les examens sont fini

“The exams are finally over”, for you who dont even know French. duh! A fast sprint — 2.5 days, 5 exams. I am happy the MBA Office decided to do it away with the exams in the shortest possible time. more time = stress for longer time.

At the end of period 1, I wish at this time that I had gone to more parties, went to the gym more, went out of Fonty more and also called friends more often. Period 2 will be different. I will do more and bitch less. Inshallah! And I will write about it in this place.

This place changes people … introverts start to scream (at others) and extroverts become nerds. There is an inclination to the center (however you might wanna think of it) –why I dont know. Maybe because of the extreme differences amongst people.

Meanwhile, tell me a good book to read. I am going to sit in some cafe in Paris for the entire day – reading a book. Guillaume tells me there are nice well… places to sit in Paris where I will get to see lots of beautiful women throughout the day. Sleazy Harinder goes Paris then! Pictures would be dutifully posted for the benefit of my brethren who are also admirers of beauty!

(PS: The french title of this post was a bit incorrect on grammar. Thanks to Mr. Pilot for letting me know the error).

just another day..

This is just another day, except that I am going to write about whats been happenning to me.

Strange people I study with. These are people who have been doing completely different things in a completely different way in a completely different place than me. Sitting in class, with 70 other classmates is an exercise in finding out how different the human species can get. And they are all smart — I mean, how could that happen if they have not been doing things that I did not even were done?

That was week 1 and now I am over it.

I study Finance, Microeconomics, Statistics, Organisational Behaviour and Accounting for the past month or so. These are the informal names to otherwise glorified names like: “Uncertainty, Data and Judgment, or Leading People and Groups, Firms, Prices and Markets and so on…

In spite of my love for finance as a subject, I feel that I have still not gotten the hang of it.I find the fancier terms easy to digest. The fancy terms, I am told are made to make the lives of bankers interesting. Looking at the screen, watching prices move for 16 hours a day (everyday) is not interesting. So they invented terms like poison pill, random walk and golden parachute. I fear that I would learn to appreciate this all in some time from now. Cool! Look forward to it! I never underestimate the power of force-feeding.

Coming to statistics, I made the silly mistake of assuming that it would come naturally to me. Consider this statement: “There is a 95% probability that the mileage of this car is between 10.1 km/litre to 12.3 km/litre”. Or better, “My regression model describes 60% of the data, and I am 95% confident that for every centimeter of extra height, the weight increases by 0.8 kilos. (Assuming these people belong to the same country, are of the same sex and eat the same breakfast every day)”. You say that and your boss is supposed to be happy. Just add that you did check the p-values and that there is no heteroskedasticity in the model. Think about it, I did four years of engineering and eight years of working without a hearing or saying something like that! Oh btw, I must add that the above is not bullshit: the amazon guys use this stuff every day. Big shots throw stuff at people who come to meeting without a t-test report! So I learnt from the amazon guys on campus. So if you want to work at amazon, you better know your t’s and p’s.

And just in case you think that accounting should be over the moment you understand the difference in debit and credit, you lose again. Accountants measure, and by jolly they measure like hell. I got one of the worst grades in the class on that subject and in case I dont get to understanding this stuff, God save me!

Microeconomics, a.k.a. Firms, Prices and Markets: If I only knew WHY we are studying this! The only interesting part is the game theory and the related games that we have been playing on the website. I dealt with the first game technically and applied all sorts of math to it — maximized a quadratic function and all that only to learn that Martin, my financer friend had done it more reliably on excel (yes, you just plot the graph and take your mouse to the highest point on it ). Playing that game by the rule was the stupidest thing to do. Basically, we were all supposed to produce what we felt like and the market would follow a linear demand curve to come up with a price for the stuff we dumped into the market. The price structure of each company was such that there were diseconomies of scale (you produce too much, you might make less profit). My learning: The guys who produced most took away most money,and there were others who kept producing less in a hope that the other players in the market would balance off and profit-maximising equilibrium would be achieved. Balls!.

Organisational Behaviour a.k.a. Leading People and Groups is most fun. That is the only three hour class in which I have never slept. The egg-dropping device was the best exercise we did so far. In short, we had to come up with an automobile in which customers could place an egg and throw off a two storey building. If the egg does not break, you did well. Our egg broke, but the excersice was amazing. In my group of five, Martin, Liana and Diego went into a frenzy near the end and started yelling at each other in German, while I and Sophie stuck to English. Crazy things happen! Today was another class where we learnt leadership. As usual, the class is never complete till a few 2×2 matrices have been drawn on the board and people asked to take a questionnaire that tells them which box they fit into. I like the preparation readings for the class, though. We had to read the GE annual report for todays class. The prof. told us in class today about a company (based in Boston) that would only hire people who had at least one failure in their careers. I am applying there. Yes! There is hope for me too.

Enough said for now, this is Friday evening and I am off to the local costume shop to buy something for the upcoming Heaven and Hell party. Check out montmelian.org for the location.