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Top 10 Things…

Posted by: Jann

A year and five days ago, I arrived at London and set foot, for the very first time, on London Business School's campus to get my welcome pack from the MBA Programme Office. My appearance that day was also immortalized on the School's database through what we call the Portal photo (They said there's no way of changing that photo, but let's see after n years).  The same photo is on my ID card so I'm constantly reminded of that fine day. It's not the best photo but it certainly also not the worst. So, it's all good!

Why am suddenly being all sentimental?  Maybe because the MBA Class of 2011, has now started to arrive in London and in a week will start their wonderful journey called First Year!  Of course, most (shouldn't it be ALL?) of the people are here to learn, but sometimes we also need a break from the hectic schedules and demanding core classes.  A fellow MBA 2010 of mine, came up with a list that I thought was a good one to share to prospective students or even first years reading this blog. 

The list is composed of things to do outside the classroom setting to ensure that your MBA experience will be as balanced as possible.  It's also a great way to get to know your fellow-MBAs and take advantage of this beautiful city.

I now present you with the list…(ala David Letterman)

Top 10 Things To Do Outside the Lecture Theatre (in your first term)

10. Explore London
9. Travel to nearby cities 
8. Find a flatmate at the Flathunters Pub Crawl
7. Organise a flatwarming
6. Get to know your classmates (through Stream events)
5. Attend (birthday) parties
4. Unwind at Sundowners after a stressful week
3. Learn about other cultures and share your own at Tattoo
2. Find out just how (strange) interesting your classmates are at Halloween
1. Paint London red at the Santa Claus Pub Crawl

Take note, this is only for the Autumn term (first term).  It goes to show that there really is a lot of activities that can be done in School and outside which would make your first year enjoyable and memorable.

Now, I'm off to make my own list for 2nd year Autumn term.  I'm thinking it will be a Top 20!
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Breathe… it’s easier

Posted by: Jann
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I cannot believe that 2 months have passed since the first day of school.  And I cannot believe that the same amount of time has passed since I last posted in this blog. (Sorry, Graeme!) Even my co-bloggers are chasing me for my new entry. Well here it is…

So, after a very hectic Sept term, where I had the chance to meet my study group C1 (who by the way, rocks!) and sink my teeth into some Business Stats, which is quite bitter for my taste, I thought I had this MBA all figured out.  Until Autumn term welcomed itself into my life.  I was honestly overwhelmed by the tons of cases to read, problems sets to submit in tight deadlines, required and optional readings to ponder on, and events/workshops to attend. And then I realized that it might just be me panicking but if I stop, step back, and relax…it ain’t that bad. It’s actually fun! This was kind of like the time I was learning how to scuba dive.  I was so scared of the water and what it could do to me (I’m not exactly a water person) that I would often panic while underwater.  Then I would realize that I had a regulator on me, and I can actually breathe!  After making sure to always remember this, I started to enjoy watching the fish.

The MBA, I reckon, should be treated like an experience.  It’s not out there to harm or maim the students through the sleepless nights and cold-calling phobia.  There’s just so much to enjoy to let small hiccups get in the way. The things that we learn in the classroom like analyzing Madonna’s career in Strategy, the valuable advise from ’09s, the chance to participate in Club activities, and the events such as Tattoo, are just some of the things I think make this experience richer.

One thing worthwhile to remember is to breathe, take it all in, it will definitely make everything easier.

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Great First Two Weeks

Posted by: Jann
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     I arrived in London almost two weeks ago and while I was still back home in The Philippines, I was convinced that I was going to look forward to finding a flat, using the Tube, and having four seasons in a year.  I was so excited to experience all these because I haven’t had the chance to back home.  In hindsight, however, I may have over done it…30 mins after I’ve arrived from the airport, I immediately went out and walked miles and miles around London looking for a possible flat, got a Day pass on the Tube, and I seem to have experienced four seasons in a DAY (no, not YEAR) having to put my coat on and taking it off more than a couple of times. (To think it was summer here)  By the end of it, I was exhausted!  I think I’ve reached my quota, in terms of achieving the things I was looking forward to here, just on my first day.

     But there is one thing I enjoyed and still am enjoying a lot for the first two weeks I’ve been here.  And that is meeting the other MBA 2010s (and some of the MIF 2009s as well). Whether it be through the Flat Hunter’s Pub Crawl, Sundowners, Meet and Greet, or just through London tours, nights out, and flat warming events some small groups organize here and there.

    Classes have not yet started, but I’m learning a lot as I meet my fellow 2010s.  My exposure and expertise is within Industry and a lot of the people I’ve spoken to were from Finance or Consulting.  I expected not to grasp some of what the others have done previously.  There was an instance where I drew a blank stare when I was told by one person he was doing M&A (I still drew a blank even when he said Mergers & Acquisitions).  Nor did I truly understand someone when he said he did subprime mortgage trading. (I wonder if I even got this correctly). It’s quite comforting too that not all people have a grasp of the other functions in Industry especially the uncommon ones like my background.  I do hope that the fact that there is diversity will enrich us in the next 2 years.  Of course, do not forget the cultural sharing which makes for good learning as well.
    With the great first two weeks here, I am so looking forward to the next great two years of my life at London Business School.

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