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What does it feel to be an alumna?

Posted by: Martha
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Better than I thought. At business school, I thought alumni came from a different, cold, and very distant world. I thought as an alumna I would feel gone from the action, away from where important things were happening (aka business school).

But, yesterday was my first day in Dubai and have already met with a good friend of mine: Neville Crawley. We were in the same stream during the MBA and together studied Mandarin symbols for hours. In addition, I have already reached out to a few other business school alumni, with whom I am likely to meet within the next few days. Yesterday I realised I trust these people significantly, I feel strongly connected to them, and I feel at home with them – all of us foreigners in the same city.

I might just be too excited about starting full-time work, but today I feel very happy, proud, and -must accept- relieved to belong to this network of people. Today I think being an alumna is awesome!

Later will tell more about Dubai and life in consulting after an MBA and oil rigs.

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Forté Forum Event Series this Fall

Posted by: Martha
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Forté is coming to cities across the country with our Forum
series, featuring top women business leaders sharing candid advice drawn from
their own career experiences. They’ll be joined by admissions officers from the
top MBA schools, who will answer questions and give advice about the admissions
process.

The event includes plenty of time to mingle with corporate
and school representatives for one-on-one networking opportunities.

The schedule of events is as follows:

Chicago, Sept. 8th (register by Sept. 5th)

Boston. Sept. 9th (register by Sept. 5th)

Washington, DC, Sept. 10th (register by Sept. 5th)

Los Angeles, Sept. 15th (register by Sept. 12th)

San Francisco, Sept. 16th (register by Sept. 12th)

Houston, Sept. 17th (register by Sept. 12th)

Atlanta, Sept. 18th (register by Sept. 12th)

New York, Sept. 23rd (register by Sept. 19th)

New York, Sept. 24th (register by Sept. 19th)

London, Oct. 7th (register by Oct. 3)

To register for any of these events, visit http://www.fortefoundation.org/forum

This fall, our Forum events will feature business leaders
like Aruna Singh, Vice President at Merrill Lynch & Co.; Valerie Grubb,
Vice President of Operations & Initiatives at NBC Universal; Johanna
McChesney, CEO of Isis Maternity; Dana Dillon-Townes, Assistant Brand Manager
at L’Oreal.

Interact virtually and experience our online resources for
women considering pursuing an MBA — Visit
http://www.fortefoundation.org/site/PageServer?pagename=events_ue_mba_online to
access our Podcast series, upcoming Forum webinars and Pre-MBA blog.

Forté Foundation is dedicated to encouraging women to pursue
careers in business leadership by providing access to information, scholarships
and networking opportunities. Forté is backed by 27 leading corporations, 37
top business schools in the U.S. and abroad, and The Graduate Management
Admission Council® (GMAC®).

For more information, please contact me at jessica@fortefoundation.org

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Two years later: was my MBA worth pursuing?

Posted by: Martha
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2008_aug_cambodia_97 Just came back from a thirty-day trip in Southeast Asia and I will continue to travel for a few more days before landing in Dubai for a full-time job. I could say my ability to enjoy time off has dramatically improved – thanks to the MBA. Without empty pages on my passport, after two marathons, and with lots of new friends and rewarding memories, the MBA has been a package of experiences.

Needless to say, I also discovered the business world – after a few years in oil rigs. Obviously, I have also broadened my set of skills, particularly those of teamwork and business judgement. Yet, the biggest impact of the MBA has been at a personal level: a change of mindset. I feel more ownership over my professional career and life than I did before. I have also genuinely learnt to appreciate the balance and combination of work and pleasure.

No need to make this blog entry long – the MBA was worth pursuing and wise to choose London Business School.

