Monday, October 31, 2011

Spooky, Scary

I'm such a nerd! I totally wore those earrings today. Happy Halloween!

Today we concluded our Finance workshop and I'm happy that I won't have to see that material again for another two weeks. I also worked on my Ethics and Governance individual paper today. I'm so scared to hand it in. My prof is a Harvard graduate, which is pretty intimidating. That reminds me, though, I should talk to him about career opportunities at Harvard. They have an amazing international program for their MBA students that I would love to manage.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Budgeting Time

I should start off by saying that I have finally entered the modern age. I am the proud owner of an iPhone 4! Out with the old and in with the new.

As for school, this was a highly productive weekend! I finished the first draft of my team's Ethics paper on Google. Also, I worked with one of my teammates (Reagan) and another classmate (Mehdi) on our Budgetary Control assignment. I'm extremely proud of the work we did and I'm looking forward to class on Thursday, when we'll be discussing the Eastclock Corporation case. It's hard to believe that Budgetary Control is actually one of the classes I enjoy, but for some reason it's a lot better than expected. I also reviewed material from Managing within Organizations and Statistics with Reagan, Mehdi, and Jorge, so I feel that I have a strong foundation as we get closer to finals.

Hopefully, my team will be able to schedule our interviews for our Managing within Organizations assignment this week, so that I can get a good start on the paper for that class. After that, it will mostly be preparing for our oral presentations and studying for finals.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Listen to the Math

This morning was our Finance workshop, where I was sufficiently frightened for P3. For P1, Accounting was my biggest trouble. In P2, I have Statistics. Obviously, in P3 it will be Finance. At least I am tackling things that scare me and I'm clearly challenging myself. In the end, I will probably learn more about myself than I will about the actual material. Fortunately, I will have many opportunities in the future to enhance my budding business math knowledge.

We are now halfway through P2 and these next three weeks are going to be crazy! I'm already starting to think about finals, especially since I will need a lot of help with Stats. Hopefully, our professor will post some sample finals on ZoneCours soon, so I can start reviewing with the more advanced students. I can't believe this final is going to be worth 70% (and I can say that with over 99.9% confidence)!

As for my career prospects, I am happy to report that my network seems to be responding positively to the messages I'm sending out. It's definitely exciting to think about the future possibilities! In related news, I have agreed to be an MBA tour guide for the HEC open house on November 13. It's the weekend before finals, but I know the experience will be more valuable than a few extra hours of studying.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

For those who dressed up, the costumes were great at the Halloween 5@7 tonight! I had a blast as Dorothy and I'm glad I had a chance to speak with so many people from other classes who I don't normally get to see. I can't believe I have a Finance workshop at 8:30 tomorrow morning!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Happy Diwali

I'm so happy! The Diwali event was fantastic! The food was delicious and the conversations were flowing for hours. Enjoy the photos below.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Every day, I feel like I am getting closer and closer to my new career goal. I am reaching out to all the friends and contacts I can think of and everyone is so helpful! I hope that, by this time next year, I am gainfully employed in a new, exciting position.

I'm looking forward to meeting with our Ethics & Governance professor tomorrow, so we can discuss the group assignment. At least then I'll be able to finish up one of the projects I'm working on. As for Managing Within Organizations, I hope we can schedule the required interviews with our two interview subjects, so we can move that team assignment along, too. In the meantime, I should probably be focusing on the next Budgetary Control assignment. Always fun over here in MBA land!

My friend just sent an email with the Coldplay "Paradise" music video. It definitely lifted my spirits and reminded me that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Monday, October 24, 2011

City and Colour

Wow, this day was going so well! It was a beautifully perfect autumn day, sunny and bright, with colourful fall foliage. I was feeling so good about running my errands, finishing up some readings, and heading to school after a relaxing weekend.

It was not until this evening that my bubble was completely burst! As I mentioned before, I have been planning a Diwali event for this Wednesday. Unfortunately, due to complications, miscommunications, and an unexpectedly high interest in the dinner, I am faced with a stressful situation. I hope that it all works out in the end, but in the meantime, this is probably the only thing I will be thinking about until it's all settled.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

A Friend Indeed

Unfortunately, I was probably not as productive today as I should have been. However, I am happy that I had a chance this weekend to see friends and have fun. This semester is really crazy with the number of assignments and readings that we have, and it doesn't help that I'll be traveling to Jersey in a couple weeks to be a bridesmaid in a friend's wedding. So yes, insane semester, but I still think it's absolutely necessary to take much-deserved breaks, even if it means having a lazy Sunday.

