My life in a blog

IMBA Chinese Track student at The University of South Carolina, Moore Business School, I'm currently living in Columbia, SC and traveling all over the place

Check out my other blog: My life in pictures or better check out my Flickr account

Monday, October 30, 2006

NSHMBA 2006, Cincinnati

After a very difficult 9 hour drive from Columbia, SC to Cincinnati, OH, through massive rain and aggressive truckers, free Starbucks coffee and un-healthy food me and my roommate arrived in Cincinnati. Missing the right exit, we found ourselves in the downtown area not knowing where to go. Anyway, the story can go on but let me get back to the point...

NSHMBA = National Society of Hispanic MBAs This is one of the largest career fairs for MBAs around the US. This year it was in Cincinnati, OH. So many companies, graduates and students were there trying to fit all the corporate jobs available.
Before this event, there are days of building self-awareness: finding out about the wanted companies, their positions and whether they have or not positions available for China. Next, it was printing resumes on special paper according to the positions and interest for the companies. Additional research about the companies, the position of their stands at the fair and the most efficient path to reach them all was also needed. Finally, the 90 seconds self-presenting speech was to be developed and practiced.
The D-day was Friday... Thousands of people, huge facilities, slow start, nervosity... It was all there. Talking to corporate people was not an easy deal. But before talking waiting in line could build up additional emotions.
Finally, to sum up it was a very good experience for me: my first US career fair. I learned a great deal about US corporations and managed to be invited for Microsoft/Intel/Dell party at the Hilton in downtown Cincinnati. IT WAS GREAT!
I will surely go back again whenever I can and advice everyone to go to and take on every possible opportunities.

This is NSHMBA 2005 from Atlanta:
Total Attendance: 6,700+
Corporate Sponsors: 241
Academic Sponsors: 79
Total Sponsors: 320
Job Postings Online: 6,429
Professionals: 30%
Students: 70%
Students from top universities*: 27% (Us News Top 25 U
Interview Booths: 408
Scholarship Recipients: 195

Monday, October 23, 2006

Larry Kellner, Chairman & CEO for Continental Airlines Inc.

Just back from the beautiful Bahamas and attended today one of our Wachovia lecture series.

The speaker today was Larry Kellner, Chairman and CEO of Continental Airlines, the world's fifth largest airline. He is actually a magna cum laude with a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of South Carolina, earning numerous awards.
He now manages 43,000 co-workers world-wide and strongly believes that the world is getting more and more global.
Before 1995, Continental was a lousy company, as he said: from its first meeting with its former CEO he understood the problem; it was the worst airline in everything from on time to losing bags. They were heading for another bankruptcy. He transformed the company overnight, turning it into a successful business.
He advised us:

  • "Spend a dollar to make a dollar!" - the secret in the world of business. "CFO has to make sure you don't make only 90 cents."
  • "The companies that are successful are the one who make people go together!" (they shared the rewards from being on time - everybody has to win if they worked together).
  • There are four parts to every business: people plan, product plan (make reliability a reality), marketing plan and financial plan (fun to future). They should not be ignored and the result should be crisp and clear, in the same time easy to communicate to the rest of employees.
  • "Believe in a product, a quality product: whatever you promise the customer, you need to do!"

After 9/11 they went through not un-hurt, they made tough cuts in employees and flights. They faced reality, sent this message to the world and won the race.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

out on vacation

The first part of my experience here in Columbia with the business school is now over. It is high time for analysis, increasing the self-awareness and also traveling. I will do all three in the same time heading during this Fall Break to the Bahamas.
There will be a few of us coming along in what I hope to be an exciting vacation.

I will come back with pictures and impressions. In the meantime you can find me here...

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

CEO of Fortune 500, Jack Welch

It seems that GE (General Electric) is different than what I thought: although it is still largely believed to be a multinational American company focused of manufacturing, over 60% of the revenues comes from services. "The opportunity for growth in product services is unlimited," Jack Welch, GE's symbol and brand said.
Born in 1935, he completely changed GE's stragety serveral times during his 20 years position as CEO thorough innovative management strategies and leadership style. He is seen to be the success behind the GE profits for all this period.

