Showing posts from September, 2007

A Break, Finally

Finally, I've managed to feel I actually have a break. I've spent the last few days at home with my folks and my siblings and a brief out of town trip with my significant other. I especially appreciated the time I was able to spend with my older brother, who came here from London to have a 3-week vacation of his own. To be honest, I was already resigned that my break was slowly slipping away at the start of the week. Thank goodness, I needed the few days off.

I think everyone in our class needs this break. My observation was that the class energy the week before the break was very low. There were a few case discussions that, I would say, are listless compared to the the ones we had at the Pre-MBA and the first couple of weeks. I hope the rest rejuvenates everyone.


I'll be talking at the first Search Engine Marketing conference here in the Philippines in less than two weeks. The event on Ocotber 9 & 10 at the Hotel Intercontinental in Makati is aptly called SEMCON 2007

What Vacation?

The one week break so far has not been a break at all, at least for me. I've spent the last few days working with some of my CAN group mates jump-starting our Marketing Management (MM) Marketing Strategy project, with little rest.

I'm starting to think I've forgotten how to take it slow and relax. :(


Open Invitation: I'm inviting everyone from the AIM community interested in NBA Fantasy Leagues to join the fantasy league I've been part of since the 2001-2002 season.


AIM at LinkedIn: If you're a LinkedIn user and an alumnus/alumna, a student, a faculty member or staff of the AIM, feel free to join the Asian Institute of Management group at LinkedIn. You may click the image below to bring you to the group invite page:

The AIM Blogger is now at BusinessWeek MBA Blogs

I am very pleased to announce that The AIM Blogger now appears at the BusinessWeek MBA Blogs.

Aptly titled The AIM Blogger at BusinessWeek, this edition of The AIM Blogger would contain excepts and capsules of this blog and would act as a jumping point for readers/subscribers of BusinessWeek. Given the free time we have this break, I figured it's a great opportunity extend the reach of The AIM Blogger. (Although, I doubt people will find my struggles in finance and economics an interesting read.)


While my other classmates are in Baguio, Boracay or Puerto Galera for the break, I'm just satisfied with a cozy, quiet week. I'll probably visit go to a short trip in some nice spot near Manila to relax.

Besides, with our nearing deadline in Marketing Management (MM) and quizzes in Language of Business (LOB) and Economics next week, I really don't think I can afford to spend that much time relaxing. ;)


I passed by the AIM campus and I had the good luck of getting a free sampli…

Tapped Out

If my stay in AIM is a TV series, this day would be the season-ender for the first season. Here's why I think so:
After today, us MBA freshies will have a one week break, where we will be back on October 1st.Also, this day also set-up what we have in store when we come back. We got our case packs and three new subjects will be introduced to us: Financial Management 1 (FM1), Operations Management (OM) and Management Control (MCP). The past few days have been full of tension, both from the academic and non-academic fronts. This situation is a perfect fit for Hollywood-style tension building-- lots of question marks, some bits of drama and intrigue. It makes you look forward what going to happen next.
With all this going on, I feel my energy level is at a low. From the school work point of view, we had a lot on our plate this past week: we had two Language of Business (LOB) quizzes, I had my speech in Management Communication (MC) and covering ground for our CAN group's Marketing M…

World Trade Organization Director-General Pascal Lamy in AIM

Pascal Lamy, the Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO) was here at the Asian Institute of Management to give a talk/lecture on "The Doha Development Agenda (DDA) and Aid for Trade Efforts to Develop Fairer Rules for Developing Countries." His talk was held at the Stephen Fuller Room and was attended by students from the MBA, MM (Master in Management) and MDM (Master in Development Management) programs. Also in attendance were diplomats, trade negotiators and folks from APEC. (Interestingly, no media)

Some points I remember from Mr. Lamy's talk were about the challenges of the WTO, particularly the ensuring of wider sharing of the benefits of globalization. Another issue is the governance of globalization. The dilemma is since globalization is a worldwide phenomenon, the current governance structure is on a local level, there is a disjoint in what is happening to what should happen.

Mr. Lamy recommended elements to correct this issue. The first is the esta…


In my college days, it was joke was that my university will let you graduate if you commit murder, but will not let you if you commit plagiarism. Undeniably, there is a big gulf between taking someone's life and failing to attribute the sources of your work, but I realized the context of the situation-- the university is an academic institution therefore the gravest crime anyone can commit in that setting is to undermine the academic integrity of the institution.

So, why is it that every once in a while we see these headlines in the news: "34 MBA students punished for cheating," "MBAs: The Biggest Cheaters," and "MBA students expelled in wake of cheating incident." Are the ethics of MBA students (including myself) skewed and getting ahead by all means is an acceptable mindset?

Here in the Asian Institute of Management, cheating is classified as "Academic Dysfunctional Behavior". And to be honest, during my stay here so far, the school has comm…

Cocktails with the President

After the debacle that was the third Language of Business (LOB) exam, we had a scheduled cocktail with the President of the Asian Institute of Management, Francis G. Estrada.

The brief event started with a short talk by Mr. Estrada on the "New Asia," citing the new role of the region in the global economy. He also stressed how on the roles of Asian managers and entrepreneurs will be vital. The President's talk was full of insights, but what I found equally interesting was the Question and Answer portion that followed.

