A semblance of normality

As the new MBAs (and MScs) are settling into their new daily routine (except for one who seems to be unable to be on time) the pace is changing in the school, less hectic and much more determined.  I know it sounds strange but you can almost feel the fizz of the brain waves. Very soon this will extend to our new part-time MBAs who had their first Induction session Tuesday evening this week. A very nice lot they are, and I got en excellent piece of information from Nicholas. This is just proof of what I’ve said before – it’s amazing the amount of knowledge accumulated in an MBA class.

In the middle of this settling into the job at hand, Martin Jensen from the 06-07 MBA IB class pops in to visit and tell me about his big projects in China: Dan Yu Trading Ltd (site in Chinese only for now but keep an eye on it) and Scandinavian Farms Ltd. Some very exciting stuff. It’s great to see when the alumni after a lot of hard work succeed in making their dreams come true. Martin’s on a short visit to Scotland to attend the wedding of Natasha from the class to Graeme – proof of another thing I’ve mentioned before: the MBA class is a network for life of friends and prospective business partners.

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Tax on international financial transactions to fund development?

The Leading Group on International Financial Development met in New York this week. An important item on the agenda, and championed by governments in Belgium, Brazil, France, Japan, Norway and Spain was the taxation on international financial transaction. This could include international development solidarity tax, a financial transactions tax and an international currency transaction levy. The reemergence of this idea by the Leading Group is related to the Millennium Development Goals established by the UNDP. Unlike the Tobin tax, which at the time of its introduction primarily was aimed at regulating markets, this tax should focus on placing a levy on transactions without disrupting financial transactions. The revenue raised is to go to international development. While it is unlikely that any taxation will leave financial markets undisrupted the idea seems to gather momentum, with a stong focus on INNOVATIVE financing but there is still an awful lot of “coulds” in the wording. Let’s await further news.


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MBA ceilidh

Courtesy of Amy Eng from the IB class, I thought you might want to see a selection of the new MBAs proudly wearing their kilts.

The new MBA class is here -yeah!

Maybe you saw that we had a busy MBA Induction Week here last week. I certainly enjoyed it and it’s good to see the new class getting to know each other. Last week was all about introductions, career insights and some fun.

Courses began in earnest Monday morning so a lot of brain power being spent now. For some, those that have been away from education for some time, this may be a bit “painful” but soon they’ll all get the hang of studying again. I can already see the prospect of some exciting relationships based on mutual interests so I’m sure we’ll have a worth-while year ahead. This week and next our Career Development Manager Merri Scotney and I will meet with a number of our new MBAs to talk about careers. My colleague Eddie Cochrane, our Executive Development Manager, will take over from me in the third week as I’ll be heading off for a meeting with the GMAC people at their new headquarters in Reston, Virginia. A busy month actually, October, as I’ll also attend the GMAC European conference (this year to be held at Ashridge Business School) and my long-term friend Anna-Marie will visit as well.

MBA Induction Week

What a busy week I’ve had, meeting all the new MBAs! It’s been great to meet them face to face. Lauren and Angelena are still to arrive but their flights are booked so they’ll be here soon. I’m just back from our Partners Welcome so I’ve had a chance to meet the families of some of my MBAs as well including Daisuke’s two lovely daughters: Anna and Arisa.

Right now, the class is busy doing a case study with my colleague Brad MacKay, giving me  a chance to gather my thoughts.  Tonight we have the talk about the  Scottish Economy given by one of our alumni Donald MacRae. Donald is the Chief Economist of Lloyds Banking Group Scotland. We find it useful to give our international class an idea about what makes the Scottish Economy “tick”. Scotland will, after all, be their home country for at least a year. Tomorrow we have the Innovation Event before we all meet for the ceilidh in the evening. And then I think it’s time to put my feet up a bit. And time to catch up with all the news from around the World.

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Our new home

Monday is the first day of Induction Week so good thing that the our new home only needs a bit of dusting now. I like it. And the new MBAs who were here for our Early Bird receptions have expressed their delight as well so let’s hope we’re on to a good start. We had 27 of the new MBAs for the reception yesterday and the cafe was buzzing. And lots of exchanging of phone numbers as well.

With our new location between the lovely George Square and the historic buildings of Buccleuch Place, the school’s neighbourhood combines some of the nicest things about Edinburgh: the architecture and the green spaces. But next week will, as always when it’s Induction Week, be hectic. It’s a great time though, and I hope all our new students MBAs, MScs and undergraduates will enjoy their studies.

One week and counting…

Yes, now it’s only one week to go before the new MBA classes join us for the Induction Programme.  At the same time the outgoing full-time MBA class is packing their bags to go back home, to join a new job, to find a new job or off on a short break before joining their new employer. Transition time as I said… Wile it is sad to see the old class leave it is also good to see how they have grown during this last year, both when it comes to knowledge but certainly also to the confidence that follows on from increased knowledge and having improved in the soft skills area as well. It’s even better when some come and point this out themselves. Luckily we still have the pleasure  of having the MBA in International Business class around for a few months still.

The campus is really buzzing today as the University of Edinburgh has opened its doors for an Undergraduate Open Day, and on 25th and 26th September you can join the University for the Doors Open Day. There’s a full brochure here: http://www.ed.ac.uk/news/events/doors-open-day-300810.  Take the opportunity to see St Cecilia’s Hall. It’s one of those hidden gems.

Well, actually I shouldn’t be sitting here pondering life in full view for all to see. I’ve got heaps of little things to do before the Induction Week begins so see you later!

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