Mar 5, 2008

To Everything There Is A Season...

... And now is the season for recruitment. It is finally here, the reason we all did this MBA in the first place, the nerve-racking, nail-biting, ding-dreading countdown is upon us. Of course (and I'm not the only one), I have no clear idea of what I should be applying for, never mind what I actually would want to get. I have not started writing motivation letters. I'm already bored of company presentations and mindless networking chats. In fact, I'm in half a mind to throw in the towel and go work as a short-order cook on a beach in Jamaica.

But hey, despite all that, I'm feeling surprisingly chipper.

First, because it turns out I won't have to write a eulogy for DTLF after all. After a worrying absence, my dear blogging lyricist appears to be back online. Which means I have something to read again other than HBS cases.

Second, after a rather trying P3, a lovely break in snowy sunny Switzerland has restored my happiness meter back to a healthy level. Nothing like outdoor exercise, glühwein and good friends to catch that silver lining again.

Third, I'm pretty excited about my P4 courses. I will be taking Negotiations Strategy (first class today was fun, despite being lied to by my counter-party; not an ethics class, clearly), Industry & Competitive Analysis, Psychological Issues in Management, Political Risk Assessment & Management and Advanced Game Theory.

Which reminds me: I owe you all a recap of P3 courses. So here's my best effort (it's funny how a week's break seems to wipe the mind clean):

Macroeconomics (Loic Sadoulet): Yet another controversial offering, with some people loving this class and others... not so much. I personally liked it, even though it took a while for things to click. Perhaps a bit more quantitative backing would have been good, but overall a useful, instructive course.

International Political Analysis (Douglas Weber): A bit of a disappointment, this one. It was one of the courses I was most looking forward to (having long hesitated whether to go into Poli-Sci back in my previous life) but unfortunately the prof struggled to make this class relevant to business students. The most interesting part of the course was the student-led presentations, made particularly engaging by the international diversity at INSEAD.

Corporate Entrepreneurship (Michelle Rogan): A good subject to have on the menu, this class focused on how to ensure you had the right entrepreneurial culture within a large company to maximize growth. The workload was disproportionately high compared to the actual substance, though, and by the end of the 16 sessions we were all experiencing CE-fatigue. Perhaps this would have done better as a mini-class.

Strategies for Product & Service Development (Jürgen Mihm): A really fun class, taught by a passionate professor. The project for this class (generating an idea for and prototyping a new product/service) is a great exercise, and has you using skills and neurons not usually called upon in other INSEAD classes.

Market Driving Strategies (Markus Christen): By far my favourite class at INSEAD so far. Markus is an amazing professor and also an amazing guy (big thanks goes out to him for helping us on our final L'Oreal project). The Markstrat game is intense, frustrating but ultimately lots of fun, and the lectures are also very instructive. This class reconciled a lot of people with marketing.

So, that's all from me for tonight, it's time to go drink and socialize with my new housemates (in my new house; more on that later). I will do my very best to post a bit more often this period, in between applications, interviews, classes and doubtless countless parties. It's a hard life, my friends, but someone has to do it.

1 comment:

DTLF said...

A short order cook indeed :)

As always, you're too kind to some of the professors. Senator Palpatine could've used a more severe verbal flaying.