far in the MBA is: every question you answer with: IT DEPENDS. Everything depends on something. Variability, probability, exogeneous (sp?) factors, state of the economy, your cost of capital, lost opportunity costs, five forces, five p’s, law of demand and supply, what comes out of your decision tree. You name it, and it will depend on it. So that’ll be my answer in life from now on: it depends.

Should I apply to b-school or not? It depends.
Should I take that internship with a big consultancy for the money? It depends.
Should I study for Finance or join a sales-seminar? It depends.
Should I go on a blind date with the gorgeous guy in stream X (that is hypothetical by the way, don’t want to go start spreading rumours, I am NOT going out with a guy at the MBA)? It depends.
Coffee or tea? It depends.

And the strange thing is: I was just weening myself off the ‘it depends’. In a former life I was a consultant, and if I had a penny for every time I said ‘it depends’, I wouldn’t have had to ask HSBC for a loan…

A quick update on the Media Club internship panel, which was held tonight. The participants held internships (or better yet: did projects, media companies get antsy when you mention internships) at companies varying from Yahoo and Expedia to a big newspaper publisher and Cartoonnetwork. Tips for finding an internship in Media:
* read the trade press and know what’s going on in the area you’re interested in working in
* get involved with the media club and the events they’re organising: great way of finding out more and also for networking
* practice some consulting crack-a-cases for the interviews, they will always come in handy
* network, network, network
* industry jobs come late in the season (april/may/june), don’t despair if you haven’t got anything by the end of the Milkround.

Last, but certainly not least I want to mention the Winter Magic party we’ve got coming up this Saturday. It promises to be a blast, with great food, horse&carriage rides, a vodka luge and ice bar, and although I’ve yet to buy a ticket (which I promise I will do straight after posting this, Al) I can’t wait to go.

[edit 1: found this really cool website just now: Yukata Loves London, sort of a travel guide extraordinaire of London.]

Ode to the Marquee

[I just spent 5 minutes looking on the internet for a picture of a white marquee that resembled the marquee we had on our campus for the last six months for recruiting (it was taken down today)…but couldn’t find anything that resembles it, so I’ll make do with a random image of a white marquee with a nice building behind it. But it’s got nothing to do with LBS, don’t get any thoughts. Our buildings look fabulous, but not like this.]

Ode to the Marquee

Oh, Marquee, thou loveliest of temporary structures,
Thou large white mothership of promise,
Home of endless schmoozing, elbowing and business cards,
Cornucopia of sandwiches, fingerfood and gorgeous desserts,
Centre of the Milkround universe,
Nucleus of networking, nibbles and nosy-ness,
If your walls could divulge their secrets,
What stories would they tell?

Stories of hopes and dreams,
Dashed by recruiters and spilled wine on their clothes.
Stories of disappointments and disillusionment,
Caused by lousy ppt-slides and all-too-talkative directors.
Stories of grandeur and illusions,
Hoping for that one big plum job landing in your lap.
Stories of waiting in line to talk to someone,
And hoping to make a good impression.

Oh Marquee, your temporary presence comforted us for months,
And now you’re gone, buried somewhere
Til next year…

[PS just realised that I wished I titled the last post ‘Salsa on socks’. Like the alliteration much better. Wish I thought of it before!]
[PS2 For all you tech-geeks out there: StikiPad is a really cool wiki on the net (haven’t tried it yet, but the website looks great), and if you don’t want any of the really fancy schmancy features like attaching files, it’s free.]

Dancin’ on socks

What is the best way to relax after a full day of Finance exam in the morning and Operations and Technology Management (OTM) in the afternoon? Salsa and Sangria party!! The party was a blast, with lots of Sangria (not a particular fan I must admit) and Salsa (BIG fan, I *love* dancing). I was still in post-exam shock though when I got dressed and I wore the wrong shoes, with too much friction on the dance floor. Bad, bad Suzy. You need to slip and slide, not be glued to the floor. So I took the shoes off and spent the rest of night on my socks. And having a blast. Yes, there are distinct advantages of being at a global b-school: plenty of handsome Latino guys (and a few American/French cuties) around to dance with :-)

Now that the Finance is out of the way (hopefully for good), it’s time to focus on the job search again. I’ve had an very informative chat with a friend who works in Marketing who explained everything there is to know about marketing: what to read, who to know and how to talk the talk. This week there’ll be the How to Get an Internship in Media panel (similar to the Marketing one I imagine) and Eric Nicoli, chairman of the EMI group will come and speak. All of which of course I’ll keep you guys updated about.

