Tuesday, January 16, 2007


Week of highs and lows

Last week was an interesting week. I got to see the King and Queen of Spain when they came to IESE to inaugurate the new campus. I also had a minute of fame when my brief interview was shown in a big screen for the VIP audience including the King and Queen in the new auditorium. The article on the inauguration can be read at
and the video can be seen at

It was also the week when I failed DIEN for the second time. My Spanish professor's view was I climbed all the way but few meters to the top and then said, "nah! I am not gonna climb anymore". I got close to reaching the threshold but didn't reach it. That means I won't be able to take classes offered in Spanish this semester. But when there is a will, there is a way, right? I am thinking of at least "auditing" the classes.

Classes started from the middle of last week. I am taking 3 most popular electives at IESE this semester among others. They are "Globalization and Strategy", "Financing Entrepreneurial Opportunities" and "Managerial Decision Models". For each of the first 2 subjects, there are 2 classes offered to cater to about 140 students who want to take the class. That means we have about 70 students in each of those classes. Pankaj Ghemawat is teaching the " Globalization and Strategy" class. There was a lot of news coverage at IESE when he joined us full time this year. At his class this morning, there was a 3-members camera crew recording the class, from the center and the two corners. When I entered the class, for a moment I wondered if a mini concert was taking place when I saw lots of wires lying around on the floor.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


we now have a water fountain! hurray!

Update on Jan 16, 2007:
Photos of the water fountain

Ashwin was the first one to pass me the news that we now have a water fountain at IESE. We can now use it to drink water directly or refill bottles. Its located in the cafeteria in between the water vending machines. (Strategic location, I think ! :) ) I am so glad that we finally have it as we have been pushing for it for a long time. I didn't take my camera today to take a photo but as soon as I have one, I will post it.

I hope we will buying less water bottles and hence throwing less of them in the trash.

Thank you IESE Administration for listening to the students and the Environmental Group
(Responsible Business Club) .

Sunday, January 07, 2007


DIEN exam! one more time!

At IESE, if you like to take MBA classes that are offered in Spanish, you need to pass the DIEN (Diplomas Intermedio de Español de los Negocios ) exam. The concept is similar to having to get certain score in TOEFL to take classes offered in English.

My DIEN exam is coming up, in fact it is taking place the day after tomorrow. Last time I took it in November and I failed. Later I found out that I did very bad in the reading comprehension. So you can guess, I am just reading business articles in Spanish whenever I can to improve on it. At the same time I need to make sure I remember the grammar that I knew before the holidays.

If I pass it, I can then take MBA classes offered in Spanish this semester. That would be really awesome. Thats one of the unique offering of IESE and I really want to take advantage of it. I wish I was wiser to have learnt more Spanish before I joined IESE. If I had done that, I didn't have to wait until now to take the exam, pass it and take MBA classes offered in Spanish.

There is also one more advantage of passing the DIEN now. If I take at least 2 classes offered in Spanish, I can then have a bilingual degree when I graduate. This is less important to me than the fun/challenge of taking class in a language you have learned in less than 2 years. But it would still be nice to get a bilingual degree. So If I pass the DIEN, I will definitely go for 2 classes offered in Spanish.

If I fail this time, I may have more opportunity to take DIEN before I graduate but I won't be able to take MBA classes offered in Spanish as the last semester starts from Jan 10th. As you can understand, the risks are high and hence I am back "para practicar mas Español ".

Saturday, January 06, 2007



I had become a super fan of JAJAH.com to call home in Nepal as it gave me the slightly better rate than the calling cards and a reliable quality. It was also an innovative concept allowing people to call from phone to phone but initiate the conversation through internet. And I didn't have to bother about going to La Ramblas and buying the calling cards, I could just add funds to my account using the credit cards.

But sadly, the new year was not a a good news regrading jajah for people from small and commercially unpopular countries like Nepal. It increased the rate to call Nepal from 19 US cents to a 25 US cents a minute.

I am back to using calling cards now which are designed to fool people with weird combination of rounding and connecting charges but at least gives me, overall, better rates than JAJAH now.

Adios JAJAH.

Thursday, January 04, 2007


New Year 2007 in Lapland

We celebrated our new year in Lapland with 25 other friends, mostly from IESE. For me, to have experienced a place north of Arctic Circle like lapland where I can see light ony for 4 hours during a day was something priceless, like they say in a "mastercard" ad. I had only read about such things in my geography books.

I also got to meet for the first time the real "Santa Clause" in Rovaniemi. Rovaniemi is also the town in Lapland which crosses the "arctic circle".

There were many "first time" events for me that took place during this trip. I drove a snowmobile, experienced reindeer sledding, did sauna of about 100 degree C and then went out and slept on the snow naked for few seconds (Finnish style), all for the first time.

Thank you Juha for organizing the trip and hosting us in your grand winter house.

Some photos from the trip:

driving a snow mobile

Pulling Siru on a frozen lake

Santa Clause Village. The line above us is the line to mark the arctic circle
although it doesn't always fall exactly on the line.

Feeding reindeers in a reindeer farm

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?