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Showing posts from January, 2008

Live Blogging at SWS Surveys: 2007 in Review

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I'm live blogging here at the Soriano Hall of the Asian Institute of Management for a lecture organized by the AIM Policy Center. The lecture, entitled SWS Surveys: 2007 in Review, is the 73rd lecture of the Globalization Lecture Series.

The main speaker of the event is Dr. Mahar Mangahas of the Social Weather Stations (SWS), one of the biggest and most respected poll organizations in the Philippines. It's interesting to note that The AIM and SWS have been presenting the annual summaries of the SWS surveys for the last seven years.

Dr. Mangahas highlighted the key national surveys of public opinion SWS ran in 2007, and there are interesting findings:
Hunger in the Philippines reached a record high in 2007
2007 was an election year in the Philippines and it showed-- people were very much interested it the national Senatorial elections and local Barangay elections.Filipinos were generally indifferent to global eventsFilipinos followed closely the rising of oil prices. I find this na…

Business War Game!

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Our MBA batch just had our very first business war game for our Development of the Enterprise (DE) class. What's the war game all about? Competitive Intelligence.
The game we played is called Operation: Teltech and it consists of four rounds where in a group of five students represented a telecommunications company with starting market share points in the industry. The basic objective was to allot certain points to implement your team's strategy-- to "attack" another team to gain market share points, to "defend" your position to prevent other teams to get your market share, and to "expand" by tapping into growth markets outside of your opponents. There are more complications in the game such as varying market potential and the time pressure.
My team represented a company that started with 16% market share, thus it wasn't the market leader-- more of like a middle-of-the-pack player with a niche in one of the five service segments in the industry.…

Q & A with Yvonne Larcher

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I recently interviewed Yvonne Larcher, an exchange student from Vienna who was recently part of AIM's Internationnal Student Exchange Progam(ISEP):

The AIM Blogger (TAB): Hi Yvonne! Tell us something about yourself: your academic and professional background, interests.
Yvonne Larcher (YL): My name is Yvonne Larcher and I study at Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration. Before starting my studies I have worked as an accountant in various accounting companies in the west of Austria for 4 years. Personally, I like traveling, meeting new people/cultures (to learn from them), chatting and a lot more.

The last trimester I was able to visit the Philippines and to attend my exchange semester at AIM.


TAB: What factors did you consider in choosing AIM as your international exchange school?
YL:One factor was that before coming to the Philippines, I have never been to Asia. My intention was to spend the exchange semester in Asia. So I started a selection process with the focus…

In Defense of the WAC

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Our MBA batch recently held a forum with WSGSB Associate Dean Prof. Ricky Lim, MBA Program Director Prof. Mau Bolante and the MBA Program staff. The purpose of the forum was for the MBA students to give feedback on the program so far, particularly on the quantitative subjects, clarifications on the Action Consultancy (AC) and the Management Research Report (MRR).

The class feedback has gripes that I agree with, but there is one sentiment that I totally disagree with: The class wants to have no more Written Analysis of Cases or WACs. What bull! I believe the WACs are what separates AIM MBA grads from "cookie-cutter" MBA programs. I believe that is what toughens us up and I believe the WACs have contributed to the development of the MBA class significantly.

As of now, we have done 11 cases for the WACs and weare slated for one more. Prof. Ricky Lim has stated that he will consider the suggestion. My appeal to my classmates and Prof. Ricky Lim: please stop and think about this. T…

Feedback Like These Make Blogging Worth It

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I recently received this from my email, with a subject line that says "Thank you!":
Hi Regnard, I just wanted to say thank you! I've been reading your blog: http://theaimblogger.blogspot.com/ and it's really given me some insight as to what to expect at AIM. I have been accepted at AIM for the 2008 MBA program and have been a little curious as to what to expect. Your blog has certainly been an interesting read. Thanks again. Note: I did not include the sender's name for privacy purposes.

Wow. The email is really simple but I found it very powerful. Blogging my experiences in AIM has been more of a channel of self-expression of my reflections and gripes of the daily MBA grind. I knew people would see this blog and hopefully appreciate the work not just by me, but also the whole MBA class is doing. The mere fact that a person was affected by this blog positively in a way validates the effort that I've put into this blog.

When I was looking at applying at AIM, I rea…

The 360°Consumer

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I recently attended a very interesting talk hosted by the AIM Policy Center. The title of the forum was The 360° Consumer, and it is the 72nd installment of the Globalization Lecture Series.

The talk had four parts-- the main lecture by Junie Del Mundo of EON, reactions to the lecture by Prof. Jose Faustino of AIM and Ricky Alegre of the Philippine Marketing Association, an open forum and the synthesis of the lecture from Prof. Federico Macaranas of the AIM Policy Center (He's also our professor in Macroeconomics).

So, who is the 360°Consumer? The focus of Junie Del Mundo's lecture is the Millennial Generation (the youth born between 1980-1995 ) who consumes media via the the traditional and the new channels with regularity. He went to described the buying capacity of the youth (Php 37 Billion!), how we consume media (preferring the internet over TV). describing our attitudes (skepicism, techno-savvy, high expectations to name a few) and how to reach out to us.
The 360°Consumer: …

Open Hand, Striking Fist

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I've been enthusiastic about our General Management and Ethics (GME) class since our very frst session. Our professor, Prof. Jesus Gallegos, is very good and the topics are very interesting.

For the first few class meetings, we have been talking about Mission and Vision of the firm. We have discussed cases (IBM, Shangri-La, Johnson & Johnson) where the mission and vision of the company was tested, formulated and implemented. As an assignment after the cases, we were asked to come up with our management framework, a la Michael Porter's Five Forces, based on our understanding and learnings from the cases.

