Thursday, 28 February 2013

Haggis and other International culinary delights

Let’s begin with where we left off – talking about the fun stuff between the other fun stuff called exams.  We kicked off Term 2 with the great annual Burns night event and quickly followed it up with International week.   Burns night celebrates the life of Robert Burns, the Scottish composer of poems, lyrics and other pieces that addressed political and civil issues.  Most can recite/slur one of his pieces on NYE when they have an attempt at the famous "Auld Lang Syne".  He used to be celebrated on the anniversary of his death, July 21st, but the Scottish, being upbeat as they are, switched it to his birthdate of 21st January, which being in winter makes the traditional haggis, scotch whisky and poetry all the more palatable/enjoyable.  At Cranfield we invite the London Business School to come up and compete in various sports through the day and in Scottish dancing through the night.  A great day and night was had by all. 

We followed it up with International week where all the countries represented by the cohort get to be celebrated one by one through the week.  We got to taste the countries culinary delights, hear the traditional music and experience other parts of the culture.  We started with Asia on the first night, jumped across to Europe and Africa the next night and covered the Aussies, Kiwis and America’s on the last night.  If you ever have an international week always schedule to finish with the South Americans, they know how to close a celebration in style with a Carnival party – great fun.  It quickly became apparent that everyone has great pride in their countries – and why not!  I think all of us have some great future travelling ahead of us as we visit our cohort over the coming decades.  Guys, how about 5 year reunions hosted by each country over the next 100 odd years?  Just an idea.

Other than that the term has been going well.  I am sure we have as much work as last term, if not more, but we are now adept at drinking from the metaphorical 'knowledge fire hose' of the MBA whilst still being able to drink at the social.  The subjects from Term 1 and term 2 are increasingly intersecting.  We could be covering government bonds as part of Monetary policy in economics and then corporate bonds in the next Finance lecture; reflection on Agency costs in Economics, Finance, People Management and Strategy; Operations and Supply Chain as part of the consideration for business recovery in Strategy; the Porters five forces model covered in Marketing being used in an analysis for project decisions in Exploiting Information Technology; director responsibilities dealt with in Business Law relating with business ethics in People Management.  It all comes full circle. 
Speaking of full circle, people are acutely aware of the need to return to a job to apply this great knowledge (and to earn one’s keep!) so there is now a stream of career events and visits from companies.  Congratulations to Lekgotla who was the first from the cohort to confirm a new role, in this case McKinsey’s, after he was flown to Johannesburg last weekend for his final interview for the consulting role.  Nice work mate.  I believe this means that the first 5 year cohort reunion will be held in South Africa in 2018, hosted by Lex.  Bring it on!  


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