In the very beginning of the MBA program, students were already investigating companies and getting job interviews. Even though I didn't want to do one of the standard leadership programs that needed to be applied for in the beginning, I felt like I was late to the job search. However, I knew that the type of job I wanted would not demand such a head start. Now that I am moving along on the job search, though, I see just how addictive it is. I look for jobs on Indeed all the time, simply to get an idea of what kind of jobs are available.

Saturday, October 22, 2011


I can't believe how much I've done today! I started off the day with a couple school readings about Pixar and Procter & Gamble. It was perfect timing, since I had just spotted a great job opening at Pixar University, their training and education unit. After reading the article, I want to work at Pixar even more than I did before. It's also funny how the available job is so similar to the university environment I'm seeking.

Later in the day, I went to the L'Oreal sale, where I picked up my first ever red lipstick. I'm looking forward to wearing it at our school Halloween party for my Dorothy (Wizard of Oz) costume.

As part of my International Affairs Director position, I've also been planning a Diwali event for the Indian "festival of lights" which we will be celebrating on Wednesday. I hope we have a good turnout at our Indian dinner!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Time Flies

I can't believe it's been a week since I last posted. How fast time flies! It's the end of Week 2 in P2 and you can definitely feel that we are well into the swing of things. We have started getting grades back from P1, which certainly helps for making appropriate adjustments this semester.

Today I have an appointment with Christian Denis, the Director of Graduate Career Services. As I have been working on discovering exactly what type of job would be ideal after my MBA, I came to realize that one field that is perfect for me is the academic sector. If I have the opportunity to work at a university, it is an excellent way for me to combine my international interest with an employer that provides great benefits. There are, of course, other advantages to working at a university but I would say that those are the strongest pulls for me at the moment. Since I am targeting California, New York City, and Montreal, I am looking at:  NYU, Columbia, University of Southern California, etc. I'm looking forward to my meeting with Christian today, so I can hear about his experience in the field.

As for the news, there were a few articles recently that I found interesting. If any students or teachers in Quebec are curious to find out what my Canadian citizenship test was like, there is now an option to enrol in a Canadian Citizenship Challenge. Pretty cool! You can find more information about it here. Also, I am happy to report that the Quebec government will be spending $7 million to work on fighting anti-gay bullying. Lastly, since my classmates are multilingual, this article was of particular interest to me. Slowing Alzheimer's could be a benefit of being bilingual. That is great news for HEC Montreal students, who often speak three languages or more!

Friday, October 14, 2011


This has been an endless day. I woke up early this morning to run some errands and do my Budgetary Control reading for the assignment that is already due next week. Yikes!

During the day, I discovered it was my team member's birthday and was invited to lunch with her and some other Latin American classmates. It was awesome to celebrate at Arepera, a new Latin American restaurant that serves delicious arepas.

Since then, I have mostly been focusing on my International Affairs duties and applying for my first post-MBA jobs! Later this evening, I will be going out to a bar with two friends, one of whom I haven't seen in five years. I'm looking forward to catching up!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Simulator

Here is a photo from yesterday's potluck. I just wanted to say thank you so much again to everyone who participated!

Today was quite a day! It seems to me that Thursdays will be trying, ending the week with both Budgetary Control and Statistics. As for Stats, let's just say that I will never think of the word "simulator" in the same way again. If anyone has any mathematics or statistics jokes, feel free to share them with me. We are encouraged to say them in class.

It was so nice to top off the week with a drink at Else's with a friend from outside the MBA program. As much as I like everyone at school, it was wonderful to hear about non-MBA stresses and talk about something else, if only for a couple hours! I should note, though, that HEC Montreal was ranked at #96 by The Economist in the 2011 full-time MBA rankings.

For our team assignment for Managing within Organizations, my team must come up with two people from an organization that we can interview. The organization must be facing, or have recently faced, a particular issue, change, or project. It's a huge challenge to find two people who will give us the type of access we will require for the assignment and have their approval in less than a week! If anyone can offer any help, please let me know!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A New Beginning

I'm taking a break from my very dense Budgetary Control reading to post an update. P2 has begun! My new classes are as follows:  Macroeconomics, Managing within Organizations, Ethics and Governance, Budgetary Control, and Statistics. We already have team assignments for the two theory classes that we should begin working on.

In between classes today, we held a very successful international potluck. I am so appreciative of everyone who participated and I am so grateful that everyone took the time to make and bring in their dishes. It was such a great opportunity to taste cuisines from around the globe. This week I'll be working on two upcoming International Affairs projects that I hope will be as successful as this one.

