Monday, September 15, 2008

Paradise to Probability

“Give a busy person something to do, and it will get done.”
Or so they say…
Someone should tell “them” to get an MBA! 
In business school, that philosophy goes out the window. Actually, all philosophies go out the window. Life, as I knew it- has gone out the window. I’m getting nothing done. And the more I do, the more it seems I have yet to do.

These are my classes, in case anyone is wondering why I haven't called them back:
-Managerial Statistics
-Financial Accounting and Reporting
-Business Law
-Information Technology
-and who knows what they will add to that list next week….

And how much I understand of the aforementioned balls and chains?
-about 10% (up 10% from two weeks ago.)

Beyond the 7-8 hours of daily classes, I have hours upon hours of group work a day- including an inundation of e-mails at night- and on the weekends. It never ends. 
Another misconception about business school? The belief that a concentration on group work would alleviate some of the stress- some of the work load- etc…
Nope. Not at all. 
Groupwork is exactly that- Work. 
More work.

Figuring out how to fuse the study styles, work ethics, cultures, opinions, strengths, weaknesses, and beliefs of seven people from seven different backgrounds and seven countries is no easy task. Attempting to maintain a voice among six other voices- just as strong or stronger than mine- just as knowledgeable or more knowledgeable than mine is no walk in Park Güell.

But I’m working on it- we are all working on it- still smiling, still positive, and still incredibly aware that wherever we go after this, there is nothing we wont be able to do- and no one we wont be able to handle. Not one single graduate of the ESADE MBA will have an easy time, but this stuff is invaluable. It’s f*cking fantastic. (and again…this is just pre-term: a weighty attempt at getting all of us right-brainers, "artists," hippies, call-it-what-you-will, caught up with the Goldman Sachs imports lurking among us…

Speaking of fantastic- not everything is a struggle. At this time yesterday, I was on a sailboat in the Mediterranean with some of my favorite people in Barcelona, including my new hero- a man who happens to have accomplished everything in his lifetime that I have on my “list” to do…

So although it’s about balance/finding a happy medium- there are no happy mediums to be had in this alternate-Barcelonian-MBA-universe.

How does one go from paraîso (*see image 1) on Sunday, to infierno (*see text 2) on Monday?(With time for rest in between). 
Ideas welcome…


"Least square criterium. The normal equations 
From min Σei2= minSSR

∂SS R/ ∂b0=0 => ΣYi = nb0+ b1ΣXi
∂SS R/ ∂b1=0 => ΣXiYi = b0ΣXi + b1ΣXi2

ΣY i-nb0-b1ΣXi = Σ(Yi- ) = Σei = 0
Σ(Y i-b0-b1Xi) Xi = Σ(Yi- )Xi = ΣeiXi = 0 

So Σei=0 & Σeixi=0 are artifacts which hold always
whatever your data might be."

*This post is dedicated to my group members (should they come across my blog)- Tanya, Emmanuel, Bernardo, Stephan, Nirankar, and Saurabh- who will get to know me better than most, spend more time with me than any boyfriend ever has, will most likely curse my existence more than a few times in the next few months, and will undoubtedly teach me more about myself than I could have ever imagined. xx


stephy said...

Nice blog, funny posts, let me indulge in this Carrie-Bradshawesque prose with a sensible pollution of unsolicited comments...

It's almost midnight, I am 6 hours away from throwing once again my 3 alarm clocks to the wall. 5 minutes ago I was still on a frenzy, completing with zele what will commonly be called an "IT presentation" and which I am calling a modest solipsist unrecognised work of art (nerd alert!). As I lit up a cigarette to get the creative nerdy mind going, I decided to look up this soon to be famous collection of ramblings. What a laugh ! so much better then any geeky post I would have read from my bookmarks and forgotten by the next day. Replying to this is worth another constricted 4 hour night.... hum sorry nap! Let it be known, by the way, that many successful people are pathologically unable to sleep more then that. Lucky them! But best to note is that their lifespan does not seem to be affected!

So beside wondering why these freakin' cash flow methods match or don't match, you might certainly be trying to figure out what is going on in the minds of these weird teammates of yours. Here is my attempt to answer for one of six (disclaimer: this opinion is subject to change every month):

While the mind-numbing equations of least square regression analysis give rise to doubt and frustration to some, others find a pleasing opportunity to reengage with an old forgotten thought process. I am quite sorry never to have studied Shakespeare and Goethe but I am thankfull to have been sensitised to the beauty of the abstractions of mathematics. I have had the luxury to start mathematics 10 years ago with one of the most brilliant minds I have met and also one of the weirdest. During my first three post-highschool weeks, with about 8 hours of class a week, we have attempted to understand why 0+something=something and 0*something=0. Brilliant isn't it ??? Needless to say at this rate, we only achieved to cover 70% of the official program. I later got in trouble for that fact but the good thing is that I was taught maths with tales of philosophers (i think they were all philosophers even those who did not write philosophical essays) reconstructing the world as we know it, starting from the remotest orbital ideas. This is just to explain why I went ahead yesterday, pen and pencil, to demonstrate with 4 pages of algebra your aforementioned formulas, just as somebody would do crosswords or sudokus, And this is also why I enjoy our statistics class (nerd alert!). I am far from being a math expert though, and my IQ is way too low for pursuing a career in mathematics and most of all I would be tired of maths after 1 months doing just that. And hell I can't even ever imagine doing that :
or that:
Ok so my point is that any subject, even math/stats, can be interesting and I would try to find the same interest for other subjects. One of the big reasons I wanted to do an MBA was to challenge my mind and learn new things (of course being able to access interesting jobs after is also a substantial incentive). Therefore whatever subject it is we are learning there is a reason for it and I will force myself to be interested if I have to. I want to be interested and I want to have broad interests and all our courses I believe will be interesting. Insisting on this I am going to be one of those many people who quote Eleanor Roosevelt:
"One thing life has taught me: if you are interested, you never have to look for new interests. They come to you. When you are genuinely interested in one thing, it will always lead to something else."
And this explains why I think I will be eager to put in the hours, put in the efforts, get knowledge in as much as my sleeping patterns will allow. I am sure you also came to learn new things, it shows, although as it seems, with a little bit less sweat outside the gym ? But just like diets and perfect abs, learning is not easy. And also, just as tae-boe classes make the gym fun, groupworks should make learning fun too. So let's be appreciative of these.

I know I am rude, stubborn, unapologetic, pessimistic, negative, conflicting, anal...not my fault I have been educated in France! And so, another reason why I will enjoy this program so much is that I get to work very closely with positive people like you ! And thanks to you and my other supra-motivated teammates I bet within a year I will become sufficiently emotionaly intelligent to change into a charming, supportive, motivating, appreciative individual. I hope to learn as well from everybody in this heterogenous and unthinkable class of ours. And just like my team's positive attitude will help me to change and learn new things, I am sure we'll get you to understand the necessary algebra and you will end up enjoying late-night under deadline pressure groupworks while ladies night is on at Barcelonetta's clubs

Don't stop to make me laugh with your blog, I'm puting it on my bookmarks.

Your yang.

Anonymous said...

I am left speechless! I have no idea what that math means but I want your life! Keep the posts coming!