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

Friday, March 30, 2007

A reflection on cette semaine

What a week it has been! This has been one of the most astonishing weeks so far and, for once, it had nothing to do with exams. It was India Week and we had a great party last night which included an opening fashion show by HEC 'models', fine Indian food and the climax was the moment when professional Bhangra dancers arrived to energise the ambience, and got everyone to balle balle on their feet. And, as a volunteer helper, I spent nearly four hours limping around Hall d'Honneur setting tables up (whether it is the weather or not, my foot has been playing up!).

This week was also election week, as I mentioned in one of my previous blogs. We formed a team, as this is how we compete, and came up with some good ideas to start promoting the brand that HEC is, and on ways to improve the career services offered to MBA students. We felt these were the two major issues that needed the most attention and seemed most tangible because, if elected, we would only have about six months to materialise our goals and objectives. But, fate had other plans and we lost today! So, it is not 'El Presidente' but 'Rashtrapati Ji' and we also found out that our opposing team had around 20 members which, out of a class of 67, is a force to reckon with. Perhaps, we should have offered a position to half of the class and betted on getting one extra vote to get a majority! :-) But, the new president remains a friend and I wish him and his team the very best. At least, one thing I found out during the election campaign was the true identity of a unqiue visitor from HEC campus who has been often visiting my blog. Oh yes, I do keep track of anyone and everyone who comes to this site, including you! :-) As I am pretty keen to keep this blog anonymous, I have not mentioned one bit of it to my class. But, when one writes about the classes and life on campus in such great detail with a wide variety of unique identifiers, it is easy to guess. Not to worry...

So, now that I have said enough about fun and politics on campus, let me turn my attention towards my lectures. It has been a while since I last enjoyed a class thoroughly and I was not anticipating anything when I sat down for a three-hour lecture on accounting, the last in the series. We analysed the financial statements of GE using various ratios that we had previously discussed in class and analysed why GE is such a good company, so good that investors are willing to fund USD172bn that it needs. GE is of special interest to me as well because they once offered me the possibility of working in Geneva and, ever since, I have tried to keep track of what's happening to the company. I have also read a few of the management books written by Jack Welch and often had discussions with one or two of its employees whom I knew in my previous role. Coming back to the analyses, we managed to find out what the value for some of the key ratios of GE are and I will discuss more in greater detail in my next post. As we have an exam next week, I am going to practice on this by trying it out on the company that's sponsoring me and one of its major competitors!

Finally, on the way back from school, I listened to Dame Sandra Dawson's Podcast on 'Management and leadership in the global economy' and thought I should mention a few of the key points she highlighted. According to her, the global business future is full of opportunities but managers and leaders need to pay particular attention to:

* being vigilant about competition
* innovation
* collaborative approach
* participation in developing infrastructure, and
* being responsible.

Alright, I will stop here as I need to go up to watch a movie and need a good rest as we are viewing about a million properties tomorrow.

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