Niche

Afb0041Why am I putting a picture of my keys on the blog? Because I’m sooooo happy having my own set of housekeys again! Plus, I got a spare copy of my locker key, so I can now finally delve into the cave that is my locker, which so far has yielded my copy of the London A-Z (unmissable if you live in London) and my businesscards. I had stashed a bunch of stuff in there before I went to New York and now I’m slowly starting to take it out again and the best thing is: it’s like Christmas!

Today has been fairly typical in that it’s not a typical day at all. I started off with a CPSD (Career P? Skills Development) morning about Personal Impact. It was brilliant! Janie, who ran it, is an actress and very accomplished in getting us to think about what is presence, what does it mean to us individually and how we can improve it. After that the Marketing Club had organised another L’Oreal Lunch and Learn, this time with their advertising agency Publicis. It was a very interesting talk, especially since the talk was mostly about new ways of advertising (using the HypeGallery as an example, which I thought was absolutely fascinating since they used a whole gamut of tactics to engage with graphical designers to spread awareness and consideration for their industrial printers. The insight (targeting designers and artists) and the execution (having online and offline galleries) I thought were well thought out and well executed). Quick sandwich, some email (no Internet at home yet) and then off to do an interview for my 2nd year project. Now I’m at school because tonight the Responsible Business (formerly known as Net Impact) Club and the Film Club are putting on ‘An Inconvenient Truth‘ which I’ve wanted to see for a while.

Oh, Brandrepublic, one of the most important Marketing trade rags in the UK have changed their website. I haven’t completely explored it yet, but so far, so good, it’s way better than their old site. And Mark Ritson is blogging. A lot. Which alone makes it worth going through the (free) registration hassle.

One final paragraph (this is the rant of the week, if you don’t like me ranting, look the other way now). Why can’t Americans (or English or any of the other Anglophone countries for that matter) pronounce the word niche? They say ‘nitch’, which makes me cringe. Nitch. It’s not like Mitch. Or b**ch. It’s pronounced ‘niesh’. It’s French. Please don’t bastardize it. And make me think you’re an idiot. Or even better, look at me like I’m an idiot when I pronounce it the right way, which happened to me the other day.

PS I just tried to add the Brandrepublic blogs to my Blogliness RSS reader, but it doesn’t work. Ouch, that’s no points scored there. Nowhere does it even mention RSS feeds on their site.

Music makes all the difference!

A191Although I am happy to report that this blogpost comes from the centre of the LBS blogging universe, I’m ever happier to say that tomorrow sees the day that I’ve been waiting for since I’ve returned from New York: I’m moving into my own place! I’ll be sharing our batcherlorette-two-bed-pad with the cool miss M and two of the coolest chairs I’ve seen in ages which I bought at auction yesterday. They look like they might be Gispen (a Dutch designfirm), but even if they’re not, they were a steal at £45 each and I’m very pleased with them.

Today was a tough day in my MBA life, it ran from 9am to 9pm pretty much straight. I ran around like mad, trying to think innovating thoughts in Prof Day‘s Product Innovation course, trying to stay focussed in Nike’s on campus presentation and trying to pick my jaw up off the floor after meeting the CEO of Friends Reunited, who came and spoke at tonight’s NVD class and was very impressive. But the best thing of the day happened after class. I got talking to an Argentinian classmate of mine and we stumbled on the topic of tango and how much we both loved it, and how Astor Piazolla is a virtuoso, and then we listened to some of his songs. In a by this time completely deserted lecture theatre 9 and it was absolutely magic and slightly surreal. These are the moments that make everything alright. Life is good. And even better with some Piazolla in it!

I wish I’d had this idea

Afb0061As regular readers of this blog know, I’ve got a thing for traveling in general but in particular armchair traveling. I love reading about foreign places, regardless of whether I’ll actually go or not. It’s a dream of mine to one day write a travelguide and publish it. So I keep a keen eye out for city guides, both online and offline.  There are some really cool online resources for London that I’m using at the moment as I’m keeping up with what’s hot and what’s not in the city that has stolen my heart.

