Will this work?

Yesterday, Chancellor Alistair Darling unvelied his rescue plan for the British economy.  The miracle oil that is to set the wheels in motion again is a cut in VAT from 17.5% to 15%.  Will this work?  Well, it will give everybody a few more pounds but is it enough to make us trust the ‘system’ again or will we continue to sit on every penny we can lay our hands on?  I think so because we are still to see the full consequences of the credit crunch.

It is also interesting to see this in the light that business activity needs a serious boost. Especially small businesses who struggle both because large businesses seem to delay payments to small businesses that can’t do anything about it, and also because banks (finally having learnt from the past) now deny overdrafts and ‘survival type’ loans, etc.  But won’t it also mean that scarce resources need to be spent on changing business procedures?  Will the VAT reduction be spent on the implementation of this?  On adjusting and adapting financial systems.

Yes, it is easy to be critical and I couldn’t have done better but I would really have liked to see this propped up with a promise that all will be done to avoid this happening again.  And how this might be done.  Because isn’t it a lot to do with lack of regulation?

Enough of this scaremongering.  There are things that can put a smile to your face.  The Christmas lights are coming up in Edinburgh and even if the presents will be much smaller this year, isn’t it all about family anyway?


Integrative Project Week

This week my students are all busy with their Integrative Project, the one that serves to bring together the core courses taught in Semester 1.  It seems to be going OK but with a bit of settling in as this is very different from classes.  This morning we, among other things, had the National Advertising Awards (not to be confused with the real thing) with awards for the groups’ advertising posters – one winner and two runner-ups.  Our good friends, Jill Taylor and Kevin Bird from family came in and acted as experts.

Next week we will go into revision before six exams and then it is Christmas.  As it happens it’s only another month to go today.  Well, it is for Danes as we celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve.

Behind the scene we work on a review of our MBA.  It is essential to do this regularly so that you know that your offering is in line with what is required by the market.  This makes it sound very business-like and running a business school is like running a business.  We should be aware of what the market requires.  Otherwise, why would you want to come to the University of Edinburgh Business School for your MBA?

As amazing as it seems…

This is the last week of MBA classes this semester.  A hectic nine weeks of core courses come to an end.  Next week the students take on the Integrative Project before moving on to exams.  And then, before we know it, it’s Christmas and time for a break.  As always some will overdo it in the preparation and some will find that they are much better than they think.

As always we have, throughout the semester, attempted to keep a focus on career planning but in the current climate it is difficult to advise.  Just think of the 50,000+ jobs to go at Citigroup and many other jobs have been or are to be axed, making this a time for networking extraordinaire to secure that job.  Many formal recruitment schemes will have shrunk so how do you present yourself as someone essential to take on right now?  It really will be all about networking now.

As mentioned briefly, I lost my mother recently and I am grateful for all the support that has been offered by my colleagues and especially the MBA students.  They have so much on the agenda that it is very touching that they can also find time to ask how I’m doing.

Coming to Taipei on 17 November?

If so then you might want to meet us at the World MBA Tour at the Westin Taipei on Nanking East Road.  You will have a chance to speak to a representative from the School as well as recent MBA alumni.  You may find this a bit early but if you are to take the GMAT as part of your application as well as secure the student visa then the sooner the better.  Hope to see you there!  If you read this after and missed us there then just use the link to read about our programmes and also the scholarships on offer.

Here, classes in the first semester is coming to an end – next week is the last week.  After that we have the Integrative Project before moving into revision before exams.  Most in the class feel that they have only just begun their studies but the MBA year passes like nothing else and it is very intensive.  That’s why I always encourage my students to make sure that they take advantage of the Christmas break: three lovely weeks.  For the students anyway.  Not so for me; I’ll be back after two weeks to ensure that everything is ready for the next semester.

Well, I’m in need of a coffee now so…

I’m back

Sorry to have been away from the keyboard for so long.  It was unplanned absence owing to the death of my mother.  Needless to say that a thing like that makes you think.  Think about everything really.  This is my first day back so of course I have a dozen things to catch up with not to mention our Dragon’s Den for our 2nd year PT MBA class tonight.