I was so happy in Ethics class today when the professor explained that he will be using a blog on Blogger to post interesting articles! Great thing I already check Blogger frequently!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Happy Belated Canadian Thanksgiving

How did I spend my one day off from school? I ate Thanksgiving leftovers and carved a pumpkin!

I'll be heading back to school today to start P2. It's going to be a busy week:  International Affairs meeting and potluck, career services appointment, and new classes. Also, I should probably start to prepare for my friend's wedding that will be in a month. I'm a bridesmaid and I don't even know where I'll be staying yet!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Two Down, Two to Go

Two exams down, two to go. This has actually been the craziest exam period of my life, and I'm not just talking about the timing. Yes, they are back-to-back on the weekend after our final week of classes, but that's not the problem. They have been so much harder than I ever expected them to be! After the exams, I was happy to hear that they were hard for everyone, and it wasn't just me!

For a few minutes now, I'll be taking a brief lunch break and then it's off to study for Accounting and a bit for Being a Manager. I hope I'll be able to have a video chat with one of my classmates this afternoon. It'll give me a chance to sit outside on my balcony for a bit, while learning to analyze ratios for Le Chateau.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Making Economic Sense

Well, here I am. Just a couple hours before my first MBA final exam and I'll soon be heading over to school. I hope I studied enough for this Economics exam. We'll soon find out!

It's good to focus on the ultimate objective of this program, though. It helps to put everything into perspective. There is some excellent news regarding the Canadian job market. I've also been spending some time this morning looking at MBA and international business job opportunities in Montreal, New York, and Los Angeles. I'm pleasantly surprised by the number of jobs that interest me and that suit my qualifications. On Monday, during Canadian Thanksgiving, I plan to update my resume and start applying to some of these jobs. In the meantime, back to focusing on exams!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Final Countdown

So much to do, so little time. Studying for exams is exhausting and I cannot emphasize enough how much I'm looking forward to Sunday at 4:30 PM, when it's all over. It's so unfortunate that, when the rest of Canada has a three day weekend with Thanksgiving, we'll actually have only one day off!

I am glad to see, though, that both McGill and the University of Montreal have made the Times Higher Education top 200 universities in the world. Great news!

Here is a photograph of the Models and Decision Making spreadsheet that we worked on in class yesterday. It may not look that impressive to you, but let me tell you, it was quite exciting to get that Solver solution. It took three people and 20 minutes of computer calculations to get that total.

I am looking forward to the first event that will be hosted by the International Affairs VP and Directors. We're having a potluck on Wednesday, October 12 during lunch. I hope it turns out well!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Final Frontier

Canada is chosen by Forbes to be the best country in the world for business! See the Gazette article here.

In other news, this is the final week of my P1 classes! It's crazy how fast time flies! Six weeks is a really short period of time, but somehow we've learned a ton and everything is winding down. Yesterday, I officially finished my Management Skills class since there is no final exam for the course and my final paper is already submitted. (Wish me luck.)

Today we're handing in our Being a Manager paper and doing the oral presentation for it. Once that's done, the rest of the week will just be about attending our final classes and continuing to study for finals.

Monday, October 3, 2011

International Relations

This article about globalization at business schools really piqued my interest. It's something I've been thinking about ever since I started my MBA at HEC. What's funny is that the article points out the lack of globalization at American business schools, but at HEC, I find that the opposite is true. It is the most diverse environment I have ever been in! In fact, my group consists of four members and we come from four different countries. I've had the opportunity to learn so much from my classmates due to our international backgrounds. Furthermore, I noticed that in Phase 2, we have a globalization course. I really have to applaud HEC for incorporating an important aspect into our program:  the international component.

When I studied Linguistics at McGill, I felt so fortunate to learn about languages in a prominently bilingual city. It created a perfect setting to demonstrate the linguistic theories we were learning. Once again, I feel that I'm in the same position. I think that studying International Business at HEC will give me a great chance to learn from my peers about their previous work and cultural experiences.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Rock On

It's a rockin' Saturday night over here. It's been study, study, study all day with a minor break of meeting my group at school. In fact, we were rushed out of the Cote St. Catherine building before closing at 5 PM due to a power interruption, so the break was shorter than intended. Essentially I've been closed in all day, studying as much as I can. Fortunately, it's freezing outside so it's the perfect day to cozy up with my laptop. Luckily, I have my Jango radio station keeping me entertained.