I love vending machines

Vending_machines I love vending machines. Love 'em, love 'em, love 'em. So when I saw this specimen during a layover yesterday in Minneapolis, I couldn't help but peer inside and take pics.

I'm typing this from the very comfortable sofa in the fabulous house of Al and mrs M, who are kindly letting me set up camp in their house and invade their lives for the next few days. And even though I've been here less than 24 hours, I already love Texas, and am reminded why I love the US so much. Vending machines such as the one on the left, great weather, ice machines in the fridge door (yes, that makes me jump up and down with joy), and of course the company of great friends. I can really only say one thing: yeeehaaww!

Here’s to another year

Most people make New Year's resolutions on Jan 1st. I always make mine on my birthday, which is my own personal New Year celebration. But before I make my resolutions, it's time to look back and see what happened in this past year. I work in an industry I love, and which allows me to learn something new every day at work (big thank you to my colleagues who have so patient and kind and have taught me more than I think they realise). I am doing a part-time degree that is inspiring beyond anything I could've dreamed and where I have made some wonderful new friends. I have seen some amazing exhibitions, conferences (Interesting2008), events (bschool meets dschool was definitely a highlight) and performances, most notably my alltime hero Bruce Springsteen in A'dam, my teenage heroes The Black Crowes, new discoveries Jamie Lidell and John Mayer (twice) who's fast becoming one of my new favourites. I completed some of my 1,001 things to do, most notably and memorably the 2 Michelin ** dinner at The Square earlier this year which opened up whole new avenues of addiction. I've met some inspiring, interesting, amazing, wonderful people both online and offline. And of course there's my family whom I love so dearly and who are my most ardent supporters for which I can't thank them enough, it's a wonderful feeling that whatever I do or dream up of doing, they are right there for me, cheering me on. If you can measure a person's wealth by her friends, then I'm a billionaire; there's so many wonderful people I get to share my life with, and so much love that I feel incredibly lucky. And yes, I do get very sentimental and soppy about these things, especially on my birthday, but it's my blog and I'll be soppy if I want to.

Life is very good. And I am grateful for that and humbled by it. And thank everyone who's been so instrumental in making this my best year ever so far. For this coming year I hope to travel a bit more (kicking off in a few days when I fly to Dallas to visit Al and the lovely miss M, followed by a trip to India late November to attend a wedding), continue to enjoy work and school (and try to balance the two), and enjoying this wonderful city some more. There you go. Soppiness over now, back to normal broadcast from the next post onwards.

Jammin’ with graphs

A picture is worth a 1000 words. If it's done the right way, that is. I saw a website called GraphJam this morning which has the best graphs, piecharts and Venn diagrams that I've ever seen. Here's an example:


Now, especially if you're an MBA or a consultant, repeat after me: "I will not, under any circumstances now or in the future, create diagrams, pie- or barcharts or Venn Diagrams that add nothing whatsoever to the slide deck I am making. I will only use them where they make sense and help my audience to understand what I'm talking about, not to show off I've found the graph-making button in my software.'

And if you do feel the need to toy around with graphs, create one and submit it to GraphJam.

{Graphjam chart from here}

Calling all MBA applicants in NL

Saw this and am passing it on, please note that this is all I know and I have no affiliation with this whatsoever. However, if you're thinking about going to a top-tier MBA school, this sounds like it could be of great help to your research of schools and programs. And I can't say it often enough, there aren't enough Dutch people pursuing top-flight MBAs, for reasons completely beyond me. So if an MBA is an idea you're toying with, and you're in NL, go to this and figure out if it's for you. Go NL!

"The Dutch Ivy Circle Alumni Association invites
you to its second
Amsterdam MBA Fair on Sunday 28 September, 2008, from 11am to 5pm.  

 We offer young professionals who intend to pursue an MBA,
the unique opportunity to meet admissions directors and alumni from the top
1 2  global MBA programs.

This MBA fair at the Barlaeus Gymnasium in Amsterdam will
give you access to the 12 most internationally renowned business
schools from the United States
( Chicago , Columbia ,
Harvard, Kellogg, MIT Sloan, Stanford, Tuck and Wharton) and Europe
(IESE, IMD, INSEAD, LBS). This is a unique opportunity. You
will meet admissions directors and alumni from the top 12
global MBA programs and you will be given a great platform
to share and exchange MBA information. The day is intended to make you
much better equipped to conduct your MBA selection and application processes
and increase your chances of acceptance at one of these outstanding business

 During the morning you will have the opportunity
to ask questions about MBA programs in general. After lunch, you will
learn about the three schools you're most interested in. Representatives
from the Fulbright Foundation will provide information on sponsoring opportunities,
and the US
Consul will answer your visa questions. By the end of the day you will be
familiar with the added value of your preferred MBA programs, knowing which
schools best fit your competencies and ambition

Are you a young professional with three to four years
of work experience in the public or private sector? Do you have
ambitions that extend beyond the
Netherlands ? Do you intend to
pursue an international MBA in the next 1-2 years?

Then register at our website, www.amsterdammbafair.nl/registration. (Please
note that seats are limited. Places will be given on a first come first
served basis.) 

If you have already applied to Business Schools and/or you have been
accepted, this event is still a wonderful
opportunity to meet alumni and learn more about your preferred
school(s). And even if you are not planning to attend, feel free to
send us your contact information (and the schools you have applied to or were
accepted at) to ensure that you are invited to other applicant
events, like our pre-departure drinks at the US Consulate.

The Amsterdam MBA Fair is made possible thanks to the
generous contribution of our partners Aegon, A.T. Kearney, and
Booz & Company."