P2 began well, because I stayed home during the short break and prepared my readings. I also compiled a list of assignments due this period in a Google Docs spreadsheet for my groupmates. Our seniors weren’t joking when they told us P2 would be more hectic than P1. We have 6 subjects this period compared to 5 in P1, although there are also less sessions. We have many more graded assignments, including individual online polls which count for a small percentage of your grades.
While it is hectic I think it is a good idea to make us do more work consistently, so that we’re constantly revising what we’ve just learnt. The only subject where exams count for 100% is Corporate Finance. This means that teamwork is essential. Our group has had mixed levels of efficiency so far. On the plus side, we worked well for the Leading People and Groups exam in P1 as we all had a common goal - agree on the theme, split the workload and then merge our input. We also planned our roles in advance.
This period I had hoped that my schedule would give groupmates more advanced notice to volunteer as leader for specific assignments. However, this week nobody volunteered outright, and when there isn’t a clear leader we go in different directions. I am now contemplating ‘arrowing’ people by random selection, so at least someone will crack the whip! ;-)
This period, I hope to contribute more for Marketing and other subjects requiring ‘softer’ skills. Like I told one of my groupmates, this is the area I am most familiar with, and while my knowledge was gained on-the-job in a specialised field, I could offer a more creative perspective to complement the quantitative analysis provided by other groupmates. Of course, we all have to agree on the quantitative analysis in the first place or else we won’t make sense!
I had a nightmare about my makeup microecons exam which is this coming Monday. I dreamt I turned up for class but along the way it morphed into my primary school exam hall. My classmates seemed to be a mix from INSEAD and other schools in my past. They were all informed that the microecons exam would take place very soon, and I was the only one who wasn’t informed! I didn’t even have my cheat sheet (a list of formulas we can use in the exam) with me. Alarmed, I ran downstairs looking for people I could borrow notes from, weaving through the crowds in a corridor which somehow morphed into a row of ‘pasar malam’ shops (night market) selling clothes and other things. All this while time was ticking away and the dreaded exam moved closer…
It was a very strange dream. The only good thing is that usually when I dream of bad things, the reality isn’t as bad, and vice versa - when I dream of something good, usually the reverse occurs. So I hope the classmates who told me the microecons paper wasn’t too bad, weren’t bluffing. Assuming that I’m not taking a totally different paper from them.
This afternoon I settled some High Tech club event planning with my senior, the outgoing President. I will be taking over the reigns soon, and am thinking of changing the club’s name and widen its scope. We also need to reach out to the new P1s coming in January because we need a team, not a one or two man show.
This evening I prepared a business plan presentation for a new venture idea I have. It will be presented to classmates in the Entrepreneurs Club who will critique it and give advice. So far at INSEAD, the spirit for innovation is enthusiastic; the vast majority of classmates think I have a good idea going, although I need to reinforce its selling points.
Later on I was pleased to learnt that the Wall Street Journal is giving INSEAD students free online access. This is in addition to the free Financial Times online access we already have (I obtained it via the FT Facebook link, which requires activation via student email address). We already get a load of free FT newspapers every morning. This afternoon I went for training to use a very comprehensive and intuitive financial news system by a subsidiary of Standard and Poor. Some of us may go for free Bloomberg training as well. It’s great being a student in a top B-school because these financial news providers like baiting us with free trials, hoping that once we rejoin the workforce we will pay for their expensive services!
Even later on tonight I gave an interview to a journalist on a subject in which I’m viewed as a bit more of an expert, although I cannot divulge details until the news is published. At some points we talked about INSEAD as well, though I’m not sure if the school will be mentioned along with my quote.
Lastly I wanted to say thank you to all my readers who have been sending encouraging emails to me. I now get 1 or 2 a week from you. These are mostly the newly accepted who will soon be joining our ranks. It’s a pleasure to know that my insights are helpful, and you guys are partly the reason I keep on writing. I do my best to bring out the exact flavour of my experience, good and bad because that is how I believe blogging should be.
Look forward to the best year of your life!