Welcome!

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.

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.

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.

 

i-everywhere

I suppose that’s a fitting term for the iCloud as introduced by Steve Jobs yesterday. Apart from everything being “i-something” (A rather clever branding me thinks! Is it “i” as in “I” so I am at the centre, as in “information”, “interaction”, or what?) Apple proposes to link everything we do so that we don’t even have to think about where we bookmarked/saved/downloaded something. Steve Jobs said that Apple is demoting the PC/Mac to being simply another device and not the hub of everything “i” that you do.

Whether you are pro or con iCloud probably depends on whether you like to compartmentalise or not. If you like to have EVERYTHING you do available at your fingertips then iCloud is for you.  If not then well, it’s not. I’m still to read more about ICloud so I’m just guessing here.

Interestingly, Business Insider reported that Apple stock dropped while Jobs unveiled the new concept. Is that because they don’t believe in iCloud, or because of the way Steve Jobs looked?

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Get that new suit now

OK, the headline is partly fun but also in part serious. The prices of commodities is increasing and the most recent one to follow suit (pardon the pun) is the price of wool. The largest wool producer, Australia has been hit by extreme weather conditions. This, coupled with the fact that China (as is the case with any commodity) is a strong buyer, has doubled the price on wool. This of course will be passed down the supply chain so maybe it’s time to get that new suit you’ve been thinking about lately?

During my recent absence from my blog I was away attending the Association of MBAs International Conference for Deans and Directors in Geneva. I was delayed in my travels (because of that ash cloud) but I was lucky enough to get there in time for an excellent talk by Professor Klaus Schwab, the Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum. As always when he talks Professor Schwab raised a number of issues that just make you stop and think; issues that are relevant to MBA providers and I look forward to mulling it over in peace.

And this date is a bit of a milestone for the current full-time MBA class. Today is the deadline for the second last piece of work to be submitted. Yes, just think about it. They joined us mid-September and now only the Capstone Project remains. Good going guys!

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