  • First up is the venerable Time Out. This paper guide comes out once a week, but the online edition is equally handy if you want to find out almost anything that goes on in London, I use it a lot to see what exhibitions are on.
  • Second up is Londonist. Part of a larger group of city-focussed blogs, this blog is very hardcore London, and maybe less interesting as a tourist guide.
  • Flavorpill is my third tip, for the ubercool and hipper-than-hip. It’s a weekly email that goes out (other city editions are available as well) with places to eat, drink, dance and soak up some culture.
  • One I haven’t test-driven yet but that looks promising is Urban Junkies website and daily mail, covering eat, drink, shop, services and travel.
  • This one will appeal mainly to women, Daily Candy’s London edition, a daily mail complemented by a website on the good life.
  • And last but not least, LeCool has just started a weekly London email (it’s very similar to Flavorpill) and I think this is one of my favourites. Very well designed with great tips on dining, dancing and disco, I wish I’d had this idea!
  • As a bonus: my favourite online resources for finding a place to eat: London Eating (my favourite), Toptable and Squaremeal.

On a different note, one of my classmates and friends is running the London marathon in a few weeks time (go Sony!), if you want to support him and the charity he’s raising funds for, check out this page and support him (more information can also be found on the LBS MBA blog).

Week 6 already!

Afb0084I set a record this morning. Or technically I didn’t, but the rollercoaster bus driver did. What normally takes around 20-25 minutes by bus from Finchley Road to LBS took 12 minutes this morning. The woman who sat next to me shrieked with fear everytime he slammed the breaks and I’m pretty sure I heard the guy behind me say he was going to report the guy. As you can tell by me writing this down, this is actually kind of an anomaly: normally I’m quite impressed with public transport in London. It’s kinda clean, efficient and gets you everywhere you wanna go without making the hairs at the back of your neck stand on end. Guess this driver had a bad morning.

I had a pretty good morning myself. Wally Olins’ course finished last week and this week Prof George Day’s Product Innovation course started and I liked it because it was relevant (tied into the bigger corporate or business unit strategy) and practical. This is my cuppa tea!

Last Friday we had the third day of Leading Teams and Organisations, which turns out to be quite interesting as well. As with all Org Behaviour courses, it is sometimes hard to quantify what you learn, but boy am I learning. About good and bad conflict, about leadership styles, about how to apply theories in practice. Highly practical, highly relevant to anyone who’s leading a team and highly recommended.

Tonight saw the 6th class of New Venture Development, where we had to give an interim presention our business idea. It went reasonably well, I was pretty pleased. We’re still not there in terms of business plan, but I’m happy to see the idea withstands robust scrutiny and I’m still very excited about it.

Facial reflexology turned out to be magic last Thursday, just what I needed. I’m already saving up to get the full treatment!

PS So I’m developing a real liking for ballet, I went to Sadler’s Wells again last night, this time with two friends to watch the American Ballet Theatre. And it rocked! I’ve discovered that my taste is more contemporary than classical and that I want to see the whole Swan Lake.

Supply and demand

Afb0152On my way home from a meeting today I saw this: a truck selling flowers under a railway bridge. And the truck wasn’t there the last two times I past that spot I think the idea was ‘you’re on your way home, forgot about Valentine’s day this morning, and now need to make up for it and where will I get flowers this late…’. Brilliant. Pure supply and demand. I didn’t check prices, but I’m guessing they were on the pricey side. I suppose economics are really simple.

Afb0003Even though I’m Dutch (or maybe because I’m Dutch) I would actually prefer the dudes on the left for a Valentine’s gift as opposed to flowers :-) England is gearing up for Red Nose Day on March 16th, which is a comic relief action to raise money for charity. Very good idea: have fun and raise money. And walk around with furry tennisballs with sunglasses (no sexual innunendo intended).

This week I battled one of my infamous English colds which made life a bit uncomfortable the past few days and ensured that all activity was brought down to a slow trickle. But I’m back in sort of full swing again, with tomorrow a free facial reflexology session (courtesy of the MBA Office, thanks!), prepping for Friday’s Leading Teams and Organisations day, Sundowners followed by dinner with my best girlfriends in the MBA. Looks like it’ll be a smashing day!

Snowvertising

20060208_sneeuw_2So the snow came. And is still falling, although it’s now halfway between snow and rain. And it was a white world this morning, but luckily, it wasn’t too bad for me (apart from literally hugging a tree to keep myself from sliding down a hill). I was at my appointments on time and it was fun seeing London all covered in white (which by now has turned into grey sludge).

