Monday, June 26, 2006

Released from Jouy-en-Josas

The ceremony last week was, as expected, a dawdling affair. The school convocated graduates from all programs, all 1,600 of us, in one setting at our Jouy campus. In the business world, this is called economies of scale. But you could also call it being cheap. I don't blame the school though - I'd rather see money allocated to scholarships than on a half-day ceremonial event.

In the end, I waited for about 3 hours to receive my diploma, as the CEO of Veolia, the Dean of HEC, the Dean of the Grande Ecole program, the Dean of the MBA program, the Dean of the Executive MBA program, the President of the Alumni Association... you get the picture... took their turn to address, mostly in French, a passive crowd. I felt bad for the families of MBA students who sat during the entire event not understanding a word that was said.

Our Graduation Gala, on the other hand, was majestic. We celebrated with a copious four-course meal, champagne à volonté (all you can drink), dazzling fireworks, and of course wonderful company.

During the evening, several student awards (more farcical than serious) were handed out, and I shared with a compatriot the dubious distinction of attending the most Grande Ecole parties*. They call it partying, I call it networking.

* Although I went to many during the 6 months I lived on campus, I can think of at least two other classmates who did better (or is it worse in this context) during the course of the 16-month program.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Remise des diplomes

Today marks the official end of the 16-month HEC MBA. Lots of celebration ahead, but honestly speaking I can do away with the convocation itself.

Last year's was unpleasant for the MBAs. The entire class stayed seated for two hours as graduates from other programs (about 1,000 students I believe) were called first. I'm sure I'll be able to relate to Mark's experience at HBS minus the cold, rainy weather.

After the ceremony, we are celebrating our graduation lavishly at le Chateau de Dampierre, 10km away from the HEC campus. Let's hope the Gala Committee ordered enough cases of champagne.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The heat is on

Literally. After a drab and rainy May, the sun beamed over London for 7 straight days. The Brits are enjoying their pints outdoors, and the women are clad with skimpy tops revealing their protruding body part (the one you’d rather not see). But of course, as I’m writing this post, the London weather has returned to its dreary self.

And metaphorically. I have until the end of September to find work in Europe before my bank account runs dry. My job search seemed promising last month until the markets tumbled. We’ll see how things unfold in the next little while.

ps: Expect more updates now that I have more time to blog.