Showing posts from November, 2008

Digging the Digital Archives

Have you ever seen past photos of yourself and you went "What the heck was I thinking/wearing/doing?" Well, it happened to me a while ago when I was reviewing the archives of my other blog.

Almost two years ago (January 2007), I was interviewed in a radio progam called Executive Musings where I was invited to talk about internet and politics, or virtual politics (of all the topics!). After listening to myself for the first 10 minutes, I was practically cringing. I was obviously getting a bad case of the nerves at the beginning, where I was stuttering and making unnecessary pauses. Argh! But after a few more minutes, I listened to myself and I felt I made more sense-- maybe I got more comfortable and the radio program went on (plus the 80's classic "Together in Electric Dreams" by Phil Oakley was played, who would't feel more loose after that?)

In retrospect, I thought I turned out to be prophetic. In the show, I talked about how blogs and Web 2.0 would be …

Update on AIM's Move

Now that my MRR defense presentations are over , I can focus on other things like... reading the news!

Last month I posted about the Asian Institute of Management's plan of moving to a new campus. I read in the Inquirer that AIM President Francis G. Estrada had sent a letter to the Inquirer to correct some of the errors on the letter to the AIM alumni. President Estrada said to the Inquirer, "I wish to inform you that, regrettably, the ‘letter to the alumni’ contained a few errors."

An excerpt of the article:
He (Estrada) then explained that the AIM campus on Paseo de Roxas in the Makati business district was not valued at P3 billion and that Ayala did not offer AIM P3 billion for the campus. He also said that putting up a campus on Malugay Street in Makati City (the former Zuellig property) was no longer an option for AIM.It seems that the Zuellig move had been shot down by the AIM Board of Trustees... one can only speculate that AIM's next home may be outside of Met…

Reaching The Finish Line

If the MBA program at the Asian Institute of Management was a grueling marathon (sometimes I think it really is), I have reached the finish line.

Roughly five hours ago, I finished my second MRR defense presentation for my case about blog marketing at SM Hypermarket. My panel composed of Prof. Ricky Lim and Prof. Jun Borromeo didn't give me much of a hard time because of the experimental nature of my case. On the suggestion of Prof. Borromeo, my case actually ended up as a case about blogging written as a blog, written by a blogger. Sounds confusing? Yeah, at some point at I got confused myself. But I thankfully I was to pull it off.

I learned my lesson from my first defense presentation yesterday. Instead of stressing so much on the presentation itself, I just made sure my case was functional (since it's essentially a web application) and just came up with a basic presentation. I got more sleep and ultimately felt better during the presentation. So that's a tip: get enoug…

Getting Defensive

My first MRR defense presentation just finished a couple of hours ago and I'm still in a doozy. I was awake until dawn to make sure my quantitative analyses (QA) were OK. I only got a couple hours of sleep and I drove all the way to the Asian Institute of Management through rush hour traffic and managed to be at the GSB conference room with a few minutes to spare.

The thing with the MRR defense is that it will never be perfect. I had the mistake of thinking I could finish the defense in a razor sharp, clean cut fashion. I was tweaking my presentation up to the last minute before I started. I've never been obsessive about perfecting school stuff, but hey, this is the MRR we're talking about-- the final piece to my MBA puzzle... the big boss at the end of the video game. :P

BTW, my MRR is not the usual strategy paper or feasibility studies most AIM grads accomplish. I did a case series on internet marketing and blogging, with three cases. It was fun doing research about int…

It's a Date!

Well, more like a couple of dates.

This is written prominently in my schedule: November 27 & 28, 2008. 10am, GSB Conference Room, Asian Institute of Management.

The reason why those two dates are very important? They are my MRR defense dates. I'm having two defense dates because I have two sets of advisers for the cases I've written.

After stressing about whether or not I'll make the December 5 deadline for the MRR because of conflicts in my advisers' schedules, I breathed a sigh of relief yesterday when I learned I got a defense date from my advisers' secretaries. (Never mind of the date was much earlier than expected).