The Q&A was kicked off by Neil Risos by asking about AIM's decision to cut the MBA program from 24 months to 16 months. Mr. Estrada replied that there was a global trend of shortening the MBA and the decision was done with a lot of thought. He said that the academic brain trust of AIM was able to compress the parts and remove redundancies in the 24-month program and they are closely monitoring the progress of the situation.

I then asked about Mr. Estra…

Burdened with Adversity

I love Financial Accounting.


Today gave me another reason to look up to finance folks. We had our third exam for our Language of Business (LOB) which focused on bonds and stocks. I have to say my previous results of 28/40 (70%) for the first exam and 22/30 (73%) for the second exam will not be replicated or even be in the vicinity of my exam today. The lack of time preparing coupled with the complicated topic is a recipe for a forgettable exam score.

This is probably the first exam here in AIM that matches the Engineering Science (ES) exams I had in U.P. Diliman in terms of pure difficulty. In ES, we are given three to four mind-melting problem solving questions where we to solve in 2-3 hours. For this exam, we are given an hour to answer 30 questions, half of which are relating three finance problems. Wrong answers will not get partial credit. (Ack!) While we had our trusty spreadsheet apps available, if your laptop fails you, you are screwed.

Like I said, my respect for finance peo…

Cubs' Night, Part 2

Here are some more images of the AIM Cubs' Night last September 7, 2007 (taken from Cheska Herrera's camera):

Party Time (from top left, clockwise): Mark Ong, Nikhil Bansal, Nikhil Ray, Dilip Mansukhani, Cheska Herrera, Bingo Tongco, Diamond Uy, Me, and Ena Liza Ang:
Watcing the Cubs' Night program (left to right): Starrie Sun, Diamond Uy, Me, Bingo Tongco, Neil Risos (top row), Karen Sumcio, Nina Laquindanum, Cheska Herrera and Jen Valenzuela:
Party people (left to right): Dilip Mansukhani, Cheska Herrera, Nikhil Karira and Nikita George:
Luau Party revelers:
AIM Girls (left to right): Ena Liza Ang, Connie Banaag and Starrie Sun:
MBA students having fun: (top row, left to right) Jen Valenzuela, Bingo Tongco, Frank Shrope, Mark Chan and John Ray; (bottom row, left to right): Paolo Tomas, Johnson Gotamco, Cheska Herrera, Nina Laquindanum, Howie Schmidt, Karen Sumcio, Diamond Uy, Me and Starrie Sun:
MBA students know how to have fun (left to right): Jen Valenzuela, Me, Neil Risos, …

Cubs' Night, Part 1

We had our Cubs' Night last September 7, 2007 at the Zen Garden and it was a luau-themed party thrown by the seniors. People had a great time and, more importantly, were able to unwind a bit amidst the stress of studying. (Yay!) It also meant we did not have any WAC for this Friday (Hooray!)

So what is the Cubs' Night? It is a tradition in AIM where the seniors would throw a welcome party to the juniors. Seniors are referred to as Tigers and Juniors are fondly called Cubs, thus the name of the event. Correspondingly, we first years will throw a party called Tigers' Night as a send-off to the seniors at some point next year.

I literally rocked at the event as my classmate Pia Sanedrin and I opened the event with an acoustic-rock performance of Alanis Morissette's Head Over Feet and The Cranberries' Linger. Here are some photos from Cheska Herrera:
Pia (right) and I were rockin' the house.

The performance was good and the crowd was very generous.
I'll probably sha…

Out of Commission

I've been out sick for the last few days and it caused me to miss two days worth of classes. That's a lot in terms of the covered topics, especially in the Language of Business (LOB) and Quantitative Analysis (QA) classes. It's good that I'm a badass in QA, but very bad that I'm a wimp in LOB. I have a lot of catching up to do, no thanks to getting hospitalized.

The fun, however, started when I got out of the hospital. I learned from my dorm roommates who are seniors that they heard of a news of a first year MBA student who collapsed and had to be carried out of AIM to be brought to the nearest hospital (which is the Makati Medical Center). That story, apparently, triggered a slight scare that prompted some students to have Bird Flu shots. I can't blame them, but that's the rumor machine running for ya.

With that, I started a joke about my condition when people were asking what I was diagnosed with. I just replied, "I got infected with The AIM Virus.&quo…

Accounting is a Game and I don't know the Rules

Our Language of Business (LOB) second quiz is fast approaching and I'm not that confident with what I know as of now. The topics include Revenue and Monetary Assets, Cost of Sales and Inventories and Non-monetary Assets. (Ack! The non-Finance guy in me is very afraid.)

As our teacher Prof. Larry Tan said countless times, accounting is a subject that really makes little sense-- It's a subject defined by conventions and rules that you don't need to think sometimes, just know what other people are doing. From my background as an Engineering graduate, knowing a problem in and out is what I've been accustomed to and this rules-based approach would probably take me years to master. My performance also hasn't really been dazzling. I feel my Class Participation (CP) is mediocre at best.

Another beef I have with financial accounting is the multiple of interpreting and recognizing when you are making money (revenue). I have to admit, I had a rather simplistic financial world v…