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.




To Oussama Khalil from the full-time MBA programme who ran the Edinburgh Marathon yesterday. He ran a personal best despite having to battle strong winds on his way back. No wonder he looks a bit tired today!

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Will you join us for the alumni weekend?

Regular readers of our alumni magazine Aluminate will hopefully have seen the invitation to the Postgraduate Alumni Weekend in July 2011, 28-30th to be more precise. We have a one-day conference on Sustainability in Business on the agenda, and also social events including a ceilidh. The most important thing is of course to meet up with your old classmates and reminisce on your time as a student here in Edinburgh. Visit the Alumni Weekend website for more information.

We hope to see you!

The current full-time MBAs have now completed their classes and even if some will have one or two assignments still to complete most will now be able to focus on their Consultancy projects. Working for a number of interesting clients the class now helps a variety of businesses with strategic related problems. At the same time, I’m sure, the MBA IB class is keeping an eye on things in Edinburgh while at the same time working hard (I hope! Ha ha.) during their exchange. Noelia though has returned already after her sojourn at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. And very soon the IB students will move on to their internships. Consultancy projects and internships is all part of “partnering” with the University of Edinburgh Business School. Read more here if you would like to take on an intern of you would like input from a team of our MBAs.

MBA Leadership in the Highlands

Frequent readers of this blog will know that my FT MBAs were away in the Highlands last week for the advanced leadership course, with expert facilitators Scott Kress and David Gibson from Summit Training. Judging from the photo, kindly made available by Yukiko from the class, they had a great time.

The reality is that this is the second last week of classes. We have the Climate Change and Challenge for Business and Management Consultancy classes next week and that’s another year gone. Or at least that’s how it feels like. A multitude of things will happen after that but the last week of classes in Edinburgh mark a milestone in the full-time MBA programme.

For the MBAIB students it is of course  completely different matter as they are away on their exchanges just now, in Barcelona, Paris and Durham, NC. Don’t forget all about us guys!

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And before you know it…

In a hectic spring term it is good sometimes to stop up and take one step back. And what do you see? That the “new” class is now almost two-thirds through their courses and, in addition, that a great section of people are getting ready to pack their bags and move to Edinburgh in September for the next MBA intake.

For the full-time MBA class we’re getting ready to launch the consultancy project that will run alongside classes from now on and until June. An exciting selection of organisations have asked our students for help this year and I firmly believe that our students can make a real difference to these organisations. The students will be undertaking projects in areas such as client intelligence, intrapreneurship, sourcing and brand repositioning. At the same time the MBA IBs are keeping an eye on their next move, to the exchange partner, and also on the internship later on in the programme. For them it is a time for change and while they are sad to leave Edinburgh they are excited about the next new horizon.

Do you want to meet “my” students? Have a look at their profiles here. You’ll find a lot of excellent talent. If your organisation would like to invest in any of these people then you can contact them directly via the website.

11th consecutive year in the FT Rankings

Maybe you saw that the MBA Rankings from the Financial Times were released today. In a year that might be considered tough for UK schools, and with a number of new schools entering the rankings, we were pleased to see that we had improved slightly. We are now 13th in the UK, 24th in Europe and 88th in the world. One could argue that with an estimated 10,000 MBA programmes in the world a position as #88 ought to be considered excellent – a dream position. Those in the know will tell you that this is not quite the case. And so while we are happy to have improved, albeit slightly, we will keep refining our offering to ensure a worthwhile MBA experience.

If you want to hear more about our programme offering you will have the opportunity to meet us at a number of the MBA fairs. In the QS World MBA Tour we will be attending the fairs in:

  • New York
  • Washington
  • Boston
  • Toronto
  • Almaty
  • Moscow
  • Geneva
  • Frankfurt
  • Paris
  • Accra
  • Lagos

You can also meet us at the postgradireland Further Study Fair in Dublin on 16 February and the British Council Fairs in Thessalonica (13 April) and Athens (16 & 17 April).

So come and join us!

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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