My calendar has been marked, and preparations for the defense are well under way. I hope things go well.

The Last Day of Classes

November 20, 2008 will go down in history as the last day of classes for the Asian Institute of Management's first 16-month Master in Business Administration class. We are now officially done with the cases, CP, WAC's, presentations and projects.

One year, five months and fourteen days after the day I took the very first case assigned to us (the already classic "Impasse in Pandacan"), I had my last classes for the electives Brand Equity Management (BEM) and Entrepreneurial Finance (EF), ironically with no cases.

In BEM, we had a double session wherein each of the groups in the class presented their "brand diagnosis" of various brands in different product segments. Our group chose to do Banco De Oro, one of the "Big Three" in the Philippine banking industry (with Metrobank and the Bank of the Philippine Islands being the other two).

Our presentation was very much like the major presentation we had for Marketing Management (MM) under the same profe…

Conflicting Schedules

While I've been utterly busy with my MRR lately, I realized a few days ago that finishing the MRR is not the final step to graduating with my MBA degree from the Asian Institute of Management and I may not be able to do that final step in time. That final step is the MRR defense.

I was coordinating with my MRR advisers late last week and I discovered that my advisers do not have common time together until December 7. The deadline for the MRR defenses? December 5. Ugh*! (For the MRR, MBA students are required to have two mentors and they have to be together when you defend your thesis.)

The secretaries are trying to arrange a schedule with an earlier date where one of my mentors will be attending my defense via a teleconference. I'm not sure if this ever was done before, but the prospects of not marching during the graduation rites is already adding a great deal of stress from the accomplishing the MRR.

I talked to Prof. Larry Tan in the morning to share my plight about the sc…

The Last Week of Classes

This is Week 10 of the fourth and final term of the first 16-month MBA class of the Asian Institute of Management. Man, time really flies.

Today, I only had two classes of Brand Equity & Management under Prof. Joe Miranda where we closed the subject out with a couple of integrative branding cases about Swatch and New York City (Prof. Miranda was hoping for a nice song rendition of "New York, New York" from the presenters, but no dice).

I remember our first week when I really got frustrated with the amount of BS coming from the class during discussions. But now, people hardly speak up with the same zest and gumption because of the MRR and practically the lack of incentive of getting good CP (by this time, people's reputations have been cemented, there's really no point in impressing people these days). Quite a contrast from our first week.

I'm not sure how this week will wind down, but I do know I'll be neck-deep in my MRR and will be very busy. Not quite …

Honor Roll

After the grades release yesterday, the Dean's List is now out. :) I did a post on the first Commendation List last April and I wasn't able to follow it up. Now, it's time for major recognition.

Our Dean's List represents the gold standard for academic performance for the MBA 2008 (Decemer) class of the Asian Institute of Management. It's my honor to present my classmates and friends in the honor roll (all lists are presented in alphabetical order):

Commendation List for Quantitative Subjects (First and Second Terms):
Ena Liza Ang
Nitin Bhagnari
Reetesh Bhargava
Pankaj Dhawan
Weindell Lim
Russ Lo
Anthony Ng
Kumar Aditya Ray
Sandeep Sharma
Vijay Suryanarayanan
Serafin Tongco II
Amit Kumar VijayCommendation List for Qualitative Subjects (First and Second Terms):
Ena Liza AngRosie AvilaKanishka BhargavaMark Daniel ChanGanajaran GovindajaranMa. Katrina Francesca HerreraShonal GadiaMadhusudan PonnuveetilShweta SrivastavaSerafin Tongco IIDean's List for First and Second Terms:

The Third Term Grades are In!

