Showing posts from July, 2008

Congratualtions to the new Chartered Financial Analysts!

I'm proud to announce that ten of my classmates passed the very challenging Chartered Financial Analyst Level 1 exam last June. I heard the exam was very difficult that it makes the Financial Management exams a cake walk.:P

Here's the list of our finance whiz kids (in alphabetical order):
Saurabh AryaNitin BhagnariRiteesh Bhargava
Pankaj Dhawan
Gaurav GoyalGaurav KwatraAnton Ng
Gaurav SharmaSandeep Sharma
Amit VijayCongratulations to all! :D

Shaping California's Energy Future

I attended a lecture of the AIM Policy Center's Energy Policy Series entitled "Shaping California's Energy Future: Protecting Economy and Environment" and the guest lecturer was Terrence O'Brien, Deputy Director of the California Energy Commission.

I attended the talk because energy is such a hot topic these days-- with the rising cost of fuel, the mad scramble to find the best alternative energy resource and its effects on the world economy and other markets. Mr. O'Brien gave an overview of the California government's initiatives in promoting "Green" energy, i.e. renewable energy and the specific programs the state governments are undertaking. There was also a discussion on what the Philippine government is doing in this front and members of the audience were given copies of the "Renewable Energy Act of 2008."

The talk was very informative and it raised issued of "food vs. fuel," or the use of land to cultivate the necessary…

QS Top MBA Recruiter Survey: AIM #11 in Asia-Pacific Business Schools

Thanks to Kapil Dhar, I found the results of the QS International Recruiter Survey 2007, in which the Asian Institute of Management ranked #11 in the Asia-Pacific business school list. Recruiters deemed AIM behind the likes of Insead Singapore, Melbourne Business School, AGSM, Macquarie (MGSM), CEIBS, NUS, Monash University, HKUST, IIM Bangalore, and the Nanyang Business School.

This find was pretty timely, considering that people in our MBA class are becoming more and more wary of placement-related activities. Of course, the results of the QS survey can be encouraging or discouraging, depending on how you look at it.

Field Trip to Corregidor Island

Last Friday, our New Products and Services Development (NPSD) class under Prof. Jay Bernardo went on a field trip to Corregidor Island as part of our opportunity seeking exercises. The objective of the trip was to have our NPSD groups think of a venture that can be successful in the island.

Thinking of a business in Corregidor Island is a bit of a challenge. It's basically a World War II ruins site with a rich military history-- the Battle of Corregidor was fought there and it was temporarily the seat of the Philippine government during the war. There are plenty of old bombed buildings, big guns and natural formations that has made Corregidor a viable tourist spot. Our group has meet briefly and we are considering an option that leverages on the island's location and very peaceful atmosphere.

Live Blogging at "Successful Business Strategies of Top Fortune 500 Companies"

Professor James Neelankavil will be having a talk here at the Asian Institute of Management about the Fortune 500 companies in a little while.

For those who are unfamiliar with Prof. Neelankavil, I got this little write-up from Ms. Eloisa Osabel from the Marketing department to give you an idea who the speaker is:

The Asian Institute of Management (AIM) is privileged to have Professor James Neelankavil as one of its distinguished faculty roster. He earned his AIM MBM degree with distinction on 1972. He later pursued his Doctorate Degree in Philosophy, major in International Business, minor in Marketing from Stern School of Business, New York University. Despite his accomplishments and international degrees that he completed, he appeals to be very simple. Yet, he exudes a dignified aura as an international educator.

It was after his graduation in AIM when he was inspired by Dean Gabino Mendoza to start his teaching career. As he stated in the interview, his teaching career was develope…

Reality Check

Ask one thing that's on the mind of the MBA students in our class today and, chances are, you'll get two replies: The Management Research Report and Career Placement.

We had an orientation from the Enrolment Management and Placement (EMP) department, a recently-formed unit during a reorganization of the Asian Institute of Management last January. This new unit integrates the old Career Management Services folks and is still part of the school's efforts to improve operations, including career placements. EMP head Prof. Eligio Santos led the orientation, along with career placement officers Mary May Pagkatipunana and Maybelle FunaƄoz.

The orientation really was more like a reality check for our batch as numbers were presented. The CMS success numbers have been rising like gas prices in the last three years, but it seems it has hit a little speed bump. The 2007 MBA batch was had averaged multiple offers, but the 2008 MBA averaged almost 1 per student only. Another interestin…

Binondo Walking Tour

My group in my New Products and Services Development (NPSD) class organized a walking tour of Bindondo, the oldest Chinatown in the world. This little activity is actually part of the class to do something interesting, and at the same time, get some sparks of inspiration for starting a little venture. Our guide for the tour was Anson of Old Manila Walks.

The walking tour also has a different "flavor" because it's also a food tour-- we get to try out authentic Chinese food and delicacies while going around the historical sites and notable locations. Anson is definitely very knowledgable about the ins and outs of the town and he took us to very places with great food (Just ask our teacher, Prof. Jay Bernardo). Too bad I got lost driving to Binondo, we could have started half an hour sooner for the tour (I just can't get around Manila!).

