Monday, December 24, 2007

P2 Ended - Go P3

P2 is over. 4 month have passed so fast, in a blink of an eye. Now I have some time to tell you about some of the important things you need to know from a p2 perspective,

We studied 6 core courses in p2, still in the same sections and study groups as in p1. This was a very busy period, and academics took most of our lives.

Corporate Finance Policy (aka Finance 2)
We had a brilliant professor, who taught us (almost) all about options and corporate finance. This was the class to see many paniced faces who had no idea what's going on in class. The professor was so good, that there were no compaints - everybody understood that it's their own damn fault that they don't understand what in god's name is the difference between a short put and a long forward, and between tender offers and right issues. Lucky for us in almost all study groups there was one finance guru who solved the problem sets (or at least we could take the answers from the finance guru of other study group, and reverse engineer the answers). The exam was super difficult - the professor had a vision of 50 average with 25 points standard diviation (so all you need to pass the exam was show up).

Managerial Accounting (Harvard Style)
This course deals with analyzing costs of things, and how to better plan the budgets of corporation. The professor was very much influenced by the case method of HBS, and in every class he intimidated another poor student into spilling the content of the latest case of another failed company somewhere in Argentina or Sweden. The course was quite good, and we even touched some of the more juicy stories of businesses from previous years like the Enron energy fiasco, and Ford's failure to deal with excess capacity.

Processes and Operations Management (POM POM POM)
6-sigma? Queues? Inverntory Management? All of these were taught in an entertaining way, using fun cases like Zara, Shloldice Hospital (for hernias), Ralph Laurence, Xenon and others. The course is built around the smart book "The Goal" (a nice read). We even shot ping pong balls using an XPult catapult (to test its quality).

Strategy (Camel Comedy Club)
Strategy is a pretty abstract term. In order to teach it you must be a very skillful professor. We had one: a very funny and original guy, who gave us the framework to think in a strategic way. 90 minutes of laughter. He used the Cirque de Soleil as an example to Blue Ocean Strategy (an INSEAD invention), the italian mafia (from godfather) as a family business who wants to expand to pharma (should it go to a JV with the other mafia and share resources?), Formula 1 (to explain how to be a center of a business), and the music industry (as an example for industry evolution). In addition we used cases for easyGroup, Apple, Dell, and many more. A fun fun course and I truely learnt a lot. Unfortunately, the Teva case was cancelled (which was the only Israeli company in the menu of p1 and p2).

Foundation of Marketing (or how to market a small grocery store in London, Canada)
This course was not as successful as the others, although we did cover a lot of topics, such as advertisement (using Virgin histerical commercial, and Intel Inside evolution of commercial), branding (using Black&Decker and Wal Mart), and others. For an assignment we had to do a marketing strategy to Jill's Table, a high end grocery store in the middle of London, Ontario (mmm, very large international scale as appropriate to INSEAD). The exam was about the Chinese Li Ning sportsware company, who had to build a brand competing against Adidas and Nike.

Leading Organization (aka LO)
Better than LPG from p1, this course gave us the foundations to think about organizations in 3 percpectives: Strategic Design, Culture, and Political. We did several simulations, last one was a computer simulation in which we had to convince an entire organization to implement a significant change. The most controvercial moment in class was the debate about Milgram's experiment, in which a person had to ask questions another person, and to punish the latter for a failed answer (to teach us about misuse of power). We had a most dreadful group exam, in which for 4 hours we had to write a 22 pages (!!!) paper about a company with problems.

It was busy, but we learnt a lot about business, less quantitative more qualitative, and many many Harvard cases.

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