Showing posts from April, 2009

New MBA Students Coming!

A couple days ago, the MBA students of Cohort 3 (the group that entered the Asian Institute of Management last September) went on their 2-month Action Consultancy (AC) break. The departure of many of the students made the campus quiet (well, not to the point where you can hear the crickets chirping), and add to that the Cohort 2 MBA students are also in their AC break.

With the usual busy-ness of the Zen Garden gone, it made me appreciate how zen-like the garden is. But one thought erased that sense of tranquility: Come May 11, the set of MBA students from Cohort 4 will be starting their MBA journey. (I heard that the new cohort will be almost the same size as Cohort 2, but with more diversity.)

So, a new cohort, and new faces coming to AIM. What tips do you think will be good advice for them?

The Other Side

For the past couple of days, I sat as a panelist in the Development of the Enterprise (DE) final project presentations of the MBA Cohort 3 students. The panel was composed of Prof. Titos Ortigas, Prof. Ning Lagman, Mr. Dickie Gonzales (one of my former DE teachers), Mr. Eric Fajardo of LearnIT (also an AIM alumnus), and myself.

Personally, I found it weird because it was not too long ago when I was one of the students presenting in front of a panel, showing why our projects should work and our recommendations should be rock solid. Make no mistake, the experience of being a panelist was learning experience. I see it as one of those activities that's part of the "I'm no longer an MBA student" theme of my posts in the last few months.

How were the projects? I was able to give meaningful feedback for those projects that had a website component, whether it was core or a supplementary component. My comment is that a lot of the groups relied on the internet advertising bus…


The 2009 Class of  the Master in Management (MM) program graduated last April 25, 2009. The commencement exercises were held at the Asian Institute of Management. The guest speaker of the event was Ramon J. Farolan, an MM alum himself. He shared this message to the graduating class:
In a few hours you go back to the working world. There will be no can groups, no case studies. You will be faced with judgements to make, not just about jobs but about the future of our country. We are moving into a crucial stage in the political life of the nation. Lately we have made it to a number of embarrassing situations; the greediest, the most corrupt, the many unsolved killings. Certainly these are issues that call for our attention, our voices, our outrage.

As one of my favorite military heroes, Gen. Colin Powell, the first African-American Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff and also the first African-American Secretary of State, put it: “Being responsible sometimes means pissing people off.…

Five Tips for Your Action Consultancy Project

The Cohort 3 folks are going to have their Action Consultancy (AC) breaks soon and they're going into it in a totally different situation. The current class of MBA students have the option to take the AC and enroll two extra electives, and will be eligible to be their final requirement, in lieu of the classic Management Research Report (MRR). (If you recall, our class had to take both the ACC and the MRR together)

So, the AC now becomes a very important stage in the MBA's at the Asian Institute of Management (AIM). If people used to look at it as the precursor to the more difficult, yet rewarding MRR, the AC should be viewed with more importance (most MBA students I know look to take the AC option for their final requirement).

As someone who's done the AC, here's five tips I'd like to offer the current (and perhaps future) cohorts regarding the AC projects:

Specialize. AC projects by nature are "deepening" in nature, that is, if you're targeting a fina…


I'm finally blogging again here. I was very busy last week making sure the Winning Internet Marketing Strategies & Tactics (WIMST) course at AIM's EXCELL was humming along smoothly. Good thing the course was received very well, and the feedback has been very positive and encouraging. Everyone in the WIMST team is excited to be offering the course to the MBA students this July.


The Master in Management (MM) Class of 2009 will be graduating this April 25, 2009 at the AIM Conference Center Manila. Congrats to the ladies & gentlemen of the MM class!


Speaking of the MM folks, a recent walkabout by one of the graduating students was a huge success.

I attended the A Night of Cello & Illumination last week and the performance was superb. My favorite? Philippine Philharmonic cellist Herrick Ortiz's rendition of Bach's "Cello Concerto."

Kudos to MM's Tomomi Ishimaya!


