Friday, August 31, 2007

Boot Camp Wrapup


Ok, Orientation Week is over. I must say it was very tough, and if it is an indicator for what's to come, it will not get easier.

We just came to the campus, passed through the boothes, read a lot of messages, got a password to the intranet, and assigned to a group (6) and a section (E1).

There are 4 sections (75 people each), and each section is devided to 15 groups of 5-6 people. The groups are as diverse as they can possible be, both in nationality and in background. Group can have 2 or 0 women (as there are 27% women in the class). There can't be only 1 woman (it's a wierd but reasonable policy).

In my group there is an Indian (Market research with engineering background), a Japanese (Insurance, sponsored by his company), a Bulgarian (Project manager with a background in finance, who lives in Germany, female), and a Lebanese (Advertisement, who lives in Dubai and has a British passport, female). Of course I am Israeli with engineering background (probably not many engineers in the class who asctually worked in engineering). Now isn't that a diverse group?

We had some welcome lectures (languages, library, and IT). Then we had the opening ceremony in the evening.

Wednesday - Exemption Exams, and Partners Welcome

I had my Spanish exam in the morning, and then we had the introduction to INSEAD lecture from the dean.

In the evening there was a partner welcome gathering, where p4 partners explained what activities can partners participate in (there are some pretty nice clubs for partners). There are some places were partners can contribute to the school. After the meeting, there was a cocktail in the restaurant (not as "fancy" as the welcome cocktail, but pretty much the same).

Thurday - First Lecture and group assignments

Fun time is over. First we had the Drive Safe campagne. INSEAD students have an infamous name for driving drunk (and there were some horrible car accidents in previous years), so the school decided to take several steps to raise the awareness for this phenomenon. One of those steps is the campaign. Basically, each group had 2 hours to suggest an idea for a poster. The winning groups will have their posters published and hung around the campus. We saw some very clever ideas from previous years (For example: 2 views of feet - one is a corpse, and the other is a couple making you know what - "What position would you prefer?").

So we sat together and came up with a poster, where I sat on the PowerPoint, and we all looked for images in the internet (after we came with a concept - obviousely contributed by our own advertising expert).

After that we had our first lecture. A very charismatic british professor taught "Introduction to general management", and it was really funny (he is like a comedian). He tried to show us what MBA is really about in general management point of view - that you can be sent to a hell hole in the middle of sweden and try to fix a seemingly impossible company (i.e. the Arthur Keller case that we had to read and analyse prior to class. I actually fell asleep the day before in page 4 out of 30).

Then we had to prepare a presentation "What would we do instead of Keller?" - for tomorrow morning. The professor said that although only 3 groups (out of 15) would present, there is something called Murphy's Law, and "Hello, I am Murphy). So we sat for 3 and half hours and prepared this presentation.

You have to understand, I am an engineer. I have no idea how to analyse financial reports, lines of products, human resources and so on. But, non-the-less we managed to come up with a reasonable presentation.

At night, we came to friends' Mint House (a beautiful mansion with several apartments and shared living room, just on the Seine). We saw the Israeli Idol final of yesterday over the internet.

Friday - Lectures, Lectures, and some more Lectures

We had a packed day - 2 courses from 8:30 to 18:30 straight up! First we had the second part of yesterday's lecture. Guess what - our group was picked to present (Boy, this professor really is Murphy). The 3 presentations seemed very professional, and I can really tell that everybody here is really really smart! Great presentation skills.

Then we saw what Keller really did to fix the situation (we were not so far off).

After the funny lecture, and 15 minutes break for lunch, we had the "Culture and Values lecture", really interesting stuff about business ethics, non-profit, and cultural differences. Of course there were some reading to do prior to the lecture, and there was a chinese fellow who did not read it and had the professor all over him.

At night we had a wonderful dinner (organized by Inna, my wife and another partner) with several of the Mint House residents, and other students who simply showed up - lot's of fun. We could discuss the first week, and some differences in cultures.

Saturday - Outer Bound

All of us went to the forest and did some group exercises in order to get to know each other. It was great. We actually joined with another group of 5, and spent the entire day playing leadership games with a facilitator monitoring us.

The first task was to tell someone about me for 1.5 minutes, and listen to him. Then to switch identities and talk to someone else about that person. We did the switch again, and we then we regrouped and describe our current identity to the entire group. It was funny to see how things got twisted - I had two brothers (although I had a brother and a sister), and someone was described as a musician (he simply said he like to sing), and another was looking for a partner (even though he/she had a partner already).

Then we had to construct a shield of david out of a huge looped rope. Not an easy engineering task. After that we had to climb a 5 meters wall using our own body. Later, we had to walk on ropes, and other fun (and difficult) tasks.

At night we had the official welcome party, sponsored by Bain and Company, so it was free of charge, in this chateau, and free drinks all night. It was a blast.

1 comment:

Dee said...

hey yareev! welcome to the insead bloggers united, didnt expect to see you here. Still waiting for my excel tips :)