Wednesday, July 12, 2006

One month to go before the start!

Well, that is because I have intended to attend the pre-course programme at INSEAD that is called Business Foundations.

Waiting to leave to Fontainebleau and start the programme, I am reading the textbooks required: 2 in Accounting, 1 in Finance, and 1 in Microeconomics. The Business Foundations course is aimed at future students with little management experience -such as engineers- or, as is my case, future students out of the academic world for a long time. Indeed, having browsed through them, I realised that a lot of materials have been covered in my previous life, but that I am giving them a new life thanks to the long work experience and hands-on examples. This really sums up what I expect from INSEAD: a new vision, very practical and intense, on business issues (my business in particular) that will inspire me to new territories and, with a narrower view, help me on pressing, short-term business issues in the family business.

I log in every day to the INSEAD intranet, called NetVestibule. It is quite refreshing to see future fellow students. It is close to voyeurism as well ;-) knowing each other experience prior to INSEAD. You really get a hell of a diversity. Obviously in terms of nationalities, headed by the Indians, the French, and the North Americans. But also in terms of work experience, although one cannot help to notice the abundance of Management Consultants (the usual suspects: Mc Kinsey, BCG, Booz, and Bain -a lot of McKinsey). Some are quite young, a fact which potentially annoys me, given that I chose INSEAD for the maturity of its student body. On the other hand, MC students are high flyers, and very bright people. At least, MC will bring structure to group works.

Things on my mind before leaving:
1. Finding a gym
2. Finding a good winestore close to home
3. Finding a bike
4. Finding a ride from Paris to Fonty on August 12.

On the gym, I have enquired and it seems that the one at INSEAD is expensive, inconvenient (in terms of opening hours), and not so well equipped. I am considering alternatives, Fonty being a sports-friendly city: a chain sports club, or the sports club. I will enquire in September, but it seems that the club at EIS (French Elite sport school) could be a good option. After all, EIS is where many French Olympic champions train. And it could be nice to venture out of the INSEAD bubble from time to time.

On the winestore, because INSEAD is renowned for its social life. I will share a house with several students, and I hope we will all agree to organise regular dinners with fellow students. And what better than wine can open up people and make then cheerful? I have never lived with room mates before, I sincerely hope they will be civilised and fun, a good mix of seriousness, cheerfulness, fun and active. We shall see... For now, I know of a Japanese, a Greek, a Russian in the house. Stereotypes come back to me: Japanese=geeky as in Nô, Greek=noisy as in sirtaki, Russian="cheerful" as in vodka... Impressive CVs though, and one is from McKinsey, of course...

I am hoping that my landlady has accepted one French, one Briton, one African or South-American, and one American - that would make up an interesting mix, wouldn't that?


For a city map of Fonty (INSEAD is located on top left handside):
http://www.fontainebleau.fr/01acces.htm

For info about sports clubs in Fonty:
http://www.fontainebleau.fr/05tous.php

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