Jan 192008
 

except, of course, I probably will.

First week of classes over! And I think some of the best lectures that I’ve had so far. For anyone who’s considering coming to the Oxford MBA program, take the Macro Econ class with Oren Sussman. Also… well, just about everything I’m taking. I’m pretty excited about all the classes that I have this term, and their lecturers.

This week was marred by: several birthdays, an exchange dinner with Nuffield, Burns Night, and a bad lamb burger from one of the local pubs.

Lamb is usually pretty safe. Not, I guess, this time. Everyone assumed I was wrecked and hungover on Thurs (as I actually *was* on Weds, due to some early whisky-tasting after the exchange dinner). That may have lowered my tolerance, I suppose.

Weds night (after the hangover, before the bad lamb) was the 10th anniversary of the naming of the Saïd Business School. Wafic Saïd spoke and spoke well, on the need for entrepreneurship and the need to use business to effect positive change in the world. Perhaps he’ll give me some of his money to do so later.

Also up were four of our lecturers, only two of whom I’ve (or will have) had the pleasure and fortune to work with/study under: They spoke about their research, and it was, indeed pretty fascinating.

Tim Morris, a lecturer in Organisational Behaviour, spoke about innovation and the four factors– described as a “recipe”– present when innovation takes hold in organisations. In over 150 cases, innovations that had these factors worked and others didn’t. Ever wonder why your whizbang new widget/process idea/way to save the company money didn’t take hold? Tim could probably tell you. Hell, you could probably tell yourself with these slides. I think that research is coming out shortly. It was pretty eye-opening and fascinating. And he explained it in about 10 minutes.

Linda Scott, a marketing lecturer, who teaches the excellent Marketing, Culture, and Society course (which I am not taking as it’s somewhat similar to several undergrad courses that I took. I’d love to take it, but I think I’ll get more out of some of the hardcore finance courses. Fortunately, my friends Mr. Auditor, Mr. Hedge Fund, and Mr. Private Equity are taking it. They’re saying it’s amazing. So we’re all getting out of our boxes, which is what school’s about, isn’t it?). Linda spoke about her work studying entrepreneurial ventures, specifically Avon, in sub-saharan Africa as a path for women out of poverty. The work is incomplete– they’re still crunching data– but it looks pretty encouraging. They’re studying how the Avon network works to reinforce the social networks already in place, how the products are sold and transferred, with small start-up costs and a high ROI in most cases, and how many of the Avon products are used in unique ways to address societal problems. With 10 minutes, she didn’t get into this specifically, but I remember there being some Avon products that my mom used that– she swore– kept mosquitos off in the American south.

My ongoing love of James Taylor was rekindled when he spoke in his inimitable way about his work in forecasting. He’s currently doing a lot of work around power demand and wind direction, force, and speed to help the UK government achieve their goal of 20% renewable energy by 2020. The EU just gave them that goal, though most of the rest of the EU has already hit it. James, as I’m so glad, didn’t tone down his style of lecturing, despite that most of the Oxford heads of colleges and lots of big fancy investor types were there.

So, aside from two nights of pain, I’m in a great place, ready to get back into the work. And impressed (and humbled) to see some great work that I’m excited about come out of this place that I’m schooling in.

Pubcrawl in Pink

Pembroke, whose colours are navy and cerise, has a pink-themed pubcrawl. This is me and Joe McCarthy, late at night, drunker than we look. I think that Max has been gently asked to leave the bar by this point…

McCarthy-Glen.jpg

For those of you who demand pictures…

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