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Posts Tagged ‘US business schools’

My buddy over at Pas-de-Soucis is onto something.  

Some days I have this strange feeling that I’m attending a US business school that’s been plucked from somewhere on the east coast and plopped in the middle of the forest in France.  Like that sister college to Harvard (you know, the one you’ve never heard of.  one that doesn’t have enough of an endowment to feel like a 5-star hotel that is HBS.)  Well, sort of like the east coast but way less liberal and self-aware.  Okay, maybe Georgia then.  Or North Carolina.

All of our cases are written by HBS press.  Most of our readings come from the Harvard Business Review.  We speak English all day – which, I must say impresses me a great deal.  The fact that our Croatian and Bulgarian and Chinese classmates speak English fluently – some having not lived outside of their home country – is frankly super impressive.  I still don’t know more than 25 words in French.  But I make do with convincing noises and my eye-rolling and exasperated exhaling are very French.  Trust me.  And I must be looking like I belong because on the last trip to Paris I got asked for directions twice.  I thought about pointing randomly, but then fessed up that je ne parle pas français.   

During class we discuss the WACC of an American airplane manufacturing firm, the culture change initiative at a Michigan sausage stuffing company (quote dude in class: “all this touchy-feely BS is just so midwestern American hokey”), or look at creative accounting practices of Tyco and WorldCom.  We’re taught by 3 professors on loan from schools in the US: Berkeley, Duke, PennState.  Every now and again we’ll discuss the IFRS standard, or the parallel trade of prescriptions drugs between the UK and Greece.  But those examples are few and far in between.

I’m not complaining.  I miss home, and I don’t think INSEAD should reinvent the wheel when it comes to business education – it was founded by Harvard profs who wanted to bring the cashcow that is bschool to Europe.  Something like that anyways.  

I suppose that the very basic materials we’re covering in P1 are not conducive to deep discussions that bring out those cultural differences that make INSEAD what it is.  Ask me again in P2, okay?

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