Now I’m off to enjoy the rest of my lazy Sunday, reading the Sunday papers (bliss), reading my way through a pile the size of a small mountain of FT’s and Wall Street Journal’s that have accumulated over the last weeks, go over all the Marketing reading material my friend gave me and trying to catch some glimpses of the Winter Games (go Dutch speedskaters!).

[Edit 1: Nico Macdonald, who was one of the panelists at last week’s Design or Die! event, has posted an elaborate set of notes on the event here.]


My stomach is doing some serious summersaults. Why and when on earth did I think it would be a brilliant idea to do an MBA? I’m so math challenged it would almost be funny if I didn’t have to pass some serious exams to pass the course. And the worst is Finance. I enjoy the Finance lectures, it’s just that when it comes to the exam, I have no idea what I’m doing or where to start. I get the explanations, but there’s no way on earth I can figure out what I need to do if I don’t have the answers right in front of me. Heck, even with the answers (I’m practising last years’ exams) it sometimes takes forever to figure out where the h*ll this answer comes from. [big sigh].
OK, it’s not that bad. I have to tell myself it’s not that bad. Other people can do this. So I can do it. And I don’t want to be a banker, so I don’t need to be an expert. Just pass the exam. I can do it.

My best wishes go out to those R2 applicants who got their LBS interview interview invite: go knock ‘em dead! (on second thought, don’t take that too literally…). To those who didn’t get the interview: all things happen for a reason, maybe you’re destined for bigger and better things!

OK, enough procrastination, I figure I can squeeze in one more mock-exam question (although not sure about an answer) before I head off to my very first Pilates class ever. Another tick off my 1001 things I want to do before I die list. And hopefully it’ll calm me down and get me in the right, relaxed frame of mind for the exams tomorrow. In all my finance prep, I’m completely ignoring the Operations and Technology Management midterm tomorrow afternoon. For now. I’ll start on that tonight. Promise.

[it’s now 3 hours later, post-Pilates, post-lunch and post-good-chat-with-friend and I’m feeling more relaxed. I’ve kickstarted my Finance exam prep again, and I actually got the answer to a practice examquestion right!]

At the top of my wishlist

right now, is to jump into bed (I wish mine was as nice as the one in the pic)… The last few days have been quite hectic, maybe not so much in the quantity of the stuff I needed to do, but very much in the density. Not only do we have two exams come up this Saturday (including the dreaded final Finance exam, which is freaking me out to no end. I’m just not a formula person and when we’re doing the mock exams the prof keeps on saying ‘this one’s easy, it’s just formulas’ and I think ‘I know. That’s my problem: my brain doesn’t do formulas. It does stories. No formulas.’), but we also had a full load of class this week, and today there were two company presentations I attended. Hang on, I’m getting waaaaay ahead of myself here. Let’s start with yesterday and the highlight of my week so far and follow this dazzling Diva-MBA reporter around.

Last night a few good friends and I went to a talk at the Royal Society of Arts, called Design or Die! which was organized by the Centre for Creative Business (which is a partnership between LBS and the University of the Arts London). Panellists were Sebastian Conran, Sir George Cox (chairman of the UK Design Council and writer of the Cox Review on Creativity in Business, commissioned by the UK government), Wayne Hemingway and Nico Macdonald and the topic revolved around the idea of design being the next big thing that is going to save the British economy. It’s a very topical issue at the moment, and I found it odd and a little sad that the list of attendees mainly consisted of ‘artsy’ people and ‘designery’ people, but hardly any business people. It turned out to be a little bit of preaching to the choir, and I kept on thinking ‘how will I explain this to my fellow MBA students who want to be bankers? How will I explain the added value of design and creativity to business students who think that creativity is holding a painter’s brush?’.

Today we had Marketing in the morning (product line design using a Timbuk2 example), followed by a company Milkround presentation by Shell, which was nice and energetic (no pun intended) offering lots of great opportunities in both their upstream and downstream business, but again (like with BP) they didn’t push my heartbeat through the roof, so I won’t apply. There are plenty of much more qualified and interesting people out there, Shell do not need to waste time and effort on me. After a quick talk at the networking reception and some of the lovely dessert-munchie thingy’s they serve, I dashed off to Decision and Risk Analysis, followed by some frantic email-sending, and off to the next presentation of the day: Google. And to be really honest (although that probably means that no one will ever be able to find this blog through Google henceforth) I wasn’t too impressed. I don’t know what I thought before I went in, maybe that they’d be a free-spirited, funky kinda company, but it felt like a cult (albeit a funky one), and I wasn’t buying it. Maybe I’m too cynical, but it just didn’t make my heart flutter. So again, I won’t apply. And then, to top this day off, there was a Finance review session (which made my heart sink into my shoes)(sorry, Dutch saying literally translated) for the exam this Saturday. And now I need a stiff whisky. And a good night’s sleep.

