On the train (again)

Posted by: Gonzalo

It would be unfair to say that the EMBA has not had an impact on my career since starting 5 months ago (someone noted that we were already half way through our first year – boom). I approached senior management in my company and I said I was ready to do more for them. A week or so after that one could argue to be bold action, I became part of a project looking into new markets outside of Europe. Transport revenue is correlated to GDP so yesterday we were looking at GDP growth rates. This morning as I travel to Glasgow, I recalled our Understanding the International Macroeconomy discussion on convergence of countries with a similar steady state and diverged into some detective work on the internet. Not hard to find a GDP per capita data series and plot some charts – which as some of my classmates might know I do a lot for work. By no measure I am an economist or know too much about countries in South America but I decided to group Peru, Chile, Colombia and Ecuador.

GDP per capita

Quick inspection tells me that:

- Starting point matters (doh!)
- Something happened in Chile that made it jump before the others.
- Ecuador seems to be slowing down.

I won’t go into politics but I found the trajectories of all these countries interesting. If a hypothesis was made of a potentially common steady state, what could the bottom 3 countries do to catch up with Chile? Do politicians care? Time for an MPA?

The train just passed Preston and is on its way to Lancaster. I spent a year there, it was a good one. For the last couple of weeks I have been reading The Savage Detectives. I guess it could be said that it is an acquired taste. At the beginning it was a bit confusing but now that the stories are converging I am enjoying myself a bit more. Last week there was a presentation as part of the Careers stream that I did not attend – honest disclaimer. The visitor was, according to some of my classmates, quite engaging and one of the phrases he left was: Fortune favours the bold. As I read my book which narrates a duel (with swords!) from different points of view I couldn’t help wondering if this phrase was incomplete – or indeed if I missed the context because I was not in the presentation. I would think that ‘Fortune favours the bold… that are fortunate’ or maybe ‘Fortune appears on the way of the bold sometimes’ might be a bit more realistic making allowances for unforeseen events and the actions of others. As our lecturer of Decision and Risk Analysis was saying we need to value the quality of a decision making process and not just the outcome of those decisions (the fortune). Going to Lancaster for further study was a whimsical decision in many ways but it opened the way to a new series of chance events and decisions that have been made with more mature judgment – like attending LBS. So maybe being bold shapes fortune in ways difficult to assess at origin. (But then that reverses the argument doesn’t it?). Anyway, I don’t want to offer advice or be perceived to be preaching but I feel fortunate about where I am now and how I got here while not assuming that it was all down to my choices and abilities. Don’t overthink it. I shall turn to some work now.

2 Responses to “On the train (again)”

  1. avatar Felipe says:

    Hi Gonzalo,

    Excellent article! Just discovered you had a post and from now onwards you have one more suscriber. See you again in November. Saludos

  2. avatar Gonzalo Gordillo says:

    Gracias Felipe, he estado escribiendo desde el primer term, ya nos vemos!