Here's what I came up with: The Open Hand, Striking Fist Framework of Mission & Vission Cascading (or simply, The Open Hand, Striking Fist Model). My framework is based on how a firm would communicate and implement the company's mission and vision to the members of the organization depending on external stimuli and nature of the company.

Here's a slide show for…

AIM Preview 2008

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The Asian Institute of Management is having a series of talks called The AIM Preview, where the talks give potential MBA, MM and MDM students a taste of what's it like to study in AIM. Apart from the admission requirements, talks also focus on the way of life in AIM, a primer on the Case Method and a few tips on surviving business school. Faculty and students like me will be there to answer questions as well.

A good thing about these talks is that they are also mini-seminars on management and leadership. The last Preview I attended focused on the power and wisdom of groups. If I'm not mistaken, the next set of talks will feature management topics from management guru Peter Drucker. Those mini-seminars are definitely worth any would-be manager or leader's time.

I invite all those who are interested in pursuing business graduate studies to attend The AIM Previews. Each talk is very interesting and a good way to research to which MBA program you will attend. I attended an AIM P…

Field Trip to Yakult Philippines

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Our MBA class recently went to Yakult Philippines in Calamba, Laguna for a plant tour and visit. The activity is part of our Operations Management (OM) class under Prof. Nani Roxas. Our class went on two separate trips and our section went in the morning.

This is one of the few activities I was able to bring my camera so I'll probably have the images below speak for themselves:

Early birds, before the bus left (L-R): Shu Wang, Karen Sumcio,Neil Risos, Kristine Duque, Anton Del Rosario, Paolo Tomas & Ha Kim Lien)

Ready to roll out! (L-R): Prof. Nani Roxas, Shu Wang, Pia Sanedrin, Neil Risos, Julie Chua, Nina Laquinadum,Paolo Tomas, Ha Kim Lien, Deepti Srivastava, Shonal Jadia)

Yakult, here we come! (F-B): Karen Sumcio, Neil Risos, Rosie Avila, Kristine Duque, John Ray, Anton Del Rosario)

Pair #1: Paolo Tomas & Cheska Herrera

Pair #2: Rajat Gorawara & Julie Chua

The Yakult Plant: 7 million bottles of Yakult are produced here every day.

Ready for briefing: Our class was steriliz…

Vox Populi

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Yeah, I heard you.

I ran a poll to know what you folks would like to see more of here in The AIM Blogger and the topic that got the most votes is AIM admissions, followed by AIM students. It makes sense because the AIM Admissions Office started the application for the next batch of MBA students already.

So what's in store for The AIM Blogger in the next few postings? Well, there will be more coverage on admission-related information, plus some insights for prospective students. Another is I'll try to feature more of the students here, from the MBA, MM and MDM programs. Of course, there will still be the occasional happenings in and outside the AIM classrooms.

I'm taking a cue from that poll despite the fact that it only had 14 votes. Why? It's a nod to everyone who has read this blog religiously and shared their thoughts by commenting on my blog posts. Besides, Marketing Management (MM) taught me to love my current reader base; after all it is more costly to retain a lost…

Perspective

I received a forwarded email from Ramon M. de Vera, Chairman of the AIM Alumni Association (Philippine Chapter):
We received with profound sorrow news of the death of Bob Chandran in a helicopter crash in Indonesia yesterday morning. At that time, AIM MBM class 73 was in Boracay celebrating its 35th anniversary. We remembered Bob as being just a year behind our class. And almost instinctively there were anecdotes and remembrances about Bob who was well regarded.

There will be tribute coming from his friends and associates from all over the world for Bob. He lived a life full of challenges rewarded with one achievement after another. We join many who will pause and remember him and his family in prayer. As the alumni of AIM share with pride in the achievements of Bob, we now also share in the grief of his family.

The AIM family will hold a memorial service for Bob Chandran with details to be announced later. For now, we assuage our grief with the thought that Bob lived his life ful…

New Year, New Gripes

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It's 2008 and the new year brings a lot of new things for our MBA class.

First, we are starting a new term. With the new term, we have new subjects such as Financial Management 2 (FM2), Development of the Enterprise (DE) and General Management (GME). We have yet to meet all of our professors for the new subjects, but we have already had a class with Prof. Gracia Ugut in FM2. Also, the new term still has favorites like Management Communication (MC), Marketing Management (MM) and Operations Management (OM).

Speaking of Operations Management, we have an upcoming midterms tomorrow and there will be a few fortunate folks who will be exempted from taking the exam. The exempted list includes MBA students who got a grade of P+ or higher. The basis of the exemption is the much-vaunted, oft-maligned Class Participation (CP) and the results of the QDP* Exercise done during the last term.

The exemption list itself has started murmurs around the batch about how the list was drawn up-- why are so…

2007: An MBA Student Looks Back

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It's 2008 and I'd like to take this time to look back at 2007 for us first year MBA students at AIM.

July:
While not the official start of the MBA program, July was the month of the Pre-MBA program where I met most of my classmates.The Pre-MBA days were also known for its blistering pace in the classes.
I remember I was seated next to Nina Laquindanum and Jen Valenzuela on the first day. We were all together on the same group discussion during the application.First Indian that I met: Archit KulkarniFor some reason, "Clear as mud" became Prof. Larry Tan's catch phrase.
August:
The MBA's official start.Probably the days of "making a good impression," in and out the classroom.Notable activity of the month: The team building exercise where we had our first set of CAN groups.More notable activity of the month: Our very first WAC!The "Young MBA Graduate" phenomenon startsSeptember:
I got sick and heard people calling me "the guy who collapsed,&qu…