Feb 102008

Michaelmas (first term) grades finally came out.

Remember, with these numbers, that grades are different here than in the US. A 50 is a pass, a 60 is a “strong pass”, and a 70 is a “distinction”.

  • Decision Science: 64
  • Developing Effective Managers: 63
  • Finance 1: 63
  • Financial Reporting: 62
  • Managerial Economics: 59
  • Strategy 1: 63

What’s good about these? I did broadly well. What’s bad about them? No distinctions. But, as I’ve said before, as long as I pass with a 50.0001%, learn stuff, and achieve my career goals, then that’s great for me. I’m somewhat surprised by a couple of the results– I had a distinction in ME for my paper, then got a fail on the exam, but in traditional Oxford fashion, you don’t get to see your results, so you can’t learn from your mistakes. Which is odd and frustrating. I’m having them check my results against their database (there have been a few mishandled marks in the past), which apparently involves virgin blood and incantations which are different no matter who you ask. It’s good to know everything’s going well.

This term’s hit like the proverbial ton of bricks– hence the slowness in updating.


I’ve managed to squeak to the finals in the Idea Idol business plan competition, which could mean that my career gets on track if I win and it gets funded. The idea would be very cool to try and do, so we’ll see how it goes. The pitch is on the 19th of Feb, and it should prepare me for my Business Plan project pitch.


I’m taking 5 courses, the readings for which are breaking my brain. I decided to drop Global Strategy at the last minute in order to take Financial Management (which would you take?). Funnily enough, although I hear that Global Strategy is good, and I heard nothing but horror stories from last year’s FM class, Financial Management is really tying together pretty much every course on the MBA. I think the course has been a bit redesigned and I suspect that with a smaller portion of people– the people who want to do this work– the course is more interesting. Core courses are Marketing (excellent) and Operations Management (which I think they’re trying to make less boring), and other courses are Technology/Innovation strategy (more on the innovation– i.e., not a course in dot-com-nomics) and MacroEconomics (life-changing).

Macro is really amazing. It’s addressing and framing a lot of things that we, and this presidential race, is arguing about. Globalization. Tax policy. Deficit spending. Corporate Social Responsibility. And it’s putting frames around things so that an intelligent conversation can be had.

And that is a big part of the reason I came to do the MBA, and this MBA in particular. So, for any of you out there thinking of coming to Oxford, do so, and take Oren’s Macroeconomics class.


Rowing has been iffy. I ended up in a lower boat than expected which is less of a problem. I’d like to get a bit more exercise, and I’m stronger than most of the people in my boat, but I also have lots of time constraints, so. And now that the river’s down there may be some changes and I may go up a boat or 2.

Business Plan

Our business plan idea is going along swimmingly. We’re quite happy and surprised with how it’s going and it could actually be something we do. It may not turn out to be a huge, billion-dollar idea but it could well pay us a bit each year and that would, certainly, be nice.


Some out-going. Gareth had his birthday and it was fun, followed by the Hollywood bop at Linacre. I was all West Hollywood.


Me and Uma Thurman

A fun time had by all.


I think I’m moving my career towards design and design strategy. I think that’s going to give me the contacts and language that I need to move onwards and upwards. If not that, then I may go the serial entrepreneur route. Root for me on the 19th to wow the judges (all professional investors) to do what last year’s judges did and just fund me. Or to give me the £5,000 prize money. That’d be OK, too.

That’s all. Sorry so scattershot, but I’ve got rowing in four hours and three cases and two chapters to read in the next 90m…

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 Posted by at 04:29

  2 Responses to “Michaelmas term grades, halfway through Hilary, electives, work work work”

  1. Congrats!

    Macro IS life-changing, even back here in SF at the Presidio School of Management (where the exchange rate is more favorable). I hope you’re supplementing your required reading with Daly’s Ecological Economics, because that’s truly mind-blowing. Yes, I know you have other things to read. No, I don’t care. Read Daly!

  2. Just delighted for you. This blog is such a good idea so we can see how your life at Oxford is going. I can’t believe so much time has passed since you left. You are clearly charging ahead. Tony and I wish you well and look forward to seeing you some time in the future. Now that I have found some time to get on this blog I’ll continue to check in. Warm Wishes Roni and Tony

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