Jun 27, 2007
On a personal, slightly less historic level, I met my first group of INSEADers last night. True to statistical form, between the five of us there were four nationalities present and the girls were outnumbered 3 to 2. After a few awkward introductions, we happily debated the pro's and con's of attending the Business Foundations Course, the best way to approach the recruitment process, and where the good parties were likely to be held. I was pleased to learn that my fellow admits shared my anxiety about the level and amount of classwork waiting for us come P1 and that, like me, none of them had started the pre-reading yet. A very promising start, I think... So now I can happily run off to the beach, books in suitcase, knowing that there will be at least a few familiar faces at Orientation.
On that note, dear readers, I leave you for a couple weeks while I catch some sun. Be good.
Jun 25, 2007
Change everything you are
And everything you were
Your number has been called
Don't let yourself down
And don't let yourself go
Your last chance has arrived
Best, you've got to be the best
You've got to change the world
And use this chance to be heard
Your time is now.
I take this opportunity to nominate this song as the official "Dean's List" theme tune for the J'08 class. (For those curious about the Dean's List, check out the youtube video posted by fellow blogger necromonger.)
Jun 23, 2007
There is a rather interesting study published yesterday about families, notably about the relative IQs of siblings. Apparently, first-borns have, on average, an IQ three points higher than that of their younger brothers and sisters. Something to do with the extra attention lavished on them by their parents before the rest of the brood comes along. According to the article in the NY Times, first-borns also have a tendancy to be responsible, disciplined high-achievers; whereas their siblings learn how to play the guitar, have more friends, start political and scientific revolutions and generally are way more cool.
This begs the question: how many INSEADers are first-borns?
On an entirely unrelated note, I did a little jump for joy when I looked at my spotted visitor map today. Not only are the little spots spreading faster than chickenpox on a kindergartner (don't want DTLF putting me to shame), but there is a new spot hovering above Alice Springs. Having spent some time in that "straight out of the far West, got to see it to believe it" community but a few months ago, the fact that someone there would read my blog tickles me pink. Dear Alice Springs reader, I don't know who you are, but thank you.
Jun 20, 2007
But it's back to the real world of pre-MBA life now. Pre-reading books arrived in the mail today; they are filled with bizarre mathematical equations with incomprehensible acronyms, and one of them doesn't even have any pictures. Groan. The new Harry Potter is coming out soon, though, maybe I'll read that instead (hey, you never know, quidditch could be an essential skill for INSEADers...)
Speaking of the real world, I overheard this from renowned intellect, David Hasselhoff, while zapping through the TV channels: "If our show (Baywatch) had moved there, it would have put Australia on the map."
Australians must be bummed that, because they said no to the red-suited babes, people think the big blob of land with kangaroos on it is actually New Zealand.
(and can I just say to DTLF who thought he/she was oh so clever: HA! I like my beers German, please)
Jun 15, 2007
On an INSEAD note, I still haven't received the pre-reading books I was hoping to skim through on the train, I have no idea if my first deposit to secure my spot has gone through, and am still undecided as to whether I should buy a new computer (hey, if I win the Lottery or something, I'll have to do something with that extra cash). I have, however, secured a spot on the "Vestibule" and eagerly checked out all my future classmates. Also read through some old posts discussing housing (how much easier would it have been if I'd had access to this two weeks ago), admin and social events. I'm struck by how friendly and eager to help everyone seems. Wonder if this outburst of generosity and love for their fellow man will wane somewhat after the first week of school...
Jun 13, 2007
Also checked off my 3-mile list of things to do before I run off on my pre-MBA holiday ("Holiday?", I hear my friends shout, incredulous, "but you haven't worked in a YEAR????!!!!!") is my loan application. It's official, I am in debt. A lot of it. And all it took was hours spent in traffic in the sweltering heat of my non-airconditioned car (yes, a Renault), and a casual, 30-min meeting which ended with me signing away my first-born. Ah, the joys of private post-graduate education...
Having gotten so much done, I was feeling pretty pleased with myself. Until my anonymous friend, "A", mentioned that I was probably one of the "older" INSEAD-ers. And so the panic rises again. Does that mean I won't get invited to any parties? What's the age cut-off between old INSEAD-ers and young INSEAD-ers anyway? Should I frantically start plucking grey hairs? Are my chances of getting a job with Bain after graduation inversely proportional to the number of wrinkles I have?
