Saturday, December 1, 2007

P2 Academic Overview

P2 was definitely busier than P1. You might have wondered where I disappeared in the past couple of weeks. But no worries - I am still here (tired but breathing), writing to you about all the stuff that you need to know about INSEAD, the greatest business school in the Fontainebleau area (and the world).

So what did we have in this period: More courses, less time, more team assignments, less time, more CV preparation, less time, more stress, well you get the picture...

We study 6 courses this period, but 5 of them are only 12 sessions (Foundation of Marketing is the only one with 16). All of the courses together give a much clearer view of the business world.

We do a lot of cases (some from Harvard, some from IMD, and some - yes - from INSEAD). So I got to intimately know various companies so far. Let me name the most well known: Coca Cola, Pepsico, Starbucks, Wal-Mart, Black&Decker, IKEA, IBM, Dell, Apple, Cirque de Soleil, Nintendo, easyJet, American Airlines, Zara, Marks&Spencer, Ralph-Lauren, and the list goes on and on.

We learnt how to analyze business problems with relation to cost measurements, allocation and control; marketing and branding; option pricing; process and bottleneck problems, to name a few.

INSEAD had a very big impact on strategy with the invention of "Blue Ocean Strategy", and you might want to read the book about it (with the same name). For this achievement the Strategy department here at INSEAD is very strong, and the course of Strategy is taught seperately from the Marketing course.

In the Processes and Operations course we had read the book "The Goal" by Dr. Eliyahu Goldratt (an Israeli!), which is written as an easy-reading and demonstrates the constraints theory very effectively. I recommend the book (you will probably have to read it anyhow if you study an MBA), and I enjoyed it very much (it didn't take long to read).

I must say that in most of the courses the level of teaching and the material is at a very high level, and the classes are taught in a interesting and inspiring ways. The professors make tremendous efforts to deliver the material in a fun and effective way (Some of the classes we laugh so hard that you might think it is a stand-up comedy show).

However, we have a large amounts of readings, and some of the professors use the cold-calling method. Especially in the Managerial Accounting course, in which we have a professor from HBS, who use the case method devoutly. The case method means in practice that for each class you must read a story about a company, and analyse several exhibits in order to answer several questions regarding an issue. Then the class is more of a discussion fascilitated by the professor. The method has proven itself in my eyes as effective, though very strict.

Once the period is over I will give a more thorough review of the different courses, so you will know in advance what to look for.

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