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Last Minute Decision: Attending the Foundations Course November 30, 2006

Posted by InvisibleInk in Foundations Course, MBA Prep / Logistics, Suggested Pre-readings, Transportation.

Business Foundations Programme

Quite a lot happened this week. First of all, I paid the second installment of my tuition fees. A handsome sum of €27,000 invested towards my career. Secondly, I arranged my car for next year. I decided on a C3 HDi 92 Exclusive. (110 is no longer available on lease from Citroen). Since I will be doing 25+km a day, diesel seemed like a good option. Citroen lease contract is much more comprehensive than the Peugeot contract, plus prices of Citroen are around €500 cheaper yet their cars have more extras. I only signed up for four months, giving me the option of extending my contract later should I choose to stay in Fonty for P3.

Thirdly, I registered for the foundations course. Initially my plan was not to attend the Foundations Course and prepare for the MBA on my own. I was thinking that doing the suggested pre-reading should be enough. When I spoke with a current MBA student and Andrew from the MBA office, they both said planning to read all four pre-reading books was pretty optimistic. Well, three months on, I think they were right. So far I only managed to cover 1 out of 4 textbooks. I have simply been too busy and not been able to find time to sit down and study.

Anyway, if you are a future student, you can still register up to December. Eventhough the official deadline for registration is 2nd of October, after you pay the second installment INSEAD sends you an email asking if you still want to register. By the way, have a look at the schedule. It has INSEAD written all over it. Hard work, long hours, short period of time!


Started the pre-reading.. November 16, 2006

Posted by InvisibleInk in Suggested Pre-readings.
1 comment so far

An_Introduction_To_Finance_BissadaI am slowly easing my-self into the MBA. I started with the easiest and most basic looking textbook amongst the books in INSEAD’s pre-reading list. “An Introduction to Finance” by Youssef F. Bissada is perfect if you’ve never had any accounting classes or never had to do a single financial statement. I have taken accounting classes more than five years ago during my degree but I still found the book useful to refresh my memory. The book is only focused on how to draw and understand balance sheets, profit and loss statements, and cash flow statements. It comes with a CD (only runs on Windows) that outlines the basic concepts and lets you learn by preparing accounts of an imaginary lemonade business. (Yes I know, this may be as ‘exciting’ as accounting gets: How to build your lemonade tycoon in 10 days) Although I have to confess, I liked the simplicity and the fact that it took less than two hours to finish the whole book! It makes you feel good since you can put a tick besides the big reading list INSEAD loads on you. Anyway, now that I’ve done the basics of accounting, I think I might continue with the other accounting book in the list, though I doubt it will take such short time to go through it this time..

Phone Call July 1, 2006

Posted by InvisibleInk in MBA Prep / Logistics, Suggested Pre-readings.

Today I received a phone call from a current student at INSEAD. I think it was to encourage me to accept the offer and also to talk about any questions I might have regarding the programme. She came across as a really nice person and portrayed INSEAD as a fun place to be, which I really liked. We talked about diversity, the intensity of the programme, the parties, the accommodation, and the infamous pre-reading list.

For those who don’t know, INSEAD assigns a pre-reading list comprised of four textbooks to read before the classes start. There is one in microeconomics, one in accounting, and two in finance. Apparently one of the finance books is quite dry and not highly recommended. So I might save myself some time and get the other three instead.

Some other advice I got:

  • Take some time off from work before starting the MBA.
  • It is best to start in Singapore campus and skip the winter. They apparently also have a more chilled out attitude.
  • Best to wait until September for booking accommodation. It may be too early now. Even though there are already a lot of chateau hunters in NetVestibule.
  • Must attend the open day in October/November. It is in the middle ‘getting ready for school’ period and helps a lot to learn from current students and staff and fine tune the details.

Unlike what I heard before, apparently INSEAD’s non-disclosure policy for the marks works. The student who called me stressed that INSEAD takes a firm position and has a word with all the companies coming to campus specifically not to ask students their marks. I think this is the best way as well.

Finally, the best bit of our conversation was about the parties and the national weeks. They just had the Arab week and all the students improvised by wearing the best they could find, in this case tea towels and all sorts for a whole day of classes. Imagine being the finance professor standing in front of such a class! Brilliant!