Jun 11, 2007
And then, today, I finally got the news I was waiting for: Fontainebleau it is! I am now officially an INSEAD J'08 admitted student. This means I can get started on all the fun admin stuff and finding either a loan or a great wad of cash under the sofa cushions... First step, though, before I end up spending P1 in a tent on the chateau grounds, is sorting accomodation. I have about 5 minutes to decide whether I want to live 20k from school and brave wild boars on winding country roads at 3am every day or if I'm prepared to spend a bit more to live in the town center - decisions, decisions.
Jun 9, 2007
Thanks to my very own Artemis (edit: thanks for catching the typo, that was supposed to be Aramis, of course), I now know that I am two weeks late to apply for the Business Foundations course, I didn't budget enough for books (having dropped my first €150 on pre-reading alone) and I need to purchase a variety of gadgets, the instruction manuals for which are longer than War and Peace (what the h&#% is reverse polish notation and why do I need it on a calculator?) And then there's that nagging feeling in the back of my head that perhaps those fancy degrees I obtained by waxing poetic on the intricacies of 16th cent. property law and other non-calculator-requiring subjects have not adequately prepared me for the challenge I am about to face. Hopefully I'll still be able to count on my fellow Mousquetaires once classes start...
Jun 8, 2007
Last week, I get the call that I've been admitted. (Fantastic!) After going on for 10 minutes about how wonderful my application was (really?!) I am told that it would be very nice if instead of starting in Fontainebleau, I went to Singapore. (Oh?) Apparently it's for my own good. (Ah.) Well, not actually, it's a question of there not being enough room. (Thought so.) So, what do I think? (Honestly, what I think is something along the lines of "Akgrstyapàidng%*$?????")
I hesitated, really I did. But then, I figured that since I was paying a not insignificant sum of money to this school, I should maybe stick to my guns on the preferred campus thing. Especially because I totally fell for the whole "we can't force you, it's completely your call" speech. Super, my call is Fontainebleau, then.
And that's where things all of a sudden got tricky. Lots of humming and hahing, well, we'll see what we can do, calls have to be made, stars checked for proper alignment, a few sacrificial lambs slaughtered, you understand... But we'll get back to you very soon, in a couple days, don't worry about it.
And still nothing. Hence the stress levels. Initially, it was just stress about how this would delay my loan application, my search for housing, my introduction into the NV holy land, my ability to get through any of the pre-reading (I don't even know what the pre-reading is yet? Fellow bloggers, help?!) Well, now the stress has escalated to: "oh jeez, I should have just said ok to Singapore, now they don't like me, I've messed up their numbers, they think I'm not a team player, that I have an attitude problem, they're going to change their mind about my admission and I'm going to have to go back to the job I was doing before and my former colleagues will look upon me with pity and disgust and my life will end...". They can't do that, right? Right????
(please excuse this interruption in our programming while I hyperventilate into a paper bag)
On a happier note, I was treated to culinary heaven yesterday by my (perhaps prematurely?) proud parents, AND I passed right by Raphael Nadal on the street. That made me feel better. Especially the dessert... and the foie gras... and the wine... and the close presence of a major tennis star... Well, it made me feel better yesterday, anyway.
Jun 6, 2007
We then made our way north to the Delta del Orenoco, stopping along the river's bank at Ciudad Bolivar, which felt like a Marquez novel prompting me to immediately fall in love with it (and this despite the fact that I had a bit of a mishap causing some nasty scars I still proudly display on my legs...)
The final part of the trip involved four days on a boat roaming through the delta and sleeping (yeah, right) in hammocks. The delta is famous for its birdlife, which is very impressive, except I'm personally not all that into birds... I was more interested in the contact we managed to have with the local Warao tribes, which explains why my favourite pictures from the Orenoco do not feature feathered and winged creatures in flight, but shrieking children playing in the water.
So, there you have it, my Venezuela escapade in brief. Hopefully there will be some concrete news re: campus to post soon, otherwise I'll just tell you 'bout the time I went to visit my grandmother and - ...
Jun 4, 2007
A few kinks to sort out before that life can begin, though. I finally got news of my admission four days ago, but I still don't know if I will be headed to Fontainebleau or Singapore in September. Not ideal, since as a R4 applicant, I'm already far behind my future classmates on obtaining loans, housing, a clue as to what is about to happen to me... I don't even have the sacred intra-net (NetVestibule) passcode yet. Feeling a bit miffed, excluded and slightly stressed, therefore; although honestly, even that can't put a damper on my good mood because, hey, I got in!!!