At HEC Paris, mvlti svnt vocati, pavci vero electi!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

A refreshing run...

Had a couple of guests over for dinner last night and, as the sun was shining so brilliantly this morning, I thought it was a good time to go and burn some calories. So, went for a short jog in the local park and took a few pictures on the way back, one of which is below.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

An evening at Buckingham Palace!

I have just returned after attending the aforementioned reception at Buckingham Palace but I still have not been able to track down who recommended my name. Well, I am not complaining - it was awesome inside the palace! And, I got to see the Queen in real life from about a metre, and even got a chance to speak to the Duke of Edinburgh. It was a bit difficult to speak to the Queen as Her Majesty was being shepherded around to meet key exhibitors and high flyers (guess my turn will come someday! :-)). Nonetheless, it was a wonderful evening and a wonderful experience. It was a reception full of some really prominent personalities...Prof. Pillinger (of the Beagle 2 Marslander project), Stephen Hawking (the Cambridge Physicist), Lord Browne (of BP to whom I also spoke briefly), and moi! Yes, me! :-) Just kidding...I probably got the invite by mistake. The reception was followed by a sumptuous dinner hosted by the Royal Society for a select few, where I got introduced to a few more heads of this and that - this and that being some of the top organisations in the UK. Unfortunately, as much as I would like to show you some pictures, we were not allowed to take any inside so all I have to show for my reception at Buckingham Palace are the pictures below (which any tourist could take too!). Well, well, we can't have everything in life! :-)

Buckingham Palace is now lighted using energy efficient LEDs which were turned on for the first time on the evening of our reception.


Friday, October 20, 2006

All's clear!

Yupe, that's right! I am all set. I have my documents ready for the long trip across the Channel. I have also handed in my notice at work, and, bless, my manager has already scheduled my farewell lunch! :-) 17th November is the key date...that's when I leave work; a place with a lot of memories...memories that I will treasure forever. A place that made me grow up and taught me a whole bunch of things. I was in London last night and returned early today so I took my son to work for him to see where daddy works. He loved it and did a Kennedy Jnr style pose under my desk, and tried to take over my Inbox for a moment!

While I have been busy preparing for my cross-Channel experience, the other half has also been keeping busy searching for positions in Paris...and there is one potential prospect. Nothing is confirmed and I will tell you mroe as things progress.

Finally, NYU Stern School of Business, the school I chose as a potential interest for a dual-MBA program is visiting London in November. So, I shall be paying them a visit to find out more.

That's it for now...bonne weekend!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Aerial View of HEC Paris

We were looking for a location in Paris when the thought struck me to have a look at HEC Paris from the air, courtesy of Google. So, here we go.

Below is the picture of the entrance to the HEC Paris campus and you can see the round MBA building and the tiny blue rectangle of a swimming pool (which I want to crash next summer :-)). Click here for further navigation. I have also added a picture I took featuring the water tower - the challenge for you is to find it on the Google map! :-)

Find the water tower shown in the picture below on the Google map.

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As friendly as it can least so far!

Few days gone since I was offered admission at HEC Paris. I have confirmed my admission by paying the initial deposit - couldn't have been easier to make up my mind, HEC Paris being my only school of choice. I have also been sorting out my visa documents and I am really pleased by how friendly and helpful HEC Paris staff members are. The other day, I needed a document urgently so I sent an email early morning and, before I knew it, they had already acted on it and faxed the letter by mid-morning! And, as is the procedure, I have been assigned a buddy. He is, interestingly, based at the NYU Stern School of Business and, in his intro, sent me this very detailed email with more info than I could have asked. Now, that's what I call a great cooperative movement! :-) Way to go HEC!

I can tell the time ahead in Paris is going to be fun!

Word has begun to slowly filter out at work that I am on my way out...some are surprised, some happy and pleased, and, for some, a thing coming, but all have wished me well! I really do love my job but an MBA is what I want. My mum and dad, who were initially surprised that I was interested in going back to school after having spent so many years at university, have now given me their full support. I think I am ready...ready to take on new challenges. The time has come.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

My pictures from around the world

I have posted some pictures in a slide show below, at the bottom of this blog. I hope you like them! :-)

Thursday, October 05, 2006

The end of the beginning: Paris, here I come!

"There are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth...not going all the way, and not starting." - Buddha

“Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end.” - Seneca

Good news, world! I am in! I am through! I have passed that last hurdle and now, I am bound for Paris, to take on the world! Hah...that's probably too much to claim (I blame the excitement of hearing the good news!) but I am in! I am so excited! I know it was a risky move applying to just one school but I was quietly confident I could do it! And, I am so glad I have been selected. That's a huge burden off my shoulders. Well, wait until I start the course and we will see which is heavier! :-) Whatever the case, the journey ahead is indeed going to be an MBA! :-)

Now, time to play with the boy...and celebrate with champagne! :-)

"Tamaso ma jyotir gamaya - Lead me from darkness to light."

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Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Paris et Lyon

The day came when I finally got a chance to see the school rated as one of the finest international schools. And, what better way to prove its friendly, cooperative and international atmosphere than being helped out by a couple of very friendly MBA exchange students from Hong Kong who walked with me all the way from Jouy-en-Josas train station to the school and let me in via the secure back door! It took me 90min and two train rides (RER B from CDG and then RER C from Massy) to get to Jouy-en-Josas, a rather sleepy quiet town but which, I am told, has all the amenities one would need when at the school. I stayed at the Holiday Inn on the school's serene and beautiful campus but, unfortunately, got in too late to get dinner. So, it was time to raid the snacks machine on the 6th floor! :-) I am told they ran out of bread at breakfast after a certain individual decided to make up for unfulfilled appetite! ;-)

I had two interviews, one right after the other. The first one was with a Harvard educated professor of business law and taxation, and the second one was with a Business Development Manager who had just returned after a promotional tour of the Americas. My talk went down rather well and the interviews ended up being more like discussions with a perennial flow of ideas from both sides. I also used a few relevant pages from The Sunday Times, which I had picked up at the departing airport in England, to highlight the importance of the presentation and its relevance to today's business environment. Of course, there were a few questions about what next after the MBA (God only knows!), how I am planning on financing the course, etc. but the discussions dominated most of the interviews. One of the questions that I did not expect was when the interviewer asked if I was proud of myself. I am, don't get me wrong, but it was a moment of a few seconds of very fast rewinding of my life! What makes one a proud man? I am no saint and there are things one has done or could have done for which one will always seek redemption but perhaps, without getting too philosophical about it, the lessons learnt from these experiences are what make a man, a proud man! If anything, I know I am a better person today than yesterday and I aspire to be even better tomorrow. One of the other topics of discussion was why I had only applied to HEC Paris. My answer was rather simple - I can't afford the cost of applying to more than one! :-) Actually, it was more because when I analysed all the schools of interest to me (INSEAD, which I visited, LBS, and MBS included), I felt HEC Paris was the most suitable and I wanted to give it my full committment this once!

Following lunch at the staff cafe, I took a taxi to Massy (Euro30) from where I caught a TGV to Lyon. Once in Lyon, I checked into my hotel and went to see a long-term friend of mine, a friend from the days I spent in England as a school exchange student more than a decade ago. We sat down for dinner at a restaurant in old Lyon, a UNESCO heritage site, located on the Presqu'île, between the Rhône and the Saône, and spent hours chatting. It was good to catch up on things! I spent the whole of the next day listening to two French presentations and a discussion en Francais! My French is very basic so I let the discussion pass! :-)

I am now back home and awaiting news from the school...I hope it is good news!

The picture below is the gate of the school in Paris, and below it is a picture I took in Lyon.


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