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

Friday, February 23, 2007

Exams over...

Exam: Official exercise designed to evaluate knowledge and skills, and covering the contents of a course or a program of studies.

What a I said in my previous blog, I had my mid-term exams and we had three of them. Marketing, accountancy and statistics and I am so glad they are so over - I expect an A in at least one of them, just not sure which one! :-| They were all open book exams and the questions were pretty straightforward but exams just make me feel like being back in school...I guess I am! Having exams is great in one way because we get a lot of time off, supposedly to study but I used most of it to spend quality time with my son. Actually, I didn't have much choice as France is on holiday this week and next and he has to attend the local nursery. My timings are perfect to drop him off and pick him up. This is great as B School can be quite a strain on quality 'life' time and can take a heavy toll (just read this). I picked him up this evening and took him to the local playground...he played a lot which may be explains why he is fast asleep on the sofa behind me as I write this. :-)

Preparation for the exams has not been the only thing that I have been doing during the last few weeks. I have also decided to make the best 'pedagogical' use of my iPod video and have subscribed to a whole bunch of Podcasts: Bisiness Week, Harvard Business Review Editors' Preview, BBC Radio 4's In Business, Lucy Kellaway - podcast, Times Online MBA Podcasts, New Scientist Podcast, and a few others. Alright, I have downloaded all these and synched with my iPod but do I have time to listen to them...perhaps a long trip abroad? Ah yes, I am off to Barcelona next weekend with a few of my mates from the MBA course...we are actually going for work but have a full day for fun in Barcelona (day temperature: ~20°C!).

Now, I did say we had more free time than before , or should I just say we had some free time, but this does not mean lecture-free. Yes, we did have lectures and I want to show you what our marketing professor showed to highlight the use of creative advertising in building brand recognition. The example used was Real California Cheese and I just ROTFL everytime I watch one of them ads. Don't believe me? Watch the Happy Cows and find out for yourself here. We also had a consultant come in to discuss Communication in Intercultural Teams. I have lived and traveled across many countries over continents and thought I knew all about this. But, I did pick up a few good tips on the day such as an Arab man counting his beads is not necessarily praying but could be also relaxing, showing your fingers open with the thumb folded means you do not have any more goods in Colombia, etc. Any activity in which I learn something is worthwhile for me! :-) Two messages to take away: Be open, be curious and be prepared for surprises, and avoid generalisation.

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