This is

1204322427_68a8d49f33… arguably one of the best sandwiches money can buy. At least in London (I not-so-secretly still pine for (after?) the wonderful Hein Post sandwiches I used to eat in Groningen… the best I’ve ever had. Ever. Those sandwiches alone are almost enough reason to want to move there. That and the fact that some of my good friends live there. And it’s a very cool city. With great shopping. And the fabulous Noorderlicht photography festival. I just wish it wasn’t miles from everything. Sigh. Who knows. Maybe one day.). This, my dear readers, is the B’s Knees sandwich from a wonderful place called Amano, with two locations on the South Bank (I prefer the one next to Clink Prison over the one behind the Tate Modern, but both serve yummy sandwiches and cakes and a world of other goodies). Well worth a try if you’re looking for a nice place to have lunch or drinks.

After this short commercial break (unpaid though, no money or other goods exchanged hands for this plug) now back to regular programming. Work’s good. Life’s good. Attended an Info Session this past Monday at LBS, my first one as an alumna, and spoke to a bunch of eager potential MBA2010’s (*waving*). Wow. 2010’s. I am getting old!

Talking about info sessions, if there’s any Dutch people reading this, or people based in NL, you might be interested in a MBA fair that will held in A’dam this coming September (don’t worry, I won’t be attending). Check it out here, it looks like a great opportunity to talk to some people at top MBA programs and find out more about them. And I cannot urge anyone who’s interested in doing an MBA enough to try and go to as many of these information-gathering opportunities as you can possibly stomach, and find out as much as you can about any and every school you’re interested in.

Hmmm. This whole post is turning into a bit of a plug for this, that and the other. Let me add one more plug, or not really, since you can’t go anymore since the exhibit ended. Went to the Anthony Gormley exhibit at the Hayward Gallery on Sunday which was very interesting. I liked some of his work (like the lifesize statues of himself that are scattered on the top of buildings all around the Hayward Gallery, see also the photo in the previous post), it made me think and write, but was puzzled or even freaked out by some of his other work (lifesize casts of bodies hung upside down from the ceiling).


1059502089_2ed29478c4I’ve been making my share this past week: the trip to Turkey was awesome, I only got to see so little of it, I definitely want to go back and explore a bit more, especially Istanbul (see pic on the left). I also hopped over to NL for a fact-finding mission for work, which combined me running around NL with meeting up with both parents and brother+partner which was very good. I even had a broodje kroket, which I’ve been craving (oddly enough, since I never really ate them when I lived there)!

I was going to say that now life is back to normal again and it kinda is, until I realised that this is probably going to be normal for me in future. And I kinda like it! I’ve gotten used to not being a student any longer and after a few difficult first weeks, I’m getting into the swing of working. It helps that I love the job ;-) The slew of goodbye’s seems to be ending, which is good, because I’m crap at them and hate them. I don’t want my friends to leave. The 2009’s are arriving into town and it’s weird realizing that they’re starting on something which I won’t be there for to see up close and personal. I’m taking the distant-observer role, and that definitely takes some getting used to. I’m starting to feel a little … grown-up!

This post is dedicated to my friend Raffa, here’s looking at you kid!

The 5 things you should know

Here’s the 5 things you should know if you’re sending me an email as a prospective applicant:

  1. Tell me where you found me / how you know me / if we’ve met before. Please. My memory’s usually reasonably good, but I meet so many prospective applicants (or at least have done in the past few years) that I can’t remember everyone, hard as I try.
  2. Do not under any circumstance tell me a) your GPA b) your GMAT (and DO NOT, and I repeat DO NOT even explain which math/verbal scores you had) or c) TOEFL scores. I don’t give a rat’s a** about them to be honest. And they might be interesting to you, to me they’re just numbers.
  3. Do tell me a little about yourself and try to make it a little more interesting than just ‘hi, my name is XXX, can I ask you a few questions?’. I’m a person too. Like everyone I like a good (but concise) story. Make it interesting. Make me interested.
  4. Tell me what research you’ve already done. Do you read the blogs? The LBS MBA blog? Have you already talked to people? Are you thinking about applying or definitely applying?
  5. Last but not least DO NOT ask me questions such as ‘can you tell me about your experience?’ or ‘I’d like to know about your MBA’. This whole MBA thing, including the applications-stage, took 3 years. What exactly do you want to know? Be specific. Tell me what you’d like to know. It’s kinda hard for guess what you want to know exactly so please tell me.

End of rant.

[image courtesy of RedKit]

[addition: hmmmm. Fran’s comment made me realise that I do sound a bit grumpy. Apologies. I’m tired. See, I genuinely want to help when people send me emails. But please, please, think of me too and try and work with me. I’ll appreciate it a lot. Think of it as good karma. Or good practice.]