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Sex and the City

Posted by: Martha
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Saw the movie and thought it was fabulous. I had never seen the series before thus had to quickly acquire all knowledge of it. Somewhat corny but so funny! Strongly recommend it – to girls I guess…

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Mountain Biking Around London

Posted by: Martha
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Yesterday I took a 4-hr mountain biking course for beginners with Surrey Hills. The place is a two-hour drive away though only fifty miles from St. John’s Wood. There are bikes and relevant gear (helmet, gloves and water bottle) for rent thus it seemed all quite easy. I got no pictures but promise the forest was beautiful and the trails challenging. I learnt a few basic maneuvers (e.g. moving along the bike, braking, corners) which I tried to set in practice unsuccessfully, evidenced by my biggest fall ever. Fortunately I came out in a reasonable shape though not spotless. I strongly recommend the experience but definitely upon practice in easier terrain and preferably on your own bike.

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Some other MBAT notes

Posted by: Martha
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Mbat_2008_472I should also add a few lines on my MBAT experience. Awesome!

I was part of the x-country race in which twelve of us ran seven kilometres across hills and mud around the HEC campus. I was also the captain of track & field events: 100, 400, and 1,500 meters; long jump; shot put and relay. In both: x-country and track & field, London Business School came first.

Indeed, there were some very skilled people out there, for example: Christian Wentzel got medals in the 100-meter race, relay, long jump and shot put, while Karen Milligan came second in x-country and first in the 1,500-meter race. People like Peter Biskup also did a great job putting the teams together and coordinating the events on the day.

It is by far one of the best events of my MBA experience and strongly encourage you all to be an active part of it in any way you can.

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Beautiful European Places

Posted by: Martha
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2008_april_europe_800_copy
2008_april_europe_498_copyAfter twelve weeks of hard work, I decided to take a break in Nice, Monte-Carlo and Luzerne. These places are so beautiful. For months I limited my weekends to Amsterdam and London and only by accident I ended up in Southern Europe, from where I moved to Switzerland by mere luck. I liked Switzerland and Monaco the most. Luzerne is so small and authentic, and with places like Mount Pilatus (2,132 meters high). Monte-Carlo is charming and just beautiful, and only a few minutes from Nice. This time I limited my travel to Europe because I had to be back in London for my last school term. Yet, there are many others who are either already working, or taking a long time off to do more serious travelling around Asia or South America. Indeed, our flexible MBA programme has given us a broad range of options to develop and enjoy.

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Milton Keynes Half-Marathon

Posted by: Martha
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Dsc01536_v2 Dsc01541_v2Dsc00336_4 A week ago, five of us travelled to Milton Keynes for a half-marathon. Steve McCurry rented a black Golf at Streetcar, and drove us there and back. The race route was hilly and with a few narrow paths but enjoyable. By chance, we ran into Nely Villegas, a Mexican studying at UCL and attending Entrepreneurship at London Business School. The six of us – all with different fitness levels, proudly made it in under two hours (and a few minutes). It is the first time I am in a race with friends and I really liked it. Karen kept smiling throughout the race and pushing me beyond my speed boundaries. Nely and I will likely run Paris marathon together next April and that will be awesome!

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Tien’s Happy Birthday

Posted by: Martha
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2008_feb_21_021_4 Yesterday was Tien’s birthday. She is a wonderful girl from Taiwan, with experience in P&G, and planning to join an oil major upon graduation, next July. Her birthday party took place at the Ordnance Arms pub in St. John’s Wood. I could see a few people coming and going, in the few minutes I was there. Here they are – in the picture: Tien and Christoph. Christoph is a German guy who used to work at Merck and is not joining a top consulting firm. They are both really cool. I hope Tien had a great time.

More pictures of the event

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Brighton Half-Marathon

Posted by: Martha
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Brighton_17_feb_08Brighton_17_feb_08_03 Brighton_17_feb_08_04 Yesterday, I ran the Sussex Beacon Half-Marathon in Brighton in 2:05hrs. The race and the city were a great experience and strongly recommend it. Leaving at 07:11hrs from London Bridge at 0 C was odd but by the start of the race (09:45hrs), the weather was much better, even sunny. The run was pleasant: through the city and then along the beach. I stayed at the New Steine Hotel (a few steps from the start of the race and from the beach), went to the pier and ate tasty Thai food. I really liked Brighton – so different from London: small and quiet and yet, a great quality experience and only an hour away!

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