Tuesday, March 31, 2009

U2 Brutus

I love college towns. I wanted to do my MBA in a college town and Charlottesville is possibly the finest of them. Ranked as the best place to live in the US in 2004, C-Ville has a population fourty something thousand people or 120,000 with the surrounding Albemarle county. C-Ville offers historical sites attractions such as Monticello and some of the university buildings that are declared as world heritage sites, Shenandoah National Park,  the Downtown Mall as well as 3 movie theaters, a crazy ratio of restaurants per capita and lots of places to go out to.

Above all that, C'Ville has some festivals and a lot of artists and bands, that come to perform here. This time it's U2. 

Tomorrow, students would be able to buy tickets before it opens up to the general public. There are two issues:
1. these tickets would run out fast and 
2. we have class when the e-box office opens
3. each student can buy only 4 tickets

Therefore, a special forces squad composed of brave volunteers who will not be in class at the time and to whom I will be forever thankful, will buy the tickets.

I've never been to a U2 concert before, and I'm really excited about it.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Darden Cares 5K

Satruday morning. Woke up, got out of bed. Dressed up business attire... and running shoes.
Yes. Today was the Darden Cares 5K run for the UVa Children's hospital.
Everybody wins. The hospital gets our donations, we burn some calories and get an excuse not to go to the gym for a few days, we all have some fun and last, but not least, we get more points for the Darden cup.

My section (Section D!) won first place in both male and female categories (leftmost and rightmost in the photo below that would be remembered in generations to come).
There was a best dressed competition as well as the craziest dressed competition starring wonder woMAN and a runner (from my section) wearing a speedo, a bow tie and cuffs.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Staying Current

As we try to stay up-float while our leaders stabilize the global economy, a huge magnifier glass is pointed at Top B-Schools as can be seen in this NY times piece or this CNN one. The current crisis has been going on for some time and that has given us the time to take a breath and examine what we did wrong. Failed leadership is a theme that keeps coming up. Who can we blame for this? The business schools, of course as can be read from a FoxNews article pointing out the schools that wrecked the economy.

Everybody wants to see that b-schools make sure this situation would never happen again. A story I've heard from a professor at Darden tells of a company that came to visit Darden while they were considering their recruitment options. Once they saw the UVa honor code we have in every classroom, their mind was made up. Incidently, this was shortly after the corporate scandals in the begining of the century, although Darden's emphasis on ethics was established long before that.

I will be taking my first ethics class this week, so I'll be able to share a more personal view within a few weeks.

But Darden is definitely keeping up to date with updates to the program. I started a new course today: "Marketing Inteligence". The professor shared with us the updates to the curriculum, some of which, include some legal studies so that when we come up with creative ideas later in our jobs, we won't get "too creative".

It doesn't end there; We have had a number of "green" draft cases this year examining the current crisis from various perspectives. We have been asked to put ourselves in the various situations and decide what we would do instead of Bernanke or this company CEO or that new graduate consulting to one company or another.

We've also had speakers and panels talking about the current crisis and we've learned a lot from the wisdom of others.

Is this enough? Can the schools do more?
The NYTimes piece mentioned earlier mentions a study that claims that 56% of MBA students cheat. What can a B-School really do to change the values of a 28 year old that believes it is ok for her to cheat?

B-Schools provide a 1-2 year training program, equiping us with a kit of tools and experiences to help us make good judgements at jobs. The rest is on us.
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