And of course, someone is using snow as an advertising opportunity! See top left, these were made in Munich, but would work anywhere else, I reckon they’re brilliant! [found at MarketingFacts]

Let it snow, let it snow

Afb0012_1So this is what the view from the S1 lounge at LBS looking in Regent’s Park looked like today. Nice and sunny day, tad on the chilly side. Tomorrow, this will make a very different picture (more like this and this): there’s a weather alert out for 3-15 cms of snow! And this on the day that we’re supposed to go have a look at 5 flats in with 3 different estate agents, the day I’m supposed to meet up with some very cool people I met a few days ago, the day we celebrate Sundowners… oh boy, let’s hope the snow’s not too bad and that all Londoners will have an easy time getting into work and school. I’ll try and get some snow-filled pictures tomorrow.

Afb0062Today I saw this issue of Time Out magazine in the supermarket and couldn’t help but get it: the cheap eats issue! To my great surprise, one of the restaurants featured is our very own Ali Baba, on Ivor Place, every LBS student’s favourite post-Sundowners hangout! It’s described as ‘Egyptian restaurant with attentive service, good fresh food and pocket-pleasing prices’, which is sort of true I suppose. The kebabs and schawarma (shoarma for Dutch people) are reasonable and definitely very cheap.

All that’s left is to introduce Ed, the fabulous latest addition to the ranks of MBA2008 bloggers! Here’s looking at you kid!

PS If you’re still interested in coming to our upcoming Open House, I’m sorry, but I heard today the registration has closed, there were so many signups that we just can’t fit any more in!

Men in tights

Afb041_2Who knew men in tights could be so interesting? I know, I know, millions of people know, but somehow I didn’t catch onto dance (looking at it, not doing it myself) til this past Sunday, but I’m loving it! I went to Sadler’s Wells, which is London’s premier dance theatre, to their Sampled night, which offered 6 short pieces of different types of dance. I saw contemporary, flamenco, ballet, hiphop, theatre dance and martial arts, and I was bowled over, particularly with the ballet, the hiphop and the contemporary. I love art because it offers you a window to another world, a whole different dimension away from the day to day hustle and bustle and reminds me that there is more to life than running around like a headless chicken, handing in assignments and flathunting. It’s easy to get dragged into these nitty gritty things and art pulls me out of that. For me, the seductiveness of art lies in transporting me, reminding me of possibilities and holding up a mirror.

‘Normal’ life is busy as ever. I’m helping out on the Marketing Club website (check it out at www.londonmarketingclub.org.uk), flathunting is taking up too much of my time (I don’t for the life of me understand why this process in London is so terribly inefficient, there is a huge business opportunity for a company that gets it right), I’m working on our New Venture Development project (something I’m very excited about and would *love* to put into real life, we’re writing a businessplan for a venture very dear to my heart and last night’s class we talked about the Multimap case), I’m working on my 2nd year project and looking for jobs. All at the same time. Plus, this Saturday I’m helping out at the LBS Open House (if you’re looking for a good opp to come and see the school, this is it!) this Saturday. What can I say, I have a hard time saying no ;-)

LBS R2 interview invites will go out later on this week, good luck to everyone who’s waiting!

Let’s dance the night away

Peter_swan_lake_1_wcap_lo [anyway know this song by the Mavericks? It’s probably not very cool to say this, but I love this song. It reminds me of good times.]

One of the projects I’m currently working on is related to dance, and being a complete and utter dance novice (apart from loving to dance myself) I’ve decided to snag the last ticket to tonights Sadler’s Wells Sampled night, which brings together a wide variety of dance. And the cool thing is, you can see it too! If you go here, you can see video of tonight’s performances (starts at 7.30pm UK time). It promises to be cool and I’m so looking forward to it. This is tonight’s line up:

Emanuel Gat Winter Voyage (contemporary dance)
American Ballet Theatre Black Swan pas de deux (ballet)
Jasmin Vardimon extract from Justitia (dance theatre)
YEGAM Theatre Company Extract from Jump
(martial arts)
Eva Yerbabuena (flamenco)
Franck II Louise Drop It (hip hop)