Another new MBA class lining up

Despite the difficulties still faced by parts of the world economy I have been very pleased with the both quality and the volume of applications for the 2011 MBA intake. I am also very happy with the 2011-12 class profile as it looks now. We still have some places to offer but don’t leave it too late if you are interested in the University of Edinburgh Business School. It will be our second year in our new school. Yes, I suppose that you could argue that it’s not new any more but it is very much a state-of-the-art facility.

The 2010 MBA IB class is away on their exchanges now while the FT class is putting the final touches to the advanced leadership course as I write this. They are away up in the Highlands in Glenmore Lodge. Expert facilitators are Scott Kress and David Gibson from Summit Training. Despite the very “active” picture on the Glemore Lodge website the leadership course is not about climbing mountains. Well maybe the ones in your mind but not real ones. Taking the class to the Highlands is about dedicating time to the event and also have another good experience in the beautiful Highlands.

The class being away does make the building a bit more quiet but even if I have a long weekend coming up (owing to that wedding you know) we’re busily planing for the arrival of the 2011 class. It’s always exciting once you get to meet everybody and also once you get the first insights into who will be the class leaders. I always find it interesting when people can be all commanding in writing and over the phone or Skype, but then be almost invisible in the group context.

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S&P keeping a keen eye on the US

I must admit that I paused in the process sipping my coffee when I spotted the font page of the FT yesterday: “S&P sounds alarm on US debt“. Basically, S&P adjusted the long-term rating from “stable” to “negative”, thus casting doubt on the triple A ranking of the US. It was a big move. The US economy has been rated triple A through ups and down since 1941. Apart from the expected reactions in the market (not very dramatic actually) many saw this as a warning to DC rather than investors that the US politicians need to get their act together and agree a fiscal policy. As Brad DeLong eminently put it: “S&P aims to whip Congress into debt action“. Well, let’s see if the whip is long enough.

Even if the memories of earth-quake stuck Japan is fading and we no longer see the following tsunami sweeping over Japanese soil on TV we should not forget that Japan is still battling a potential nuclear threat from the Fukushima Daiichi plant while at the same time pondering where to get the estimated 25 trillion yen needed to rebuild the country. Speaking to one Japanese MBA applicant yesterday is it clear that the country is in imbalance. The regions not hit by the disaster can continue business but will be affected by lack of supply from the regions where all infrastructure and countless people were swept away on 11 March 2011.

New Chancellor for the University of Edinburgh

HRH The Princess Royal will take over from her dad, the Duke of Edinburgh, as Chancellor for the University of Edinburgh. Princess Anne is also the Patron of the University’s Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies so HRH has intimate knowledge about the workings of the University. I’m sure the gown with the gold trimmings will suit HRH.

I was away for a break (annual leave of absence) and in the meantime my students on the MBA in International Business (with the exception of Angelena who leaves later) have departed for their exchange. To me this marks an important milestone in the academic calendar because I know for a fact that I won’t see some of these people again. We do keep in contact with the IB students by calling them on a regular basis to ensure that everything is well. At the same time the students on the Full-time MBA is having a very short break before the last term begins next week. They are also working on their consultancy projects so it’s not all free time. Yes, the one-year model is rewarding but a bit hectic.