There was a freak accident in campus earlier: One student hit one of the glas…

Handling an AIM EXCELL Course

I've been pretty much stressed in the last two days because my time has been devoted to the AIM EXCELL course I'm co-handling with Prof. Ricky Lim, Prof. Richard Cruz, Anton Diaz and Jayvee Fernandez. AIM EXCELL is AIM's executive education arm.

The course, Winning Internet Marketing Strategies & Tactics, is being offered for the first time to marketing & media executives and even though we have 12 participants, I pretty have my hands full. Aside from being the trainer for a half-day session yesterday, I'm at the course all the time because I do the live blogging (yeah, we have a course blog ) and posting tweets in Twitter. I also helped the participants jump-start their Google AdWords campaigns and answer the occasional beginner questions.

Yeah, it's tiring, but I'm learning a lot, especially in the difference between teaching an AIM EXCELL course and the typical MBA course. The EXCELL course is really a sprint, because we cover so much ground in a we…

A Night of Cello and Illumination

The Asian Institute of Management will be hosting by a mini-cello concert on April 16, 2009. The event, entitled "A Night of Cello and Illumination," is free to the public and will be held at AIM's Zen Garden.

The show starts at 7pm and it will be ushered by the lighting of the Zen Garden. The garden will be illuminated with special lighting arranged by Roman Cruz of the Sinag Arts Foundation. Mr. Herrick I. Ortiz of the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra (PPO) will be playing music will be playing the cello that evening.

The show is a walkabout project of MM 2009 student Tomomi Ishiyama, and will be held in cooperation with the Sinag Arts Foundation, with support from the Japan Foundation, Manila.

For more information, please contact Ms. Ishimaya at tomomiishimaya (at)

Little by Little

I remember talking to one of my former classmates a few weeks ago. He was pretty much bummed out because he felt that taking the MBA at the Asian Institute of Management was a good career move for his part, except that he took it at the inopportune time.

To be honest, his statement was quite accurate-- we graduated at a time when global companies are cutting jobs by the thousands and "freeze hiring" re-emerged as one of management's favorite buzzwords. We took the blunt of the global economic crunch as the shiny jobs that normally waited from MBA grads dried up like a well in the Sahara desert.

I'd often have chats similar to the one I just described with my former classmates in the first couple of months of the year. The theme was almost always the same-- the space for jobs for MBA folks were contracting and the lament was that you could count with one hand the people in our class who had pre-placement offers.

But things are slowly changing. (emphasis on the "…

Internet Marketing Course at AIM

A few hours ago, we had a mini press briefing for the upcoming "Winning Internet Marketing Strategies & Tactics" course at the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) slated on April 13-16, 2009.

Prof. Ricardo A. Lim, Associate Dean of the W. SyCip Graduate School of Business, presented AIM's first offering of the Internet Marketing course tailored specifically for managers and business leaders who want to learn more about taking their marketing efforts on the Internet and understand how blogs, social networks, and e-mail marketing fit in their marketing efforts.

AIM is quite excited about this new course because it's aligned with the institute's direction to integrate new media and technologies to its management education curricula. The course mixes AIM's case method with practical exercises, such as creating Pay Per Click campaigns with Google AdWords (course participants will be given Google AdWords vouchers) and evaluating the their company's online …

AIM Reverts MBA back to MBM

In 2003, the Asian Institute of Management renamed its flagship program, the Master in Business Management (MBM), to the current Master in Business Administration (MBA). The move was described by many as AIM's way of adapting to the needs of the market and global competition.

Starting today, April 1, 2009, the institute has decided to revert the program's name back to the classic MBM to reflect the key focus of the the program's curriculum. Said one anonymous source with intimate knowledge of the situation: "Our students don't do much administering after they graduate-- they manage!" Said another: "MBM has been AIM's claim to fame, much like Elvis Presley was known for Jail House Rock. Look at the people whose pictures hang in the Alumni Awards corridor. Most of them have the MBM degree. This move should make other business schools reevaluate their programs."

"We alumni welcome this move with open arms," said an alumnus. "I prais…