Posts Tagged ‘rugby’

This is my tri monthly blog! It has been a while. I just returned from Prague for a surprise Valentines Day trip for the misses. I had a bag packed and she didn’t know where we were going until we got there (Praha on the terminal might have gave it away).
So here we are. The first term well in the rear view mirror, and now just a long internship application process ahead. Actually, most already have that in the rear view. Not I.

Lets recap the past couple months.


Finals End – Passed all my EXAMS!!!

Snowboarding in Val Thorens France – crazy time with 180 LBSers in the land of cheese and lait. *tip. if you get in trouble, just tell them you’re from LSE!

Christmas and New Years Back in Miami – ah sunshine and my husky puppy :)


Corporate partners week/eternity – I asked so many memorable questions, and shook so many hands, I’ve mastered the perfect pressure of a hand shake (22psi if you were wondering)

The misses stayed in Florida for this one – let me tell you, she wanted to stay. I had to force her to come back and console me on not getting my first interview.
You thought it was tough getting in to B-School?
Getting in is a bit like a college football player getting drafted. Yea you were faster than most people, good job!
Getting the internship is like making the pro bowl… 4 months after joining the league. We all can’t be Andrew Luck, I guess I’m just Brady Quinn.

Rugby is back! – I watched football and home at thought, “hey, Adrian Peterson would be a pretty good outside center!”

Tricked my girlfriend into coming back to London – :-D


I have the best schedule of all time – Even though I am taking 2 electives this term, I still have Thursday and Friday off. That means I get to explore this part of the world. UK is up first… where exactly is Kings Landing? and how do I get north of “The Wall”?

Rugby in Stevensage – They are well fed up there, and well angered.

Rugby in Oxford – To them, we seemed well fed and well angered. Aww to socialize with 19 year olds and their rock music, and their MTV, and this internet place they all hang out at.

Prague – I have no clue what I ate, but it was delicious. Mystery cheeses and random pickled meats. I already eat horse apparently, so what else do I have to lose.

That’s all I have for now. But I will be more frequent with this. And watch this awesome video!

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If there were such things as “test drives” or “samples” on offer, people would be spared the excruciating challenge of choosing which Business School to do an exchange in or even give tens of thousands of internationally traded currency.

In the past 5 years I managed to attend 3 pretty hot schools – London School of Economics, Booth School of Business under the University of Chicago and now – LBS. So I can compare them across some important points; but I beg you to not ask for a ranking, OK? Finding flaws is a tough enough task already – they are all close-to-my-heart-alma-maters, and I will stand up for them against even minor offenders until the very end, like Hector for Troy.

Booth has 2 campuses – in downtown Chicago – for those who prefer combining work with pleasure evening courses; and a Hyde park campus on E59th, which is very south, if you know what I mean. So south that I once had to sleep in the student’s lounge because I was too scared to get outside and walk home.
The West End location of the LSE will make sure that by the graduation time you turn into a musical connoisseur. If only you did not have to run from one building to another under the rain to change lecture rooms.
Baker Street tube station is great for connecting with all the significant spots in London, while being in a quieter area, with a personal and private Regents park.

Booth can boast its access to the University of Chicago fitness facilities – think classic American football, basketball, baseball fields, boxing arena, full size swimming pool with 20 lanes, gym with at least 100 cardio machines and countless iron-lifting options, cheerleader team, etc! Everything you dreamed about (or saw in movies) and more, which can compromise the amount of time you spend in the library.
To work up a sweat from any form of team sport at LSE you will have to go to Berrylands (a berry-less village 25min away from Waterloo station on South-West trains). Training standards however make up for it in full.
Having a game of rugby in Regents Park, or a round of cricket on the Lord’s Grounds sounds super fun; going to a midget gym + swimming pool in the basement of the library – not so much. But I guess it works…

Booth did not live up to my expectations, I ended up not going to a single event.
No other place can compare to the quality and quantity of LSE speakers. Ever. The only problem is that here a concept of an “early bird” is taken quite literally – if you want to give celebrity speaker a listen – you need to come and physically stand/sit/lie in a queue. Sometimes for a very long time. Before dawn. I remember getting to the School at about 4a.m. only to find myself number 12 in a queue for Alan Greenspan (back in 2007 J), which was to open at 7. The best part is that all the speakers become exceptionally friendly when within the LSE walls, so if you dream of a Soros’s signature – you are guaranteed one after his lecture. Together with a photo. And a kiss.
LBS is a good cocktail of speakers and conferences across all industries, country leadership and even celebrities. Business and theory come holding hands to all the events. Students also ogranise industrial tracks around the world (e.g. entertainment track to Hollywood, high-tech track to Sillicon valley).

Many lecturers at Booth are held by its Nobel prize winning alumni, who cover all the material in class to such extent that no books are required to get a top mark at the exam.
Attendance at the LSE was obligatory, but majority of time was spent on deeply theoretical concepts as well as guidance of how to approach self-studying.
LBS lectures (at least the core MiFPT ones) are the most engaging and fun I have ever come across. Really.

