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What is emotional finance?

Don’t know?  Well, then wait for the answer from my colleague Professor Richard Taffler, Martin Currie Chair of Finance and Investment. 

You may remember that I have written before about his work on behavioural finance.  At the same time I also mentioned that he had a strong interest in emotional finance and he has now been awarded a grant from the Research Foundation of the CFA Institute (USA) to write a monograph on the topic which will be published by the Foundation.

Week 6

Here at the University of Edinburgh Business School we take a break from class in Week 6 to allow the students to participate in the Development Centre.  The Development Centre is an opportunity for the students to find out how they might act and react in a simulated business situation.  Students are observed by trained observers drawn from outwith the Business School and from a range of industry backgrounds and, as the exercises progresses, the observers record how each participant is behaving against a range of soft skills.  General feedback is given in class and confidential, one-to-one feedback takes place later on.  This exercise is an important element in our Career and Personal Development programme, the programme that aims at developing the students’ soft skills such as leadership, communication and creative problem solving.  It is not only the students who take this programme.  Parts of it has been delivered to organisations based locally who praise this programme highly.

But with Week 6 in progress it is also becoming obvious to the new class that they have now passed the halfwaymark of Semester 1 classes, only another three weeks to go.  This of course brings on the stress a bit but it is important not to overdo it and thereby bring on the exhaustion before the assessment.  It is so easy to do just that and that will affect the result.  The good thing is that Week 6 allows the students to catch up on the reading a bit because of the break from classes.

New exchange partner and other news

Sorry to have been away from the keyboard for some days. I had something urgent to attend to outside work.

I am very pleased to be able to announce a new exchange partner for our MBA in International Business.  We are currently in the process of signing the agreement with Nanyang Business School.  Nanyang Business School holds AACSB and EQUIS accreditation and the school also figures in the top 50 in the FT ranking.  This new exciting partner will be available from this academic year and onwards.

Our Entrepreneurship Club has also had a busy time recently with a pitching competition last week.  The winner was Richard Burton of Hoodeasy.  For those of you not in the know, the Entrepreneurship Club at the University of Edinburgh Business School is “a consortium of postgraduate Edinburgh students, alumni, researchers, faculty and staff, and colleagues from the wider community who share a common goal of fostering the entrepreneurial spirit”.

End of another year

Today has been hectic with various exam board meetings for our MBA programmes including our executive MBA for KPMG.  At one of our meetings we dealt with the award of the degree for the outgoing full-time MBA class.  Amazing that it was already time for that.  A number of students came during the afternoon to collect their letters of confirmation and it was so nice to see the elation for those who achieved the Distinction and the disappointment for those who fell just short.  CONGRATULATIONS ALL!  You’ve worked hard and you deserve your success. 

It was also somewhat interesting to see the void that some felt, now that it is all over.  Well of course it isn’t all over but you know what I mean.  It makes a huge difference that no one is expecting you in class tomorrow or next week.  A number have already secured jobs while others are now ready to apply for the Tier 1 visa that permits a graduate to remain here as a highly skilled worker.  Later on, on 3 December, we will have the formal Graduation in McEwan Hall.  As I’ve mentioned before in my blog – it is sad to see them leave but great to have met and worked with these people for a year.

On a personal note, I had a nice long weekend with my long term friend.  I wrote about that in my last entry.  Good to spend some quality time together and dissect the World; and everything else such as why we should be grateful to the Ethiopians who apparently discovered coffee, and why listening to the water float by in a river or a stream seems so soothing.  Does anyone know?

Off for just a couple of days

I’m rather looking forward to my upcoming long weekend.  I’ll be off Monday and Tuesday next week to spend some time with my long term friend Anna-Marie (known as Rie) who’s visiting from Denmark.  She and I have known each other since we met on the first day of school when I was seven.  Those of you who know me that well will know that this is quite a few years ago.  Friends like that are so important.  We know each other’s family and background and know almost everything that happened to the other when we grew up.  So, yes, that will be very nice.

You will of course have noticed that I have not written much about the crunch lately.  This doesn’t mean that I’m not following this closely and it is pretty scary stuff.  About 18 months ago I was certain that something would happen but to be honest I didn’t think it would be this bad.  My excuse is that I’m not a financial analyst.  I suppose that what is so surprising is the web that is unravelling – it is now that we see the intricacies of a World-wide financial system.  I saw in the news that about £1 billion could be lost for British local councils in Iceland because of the meltdown of Icelandic banks and software company SAP is looking into what might be done because no one’s buying their products right now and Lakshmi Mittal is reported to have lost about £20 billion over the last four months some of which may be connected with the amount of shares he reportedly holds in Goldman Sachs.  These have about halved in the last six months.

Coming to London on 18 October?

If so then you might want to meet us at the AMBA MBA Fair at the Thistle Hotel Marble Arch.  You will have a chance to speak to our Admissions Coordinator as well as recent MBA alumni.  You may find this a bit early given that classes only begin in September 2009 but if you are interested in the MBA then the sooner you make your decision about where to go the sooner you can begin planning ahead.  If you are in Edinburgh and you are considering the University of Edinburgh Business School then you are also very welcome to drop in and meet with myself or one of my colleagues – nothing beats actually visiting the environment where you are to study later.  It has to be somewhere that you (and maybe your family?) can feel at home.  If you can then please do go and visit the schools you are considering.  Meet staff and the current students and see what they are doing right now.  Planning ahead is also important if you are to take the GMAT as part of your application.  So hope to see you there or maybe here.

On a personal note I’m finalising the data for our exam board meeting next week.  Everything needs checking and re-checking to make sure it all runs smoothly.  As I have mentioned before, this is the final exam board meeting for the full-time class of 2007-8.  The IB class (our shorthand for the MBA in International Business class) have to wait until next year as they only submit their final project in December.