Our group (Nina Laquindanum, Mark Ong, Arpita Maity and Lan Phuong Vu) would like to thank Connie Banaag, Pia Sanedrin, Johnson Gotamc…

Social Negotiations

Yesterday, we presented in our Self Mastery, Arts and Spirituality (SMARTS) class and my group focused on Buddhism and how its beliefs and teachings on spiriutality relate to modern theories on personality development. I found the topic very hard because (a) I don't know much about Buddhism and (b) I don't know much about psychology.

If you're wondering what an MBA student is doing in a class about psychology and spirituality, well that is what the SMARTS elective is all about-- exploring topics like self mastery, intuition and spirituality and relating it on how to become a better leader and a better person.

Going back to our yesterday's presentation: our group came from the perspective of giving the class a sort of like a primer on Buddhism and showing how it maps to some of the psychological models we discussed in our previous classes. I had the difficult task of presenting the psychology part and I must say my appreciation of my assignment was simplistic and it sho…

The AIM Blogger Turns One

One year ago today, I wrote my first post for The AIM Blogger. I started this blog by writing "There's no rest for the wicked," and I was referring to how I seemed to keep myself in an endless stream of activities. Funny how little things change in one year-- I'm still busy and I still keep doing stuff left and right. :)

The picture above is a homage to the second post of this blog where I proudly displayed my then shiny name plate after I finished my registration for the Pre-MBA. If you notice, my name plate looks very worn out and beat up and the laptop it is resting on is different from the original picture. I guess you could look at that as a metaphor for the wear and tear I've gone through at the Asian Institute of Management, but like the same trusty name plate that I still use up to this day, I'm still standing. :)

For the past year, this blog has been my venue of expressing my big frustrations, little triumphs and everything in between while being an…

No Exchange?

Our batch, the very first 16-month MBA's from the Asian Institute of Management, is really in a state of limbo when it comes to student exchanges to international business schools.

To wit: the electives season for our batch runs from July to November and people who are eligible for international student exchange must finish the writing and the oral defense of their Management Research Reports (MRR) by September. That puts the MBA student in a situation where here he/she has a very small margin of error because that implies that the student must start working on his or her MRR during the Action Consultancy (AC) period from May to June. Previous batches had more than eight months to finish their MRR's. Four our batch, we only get five, and seven if you include the AC months.

Another rub: it seems most of the international exchanges' schedules clash with our own schedule, thus an aspiring exchange student will make a choice of graduating on time or getting delayed my a few …

Voyage (from Prof. Maya Herrera)

I saw this post about the University of the Philippines, my college alma mater, originally from Pink Fever and I then realized that the article she cited was written by Prof. Maya Herrera, our professor in Financial Management 2 (FM2). I knew she was a fellow "Iskolar ng Bayan" (Scholar of the Country) but I did not know how much she valued the U.P. experience until I read what she wrote.

To cite a few lines from Prof. Herrera's article:
If you speak to anyone from UP – student, professor, alumnus - you will get no Latin slogans or apologies about how the school teaches values in spite of its outward materialism.  This is not a student population that thinks about basketball games or memorizes school songs.  This is not a school that chooses one statement to drill into the minds of its students.

This is not, of course, to say that UP does not care about values.  It is that UP, in its own inimitable way, believes that values cannot be force-fed. The statue of the naked ma…

The Case of the Email Goof

I'm writing a case for my Management Research Report (MRR) so I figured to flex my case-writing muscles with this little caselet:

It's 9:00pm and you were lounging in a very comfy chair right in front of your laptop computer. It had been a long day at work, but like any other dedicated Marketing manager, you decided to take a peek at your office email inbox before you surfed away to the Facebooks, the YouTubes and Orkuts of the world wide web.

The first couple of emails were the standard fare "Do-this-do-that" messages from the boss but then you noticed a subject line that stood out: "Re: FWD: The Happiness of Life." You inspect that the email was from Rita Angeles, one of your colleagues from Human Resources, and you thought to yourself that the email was one of those pointless email forwards that contained happy-sappy messages. However, you realized that the email was a reply to a forwarded message that went straight to your trash bin. This stroked your …

Congrats to MDM Class of 2008!

I chanced upon the graduation ceremonies of the 2008 Master in Development Management (MDM) class last Friday, July 11, 2008. (Thanks to my classmates Phuong Lan Vu and Me Ling!)

The event was held at the Asian Institute of Management Conference Center Manila (ACCM) and was highlighted by a keynote speech by Mr. Arsenio M. Balisacan, Ph.D, Director of the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA).

All the best and congratulations to the MDM Class of 2008!

Learnings from My Infosys Internship

(Note: This following article is part of the report that I submitted as requirement for my Action Consultancy. I posted my notes in a previous blog post.)

In the 1968, The Beatles went to India to learn the ways of Indian mysticism and what came out of that experience was the “White Album”—the LP that stretched the Beatles’ musical range the same way “Sgt. Pepper” did for them two years earlier. For The Beatles, the trip to India meant evolution.

Forty years later, I go to India for my Action Consultancy (AC) and experienced things that had a similar effect on The Beatles—I learned about new things in business and culture, and my worldview expanded dramatically.

