My attention has been drawn to the fact that I have committed a grave dereliction of duty by failing to post my summing-up of courses for both P4 and P5. I will therefore rectify the situation post haste. Apologies if my memory is not as fresh as it would have been had I posted in a more timely manner. Now, let me see, I know I took some classes having something to do with business at some point...
Negotiation Strategies - Ayse Onculer: The famous Negotiations prof at INSEAD is Horatio Falcao, who apparently is amazing. I didn't take his class (taught in Singapore) so I can't compare, but I was perfectly happy with Ayse's class. First, it reminded me how much I like arguing with people (no surprise there). It also showed me that if people are nice to me I'm a complete pushover (that was somewhat surprising; must learn to keep that in check). While the lecture part of the course was average, the exercises were occasionally stressful but usually good fun. Especially the mediation exercise, which felt like the good old days...
Industry and Competitive Analysis - Karel Cool: It's a toss-up between Markus Christen's class and this one as to which was my favourite out of the entire INSEAD year. The two profs have completely different styles (Mr Cool, despite his name, is a bit of a stickler for old-fashioned discipline, and unlike Markus would never be caught dead sharing a beer or two or three with his students) but both manage to fill their course with such passion, enthusiasm, relevance and content that even if these were the only two courses all year, the hefty tuition would be worth it. So, future students of the Business School for the World, I beg of you, please don't miss this class (and if you need any tips on Michelin, drop me a line).
Advanced Game Theory - Timothy van Zandt: I was very excited about taking this class. In an ultra-geeky way. I was so excited to take this class that I decided to forego Advanced Corporate Finance (which had a schedule conflict). This was probably a mistake. The exercises amused me (full of fun algebraic equations and things that poor, lowly, non-engineer me had a bit of a struggle with) but the lectures were painful and I'm not sure I took much from them. In fact, I think I probably learned more about (applicable) game theory... euh... theories, from Karel Cool.
Political Risk Assessment & Management - Michael Witt: P4 was all about blast from the past for me (enciting me to search high and low for interesting ways to get back to being a lawyer, which I ultimately failed to do). First, with Negotiations, and then with "PRAM", where I got to brainwash an entire assembly of fellow students that the most important thing to remember when investing abroad was to hire a good international arbitration lawyer and get that dispute resolution clause airtight. My work here is done, ladies and gentlemen. In all seriousness, this was a fun class and a much more interesting way to approach the interrelation between politics and business than what we got in the core.
Psychological Issues in Management - Fernando Bartolome: I think I've probably posted about this class on numerous occasions, as have some of my fellow bloggers, so by now you should know that a) Fernando is a rude, obnoxious, insufferable, pain-in-the-whatsit and b) this class is a must. Bring tissues.
Dynamic Pricing & Revenue Management - Ioana Popescu: I took this class because it was taught by my P1 Statistics prof and because the issue of pricing seemed interesting to me. While the lectures were at times slow, the questions raised provided plenty of food for thought, and I was lucky to have fantastic groupmembers who knew what they were doing and were kind enough to pretend that despite my shocking lack of Excel skills I actually added value to our various projects. Bless them.
Brand Management - Pierre Chandon: For those who enjoy marketing (like me), this is a great class, full of fun examples and very hands-on case studies. The professor is entertaining, his French accent comprehensible and his inclusive approach to teaching a delight. I will carry with me fond memories of hour-long, coffee-fueled debates with my groupmates about the best way to market Russian vodka to Americans and the fashion faux-pas of Diesel.
Environmental Management & Corporate Responsibility - David Vogel: My mother (or someone's mother, at any rate) once told me that if you don't have anything nice to say, it's best not to say anything at all. I did enjoy writing the final paper on L'Oréal and the organic cosmetics trend, though.
Global Strategy & Management - Subramian Rangan: Winner of the "best teacher" award (category: Electives/Fontainebleau), Prof. Rangan is a gem. He has no gimmicks, no loud, imposing voice, no "hey-I'm-one-of-the-kids" jokes, no snazzy slides. He's just a very, very good professor. Now why on earth is this course a mini? Dear new Dean of the MBA, please look into this matter at once.
Well, folks, that's it. I have now reviewed all of my classes at INSEAD. Some I have loved, some a little less so, but all taught me something and somehow managed to make an "ex-lawyer" out of me. And that's saying a lot. So it is armed with this bag of tricks that I face my future career as a consultant, due to begin in less that four weeks. Stay tuned.