Winter Magic

Alas… the Winter Magic in the title is not the fulfilment of my wish to have a little snow in London, but the title of our official Winter Ball, to be held on Saturday the 18th of Feb which promises to be a blast (including an ice bar, how cool is that!). A dear friend of mine is the chair of the organising committee and I promised him to make a plug for it on the blog… so here you go: Winter Magic!

If I’m mentioning one party, I should really mention another as well (I feel like the Dutch national broadcasters, when they mention one brand, they have to mention at least one other as well, otherwise it’s considered a commercial): this Saturday’s Salsa and Sangria party, organised by the Spanish Club and the LatinAmerican club. I think this should be a blast as well, not in the least because this Saturday we’ve got two exams: our final Finance I exam, and in the afternoon our Operations and Technology midterm. So I figure by the time it’s Saturday night, I’m up for some Salsa and some drinks ;-)

The Finance exam also sees the end of an era: no more Finance (knock on wood, if I don’t pass I might have to retake). Ever. Ever ever ever again. Woohooo! I must admit though, that I actually really enjoyed the second half of the Finance lectures, taught by Prof Cocco. They were more about the application of the dry theory we learnt in the first half, and that made more sense to me. The FT all of a sudden is a lot more interesting!

Talking about FT: they have set up an online b-school, and Donald Sull, an LBS associate prof of Management Practice is teaching a course this week called ‘How to Manage in an unpredictable World’, which looks interesting. There’s course material in pdf, a video lecture and even a prize draw to win a place on his course later on this year at LBS.

Growing and shrinking

One of the unexpected side-effects studying for my MBA is having for me, is that it keeps on growing and shrinking my world. Back when I was still working and merrily minding my own business, life was settled and fairly predictable. I was aware of the whole world out there, but that’s exactly where it was: out there. Being here in London has expanded my physical and mental world beyond my wildest dreams. I’m learning about subjects, jobs, countries and markets that I couldn’t even think up in my wildest dreams. And having a ball finding out and learning. And at the same time my world is shrinking. Subjects that seemed far off are all of a sudden incredibly relevant. Nuclear crisis in Iran affects me ’cause I now know someone from Iran and can discuss it with him. The FT all of a sudden is an interesting read, not a day goes by without finding an article about exactly the subject we discussed in class earlier that day. And I’m slowly but surely discovering that my passions can be turned into jobs, exciting me so much I can at times hardly contain myself.

Last Tuesday, some friends and I went to see and hear Oliver King speak at the British Library, which was interesting. Oliver King works for the Engine Group, a service design company (again one of those things I never knew existed, designing services? I always thought they sort of just happened), and his slide deck was definitely one of the most impressive I’ve ever seen, he used iconic images and only or two words on his slides (one image is worth more than a thousand words). He talked about invention and innovation and gave some insights and do’s and dont’s of innovation. His talk neatly tied in (although I’m sure that wasn’t deliberate) with this week’s Marketing Class about product development. Key takeaway from that Marketing lecture: many ideas are better than one idea.

On Wednesday night the Marketing Club hosted a panel of 2006 students who did an internship in marketing last summer. They talked about what exactly it was they did and where (ranged from American Express to Mattel, Discovery Networks to a startup bag designer), how they got their jobs (network your a**s off), and how they liked it (seemed a bit of a mixed bag, some clearly loved it, some didn’t as much). The key things I thought were useful were:
* Network, network, network.
* Prepare well for typical Marketing interview questions (what is your favourite brand and why?).
* Be willing to work for less or nothing if an interesting opportunity presents itself.
* Know what you want to learn and get a good feel for if that particular internship will offer you those opportunities.

Yesterday the Programme Office held a session on the Exchange programme, and now I’m getting all excited about leaving London (seems like such a short while ago I was all excited about coming here!). There are 35 schools in the Exchange programme, ranging from the top-name US schools, to schools in Europe, Latin America, Asia, Africa and Australia. I’m not sure what school I want to go to, so I’m diving into my research, which will also come in handy when writing the essays we have to hand in for each school we want to go to (you can only go to one, but you can apply for up to 3 schools). I’ll keep you posted!