Nov 042007


One-sixth of the coursework is over and I think I could now hold my own in buzzword bingo and have mastered a few of the key models of how we sort of tend to think that the world and their well-functioning financial markets work, except that, of course, like any model, they don’t really work like that. So don’t ask me for stock picks, as any monkey generally does a better job.

My mind is filled with business cases (Oxford/SBS is generally regarded as NOT being a completely case-based school– which makes me gladder than ever. There is value in examining and arguing over whether this or that was a good business decision in the past but I like doing better than pontificating… and I’m getting tired of it at this point. Well, there are only 20 weeks of instruction left).

I’ve signed up for my electives for next semester: Global Strategy, Tech/Innovation strategy, and MacroEconomics. I was really torn between Global strategy and Financial Management, as the second sounded really good, but Global Strategy I think is (perhaps?) slightly more aligned with what I want to do.


Friday was the Pembroke MCR Michaelmas black tie ball. This means: Black tie, bring friends, drink a lot of champagne, eat some of the better food that Pembroke’s kitchens offer (duck! mmm…), drink more wine, drink port, Sconcing,


Our dining hall. It’s quite nice.


Me and Johannes all gussied up.

then back to the bar where there was £750 behind the bar for us, drinking and dancing to bad cheesy Brit house (they do have good DJs in this country, but apparently not in the OX1. That’s reserved for cheezy late-90s trance and bad house. Judge Jules lives forever! or something…).


Glen makes silly faces. Typical.

A good time had by all including those of us who opened up the MCR bar at something ridiculously late– I think it was 3.

There are a giant pile of pictures that I took with someone’s camera but I think, in the end, that it didn’t belong to anyone I know.


In other news, I got placed in the stroke seat in my boat. This means that I’m technically competent and have rhythm, or something. That’s nice. The bleeding and oozing blisters are not so much. I am enjoying the sport, particularly since the time change so that 6AM isn’t completely dark and now that our boat is settling in and we don’t feel like we’re tipping over.


I did manage to ask John Kuofor my question at the Oxford Union, and that may lead to something for myself or other MBAs. I also heard back from William McDonough’s chief of staff and we had a really interesting conversation about possible speaking engagements, consulting projects, etc. McDonough is really inspiring and has written an amazing book and design philosophy which I feel pretty strongly about– it’s pretty much the reason I’m here so this is really quite amazing. This should– hopefully– develop over the next few months in between all the other stuff I’m doing.

On the school front, I think we did a pretty good job of cracking our meat loaf mix sales model, though the questions were annoyingly vague (all had 1-10 word answers but we were told “don’t go over three pages”. I was really tempted to answer:

Yes, $1000



It would appear so, though that could be bad in the future.

$2400 more using advertising in place of promotion.

Though it is like 20% of the grade fo rhte course. One of the annoying things is that you always have to submit your new work before you’ve gotten your marks for the previous work, so it’s kind of hard to learn from your mistakes. And it’s all marked anonymously, not by your lecturer, and your name’s not on it. Oh, and you do all your work on stuff you haven’t been lectured about yet, so it’s really easy to miss some subtle point and get a 50 instead of a 60.

And the grades are really odd here. They range from 40-80 (out of 100). A 50 is a pass, a 70 is a “distinction”, and it’s really hard to understand what you’ve done wrong when you apparently have.


I’m off to dinner now. Not at high table, but I thought I should mirror the title of my blog.

Then I start it all over again.

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