Yes, I know it’s rather late to extend this welcome to the new MBA class. The Induction programme started today and I’ve very much enjoyed meeting all the new students. We had an excellent talk by Hilary Sears this morning, very inspiring I must say, and we’ve only just finished the buffet after the “Kissing with Confidence” event, so it’s been a long day. A day that I’ve enjoyed certainly. Ohhh and before you get any wrong ideas, Kissing with Confidence is networking training with Russell Wardrop and his team.

So now I’m a tad tired and want to go home and see it I’ve still got a roof – remnants of hurricane Katia has battered Scotland today. Time to go out and get the full blast of the elements.


What do you want from an MBA?

Yes, despite eight years of involvement in the Edinburgh MBA I still can’t see one simple answer to this. Part of the explanation is of course that it is subjective. It depends on your past education, your career so far, your future career, and what is the added benefit that you want (specialisation, international experience, etc). And some just want a bigger salary. Although linked to the above another part of the answer is that it also depends on the current state of affairs in the world – what is the “deal-breaker” for you to secure your future at the exact moment in time when you consider undertaking an MBA.

I’ve seen plenty of surveys from our various collaboration partners but the problem with these is of course that in surveys you have to keep it to relatively short questions.


Over to you.

What do you think?

If you can choose only one thing then what is the most important thing/outcome that the MBA experience should give you?

Feel free to comment.

And remember only one thing.


Mounting excitement

This is, of course, because the new MBA class will be here in just over a week. I’ve met  a few of them already and it looks to be a great bunch of people. We had our first Early Bird reception Tuesday and we’ll have another one on Thursday next week. A lot of information is begin exchanged in the Google group for the incoming class so they are all getting up to speed. I can’t wait to meet them all.

At the same time my writing is tinged with sadness as the 2010-11 FT MBA class submitted their final piece of work yesterday, well most of them as some have chosen to take internships and so have delayed their Capstone projects. The MBA IB class of 2010-11 are still working away so I’ll get to keep them for a little while longer.

We have made some exciting changes to the first semester of our MBA programme, the one that has traditionally been the most stressful so while it will still be a lot of hard work I expect it will be slightly easier. The one-year MBA will always be more intense than the two-year MBA – for obvious reason as we all have to achieve the same.

Around us the Festival is packing their bags until next year. It is actually rather spectacular the change from one day to another. On the last day the Festival (or festivals I should write as more are taking place at the same time) the streets are packed with people, thronging to get to shows, and the next day they are all but deserted. But Edinburgh is a party city so come December Winter Wonderland will be here so more exciting stuff happening.

Such fun!

This post is kind of personal because it’s about two Edinburgh fringe shows so do not expect intelligent comments about the MBA world or indeed the world economy.

Sarah Millican, a laugh a minute. Sarah, thank you for Optimistic Mondays, hairy toes in the bath, and the joys of (mis)communication with your boyfriend. If you didn’t have a chance to see her in Edinburgh then check if she’s coming to a venue near you soon. And then last night The Magnets. Wow! How do they do that? And do they breathe like normal people? A must see if like music and fun.

T-3 weeks

T-3 weeks????

MBA Induction Week begins on 12 September 9am at the Business School, 29 Buccleuch Place, Edinburgh.

Here, three weeks before the new MBA class arrives everything still seems calm. It is of course the quiet before the storm. Although that sounds rather negative given that the arrival of a new MBA class is one of the more pleasant events of the academic year. MBA Induction Week is a hectic time, especially behind the scene, and every year you sort of collapse at the end of the week. But it’s a great time.

Hsin-Lin, Mizuki, Alfredo, Jun and Takao are here already. Next week we will have the first of our “early-bird” receptions and by then I hope more will have arrived.

Semester 1 will look different this year. Instead of teaching all courses at the same time, we’ve split the semester up in two blocks. We will teach half the courses in each block but in a more intense format. We have also extended the length of the sessions thus allowing for much more flexibility in the delivery of the materials and also the inclusion of presentations, case studies, guest speakers and other activities to enhance the learning experience. I’m sure it will be very exciting.

On a different note, tomorrow I go to see Sarah Millican. She should be a laugh! As you will know we have the the Edinburgh Festival on our doorstep. Literally. Glancing out the window I note that it seems less crowded – a typical final-week-of-the-fringe occurrence. It is as if the Fringe “deflates” towards the end and slowly but surely the resident of Edinburgh will get their city back. Well at least until December when Winter Wonderland takes over. There is always something on in Edinburgh and that’s one of the nice things about this city.

P.S. No, I didn’t forget about Libya. Things are changing by the minute so keep your eyes peeled.

A dilemma

If this is not your first visit then you will have seen that I’m a fan of Danny Bhoy, the Scottish stand-up comedian. I saw his show during the Edinburgh Festival last year, and once before that, but this year he’s not formally on the programme. You can find him doing guest spots though. If you also like Danny Bhoy then look for the tweet.  So what does one do when Danny is not to be found? Well I’m going to see Ed Byrne tonight. That should be something. And next week I shall see Sarah Millican. Equally bonkers.

Having thus exposed my preferences when it comes to stand-up I’m sure I have completely lost any respect that my MBAs might have had for me.

OK, so now were are four weeks away from MBA Induction Week. As always we are busy planning and preparing everything for the new class. I know for a fact that Alfredo is here already, from Mexico, and others will be here for the pre-sessional English course. I can’t wait to meet them all in person.

But this is of course also a sign that soon I shall have to say goodbye to the full-time MBA class – Hyunseok has left already and before we know it they will all have moved back/moved on to their new jobs. Incidentally, you can as always check the MBA profiles via our website. You will find some very clever people there.

When your back is turned…

Amazing the things that happen when you go off for a holiday, three weeks and just back yesterday.

No, I’m not talking about the school or the MBA but the things going on around the world.

In April I blogged about S&P’s adjustment of the US long-term rating from “stable” to “negative”. No one who follows the news can have missed that S&P have now followed up on this and downgraded the US to AA. Despite President Obama’s comment that the US will always be triple A, some may see it as a signal to the world that the trustworthiness of the US has been tainted when it comes to paying the bills. If the world agrees with S&P this can mean that borrowing may be more expensive of the US. If the world agrees with Obama then it is business as usual. Incidentally, Obama was quite keen to send the signal during his presidential campaign that “business as usual” couldn’t continue.

In London and elsewhere in England riots have been taking place. It began as a peaceful protest but this has now been made the vehicle of organised looting and youngster showing off, best illustrated by looters, while drinking looted wine boasted that they were showing police and the rich.

But yes, let’s turn to the University of Edinburgh Business School: at first glance quiet but as I’ve said before don’t let this lure you into thinking that nothing is happening. A lot is happening! The full-time MBA class is working hard in their internships or on completing their final projects, amidst securing jobs of course, and students in the MBA IB class are busily working away on their internships. Soon it will be their turn to focus on the final project. And would you believe it: three weeks from today we have the first Early Bird reception for the incoming class.

As you may or may not remember we have moved to new premises on George Square. And the Edinburgh Festival has moved with us. We used to have it on our doorstep in the purple up-side-down cow on Bristo Square but this year George Square gardens is teeming with people enjoying the various offerings in the festival. It is enjoyable but I can’t help feeling a bit sorry for my MBAs: they work hard and try to concentrate and then all these distractions just outside the building.