Sunday, October 02, 2005

Finally Saturday!

Yesterday was the end of a very long and often frustrating week. For those of us who are not interested in investment banking or consulting, the career sessions were quite useless. I tried my best to get as much as possible out of it all, but in the end I really just wished we could have had another week of pre-courses to review more accounting, math, and Spanish. Or at least I wish I could've studied it all more on my own!

Yesterday I met my team (A6) at school at 8:30. We had been given a practice case to read and prepare, and the point of the teams is to have people to discuss the cases with, bounce ideas off of, and sometimes do group projects together. I was a little nervous about how my team would work because I didn't know most of the people all that well, and I was still a little concerned after our first meeting. But it was over before we knew it because there was a mass scheduled for 9:15. I took the opportunity to review the case more and explore other options regarding my answers to the problem (whether to open a plant in one town or another) and I felt more prepared as a result when I walked into class at 10:15.

Our seats had been assigned for us for the first time and, as an S, I was relegated to the back row. Fortunately I'm in the middle, but I'm definitely going to have to get stronger contacts because I'm getting more blind by the minute. Apparently everyone will be swapped around after the first term, so I guess then I'll be in the front row. Goody.

So the first hour of class was easy enough. We just reviewed the case and everyone tried to participate, and I guess that's the way classes are going to be. At least for Analysis of Business Problems. For most classes, participation is the main grading criterium. For others, like Accounting, it's mostly based on the midterm and final exams. Yikes. Also, there's a forced curve, so a predetermined number of people will get a C, which is a failing grade. There's nothing lower. Three C's in a term and it's adios. Same if you get 4 C's in a year. I'm scared to death.

Anyway, one good thing that happened in the afternoon was that we had a very short period of time to get in our teams again and review another sample case and come up with a plan. We had to prepare a press release in response to a big Belgian gas explosion crisis. My team rocked. We got in there, worked together, respected each other, and came up with something halfway decent in a very short amount of time. I was pleased, and I think we all felt a lot better. We have 9 very smart people in our group, and I think we'll do really well together.

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