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

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Aced it!

London, Paris, Dusseldorf…now stuck in Dusseldorf!

I was in Paris last week from Thursday to Saturday attending my IPP lectures on Corporate Governance. Considering how much importance is being given to these matters since the likes of Enron and WorldCom came to light, I was looking forward to the lectures but with a bit of wariness on what one could learn in just a few days. Gladly, I was wrong as, I must admit, I did learn a lot. The professor, once a super lawyer for corporate law in New York, was well on top of current affairs in the field and came across as very sharp and intelligent. He started with a short lecture on corporate governance - the involvement of the board, management, audit committee, etc - and then proceeded to a lot of case studies. He was extremely good in keeping tab of who was doing what in class and randomly asked students to make a comment, either on the case being discussed or on a comment made by a fellow student. And, he picked a few of the 'quiet' ones who usually never bother to talk in class so it definitely kept everyone on their toes. I was also fortunate enough to have further discussions with him over lunch and drinks. He introduced himself rather modestly…as a semi-retired lawyer who does a bit of teaching but this is a man who owns a rather large nest in Manhattan, whose family members in France have been lawyers for centuries, and whose idea of a reduced workload is to get involved in ONLY five or six company acquisitions a year. The discussions were differently interesting! On the last day, we had an exam which was based on a case involving irregularities in financial disclosure and reporting. The class was split into different groups and committees and we were asked to role-play the case. Nothing like a hands-on approach to learning!

Being back in Paris has also been good as I managed to spend some quality time with my family and put, yet again, my DIY skills to good use by assembling a TV stand and a closet for our son. And, the couple I bumped into way back in April 2007 when the husband was planning on joining the September intake – he did join - invited us for a meal on Sunday…being in France, it only took us four hours for lunch! If you think the French only think of food, you are wrong as, on Thursday, I went to see my IPP tutor for a short discussion on my project and lunch but we never went for lunch! We had two and a half hours and we spent every minute of it discussing the details of my IPP! That’s one dedicated tutor I have!

Right now, I am at the Maritim hotel at Dusseldorf International Airport because my flight to London got cancelled. I came out here for two days of consultations as part of my IPP project and it has been a good experience visiting this particular site which is culturally and ‘functionally’ different from the one I have seen so far in the UK. And, whilst waiting at the queue to be put on a BA flight tomorrow and assigned a complimentary hotel room, I started talking to the gentleman standing behind me. He turned out to be a lawyer with an Exec MBA from London Business School so we decided to meet up for drinks, dinner and spent the evening chatting and discussing various issues relating to world economics, power and discrepancies in the developing world, and the differences between France and England over a second – the first one provided for free by BA was not enough - meal of Sushi! So, the flight cancellation has not been such a waste of time!

And, if you are wondering about the title, it is because I aced every subject I took last term, i.e. PP1, and could not be more pleased with my performance. :-)


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