Continue pushing. Continue trying. Continue learning.
First of all, thank you for all the interest in pursuing graduate studies in MBA as well as the Rotman School of Management. I have received a lot of feedback, questions and positive comments, and that gives me a motivation to continue recording my days, advice, and thoughts that can hopefully be passed down to the next generation of MBA students in the world as a whole. Past three months have taught me, and reassured me with certainty that MBA education brings significant benefits to everyone, whether hoping to understand more about how organization works as a whole, wants to learn how to assess your business position in industries, and also meet next generations of global leaders who will all become a part of, ultimately, making the world a greater place to live for everyone.
It’s Friday night, and this is a perfect time to run some stats summary on my blog visitors by country. While I won’t get into details, I was surprised to see blog visits also come from many other various countries other than Canada and the USA. Considering how Rotman brings competitive advantage and benefits to international MBA students, this makes sense (I won’t try to run hypothesis test on this. I was at school for more than 12 hours straight).
My point is, it’s happy to see that many people are visiting my blog, and I hope that the contents I bring hopefully can benefit you.
Today, 1st year Rotman students had a great simulation event hosted by Scotiabank, one of Canada’s best and largest banks. Attended by entire Rotman 1st year students, the goal of an exercise was to come up with a suggestion based on a given scenario.
Initially, I was very overwhelmed because I am basically taking my first baby steps with accounting this term, and they were giving us cases, so I thought it was going to be a very difficult and stressful session.
On the contrary, the event was, I have to say, very enjoyable. The case did not just involve numbers, but was built based on scenarios and stories that we could read and understand from using five Cs of credit. This reminded me of strategy classes: assessing competitors, suppliers, threats, etc. This allowed non-accountants such as myself to become more engaged and actually participate in decision making process. Moreover, the event was very adequately timed in a way that it’s not too long or short and ran very smoothly without many problems. I don’t intend to sugarcoat anything in my blog, but I really was impressed the amount of support and enthusiasm I received from Scotiabank and the event hosted by Rotman.
Nope. I never learned finance ever in my life until I came to Rotman. This is why I got really frustrated when this term started because I was certain I was reading English and listening to English, but still didn’t understand what it meant. You know how when you are reading the same textbook lines over and over without realizing that you are not really absorbing.
After the midterm exam was over, I decided to do something which I haven’t done before: visit a teaching assistant. To be more specific, they are called Rotman scholars, 2nd year Rotman students who are experts in the subject.
Of course you might think, “meh I can study on my own.” Believe me. even listening to them for 10minutes clarify so much stuff that you didn’t know before. I was having trouble with hedging and stock cashflows and after scholar session, I was cleared…well at least I have to practice again, but now I understood. There is tons of resources available at Rotman. You just have to approach it first.
Today, I participated in the Business Technology Group competition sponsored by Microsoft. With a case released just two days ago, our group was under intense time schedule to complete the analysis on top of quizzes, and assignments along with us. I also had to skip on the semi-formal held by Rotman which I heard was extremely fun.
Getting to the point, unfortunately, we couldn’t advance to the finalist round. I was disappointed at first as I thought I had given my best shot. However, after watching the four finalist teams’ presentations, I had accepted that they were better and various observations could be made.
1. Information supported with data
The points were delivered with the data that backed them up.
2. Easy to follow along
The points were organized in a way that both data and the points were presented in harmony.
3. Clear strategic framework
Step-by-step, presentations were clearly presented and could be followed along starting from market synopsis, problem statement, proofs and forecasts.
While we all try to play our best game according to the game theory, the first step to improving yourself as a better person is to accept that your method didn’t work, and try to absorb and learn from others and what could have been done different, what could I have done that others could not do. Then such observations should be re-experimented with an improvised method.
One of my favorite manga (comics) of all-time is Slamdunk, a story about a teenager going through the self-development and learn more about his potential through basketball. After a basketball game which he accidentally makes a mistake that resulted a loss of the team game, he was devastated. Then, one of his team players, who is a basketball elite, approaches him and says the following in an arrogant, but undeniable way: ” You think too highly of you that your mistakes mattered a lot. However, You did way better than what we all expected. The possibility of you making mistakes was already accounted for.”
Speaking in terms of regression to the mean, there could be ups and downs that come into teamwork including possible great work, or a mistake that influences the outcome of a team. but ultimately, it all comes down to trusting each other and playing the best game with the limited amount of resources we all have. Even luck, positiveness, and downsides are parts of the mean average of a team’s total strength. Stay humble. Stay consistent. Stay positive. Continue learning. Never stop experimenting and be grateful for what others teach and do for you.
Throughout the presentations by finalists, I was both in a state of discomfort and ambition. Accepting your failure or mistake is a very difficult task, and we sometimes avoid it, pretending it never happened. However, I kept murmuring myself, ‘stay humble. stay modest.’ I was at a place filled with great individuals from various places and I had to face that I must learn from what successful individuals did. It’s just like eating a vegi I hate. I sometimes maybe have wanted to look away, but I must face the outcome, accept, stay strong, and excitedly try to enjoy the learning process.
and I can say I’ve learned a lot.
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place: and in the sky
The larks still bravely singing fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the dead: Short days ago,
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved: and now we lie
In Flanders fields!
Take up our quarrel with the foe
To you, from failing hands, we throw
The torch: be yours to hold it high
If ye break faith with us who die,
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields
Here it came again. The midterm season. I already finished strategy midterm yesterday and now I am preparing for my weakest subject: finance. I admire those who are good at finance as I am taking very long time to understand all one by one. I noticed Metallica (Blizzcon2014) and finance go quite well for concentration (believe it or not).
November 5, 2014
Hosted by Rotman DesignWorks and Bridgeable (http://bridgeable.com/), a reputable design firm in Toronto, I had a chance to attend their workshop.
(At this point, you might have realized that I basically am attending every single Business Design workshops.)
As soon as the session started, we were assigned a very overwhelming task,
to collaboratively draw a spaceship. Please do not ask why it looks this way :)…
It was interesting to see how everyone differently perceives what they see and how ideas are formed in such a short amount of time.
Then, we had a chance to show our idea as a 2 minute skit, which was very fun and entertaining. What I thought at this point is that assuming I’m a typical MBA student, what I can think of is something which others would be able to think of as well. While there wasn’t enough time to make differences (just making excuses now) How can I differentiate myself?
Oct 31-Nov.2, 2014
I had a chance to go to Rotman Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital Club’s Hackathon event. Initially, I felt very hesitant as I had so much homework and group work to do, but in the end, I decided to go for it with my classmate.
you would be surprised how much work can be accomplished in such a short amount of time, and you will wonder why it is called ‘hackathon.’
Congratulations on the winning team!
11:30PM. Scene of the Fleck Atrium where winners were announced. It’s so quiet when no one is here.
Unfortunately, I walked away with nothing. I felt tired after statistics homework.
What did I learn…well, I realized I’ve been a fool. I need to learn more and wherever you go, there will certainly be someone better than you regardless of your major or work experience. I have so much to learn. While extremely tiring and focus-required, I had such a great learning session.
On October 30, I had a chance to attend empathy & need finding workshop hosted by Rotman DesignWorks. Empathy is the first gear of the 3 gears of Business Design, which is to understand users and identify needs.
We talked about applying for financing MBA, which was an interesting topic.
Here are the surprising takeaways:
1. Finding negative/positive needs
2. Connecting loans with emotions
3. Find commonalities and difference between people
4. simple framework to understand experience
5. Practicing develop skills
6. Needs help you frame the problem
7. Observation can inspire 1000 thoughts.