Visiting a b-school is a lot like dating

810755727_9d0aa748caLike the ever-handsome-and-clever Patxi (yes, ladies, it is true, there are some very handsome men at LBS*! But before you all rush out, this one’s taken), I got an email from Manoj asking for advice when visiting b-schools. I think Patxi has put down very useful comments and for a while there I didn’t think there was anything I could add. However, I wouldn’t be I (me?) if at one point I do feel there’s something I need to say about this too. So here it goes.

Visiting a b-school is a lot like taking a girl on a first date (not that I have any personal experience in taking a girl out on a date, I must admit, I prefer to date guys, but I’m extrapolating from my experience of watching American movies). If you asked her out, that means that you already think she’s going to be nice/interesting/sexy/entertaining (delete or add as appropriate) so the groundwork is laid. You dress up nicely, but not too formal, just enough so she can tell you made an effort. You come on time, make an effort to be courteous and interesting and most of all interested in her, and try and leave a good impression in general and not behave like an idiot/raving lunatic/serial killer (again delete or add as appropriate, you get my drift). You try and figure out if you want to go on another date. Now that’s exactly the process of visiting a b-school too. Follow the above (and most of all, read Patxi’s advice, which is much more practical) and you’re sorted.

I’m getting ready for what promises to be an interesting week. Tomorrow one of my old housemates is back in town (yeehaaw!), Tuesday and Wednesday I’m off to Istanbul/Ankara for what promises to be a whirlwind business trip, and Thursday it’s back to normal schedule again. I spent the past two days trying to assemble a wardrobe for a business trip: after ditching my suits 4 years ago, and only having a few dresses/skirts I really needed a wardrobe update (although no suits are necessary, it’s not that kind of business, I still needed more than trainers, a tee and jeans). And of course with my first paycheck update, and some of the sales still on, I had a blast :-) I had forgotten exactly how nice it is to shop with a paycheck in the bank.

Above photo taken about a month ago in my ‘hood in London, as always with the trusty N95.

* That said, I must say that all the male LBS MBA bloggers are quite handsome… maybe it’s a blogging thing ;-)

[edited to add: btw, I’ve officially graduated. Got the letter last week. Now all that’s left is the nice shiny piece of paper that someone’s calligraphed my name on. Apparently, that will take a little while, till sometime in autumn.]

I’m too lazy to think of a title

[Part of this post was written on Monday, right before our internet connection at home became possessed and we’ve been living with its temperamental whims all week. It seems fine now.]

I’ve just come back from a short weekend trip over to NL to celebrate my parents’ 35th wedding anniversary (happy anniversary mum and dad!), which was a blast. We had a cycle tour round Amsterdam (which none of us know very well, we’re not from there. Please don’t ask me next time you see me. Yes I am from NL. No I’m not from Amsterdam. And hardly know anything about it. Which is why we took a guided tour.). Had a lovely dinner, hung out, celebrated. Life is very good!

On my way out I picked up a copy of Monocle magazine (hat tip to mr NW who brought it to my attention), which although ultra-yuppie-hipper-than-thou, something which I don’t think I am at all, I liked a lot. Find out more here [link via the excellent Putting People First].

On a Grolsch update: they’re going to do some cool stuff at the Lowlands Festival this summer. They’re kitting out some festival-goers with an RFID armtag, and there will be camera crews roaming around. If you, the one wearing the armband, feel like being filmed, you hail them, they scan your band and they shoot whatever’s happening. The whole thing will then be uploaded to a website. If you can read Dutch, read all about it here.

[now back to Friday night again, this is some original content written on the day that I’m posting this]
Wow, what a week it’s been. With goodbyes, reunions. dinners, Proms (last night, very good) and of course work it’s been packed. Something no one warned me about, and I should’ve known this but hadn’t realized: a lot of people are saying goodbye because they’ll be moving elsewhere to work. And I’m the worst at saying goodbye. Ever. Dunno why, but I hate them. I’m not good at them, I don’t like ‘em. That’s not true. I stink at them. My own and even more so other people’s.

I’ve been trying to think about what to say about my job (assuming some of you, and I’m pointing at you Rogier, might be curious). I haven’t talked to my bosses about the blog, so I won’t mention any names. However, I feel comfortable saying that I’m working for a branding and design consultancy, a small and entrepreneurial one (just the way I like my employers) with cool offices south of the river close to both here (where I saw this today) and here and doing some amazingly good work (well, I would say that, wouldn’t I ;- ehm, I didn’t mean that I do amazingly good work, but the company does). And I’m really liking it. It’s exactly what I had dreamed of doing post MBA. And of course being a good design company, they have Macs, so my office laptop is a nice and shiny 17inch Powerbook.

Photo at the top taken on my way home from work, curiously enough in the same location as this one. Southwark is a bit of a weird neighbourhood ;-)