Self study
Booth has the best study area, kept pitch-dark and thus extremely quiet. Assignments are marked very quickly and the results uploaded to the web portal almost immediately (IT services are outstanding). There is also always an option of studying on the beach.
LSE is known for its largest in the world Business and Social Science library with a famous spiral staircase. It is open to LBS students as well, as both schools are under the umbrella of the University of London.

Booth MBA exams seemed like a vacation – you are even asked to put your name on every page of the paper.
LSE scores for the toughest exams, most of which take place in summer, even if a class was in autumn. Anonymity approaches MI5 standards. Getting a distinction is next to impossible.
LBS only allows to re-sit the core courses, but some electives will give you a take-home exam.

…to be continued

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I don’t expect there are many inter-school rivalries which are separated not only by country borders but also by large bodies of water and by language. But for LBS, our most competitive sports matches are played only after showing our passports, crossing the English Channel, and mastering the phrase “parlez vous anglais?” For INSEAD is our greatest rival on the field (and possibly off too) and nothing is quite as satisfying as vanquishing these baguette eating, wine swirling opponents.

Perhaps this particular rivalry is merely an extension of the long history shared between Britain and France; a history of Napoleonic proportions. For the 70 men of the LBS Rugby Club who set off from St Pancras and were destined for the INSEAD campus at Fontainebleau, it was certainly a matter of pride in maintaining our dominance over our French neighbours. Now, what goes on tour usually stays on tour. And anything that occurred after the Eurostar rolled out from the St Pancras platform should not be uttered here. But, on this occasion, a tantalising taster should be shared.

The match began with INSEAD lining up opposite us to sing their school song. Or something along those lines. My French is shocking enough that I didn’t understand it. Perhaps that was a good thing though, as I imagine they sang about their expected vanquishing of us.

How wrong they were. They may have come out strong at the start (or was that us playing weakly, still recovering our mojo after the previous night?) and they even had the first opportunity to score points with a penalty kick almost directly in front. But the boys from Baker St valiantly regained their composure and slowly but surely the gears of LBS rugby stirred into dominating action. The result? LBS 51 – INSEAD 7. A resounding victory!

Now, I must say, INSEAD were very gracious in defeat and we joined them that evening for a post match function in Fontainebleau. There’s always something special about sitting shoulder to shoulder with people you’ve just spent 80 minutes trying to tackle to the ground; it was great to actually converse with our MBA brethren there. And we’ll be looking forward to the rematch against the INSEAD lads when they travel past the white cliffs of Dover to do battle with us on our own turf early in the New Year.

It was on this optimistic note that we departed INSEAD for the cultured city of Paris, where we took delight in the pleasures of the Parisian nightlife. Or perhaps it was us who were entertaining the Parisians. By the early hours of the morning the French women were somewhat perplexed by these handsome lads roaming the streets in their navy blazers and straw hats, but they couldn’t get enough. And, so I’ve been told, more than one woman swooned in the presence of these men.

I will stop there before I say too much. Needless to say though, the next day, like the Duke of Wellington in victory at Waterloo, we returned triumphantly to Baker St with pride and success notched on our belts (and possibly elsewhere).

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Rugby and I

Posted by: Andrew
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I’m in pain. Specifically, some part of my shoulder is in pain. Where exactly is still to be determined. I’m unfortunately now typing this with one arm tightly held to my side so that I look like a T-Rex. To explain why I’m in pain I need to start at the beginning.

A London Business School alumnus emailed me a few months before I started and said the following, “You should probably consider joining the Men’s Rugby Team. They hold all the power around campus, and it’s good to be a member, even socially. They will no doubt advise you on all sorts of important things such as technique for beer drinking (a critical skill for Rugby Pub Golf) and the like.” The use of the words ‘should probably consider’ is misleading because having read this I didn’t really consider there to be a choice. I was going to play rugby.

The unfortunate problem is I wasn’t built to play rugby. I was built to run away and hide from guys who are built to play rugby. Two years of rugby in high school left me with a series of concussions, a stern warning from the doctor not to go near the sport again, and a realisation that my head was not suited to the sport. Countless sprains and pulls from various other sports left me with the nickname of ‘gimpy’ (slang for someone with physical limitations) and a realisation that the rest of my body was not suited to the sport.

Fast forward to one month ago and there I am on the field playing rugby. Fortunately the first month is non-contact so that everyone gets to figure out how the play the game first. And what a confusing game it is. Supposed to have originated in 1823 when a student at Rugby School in England picked up a football (soccer) ball instead of kicking it and ran with it. From there it seems that they have tried to do the opposite of all other team sports. Pass forward? Nope, only back. Stop play after tackles? Nope, run over the top of the tackled player and keep going. Points scored for entering the end zone? Nope, must touch the ball down. The list goes on.

Fast forward another month and tackling begins. At this point the original 70 people at the training sessions are now whittled down to about 30. It’s all the guys who are built to play rugby…and me. Given my small frame the only way I can take these guys down is with momentum. This means recklessly throwing my body at them in the hopes that they’ll fall. During Friday’s training session I did just that and am now in pain.

The point of this is to highlight that I’m in an environment where I’m pushed to take risks and to make mistakes because those ultimately will be the greatest learning opportunities. I took the risk and played and I’m learning from that mistake. For now, I’ll stick to being a social member; fortunately, you don’t need to be built to play rugby to still enjoy a pint.

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