This was the final week of my formal classes. It was only nine months ago when I was looking forward to an exciting MBA course up ahead of me and now here I am with all the three formal course term getting over. And yes, I enjoyed every minute of it. This week we had three parties/get-together and an equal number of assignments.
The week began with the restructuring and implementation class talking about the turnaround strategies that company adopt and the post-acquisition management done by the companies and associated outcomes. Branding class along with the MPP class was devoted to a brief revision of all what we did during past seven weeks.
How a subject like Retailing can be kept devoid of the implementation of advanced IT solutions into the Retailers solutions. German group Metro in collaboration with IBM and other IT giants is developing future stores. A small video about the same can be found on “Future Stores”. We had a hearty laugh about some of them, got worried about the security of personal information and at the same time some of the concepts appeared to be of extreme benefit to the consumer as well as the retailer. Do let me know what you guys think about the Fridge, Checkout, Mirror and other things by means of your comments.
Corporate Valuation class was about discussing the assignment and educating us about the latest top 5 trends in the global economy as presented by McKinsey to the European countries financial heads. Strategic Decision Making class on Friday discussed the Mann Gulch, Storm King Mountain and Mount Everest tragedies and the wrong decision making, ineffective leadership and group thinking that caused those disasters. Saturday was the simulation linked with the Columbia Space Shuttle disaster and the Mission Management Team meeting on Flight Day 8 from the perspective of six different managers involved and the engineers associated with the NASA’s Space Shuttle Program.
Our first assignment for the week was from the Corporate Valuation class where we had to discuss about the rights issue offering strategy of British Aerospace and Time Warner. On one hand, it was interesting to know and understand the logic that BAe used behind coming up with the rights offering at the time when they were experiencing huge losses in the first half-yearly results in 1991. On the other hand, Time Warner came up with an entirely innovative concept of variable price rights offering leaving the stockholders utterly confused as to what price will they be paying in the end for the number of shares that my get allotted. This variable program was out rightly rejected by the market and Time Warner had to resort back to the fixed price issue offering.
MPP had the second assignment in line where we had to talk about the benefits that an organization can have by making use of different kind of metrics when they implement the project portfolio management in their organization. Last time also the knowledge of IT project management was very useful in completing the assignment for this subject and this time also it came real handy, though writing 2000 words just about the benefits seem to be quite a mammoth task.
The final assignment for the week was from SDMDE where in we had to reflect our understanding about the failures in the Storm King, Mann Gulch fire accident and Mount Everest tragedy from the perspective of various decisions taken by the leaders of the group under the life and death situations. It is apparent that even experienced personnel sometime take decisions that may be totally adverse to the situation causing disaster or a good decision taken if not communicated well can leave the group in complete dilemma of what to do and where to go.
The fun part of the week began on Wednesday when around 30 of us went to the Trinity College for a formal dinner, thanks to Diptendu. I have been to quite a number of formal dinners but I must admit that barring Kellogg College, the food in Trinity was the best. Since most of us were done with the assignments for the week and were ready for their submissions so we had a dinner and after-dinner fun without any pressure on our mind about anything in particular.
The same night Brian and I went to one of the pubs (Angels) in Oxford, where we had a small get together to celebrate Brian’s birthday at mid night. Even we had class next day morning but we could not resist staying back talking about things from computers to life in Denver, USA and India.
Over the last two terms we were having sessions every Friday evening to understand the demographics and business environment in different countries across continents. This week it was Kenya and Nigeria and I must say that I never ever got so much information about various countries in such a fashion. The real party was the African drumming that was supposed to be held in the open air amphitheater but seems like God was having no mercy on us so it rained like anything and we had to do it indoor. It was awesome fun and every single person present enjoyed to the fullest. A video of the same can be found at YOUTUBE. After all the fun at school, venue shifted to another party area where we had a Bollywood Dance night organized by the Oxford Indian Society that went on till don’t know when.
Saturday night was the best of all the events we had as the student social community create a red carpet welcome to all MBA students to the Sylvester Awards night. SBS stars came down to the stage and there were awards given for some of the most outstanding performances in different categories. More details on the main page of the awards as we mark the end of the year with music, fun, dance and laughter as we moved from awards night to a dance party at Bar-Risa, which went on till 3 am next day. An amazing evening to always cherish came to an end and so did our formal classes of the MBA course.
I will miss every single moment of all that we enjoyed in Oxford, be it academics or be it the parties we had. My struggle for visa continued and eventually we have got a new proposal to work on with where we may be heading to altogether a different country for research. Let’s see how it all goes. Till later…
Good Night and Good Luck!!!