Sep 5, 2007

Running to create value

I've received a bit of a scolding for not posting enough, so in the interest of the greater good, I am sacrificing my econ and finance homework to bring you updated news from the world of a weary P1. Oh, the generosity of spirit...

The key "take-away" from the last few days (note increased use of INSEAD buzz words) is that classes are severely hampering our social schedules. There are a lot of classes. A lot of them start at 8.30 am. There is also a lot of reading, which usually doesn't get finished (if at all) before 2 am. Ergo, I am exhausted, ill, tragically behind and in desperate need of a drink.

Here's a little technical info on the actual work that goes on at INSEAD. (The following will be of interest only to future students and applicants, and my parents. The rest of you (i.e. my classmates) can stop reading now and go back to cooking up Paris and Nicole's balance sheets.)

We have five classes in this first period: Micro-economics, Statistics, Finance, Accounting and a "leadership" class. The latter is the only one with a true level playing field; for everything else, the competitive advantage goes to the finance and maths geeks among us (sadly, I am not one of them). Professors come from all over the world, and each have their own teaching styles, which adds a little extra spice.

Students are divided in 4 sections in Fonty, with each section assigned its own amphi (here's a pic of my amphi, as we slowly drifted in for our stats class). We also all have assigned seats for all our classes, where we dutifully sit behind big name cards waiting for our professors to come to us. We are further subdivided into study groups of 5 or 6 people; these are the poor souls who will bear the brunt of our frustration, desperation and occasional bursts of irrational anger over the next four months. Bless them. There's quite a bit of group work required for class, but also tons and tons of individual reading and problem sets to prepare. Basically, there's a lot to do, and very little time to do it in.

The main time sucker is, of course, our hectic social lives. This is especially true for those of us who live in large shared houses. Official house dinners, unofficial house dinners, house party planning sessions, house rules discussion sessions, house "please help me with my accounting homework" sessions, you name it. Then there's all the parties at other people's houses. And study group dinners. And bumming around the campus café with the people who's names you've managed to remember and their friend Bob.

Second main time sucker: recruiting events. Given the overlap between the two class intakes, there are recruiting events on pretty much every day of the week. So, despite the fact that we've been here a grand total of 10 days, have only just about managed to unpack half the stuff out of our suitcases, and still can't quite find our way around Fontainebleau, my house collectively has probably attended half a dozen presentations already from banks, consulting firms and top industry companies.

Given that there are only 24 hrs in the day, to say that we are suffering serious scheduling conflicts and time management crises is the understatement of the century. And there are 10 months of this to go, folks. God help us.

I should perhaps end this post with a disclaimer. Apparently - given the nature of some of my previous grumblings - my loyal and much beloved readers are under the impression that I am not enjoying myself. This could not be further from the truth. Trust me, on the rare occasions that I manage to get a nanosecond of peace and quiet conducive to solitary reflection and introspection, I am suddenly hit with the realization that I am, indeed, having fun. But if I stop to think about that too much I'll fall even further behind on the reading and be late for the next party.


futurefusion said...

Hey Res I(p)sa, it looks like we're not in the same section, are we? (I'm in E1.) I agree, sleep is a scarse good at the moment, but then again, I guess we can always sleep later. Cheers, Omar

Dominique said...

Thanks for posting so often, you are way ahead of the other J'08 bloggers!
Unfortunately, I can't come to Fonty this weekend but I will be visiting in the weeks to come. I shall ping you when I am in town.
Bon courage!