Monday, December 12, 2005


Learning a lot at IESE

I remember the days when my friends and I used to have a round table discussion on a great idea we had. We would then think of establishing a new business. We even started writing a business plan but we didn't calculate any "break even" or "expected value". We didn't do any "sensitivity analysis". We didn't talk about accounting issues like how our first year balance sheet or financial statement would look like. After preliminary, what would be a very incomplete business proposal in retrospect, we would talk about what we could do to raise money and then didn't use to progress much.

After 3 months in IESE, I can proudly say I am learning a lot here. I now know, although in a very basic way, how to critically look though balance sheets and income statements of companies. I know of different factors we need to take into account when making a decision from Decision Analysis course. I could relate to many things that happened in my past workplaces when going through the cases and discussion in Organizational Behaviour classes; for example, how one of my ex-boss who also had a huge stake in the company was acting more from a stakeholder perspective than a manager perspective. Just before I started writing this blog, I was reading a HBS case on "Accounting Fraud at Worldcom". I could very easily relate the analysis to what I have learned in Financial Accounting on how financial accounts are prone to manipulation. The case itself is very nicely written and I believe I got a complete and well rounded picture of the fraud that took place in Worldcom. The list of what I have learned at IESE goes on.

I also learned to be careful when reading my mail in Spanish today. I got a mail from Career Services saying "Los alumnos seleccionados para las entrevistas del di­a 17 de enero, ya han sido contactados." I read the word "entrevista", saw the date, noticed that the subject was the name of the company I had applied to, so I immediately thought I was shortlisted for interview. The congratulatory emails we receive when we are actually shortlisted are generally "short". (It makes sense, short-listed and hence short email, right?) So, I was happy that I was shortlisted and told some of my friends. They all congratulated me, one of them even suggested that it must be for London position as they haven't yet heard about the positions in Spain. Only after I came to my flat and shared the news with my flatmate who also received similar email, I realized the true meaning of the sentence. I know I am to be blamed for making a wrong interpretation but couldn't the email have been written to give the intended message without mentioning the date?

Hi there! First time here. Sorry to hear about your interview misunderstanding.

- applicant to IESE(Class of '08).
I do not see a problem with the email; it is specific,with date and the fact that "if" you are invited you should already have received an invitational email. I am sure more and better opportunities are out there.
Hi Pradeep,
I am a second year "IESE Spouse" and a regular reader of your blog. Your Spanish story sounds familiar. Last year, my husband asked me to translate an email he had gotten from IESE congratulating him on succesfully passing the final Spanish test. He hadn't fully grasped the meaning of the email and didn't know if he had really passed (it came as a surprise) or failed!
Good luck with everything,
Dear Dinesh,
Thanks. Good luck with your application to IESE. I also checked your blog. It is great. My wife actually liked the information about chatting with Auto Responder from Encarta. I tried it too, it was cool.

Dear Anonymous,
By itself, the email doesn't have a problem. The point is, the email could have been sent with no date mentioned. I think it is sufficient to say "Blah Blah company has already contacted the students shortlisted for their interviews" instead of "...for their interviews on Jan 17, 2006". By the way, I found out today there were at least 2 other friends who thought the same way I did.

Dear Sandrine,
Thank you. I hope I will be able to make quality posts frequently to match your expectations of a blogger in future. Did I meet you after the "official partners reception" at IESE?

Hi Pradeep,

In answer to your question, we haven't met yet. I am on "exchange" in the US with my husband. 8^)

We are looking forward to meeting you and your wife when we are back in Barcelona next January. In the meantime, good luck with the finals and have an excellent holiday!

Thank you Sandrine. I look forward to meeting you and your husband in Jan.

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