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Posts Tagged ‘classes’

Clueless

So…a funny thing happened today.  Not funny-haha… Actually, not funny at all.  

I was sitting in macro, paying rapt attention to the new prof – major improvement over Andy – while at the same time having no clue what was going on.  

So I thought I’d ask a question.  But then I realized that I didn’t know what question to ask.  Beyond raising my hand and going, “um, professor. I’m so freaking lost.  Uhh…. dduuuuuh… what’s with the interest rate?”  

So I did that.  Picture me twirling a curl around my finger and biting my lip a little while asking, then blushing violently.  

Luckily Pierre-Olivier was kind enough to say that it was a good question.   

What’s more is that I also realized that it’s been quite a while since anyone had asked a question in class – one that wasn’t mean to demonstrate how clever they are and how well versed they are in international political theory.  But an honest-to-Gd-I-don’t-get-what’s-going-on kind of a question.   

In P3, you’re no longer allowed to act like you don’t know what’s going on.  Perhaps I have Pekka to thank for discouraging asking questions or attempting to understand the material.

Everyone is so cool in P3.  It’s uncool to admit understanding the material – because the only reason you’d study is because you worry about failing.  I’m onto you, people.  I know you’re clueless just like me.  Just raise your hand and admit it.  Maybe we’ll all learn something as a result.

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I’m writing from the deep rabbit hole of electives selection.  It’s tricky trying to balance the time for an internship search, club activities, conference planning, independent study, a crapshoot of a social impact elective (whose quality depends entirely on a team I’ve never worked with and how good your McKinsey mentor is), and the seductive possibility of taking something like Mergers and Acquisitions just because the prof is supposed to be good.  Or maybe that’s in Singapore.  

A mistake I made in undergrad was being too focused on double majoring.  I took six classes a term, worked my ass off, and didn’t focus on making friends or taking advantage of an amazing city I lived in.  Luckily, I got a chance to make up for all of that in grad school and in the next 7 years I spent living in the said city.  And while it’s still impressive to tell someone that your school gave you not one but two shiny diplomas, I now regret not having taken more classes in media or economics or psychology.  All this working my ass off also didn’t go too well because when I stopped to breathe 10 years later, I realized that I didn’t enjoy what I was doing or where I was heading (or more precisely, not heading).    

Today, I have a pretty clear idea of what I want to do in the next 3 years, but not the vaguest sense of what’s to come in the next 20.  How is taking a class in Environmental management going to help me run a goat cheese farm in California when I’m 55?  How is a class in M&A going to matter to my career as a magazine editor when I’m 43?  

One class I know I have to take is Negotiations.  If nothing else, I should be able to win a few more arguments with the boyf.  It’s not that we have many arguments, but I’ve never won one in the 3 years we’ve known each other.  My style of arguing tends to be very emotional: “you [always/never] [do/say] [this/that/the other]”.  At which point he counters with “that’s not fair, do I [always/never] [do/say] [this/that/the other]?”  His main quibble is with my lack of verbal precision, so the argument devolves into something around word-choice.  The problem is that he’s about 10 times smarter than me, and much more articulate, but maybe I can score an occasional point by learning some Nego tricks.  

Right… this rambling post just went in a weird direction.  I think I was taking about electives. 

Having just one year at INSEAD makes selecting how I spend my time a very high-pressure exercise.  What if what I think I want to do right now turns out boring/unfulfilling to me in another 6 years?  What if the role/market I select ceases to exist due to the expiration of the Kyoto protocol/end of air travel/deregulation of industry X/end of civilization/the bird flu/global domination by Iran?  Should I capitalize on my newfound, newly validated touchy-feely abilities and take more classes on self-assessment, psychological issues, etc?  I hear they’ve sexed up HR – they call it talent management these days.  

[Elegant transition here]

In other news, I have my first on-campus interview with a consulting firm.  Yeah, I know.  I said I wouldn’t interview with consulting firms.  But at least they have a practice in something that is remotely interesting.  AND, I’m batting one /one, baby!  While you might think that track record is nothing but impressive (sarcasm), maybe I should apply to more jobs.  And maybe crack open a book to find out what a case interview is.

[Meaningful conclusion here]

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