Mar 292008

Finished exams which went, I think, fairly well. Or decently at least. Another round of monkey suits and exams, this time in the big posh Exams Schools. I’d been sick for a couple of weeks and the NHS doctors have really let me down so far. Honey and lemon, when you’ve been coughing up yellow and green phlegm for a week, doesn’t quite cut it.

Dang. TMI again.

Financial Management:

This was really straightforward and mostly exactly what I expected, although there was an added bonus of theft which threw me for a loop on one of the questions. I think I did OK, though I really felt like I should have hit it out of the park.

Technology/Innovation Strategy:

This is one of those “would have been great as a take-home exam” exams. I think I did pretty well, but there are so many frameworks– as this is a pretty young discipline– that it’s pretty tough. But only 25% of our grade, so…


A take-home exam, and possibly the most interesting assignment we did. Lots of short-answer questions detailing, among other things, how to find the social cost of pollution (which implies that you could also price it and then charge for it– creating incentives to *stop* it, as you and me are bearing the cost while producers are benefiting…)

Operations Management:

If I didn’t manage to score a decent score in this course after 10+ years in ops, then what good am I? Others seemed to think it was tough; I thought it was really straightofrward– though a bit challenging.


One of my (other) favourite courses on the MBA (Surprise!), the exam was, as suspected, really straightforward and numberful. I think I had some good insights and hopefully it’ll all go well. Who’d have thought that Charcoal could be so interesting? (the case was on Kingsford Charcoal…)

And then there’s the EP… which we’re working diligently on finishing… (HA!)

The Boat Race

I totally spaced (after the last week– see below) that my transcontinental flight was on MONDAY not SUNDAY and was packing through the time to see the boat race… But I got to watch it with one of the Pembroke Philosophy lecturers in the MCR, and …

WE WON!!!!

Cambridge put in their best effort, but our heavier (~10lb/man) and taller (~1″/man) crew ate them alive. They ran out of steam about 3 miles in… which is nothing to sneeze at. These guys put in a hard hard hard day’s rowing. I know it’s only 20 minutes– bring me to your gym next time and I’ll set up the rowing machine for you and you can see how much that 20m will burn in calories. These are serious athletes.

Italy (part 2)

I liked Italy before, but going to Tuscany with Antonio and a bunch of MBAs was… just great. It was pretty seriously on the spendy side but we squeezed every last drop of wine out of Giovanni’s wallet.

Not to mention the Prosciutto.

The group of us is now known as “The Fellowship of the Pig” as we ate so much pork it’s insane.


Tetsuya inaugurating the Fellowship

We ate and drank the most amazing food. I can’t really describe it too much but:


Sebastian photographing the best olive oil you will never taste.


Gareth and Francois gettin’ jiggy with the soon-to-be pasta


Tiramisu from scratch


We fried Parmagiana and put chicken salad in the cups. That guy on the left grows the best olives…


Giovanna caught up with us!


Seb and Mariah drinking and eating…


We got shown around this ancient forest by the cute old guy who let us go on the roof… and who lives there and owns it. Marry into wealth!


Trippy MBAs in Lucca


…and drank more wine…


…and ate more food…


…until we passed out on the lawn in front of the rich guy’s villa, in his family since 1610 or so…

Skoll World Forum

Man, it’s been some experiences since I last updated this thing.

The Skoll World Forum is the best thing you’ve never heard of. It’s full of amazing folks fixing the world behind your back… and often doing a damn good job of it.

Met Nederlands folks doing in-country development, which may turn into an internship.

A fascintating Serbian woman running a media centre there.

Bill Strickland and Walter Mosley were telling their stories. Bill’s comment on what he would do in Darfur: “If we could get those people to notice how beautiful the sunrise was, that just might give them hope.” This from a man who’s spent 25 years teaching at-risk youth and adults the power of beauty in ceramics, architecture, and job skills.

Jimmy Carter and Al Gore and Paul Collier spoke, eloquently and… hard to describe.

This conference will make you believe in yourself… or else just give up. So much happens, both in and outside of the seminar rooms. You can read about and see the sessions here.

And now I’m going to bed.

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