The MBA now on Get Satisfaction

Yes, we’ve ventured into this space dedicated to open conversation with anyone with an interested in one of our products, the Edinburgh MBA. On their website the Get Satisfaction people say that “Get Satisfaction is a direct connection between people and companies that fosters problem-solving, promotes sharing, and builds up relationships.” As we have only just set this up I’m not quite sure what to expect but we’ll see as we go along. You can find us here. Also, keep in mind that you can join me for chats via the school website. It’s an easy way of getting answers to those MBA questions.

Speaking of which: lots of stuff has happened in the world of finance this week. Of particular interest to Scots was the take over of Dunfermline building Society by Nationwide. A consortium was poised to enter into merger talks with Dunfermline but apparently they were never allowed to talk until Nationwide had close the deal, with a great amount of tax payer support coming their way in the bargain. So who prevented this consortium from speaking to Dunfermline? It was also interesting to see Barclay decline the so called toxic loan insurance scheme. This happened as they were give the thumbs up after a health check by the FSA.

On a personal level I’m looking forward to next week. Why? I’ll be off! This will be the first bit of breathing space since the Christmas break which wasn’t really much of a break for me. Where am I going? Well, I haven’t planned anything except relaxation. Any suggestions?

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Danish firm Skykon taking over wind turbine factory

As you will know I do tend to keep an eye on Danish business news and I was particularly interested to see that the Danish form Skykon, or rather their subsidiary Welcon Towers, will take over the Vestas wind turbine manufacturing plant near Campbeltown in Argyll. A number of jobs are being created and it will favour the development of wind power in Scotland. Alongside Iberdrola’s commitment to wind power this could take Scotland on the fast-forward track when it comes to wind energy. Those of us that live here certainly know that there’s wast potential for wind power in Bonnie Scotland.

Closer to home my MBAs are now in the last stages of this exam diet and numbers are being wrangled and formuli exercised prior to the exam in Business Finance and Economics of Strategy this week. Then just a short break before we move into the last stages of courses with Corporate Strategy up first. I myself take the opportunity to have a week off next week so have a busy week ahead trying to get everything sorted before that.

Sir Philip Green and Sir Alan Sugar

You will remember that I wrote some time ago about Sir Philip Green’s aversion to email. Enter another business tycoon, Sir Alan Sugar, the seemingly cranky star of The Apprentice. Where Sir Philip prefers face to face dealing Sir Alan relies on email that he can access from his various places of work and at home. But probably not from his Cirrus SR20 that he operates himself. Yes, Sir Alan is a qualified pilot and finds that taking to the clouds give him space to think.

I’ve been writing pro and con email – what do you think? Let me know.

My MBA class are busy with their exams these days (Strategic Management tomorrow) and more to follow. After a short Easter Break we move into the final stage of the courses with our short intensive week-long courses. Ask them and they can’t will find it difficult to accept that they are halfway through the programme – that is for the students on the full-time MBA. The students on the MBA in International Business has a bit longer to go because they also undertake an internship. That comes after the exchange.

It is a great bunch of people. If you want to have look at their profiles then look here: http://www.business-school.ed.ac.uk/corporate/studentprofiles.html

Credit Scoring and Credit Control XI Conference

This time I want to extend an invitation to join us for the Credit Scoring and Credit Control XI Conference in August. Organised by the Credit Research Centre, it is Europe’s premier conference for credit scoring and related topics and is held in the city of Edinburgh every two years. The conference bridges the academic-practitioner divide with talks ranging from current industry issues to the latest statistical research findings. Some 360 delegates attended in 2007, and around 75 papers were presented by authors from a large number of organisations including the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia and the Universities of Edinburgh, Cambridge, Imperial College, Pennsylvania, Stanford, Virginia, California, Sao Paulo, Leon, Hong Kong, New York and Southampton. With the big changes happening around us, the conference should be an exciting one this year. Interested? Then read more here.

Soon, we will be saying goodbye to the student on the MBA in International Business. They will be off for exchanges at ESSEC, ENPC, EADA and Nanyang. We have a small reception in the School this week and I’m sure there will lots of going-away parties. Let’s hope they all catch their flight out of Edinburgh.

Teaching award nomination

I’m just glancing out of the window while writing this and enjoying the fact that it looks as if Spring is finally on its way. This of course is committing hubris so I’m sure that snow will be falling in when next I look out of the window. I’d better get on with it.

I received a nice bit of news when I returned from Barcelona on Monday. The MBA programme has been nominated for this year’s teaching award. Although the nomination is issued to me it is in reality a nomination for the whole team behind the programme. The award is managed by the Edinburgh University Students’ Association and although they have received a large number of nominations, 2704 to be precise, it is a nice pat on the shoulder. So thank you to the anonymous people who nominated the programme. It is good to see the total number of nominations. It goes to show that a lot of good teaching is taking place at the University of Edinburgh.

This week is the first of two exam weeks before a short break. After that we move into the final intensive term with week-long courses topics as diverse as Business Coaching and Global Strategy. The Business Coaching option will be delivered by Peter Hill, the managing director of CFM Consulting Ltd. He has been working in the coaching arena for a number of years. Another new offering is Lean Business, taught by our Head of School, Professor Nick Oliver in conjunction with Dr Tony Kinder.

Madoff pleads guilty

An interesting bit of news today, Madoff pleading guilty.  You will remember that he was behind the multi -million dollar securities fraud exposed in the US in December. This plea may not be so much an admission of guilt but more an attempt at protecting his family, many of whom are/were involved in the Madoff business. So will the victims get their money back? No they won’t. Well, maybe a few percent but it would seem that most of the money paid in has been paid out again in alleged dividends that never appeared and I suppose that the rest has been spent or squirreled away never to be found by the authorities.

Other than that, I will of course soon be heading for the MBA fair at the Melia hotel in Barcelona, hoping to meet lots of interesting people. Come and join us.

Off to Barcelona

Yes, I’m off to Barcelona very soon. I’ll attend the MBA fair at the Melia Barcelona on 12 March, more here. I hope to meet some of you there for a chat about what the Edinburgh MBA can offer and discuss how this can help you in your future career. Because as as always say: the MBA is not the destination but a means to take you to the stage where you want to be in your career.

If you can’t attend the fair or want more information then remember that you can join me for on-line chats via http://www.business-school.ed.ac.uk/chat/chat.html. Next time is Tuesday 17th March: 9:00am – 9:45am & 2:00pm – 2:45pm, all time GMT.