Monday, September 24, 2007

The first week

I must say the first week was really nice and ended even better. We started our Economics classes, which is a 2 week pre course with not exam that aims at giving some basic economics tools to everybody. The lectures where interesting but I must confess I didn’t open any book yet. Having an economics background gives me some advantage at least for now.

Aside from the lectures, there were multiple sessions designed to clear many different aspects of the MBA. For instance, there were sessions about using all the great resources available in the library or about the rules for delivering assignments and group works or about the fantastic service JBS’ career department has to offer.

But the best part was the end of the week. On Friday we had a Spanish fiesta going on all afternoon long and the night ended in a local pub and then in a local disco. It was great fun and it really proved MBAs can move on the dance floor.
Saturday there was the Alumni Gala Dinner which only 1/3 of the current class attended but it was a night to remember. Guys dressed in their tuxedos, girls dressed in their gorgeous dresses and we had lots of fun. It is always nice to have these different dinners were everybody looks very smart and were we can take really nice pictures. I wouldn’t say it was a great networking opportunity but I had a blast.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Reality check

Two days, two posts. Not bad. But these stats are deceiving just like this week’s schedule is. This week is very light and is still really all about adaptation. We finish classes early, we don’t have assignments and everything is still new. Everything looks wonderful so far.

But tonight I had my first reality check. I went through the schedule for the next two months and I can see lots of hard work coming. I must say everything seems really well planned and JBS has done an amazing job as far as I’m concerned. But the truth is I see some days in the near future starting at 9 a.m. and ending at 8p.m. among lectures and presentations, I see lots of group work coming, lots of reading to do and very little time for all that. I really would like to be able to eat and sleep too, if possible!

I suppose that’s what I’m here for. But I was getting used to the fantastic days I had so far and the idea of being totally emerged in work now seems scary. Also, this is a one year program so one should expect a really intense year with many things to do and lots of things happening at the same time.

Still, last week was so great it’s hard to think things will be very different in the near future.

Monday, September 17, 2007

The first day

As we usually say, today was the first day of the rest of my life. But I feel the saying applies because everything will change from now on. Today classes started, so all my routines will change very quickly. No more lunches, dinners, parties, soccer matches and all that stuff I’ve been up to since arrival.

But let me describe you the first day. It started at 8.30a.m. with a gathering at the main entrance of JBS. The usual stuff happened, meaning, I got a name badge, a case with some papers and info and I got to know some of the people I hadn’t met yet. I must say JBS’s building is really cool. I had seen it before, but being there as an MBA student is a different feeling.

This year, there will be 150 of us. That means an increase of class size by roughly 30 people. Like previously, they split the class in two groups for the term to come and will mix us again next term, thus allowing us to meet everybody in the class well.

Although I’m exhausted, the first day was really light and it basically consisted of introduction. So we actually had to introduce the class with another student randomly chosen. It was really nice and amazingly enough everybody emphasized the marital status. It was a fun exercise that looked like an online dating promotional scheme with lots of laughter and it helped us to be at ease.

We then had a coffee/tea party to mingle a little more and the day ended with the class photo. It was an original photo because instead of being taken as usual, it was taken from above with the whole class looking up.
I know the course won’t be as light as it was today but I’m enjoying every bit of it and looking forward to things starting to happen.

PS: Thank you for the cheering and encouraging comments I’ve been receiving. But for the record, my name is not David. David is a former MBA student and a link to his blog is available on the right side of this blog. I will however try answering your questions and post about your doubts so feel free to keep commenting my blog and emailing me.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

In Cambridge

Finally! After many months of waiting I’m finally in Cambridge and Monday it will all start. For now, I’ve just been settling in and making sure I have everything ready for classes to start.

So I just had to open a bank account, which wasn’t very difficult. I just had to ask a letter from JBS stating my personal data and the course details and that was it. I also got a bike to move around easily and I have even tried riding it, which was quite an adventure. I suppose after some days I’ll get used to it.

But the most fun part of all has been meeting all my colleagues. Although classes will only start next Monday, there are already many students around. So I’ve been meeting all these interesting people and at the same time, getting to know many nice places to have meals and to go out.

I’d say these first days have been really amazing. Lots of gatherings, lots of pub nights and lots of catching up to do with my new colleagues. And the weather has been really great. This place is really nice especially with sunny weather. For far, I have been having a great time and there’s always something fun to do.

I guess from now on I’ll get to what matters the most: the course, living in Cambridge and all the weird and funny stories about it. So stay tuned!

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Hopes and expectations

This is it. After nearly six months of waiting, I’m finally heading towards Cambridge. It means this is my last post in my home country. It also means this blog will now get into a new phase. So far I’ve been talking about my application and all the things that happened ever since. From now on, if I have the time, I’ll be posting from Cambridge and soon enough, I’ll be posting about the course itself.

And for my final post of this stage, I’d like to share with you what my hopes, goals and expectations are. My expectations and goals have been evolving over time as I got to know more about the course and, specially, as I got to talk with future mates who provided me with their insights.

But I still don’t have much information and I still didn’t go through the whole experience, so I thought it would be fun to share my expectations now and maybe come back to them in the future and compare them with the reality.

So, here are my main expectations (regarding fun and work).

  • I expect the course to be hard working, challenging but not very difficult academically (I have a strong mathematical and economical background);
  • I expect to be challenged and to be among a very active community with access to innovative ideas and very close to where the actual action is;
  • I hope I can improve my managerial skills and my social and networking skills;
  • I believe I will meet lots of interesting, fun and active people;
  • I expect to make friends for life;
  • I hope I have the time to do some sport;
  • I expect to ride a bike a lot (and hopefully, with not too many rain pouring);
  • I hope to be offered a fulfilling job somewhere along the course (ideally, more than one nice offer);
  • I expect to attend lots of parties, dinners, cocktails and social events;
  • I want to travel a lot while I’m there;
  • I want to learn how to cook Chinese, Thai, Indian or Japanese food (I’m relying on my colleagues on this!);
  • I hope to participate in the MBATournament in some sport with my colleagues against other business schools;
  • I expect to have very little time and some sleepless nights;
  • I hope I can have access to many different opportunities;
  • I expect to get depressed sometimes with the weather;
  • I believe I’ll grow up a lot as a person.

Obviously, I’m expecting new opportunities, new things and ideas, hard work but also lots of fun. I’m just hoping Cambridge is all that and more!

Thursday, September 6, 2007


Despite what the title may suggest, this won’t be my last post in my home country. At least I don’t think so because I planned the subject of my last post while here some time ago.
I just felt like writing about all the farewell parties, lunches and dinners of the last days. I usually don’t like farewell parties or, at least, I don’t like thinking of them as farewell parties. Nevertheless, my departure is an excellent excuse to have some fun gatherings and take some crazy pictures. And that’s what I’ve been up to in these last days.

It’s nice to be surrounded by friends and feel their support when embracing such an adventure. It’s also nice to hear their plans to visit me while I’m there although I don’t believe I’ll have much time for those visits. These times have been crazy, running around trying to get everything done, packing up everything and still going to parties at the same time.

It’s pretty exhausting but by the end of the day, it’s worth it.