Sunday, January 21, 2007

Welcome home, P1s

Last week-end was the Integration Party at Sentosa. Sentosa is like the Singapore version of Disneyland. It's neat, sort of kitschy cute, until you stare at the horizon and figure out you're surrounded by oil tankers and container ships.

The party was great. It looked like MTV Beach Party in Miami... I guess it was true to what Singapore campus is about: a more relaxed atmosphere, somehow closer to anglo-saxon values. Sounds nice to me!

The problem was, and is, and will always be, that for a lot of incoming students (P1s and P3s), this is their first time in Asia. So, during week-ends, most people get out of Singapore. Which is nice -I mean, I'll be doing some of it too- it's just that it requires extra stamina and intelligence to cope with the programme. In other words, for the Dean's Listers, technically it is easier to be on the List when in Singapore from P1 to P3. Someone told me that because of these week-end excursions anyone who would work just a little more would be propelled to the Right of the terrible Z-curve. Then again, I suppose that you'd have to be a tad masochistic to resist to Thailand or Vietnam or Philippines or Bali...

There are at least two cool projects going on for nearly all P3s. One is Negotiations -Getting 10 NOs. The idea is to figure out that, applying our ultra top cutting edge framework, nobody can resit us. Another idea, I suppose, is to see how the pattern evolves with more class experience. On Saturday, a friend of mine, off the taxi, seeing a group of 4 cute Singaporeans girls, told us to go ahead to the Bar, for he'd work on his project. From a far, in chorus, I heard resounding "NOs". Does it count as 4 No's??

The other fun project is Venture Opportunity Business Models. We have to come up for an idea to explore in the Framework. It's so funny to see all participants think really hard to come up with something workable. Actually I overheard some ideas, and they are pretty interesting. Our criteria are: Pain Killer vs. Vitamin (ie. how badly served is the target segment), and, of course, profitability and sustainability of the segment. Well, there are loads of concepts in the Class, but in essence it comes down to that.

On the fun front, some people are hunting for who I am. I'll make it easy for you guys, I'm in A1, middle row, left...

To continue on my list of great places to eat:

- Newton Circus Hawker Centre. One of the greats for seafood. A convenient mix of must-eat in Singapore all in one place. Black pepper crab for €12 the big piece, 10 satay pieces for €2.5, nice hokkien spring rolls for €1.

- Blue Ginger, the one in Tanjong Pagar. It's dinstinguished, in an old Chinese House, it's excellent, it's reasonably priced, and it's consistent. I love it. If you're really adventurous, you can try the famed Durian. We asked for a try, and the waiter brought us for free a bowl of Durian puree. Durian, surprisingly, is the shape of Singapore concert hall too (see pic). That says a lot about how loved it is over here!

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At 1:18 AM , Blogger shanulk said...

I've had a very bad first month at insead so far: It seems some of our alumni are not giving INSEAD a good name. (1) Anuron Saxena: this guy working with McKinsey sold me a car that did not work by assuring me that only the battery needed to be changed. But I had to spend Euro 500 for the gas pump. On calling him, he just sounded "helpless". (2) Rajat Khanna: this guy working with Credit Suisse came to the Open House event and I actually saw him shoot down questions and in fact encouraged us not to apply to IB at Credit Suisse!


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