Saturday, September 29, 2007

Dear Apple

Please stop acting like Microsoft.
It's quite annoying.

Friday, September 21, 2007

I'm a bartending cohort rep

So in the past week I have been a tad busy. I decided to run for cohort representative, which involved a quick week turnaround between the interest meeting and elections. Everyone voted yesterday, and we found out before our first class today that I was elected cohort representative! Each entering MBA class at Georgetown has four cohorts of about 65-70 people. The cohorts each elect one representative to serve on the SGA executive board. We work to ensure that the first year career services, curriculum, social (etc) needs are being met.
Oh yeah, and the day we find out we are elected, we have SGA bartending night. Today was a bit crazy. I got to the car barn around 9:30 and sat at a table collecting donations for our class service project, collecting school supplies for DC schools. I had class from 11:40 to 4, then had a break before a corporate presentation (changed into a suit) by Booz Allen Hamilton. I then went back to the car barn, changed back into hang out clothing and then headed to Rhino Bar on M Street. I grabbed a bite, and listened to bar tender training! We basically just learned what alcohol we were NOT allowed to serve. The party was awesome. We had a great turnout and the Class of 2009 beat the first years in a boatrace. (The drinking game...) The 2009 Cohort reps had the last shift of bartending which was a riot. I was happy to see so many of my classmates out and getting a little wild- I won't go into detail here. :)

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Of cell phones

THE most annoying thing that can happen in class is for someone's cell phone to go off. This only happened maybe once or twice during the first week of class and hasn't been a problem since. Now, many people (such as myself) only get service in some parts of the Car Barn 2nd floor, where we MBA students live at Georgetown. So even if you forget to turn off your phone, if you have class on one side of the hallway, you may not have service anyways. For some reason yesterday was cell phone incident day.
As a side note- I have had relatively few embarrassing cell phone problems in my life. Two weeks ago was one of them. I walked into an accounting pre-test after most of my class (as in half of the 270 people) were already seated and took out my pencil. No sooner had I started on problem one than my cell phone started ringing. I then proceeded to say "Oh crap!" very loudly, further distracting my classmates before turning off the offending phone.

Yesterday. I went to a semi-corporate presentation for the Wall Street Without Walls org, which works to provide investment banking services to community based and community development organizations. It deals in structured finance to help rate paper and connect wall street to these small orgs. Georgetown MBA folk are usually heavily involved given our proximity, interest in finance and interest in helping people. A classmate sat there texting for about half the presentation. I didn't judge as I hoped it was something important, but as I was giving up talking to my significant other while at the presentation I had difficulty understanding what was so critical. Eventually the individual stopped texting but then someone texted him back... and his crackberry was on full volume! It was quite embarrassing for the group as a whole, luckily the presenter just ignored it.

Also yesterday, my accounting professor was in mid-lecture when someone's phone started ringing. He froze, then hastily started digging around in his pocket- HIS phone was the one going off! He was a bit embarrassed but turned the phone quickly and proceeded with the lecture.

So although my classmate should have been a bit more discrete about his texting, even professors sometimes forget to turn off their phones so we can all stand to be a little forgiving.

This moral brought to you by a tired yet amused HairTwirler.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Point, Counterpoint: You know, microeconomics provides a useful framework for studying business... Versus I Hate You, I Hate You, I Hate You.

You know, microeconomics provides an incredibly useful framework for studying business. Microeconomics is an integral part of your MBA degree and will help you analyze supply and demand in order to make effective market entry and exit decisions. It can also help you determine both the marginal cost AND the marginal revenue of your firm and the market. If you ask me, this subject is so useful you should be spending less time on accounting and strategy and really concentrate on learning microeconomics. We're moving into a very exciting part of microeconomics- perfect competition! Now most economics textbooks think that you should study perfect competition first. If you ask me, that is hogwash. Yes, I just said hogwash. Monopolistic competition provides a much better framework to start a beginning economics class, don't you agree?
Most people think that economics is just a set of useless theories, but they're wrong! Please do stop by my office hours if you'd like to chat some more about microeconomic theory.

Is that right? Does microeconomics provide a useful framework for analyzing business problems? That midterm exam was horrible. I can't believe you're standing at the front of the room telling me I should have finished the first three problems in five minutes.
I Hate You, I hate you, I hate you.
While microeconomics may be useful for analyzing business problems, I no longer care. I wish I could walk out of class, but then my grade and my future ability to get a job where I have to talk intelligently about economic principles may be affected. Although that midterm might have done enough damage to my GPA to kill all hopes of a lucrative career in the financial sector.
No, I don't want to stop by your office hours. I am desperately clinging to my last vestiges of concentration to stay awake in this class. Any more discussion of microeconomics might send me into an unrecoverable coma. It's # o'clock, I'm outta here!

Note: I don't really hate my economics prof, he's quite a good prof. He also has a great sense of humor which is why I hope he'll appreciate this spoof of one of my favorite Onion articles EVER.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Georgetown... past present and future

I made a great new discovery on Thursday morning. I so rarely leave the car barn (home to the business school) during the school day, it was a bit of a change to have the time to hang out in the Leavey Center for a few hours. I popped into the Leavey Center (Georgetown's student center) and went into the convenience store run by the undergrads. The undergrads are an enterprising bunch and run a convenience store called Vital Vittles and a coffee shop called Uncommon Grounds. It turns out that Vital Vittles sells fresh salads and sandwiches prepared by four different Georgetown shops. I had a delicious gyro for lunch and settled down with an iced tea to work on my organizational behavior homework. I stared out the window and to my left saw the Jesuit graveyard tucked away in the middle of campus and to my right I observed construction on the new McDonough School of Business building! The class of 2009 is supposed to be in the building second semester next year if all stays on schedule.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Our Student Services Rocks

Me: Dear Student Services, There is generally not enough tea in the fishbowl in the morning. Could you please put more out? Thank you!
Student Services (less than an hour later): I put more tea out. Please let me know if there is anything else you need.
It's the little things... and free caffeine is a critical little thing!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Kill Goliath in the cradle

In strategy today we discussed network effects and how early entrants to an industry generally come out the winners, but first entrants generally do not. This topic prompted several good quotes from my strategic management prof today: "The first entrant just tenderizes the steak, the other early entrants come along and eat the steak." This was later followed by an analogy about David and Goliath relating to a case on eBay we were discussing. He ended class with the recommendation that actually, Goliath would crush David like a bug, grind him into the ground and really you want to kill Goliath in the cradle.
Point made.

On the opposite end of the bouncing around the room perspective, my organizational behavior professor stood in front of our class for five minutes silently, just looking around the room. After about two minutes the class was settled and silent and staring back. I checked my email, then the clock and at five minutes I raised my hand, was called upon, and asked if we were going to start the class. And he did. When he does this exercise every year there is always some delay. The average delay is 7 minutes, the longest a class has gone is 12. He used it to transition into a discussion on norms and company values.

I attended the first Georgetown Women in Business club meeting during lunch today (free lunch, always good) and started to fill up my calendar with events. Busy bee I am!