I just got my grades for the third term in the MBA program. To give everyone some perspective, the third term is first of two terms where we get to choose elective subjects and here are the subjects that I took:

New Product and Service Development (NPSD) - Prof. Jay Bernardo
Creative Marketing and Selling (CMS) - Prof. Joe Faustino
Customer Experience Management (CEM) - Prof. Tommy Lopez
Marketing and Finance Creating Synergy (MFCS) - Prof. Richard Cruz
Self-Mastery, Arts and Spirituality (SMARTS) - Prof. Cecilia Manikan
Also, the Action Consultancy is considered to be part of the third term.
I'm pleased that I received a higher GPA for the third term in comparison to the grades I got in the core subjects that we took in the first eight months of the program. If my first half grades were peppered with mediocrity on paper, my grades report for the third term is stellar in comparison. From a metric I devised based on the grading system for the MBA program at the Asian Institute of Managem…

A Dirty Little Secret

These days in our classes, more and more people are bringing their laptops to class. But people are not taking not taking notes, browsing the internet for references nor instant messaging. No they are not.

People are actually doing their MRR while in class!

A good number of people are trying to make time for their final requirements as we are heading our final week of classes.

I'm now wondering how the previous batches of MBA's at the Asian Institute of Management were able to pull their MRR's off?


I also just realized that in the future, people who will visit this blog will be wondering what the heck an MRR is. Starting with the cohort after us, the choice is now taking an internship (Action Consultancy or AC) or doing the MRR. If asked to choose between the two, I would choose the AC any time of day.


I did some research for the AIM Ghost Story I posted a couple of weeks back and so far, no one has been able to verify the truth of the story. I asked people who have…

MRR Mode

Yep, I'm now in panic mode as the MRR deadline is fast approaching. I've had a lot of progress in my MRR, but I still have to finish and defend it. To date, there are around 25 people in our MBA class have finished their respective reports and have defended it (some people still had to revise their papers). But they are virtually waiting for their diplomas this December.

Speaking of MRR defenses, last night one group were grilled for more than eight, yes eight, hours to defend their thesis. (Well, any defense with Prof. Richard Cruz and Prof. Titos Ortigas in the panel will be at least four hours.) I believe that group set the new record.

As for me, I'll be spending the next couple of weeks being an MRR hermit. This may mean blogging may be slower than usual. :)


As for the people who are already finished, most of them are taking their time to enjoy their last weeks at the Asian Institute of Management. One of my classmates, Nikhil Bansal, was able to make a nice slidesh…

Crunch Time

It's that time of the year for MBA seniors at the Asian Institute of Management: hot coffee is your drink of choice, you wear your jacket or sweater for the chilly air in the library, and the atmosphere of busyness.

It sounds like Christmas, but it's really the MRR season coming to its peak.

Everyone in our class seems to be in any of these scenarios: There are folks who are finished with their defense (good for you!), there are those who are almost finished and there are just some who are back from scratch after a massive revision order from their advisers (oh the agony!). We may all be in different situations right now, but we all want to be marching to the stage and getting our MBA diplomas when graduation day comes.

So, this is really no time to be lackadaisical, unless you want to have an unwanted extended stay in school. That's why I've been spending a lot of time on my MRR as of late.

One final thought: I've been avoiding to log in to Yahoo Messenger becaus…

Prof. Ricky Lim's Interview at

Prof. Ricky Lim , Associate Dean of AIM's W. SyCip Graduate School of Business, recently had an interview published at The website is known as a great resource for MBA studies all over the world for a lot of Indian prospective students.

Here's an excerpt of the interview:

Pagalguy: The Asian Institute of Management website claims the MBA program to be 'participative' and conforming to Henry Mintzberg's beliefs on MBA programs. Please give 3 examples that illustrate this, contrasting them against how those 3 situations would be handled in a regular MBA program in other b-schools.

RAL: In the MM and MBA we make students do a “walkabout.” This is based on the Australian aborigine custom of sending young men into the bush, to fend for themselves. In the AIM version we send students out on a mission of self-discovery. They stay away for a few weeks on projects of their choice—the professor should not interfere in this choice, nor are there pushed to do a co…