Taking a look back

20 10 2009

A week ago I entered into a new chapter: after the MBA year, newly employed with UCG. (Actually I am not really employed yet but that is another -less interesting even if somewhat bizarre- story.) So maybe this is a good a time to look back and of course look at the bottom line, if possible.

First of all, as in my good old days of regular blogging activity I looked for some images to illustrate my blog post with and I found two excellent things the first of which being this one below:
MBA outcome?

And wondering how to go on about reviewing my MBA experience I soon realized that it could be a good thing to enlist the help of an expert in back-looking, and who could be better suited for this than good old Frankie-Boy who has written the inofficial anthem of all back-lookers some quotes of which I am using to guide myself on this sentimental journey. However, I hope I am not facing the final curtain on a short term so I’ll have to start somewhere in the middle of the song.

“…I’ve lived a life that’s full,
I’ve traveled each and ev’ry highway…”

Yes, this was a life lived in full by my standards. Could have done some more partying and some less studying I guess, but then I remember Friday nights when no one wanted to go out because everyone was so busy working for the MBA (That’s true, I even blogged about this misery, one can still read it). I have also done a number of things for the first time in my life, which becomes increasingly harder to do as one gets older.
And yes, I did my fair share of travelling and exploring Italy during this year as all enthhusiastic followers of this blog may confirm.

“…Regrets I’ve had a few,
but then again too few to mention…”
Again true. I stand by my choices. Yes of course, with the knowledge of now one could do things better facing the same questions, but then was then and now is now so WTF.

“…I did what I had to do,
And saw it through without exemption…”
In terms of the MBA that is a good way of putting it. I really do hope my way of “seeing it through without exemption” was acceptable and beneficial for those working with me and that they forgive me the moments in which it may not have been so.
Seeing it through to me also means in the context of this past year truly letting go of something old to have the opportunity for something new to begin. That can be hard to do at first, but becomes a bit easier when doing it repeatedly. There is a wonderful story describing and explaining this phenomenen I was introduced to only very recently called “The Parable of the Trapeze”, you can read it here. Strongly recommended!!!

“…I’ve loved, I’ve laughed and cried,
I’ve had my fill, my share of losing…”
Yes. Emotionally all of this has accompanied me through this year. And this is where I have to bow my head and say THANK YOU to each and everyone who has been present throughout this year -physically or just remotely- for being such an inspiration and a part of my life!!

“…For what is a man, what has he got
If not himself then he has naught…”
Hmm, would certainly be interesting to follow that train of thought but that might be taking it a bit too far for this humble “Bologna experience” blog, as it says on the headline. Further discussions must remain reserved to long evenings with good friends and maybe with a lot of decent red wine . And they must remain unprinted. OBBIVIOUSLY!

So in the end the first class of the world famous and best Retail Banking MBA programs have graduated, to find themselves amidst a league of other extraordinary thinkers and scholars, academically decorated with the very same three letter code. To prove that point I am using the second result of my image search which I have mentioned before.

And for those new-MBAs looking back in anger, I offer some consolation: true, a Harvard MBA might get you a good job, but does it prove you are smart? Does it prove you are a good person? I say no to both. And also for that my second picture shall serve as evidence.

 

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Harvard sucks, Bologna rules!!





What else happened in May

31 05 2009

It’s Sunday May 31st (HAPPY BIRTHDAY, GRETA!) and I finally make it back to duetorri. These past four weeks have gone by in a rush that I find hard to describe – a lot of news and paths determined, a lot of things to do and a lot of emotions have kept me so busy, that I did not take the time to find the quiet moments that I need to write some coherent sentences on this blog.

In the week after my Rome trip we had a meeting where finally our exact locations and positions for the internships were disclosed. A bit more than three weeks before they are supposed to start. Hmm. Draw your own conclusions. And in the week after that the last set of exams has taken place. No big surprises there.

After the last exam we directly went for a weekend trip to Livorno to celebrate the time spent together and enjoy each others’ company without having to submit a teamwork report afterwards… and Radu and his wife Antonella were wonderful hosts in their city and their house – thanks again!!! In the gallery below there are some impressions – unedited, just as caught on camera… enjoy!

Livorno Weekend
(Click for link to gallery!)

The final week started off with a visit to “the headquarters” in Milan. Some senior members of management gave some speeches (including, yes, Alex the Great), we had a nice lunch and then some more speeches and then we travelled back. Does not deserve a gallery, but a nice group picture:

The UniCredit MBA team (almost complete)

The UniCredit MBA team (almost complete)

And finally three days ago we celebrated goodbye at Alma school with a barbecue in the “secret garden” and a chance to dance in the grotto. I only had my phone with me – but sharp, clear pictures are a nothing but a bourgeois concept! 😉
I feel there is not really a lot I can write about. For all of you who were there you will recall the feeling, for all others I probably can not explain…

Farewell BBQ
(Click for link to gallery!)

So my time remaining in Italy is six days and counting. Which I feel truly sad about even though I have much less entered into Italian life than I had hoped for in the beginning.





Deflation – a redefinition

21 04 2009

For some days now I have been wondering how to best characterize the current atmosphere in this MBA program and now I think I have found a word that gives a good hint – deflation.