Some people argue that he was given to much credit for the sucess, showing that actually individual managers made this possible (example: Gary C. Wendt, chariman of GE Capital contributed with 40% of the company's total earnings). I believe that, but then there is no proof that this would've happened if it hadn't been for Welch, which my friend Anand is comparing with Alexander the Great.

There is another research I quickly conducted today, while I was waiting to get my haircut in "Great Tips", showed that about 95%(roughly, with no calculations) of all Fortune 500 CEO's were unsuccesful in their personal life. Filled with divorces, kids splattered everywhere due to multiple wifes, they were not able to balance business with family. Welch, having 3 wifes and more than 4 children, fits this pattern also. Does that make them unsuccesful ? Well... to some cultures, the answer would be YES. To others, like the American, it would be "the dream". SO... WHAT TO DO IN LIFE?

My dream would be to learn from these succesful guys and manage to balance family and business in life to become sucessful according to my books.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

What a night: violence and reptile invasion

Consider a normal Wednesday night... You might think there will be nothing special to differenciate it from another one but... Read on! I was actually planning to blog about Operations, International Management and Marketing II but a sudden list of events changed my plan!

First I was in this underground, isolated room from the library studying in peace and tranquility while attacked and distracted by two unidentified aliens: one Indian Tamil guy and a Mexican cabron. They came and distracted me from studying and started to shoot these questions at me.
Then, to show the violence of the night, I hit my elbow several times on the door knob resulting in a multi-language speech of swear words.

Soon after that, when the adrenaline was chillin' again... something amazing happened. The beginning of reptile invasion in Columbia, SC. Just as we were walking away from the freshly parket car at our house, we got attacked by a highly venomous reptile, called the "S" snake. It seem to be an American snake as it didn't show any particular preference between Indians and Romanians, both countries well know for their IT capabilities.
The battle with the snake was long and aggressive. He always

kept his head up trying to fight us with the look while we would fight back with thoughts. Finally, after some minutes of struggling, we succeeded and the snake went away, eliberating our parking lot.

What a victory for Barnwell Colon

y... What a victory for Columbia and South Carolina!!! Viva Mexico!

Below you can see the course of action is pictures during the fight:

Exhibit 1: The beast up close

Exhibit 2: Spotting the beast in our way

Exhibit 3&4: Romanian - Indian men alliance to fight the parking threat

Monday, October 09, 2006

Not a good week start

This is definitely not my best time of my recent times. Let's take things and analyze the ups and downs of whats going on: - today seems to be "Columbus Day" - some national celebration that is silently respected; the only way one finds out about this is at 7:20 am while waiting for the Post Office to open its doors - because of the bad weather during the weekend, the Skydive trip got cancelled and I don't know when can we do it again
- I haven't head in a while from a friend who left and that makes me wonder what is happening and what I did wrong
- I just spilled coffee on my shirt while writing this... It is kinda white shirt too
- by this time, I haven't send my visa paper and it kinda makes me worry about this (why... I'm just stupid, that's it and I don't do well time management)
- I don't know what decision to take in whether going or not going to Cincinnati for the National MBA Career Fair; I need to talk to some seniors to clarify my mind
- I just realized that I spend more money than I forecasted; it seems that about 30-40% of my expenses go towards unimportant things, not vital
- it takes me about 2 weeks to update the blog - this is also bad
- there are 2 exams coming up next week

On the good side, because there is always one, I can mention:
+ Wonderful discussion with the director of Solectron Guadalajara who challenged me to think once again of my decision to join the Chinese Track
+ I still stay strong on my decision after that discussion as I know what I want to get out of it
+ Did some work this weekend, but not a whole lot
+ Anand, my roommate will probably come visit me in Romania for winter holidays

Well, I guess I should pay more attention to this wine discussion with Jerry Baxter, VP of Sales for The Charmer Sunbelt Group, in our Marketing II class.