What did I learn from my Action Consultancy stint? I could classify my learnings into four main areas: (1) Infosys as an organization, (2) Indian bureaucracy, (3) innovation in the enterprise and (4) international culture.

Infosys as an Organization
For starters, I learned about the company I worked with—Infosys Technologies, …

MBA 16 Batch 1 Class Photo

Our class had a little photo session yesterday where we were just asked to come in casual attire. The photos were taken at the Zen Garden of the Asian Institute of Management campus.

BeerPub July 2008

Last Tuesday, the WSGSB staff threw a BeerPub for the MBA and MM students. A BeerPub is a get-together of the students, faculty and staff over nice food and, well, beer. The BeerPub served as a welcome to our batch who just came from our Action Consultancy (AC) period and I think it was a good way for the students from the different programs and batches to hob-nob and relax. The evening was livened up by karaoke and some dancing by the indefatigable Bok Lamayan and Neil Risos.

The Management Research Report

The natural order in the life of an 16-month MBA student at the Asian Institute of Management is:
Core subjects - 8 monthsAction Consultancy (AC) - 2 monthsElectives - 5 monthsManagement Research Report (MRR) - 6 months (5 months overlap with the Electives, 1 month for MRR defense) Currently, our MBA batch is in the Electives and MRR period. In previous batches, people had ample time to prepare for the MRR, which includes a separate break to do research, data gathering, analysis and some writing. But considering that the school removed a considerable amount of time to do those things in shortening the previous 24-month MBA program, the MRR has evloved a bit to suit the new prorgam schedules and changing global demands.

The MRR was defined as "a major original work by AIM MBA candidates. Through the MRR, students are expected to apply knowledge and skills to actual managerial problems. The final deliverable is a thesis-like document that must be accepted as a final hurdle in the M…

The Financial Management 2 Make-up Exam

Our Financial Management 2 (FM2) professors (Prof. Maya Herrera, Prof. Gary Olivar, and Prof. Grace Ugut) were kind enough to give us MBA folks a chance to improve our FM2 grades from our core subjects term. Only a "select" few were invited to take the exam (obviously, I got an invite) and I guess the exam was motivated to make our Asian Institute of Management transcripts look spiffier. :)

The exam was three and a half hours long and it covered the three major areas of the subject-- Fixed Income Derivatives, Project Finance and Risk Management. We were advised to bring only a four function calculator. You read that correct: four function calculator. Imagine a high level finance exam where we're using only the four main arithmetic functions. It's analogous to going to war against the United States with just slingshots and water guns.

Here are some choice quotes from the people on their thoughts on the exam:

"Bullsh*t"- Anonymous""Terrible waste of…

My AC Report on Infosys InStep in Bullets

Question: What happens when you start writing paper two weeks ahead of the deadline? 

Answer: You start with ideas and then get stalled for all the smallest of reasons.

This is the case as I am writing my report on my recently concluded eight-week Action Consultancy (AC) with Infosys. The paper is due next week Friday and as early as Monday, I started writing it. So now, I'm still not finished.Well, I've finished the more objective parts of the paper, such as information about my projects and tasks, but I seem to have a hard time writing the subjective part, which covers my learnings and a few observations.

While I planned to write the reflection part in this blog as it would appear in the paper, I figured writing some notes here in bullets would aid me in my writing. So here goes, some my learnings from my AC in random bullet points:
Infosys is a big company that wants to prove something to the world
Infosys takes care of its employeesInfosys makes an effort to globalize its emp…

Something's Different

It has almost been one week since the electives term started and I have one glaring observation: Things are different. How different are the electives classes from the core subjects we had during the first eight months? I can't put my finger into it directly, but I guess since we were used to just seeing the same people day-in and day-out, electives classes seem so disjointed. (We used to have two "block" sections and now with the electives, people have a free rein on which subejcts to take and craft his or her schedule). Before, it was only the professors you tried to get used to, now even your classmates and groupmates need getting used to. Someone from the previous MBA batch told me that elective classes are treated differently from the core subjects-- before it was like a "Band of Brothers," "No One Gets Left Behind" kind of thing, but with electives, business classes are more... well, business-like. It makes great sense that it works that way becau…

Rude Awakening (aka Welcome Back)

Gosh, this is why I love blogging-- I get to say what I want to say.

After two days of being frustrated because I'm not able to express my views in class, blogging is really therapeutic. Also, the return of the usual frustrations probably serves as a slap in the face to wake me up from my dream-like stint in India. (A good two weeks of balanced work and relaxation sounds like a dream at this point.) Besides, I think it's the Asian Institute of Management's way of welcoming me back after the Action Consultancy (AC) period.

The first of two electives terms started last Monday and here are the subjects that I took, with the professors in each subject:
New Product and Service Development (NPSD) - Prof. Jay BernardoCreative Marketing and Selling (CMS) - Prof. Joe FaustinoCustomer Experience Management (CEM) - Prof. Tommy LopezMarketing & Finance Creating Synergy (MFCS) - Prof. Richard CruzSelf-Mastery, Arts and Spirituality (SMARTS) - Prof. Cecilia Manikan I'll write mo…