The “disambiguation page” of Wikipedia offers the right clues:
(1)Deflation commonly refers to a decrease in the general price level.” Yes. Now substitute ‘price’ with enthusiasm, engagement, energy. On one hand I think it is a logical consequence, that after 7 months of quite intensive work at the university people are tired and to some degree worn out. The good weather period of the year has begun, people’s interests change. It is not surprising that all of this shows some results. However, given that we are such a rather small group of people I think it is interesting how often we have cases of sickness – speak about a “decrease in the general energy level”.
However it is still up to us to make the best out of the remaining 5 weeks that we will spend here together – this is a pro-individual responsibility blog!! 😉

But let’s go on with the Wikipedia:
(2) “Deflation may also refer to: A release or escape of air or gas from an inflatable, resulting in its shrinking or collapsing.” Now that is interesting. Was something (over-)inflated here that is now shrinking, even collapsing? A sense of competition forced upon the class, with the distant incentive of choices for an internship or even a job offer, maybe? Was there the high pressure of an air of pretence, that is now escaping its shrinking container and making some weird sounds while doing so? And will at some point someone have the coglioni to deflate their ego to enter a critical and constructive dialogue?

Balloon, fully inflated

Balloon, fully inflated

Ah yes, before I forget – one reason for being inflated at some point can be:
LOTS of hot air!





Amsterdam and beyond

13 04 2009

Somehow this ended up to be a busy Easter week and the Amsterdam trip already feels like ages ago. One main reason for that might be that the subject of the week was the revelation of our whereabouts for the internship. But before we go into that: HERE IS MY Amsterdam PHOTO GALLERY (Link to Picasa in the picture).

Amsterdam excursion

So what about the BIG news: here come the new due torri….

Due torri @ Munich

Due torri @ Munich

Yes. Whoever finally took the decision has decided I should go and work at U**Credit’s local HQ in Munich @ HypoVereinsbank. What exactly I am supposed to do there and what part of the bank I should be with I do not know yet. So at the moment I feel a bit torn, on one hand I very much regret having to leave Italy, as I am just getting into the life (and the language!) here. On the other hand, some hints about what I should do there sounded very interesting indeed and therefore there might be some quite positive side to the story. Let’s see…

Members of the MBA class will be sent to: Milan, Munich – just me :-(, Zagreb, Belgrade, Bucharest, Moscow, Istanbul – congratulations, J.! and some will stay in Bologna. From the geographic point of view I would say that 75% of preferences have been fulfilled by the program management, what everyone will do in their location we do not know yet.





Live blogging (and an update)

10 03 2009

After answering some questions we now have some free time before our evening session on organizational design. The questions to be answered were: “Which one thing would you like to change in the next term compared to this one, if possible?”, asked by our tutor (Class answer: “The scheduling.” Tutor: “Well we can’t change that.”)

The other three questions were asked in the Planning & Controlling exam and deserve no further discussion.

First details of the highly secret Term III schedule have been disclosed. One week easter holidays from Wednesday evening to Wednesday morning. The most exciting moment of the week is still awaiting us: the ***Credit person that will speak about internships/projects. Hopefully he/she has some significant infos. Three days and three exams to go.

And without any sarcasm, some spiritual thought:

Lord grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.”

St. Francis of Assisi
(Maybe visiting his place would be an idea for the easter period, click for link)


Late night addition: Speaking about matrix organization structure I suddenly remembered how unreal the business world sometimes seems to me. As to quote “The Matrix”….

The Matrix - red pill or blue pill?

The Matrix - red pill or blue pill? And the truth?!

“…There’s something wrong with the world, you don’t know what it is, but it’s there – like a splinter in your mind, driving you mad…”
(Click here for a short clip)

But that should not go uncommented with a more philosophical side note:
“Truth is the invention of a liar.”
Heinz von Foerster
(Physicist and major contributor to constructivism, click for link)





Status report, close to end of term 2

5 03 2009

/mode: sarcasm on/

Exams, postponed exams, lessons, postponed lessons, on short notice newly inserted lessons and to top it off various teamwork assignments… need I say more? No! It’s the ***Credit MBA theme park powered by *lma!

What have we learned today: There are quite advanced methods of designing Org structures, but our course does not feature enough time to teach us. (Same goes for consumer analysis, by the way). Compliance is a colourful and fascinating new addition to the world of banking. There is a limit to the degree how bored you are allowed to look (you did not do anything else, did you, J.? Bad girl! ;-P)

Therefore the actual status as described via a picture.

Climbing the career ladder

Climbing the career ladder - MBA helps!

/mode: sarcasm off/

That – and maybe even more so an evening listening to Pink Floyd – was some relief, I feel better now. 9 days to go!





Pre-Christmas

13 12 2008

Life has been quite crazy the last days. Except for my little escape to Venice there was not much else than team works and preparing for exams – we have four next week, one everyday from Monday to Thursday.

Christmas feeling !?

Christmas feeling !?

So strangely enough in my year off work the Adventszeit is even less relaxed than the years before – there was no time to get into a Bologna pre-christmas lifestyle. If there is such a thing. While Austria gets snowed under and Rome gets flooded, here we are facing constant light-to-medium rain for days and days and days…

Somehow the people in the house next door have created the right scenery for all this – a red chain of lights draped over a hanger for coats or other clothes standing in a tiled enclosed backyard.

Now it’s saturday, 10.30 p.m. and everyone I asked to gor for a beer is working on some presentations…