Sep 132008

Insert standard apologies about general busy-ness and lack of updates. As you’ll see, it’s been rather… well.

Final Days

The final days are here. Last night we had our final course dinner, at a fancy 17th or 18th century hotel south of Oxford, which was nice. We’ve finished our coursework, still have papers to turn in, and

…and there was much rejoicing…


…embarassing moments…

…line dancing…

…and probably a hangover or two…

…even among the partners.


The MBA course ends with Capstone, the subject of much speculation, rumour, and uncertainty, which, ironically, is pretty much what it is.

Rumours and speculation circulated about the grading system (is it pass/fail? How is it assessed? What happens if you fail?), the subject (Climate change? Credit crunch? Uncertain futures?), the reading (Transhumanism?), but what we got in the end was Scenario Analysis.

The most derogatory form of explaining this would be “You sit in a room and think up scary stories of what might happen so that you might be prepared for it, because forecasts are always wrong, so you may as well guess”, but it was actually really interesting and– potentially– quite useful. So much so that I think that a solid week’s work is maybe not quite the way to go about it.

It’s a very structured way of stimulating thinking about the future, finding what could have the most down- and up-side risk and then, hopefully, being prepared for similar events which may not happen. While this may sound like guesswork, I believe that it actually may have quite a bit of use– at the very least in identifying the main external driving forces around your business. Several groups “worked” for the same “client” we did and there was quite a lot of similar themes explored across the groups.

The Economist has a (timely) article on it here.

End of course ceremony

This is in about an hour. For the (almost) last time I’ll put on subfusc and get spoken to in Latin. This isn’t quite a graduation ceremony, as I’ll be graduating from Pembroke sometime next year, with the whole Latin-in-the-Sheldonian thing that started with matriculation back in October.

That’s when I get my special Oxford MBA hood.

In just a couple of hours, there will be speeches, tears, smiles, and the farewells will start– some people are leaving today. In fact, one person has postponed finishing the programme because he has the opportunity to do some significant work on the Obama campaign– he’ll be finishing up with Capstone next year.

So it is, hopefully with a minimum of clichĂ© that I drag my somewhat heavy heart together, iron my poor abused tuxedo shirt (I think I may have finally gotten a wine stain that won’t come out!) in preparation for its retirement, and start scanning the SMS waves to get a group of hungover, less-stressed, almost MBAs together for lunch before putting on that subfusc, and then spilling wine all over it.

What’s next?

Right now, I’m honestly not sure. I’ve had some offers and interest, but nothing has really panned out, so I’m planning to take some time to find the right job, just just a job. My nephew is coming out here, and we’re going to travel around Europe for a few weeks, then I’m headed to South Africa and other African countries for more travel. Which means that what’s immediately next is immunisations!

I’m at a crossroads, and as Hermeet always says, the problem is, all of the roads lead to really great, interesting places. I’ve just got to decide which one to go down. Watch this space for details.

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 Posted by at 02:00

  One Response to “Last days: Capstone & final ceremony!”

  1. Way to go! I’m proud if you and it is wonderful to find you doing so well! If your travels bring you home, I’d love to see you!

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