Thursday, September 27, 2007

Two weeks into the MBA

It has been over 2 weeks since I started the MBA program and time has flown by. I have had a great time till now - partying, meeting new classmates and mostly getting to know each other.

The first week at school was spent in various soft skills related activities. We had several sessions of organizational behavior meant to integrate the people, learn to appreciate the cultural differences, understand the basics of teamwork etc. It was mostly fun.

The second week was really interesting. For 4 days, we played Negosim - a business simulation game. The entire class was divided in small teams of 4-5 people with each team having to manage the same type of company but in different geographies. In this game, each company was competing with other companies to sell their products in global markets. Each team had to make 6 decisions that would decide the future of the company. The decisions related to increasing production by buying more plants, outsourcing production to take advantage of low cost labor in developing countries, entering into joint ventures with other companies, investing into R&D etc.
We had to make these decisions based on company's cash flow, borrowing capacity, market conditions and several other factors. It was great fun and a good learning experience as we had to pour deep into the company's financial statements to make decisions.

Last weekend we went to Deauville - a quaint town near Normandy, for integration weekend. It was great fun. We spent 2 days partying, boozing, dancing and doing some other activities (tree climbing was one of them ;))

Our main classes have started this week. Till now, we have had sessions on Financial Markets and Financial Accounting. Since I like both these subjects, it has been good going so far. Let's see how long the romance continues.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

So it begins

After a long wait, I finally started the MBA program at HEC Paris. Our batch has 136 participants out of which people of Indian origin constitute the biggest group(around 30) followed by people from US, Canada and France. There are an overwhelming number of nationalities present; the group is as diverse as I had hoped for.

Today, I attended sessions on "Cost Concepts" and "Cultural Integration and National Stereotypes". The session on "Cost Concepts was a basic introduction about the notion of Cost and its various types. The second session was very interesting. It was about cultural differences and the increasing need for cultural integration in today's global economy. The professor - Michael Segalla organized and presented the session beautifully, interspersing it with ad videos, anecdotes, jokes about cultural differences etc. Nowhere during the 2.5 hours of the session did I feel bored.

This is the orientation week which will be pretty easy going. Next week, we will have Negosim, which is a business simulation game. I am really looking forward to it.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Reached Paris

Finally, after multiple rounds of shopping and packing, I reached Paris yesterday. The flight (Air India) was dull and pathetic. the crew members were not much help. The service was just horrible. I would never want to travel by AI again. I wonder how does it manage to attract so much traffic despite the quality.

I will go to the campus today for registration and some other formalities. So I am gonna meet many classmates today. This has got me really excited. Lets see how things turn out now.