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

Sunday, December 24, 2006

back to romania

It is soooo good to be back home especially when you feel it's been a long time since you last spent time with the family. Food, drinks, fun, nice people will also be always associated with home.

Now, Anand and I enjoy being in Romania! It is ALL ABOUT THE FOOD AND THE PEOPLE :)
So far, it's been great being home... I will post the pictures in my blog soon.

Until then, read this funny letter I just received in my mailbox
"Dear All,I wanted to send you a holiday greeting. Then I realized that, starting2007 after Romania's integration to EU, new rules and regulations apply. Moreover, we will be part of the European community of people. Because it is so difficult in today's world to know exactly what to saywithout offending someone, I met with my attorney, and on his advice I wish to say the following:

Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low stress,non-addictive, gender neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday,practiced with the most enjoyable traditions of religious persuasion orsecular practices of your choice with respect for the religious/secularpersuasions and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all.

I also wish you a fiscallysuccessful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognitionof the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2007, but not withoutdue respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whosecontributions to society have helped make Europe great (not to imply thatEU is necessarily greater than any other country/union) and without regardto the race, creed, colour, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual preference.By accepting this greeting, you are accepting these terms:This greeting is subject to clarification or withdrawal. It is freelytransferable with no alteration to the original greeting. It implies no promise by the wisher to actually implement any of the wishes forher/himself or others and is void where prohibited by law, and is revocableat the sole discretion of the wisher.

This wish is warranted to perform as expected within the usual application of good tidings for a period of oneyear or until the issuance of a subsequent holiday greeting, whichevercomes first, and warranty is limited to replacement of this wish or issuance of a new wish at the sole discretion of the wisher.Disclaimer: No trees were harmed in the sending of this message; however, asignificant number of electrons were slightly inconvenienced in order to present you this great Christmas Tree!"

Friday, December 15, 2006

the past, present and future

Isn't it incredible that 5 months and 11 days ago we were in our first GCMO and Dr. Roth's speech in Lumpkin auditorium. Here we are now 8 hours before the last final exam, Kettinger's Information systems.

Some interesting facts that speak for our past in the program:
- our class mates total is 95
- unfortunately 4 of them left the class already
- 13 different nationalities: US, India, China, Bosnia, Germany, France, Belgium, Romania, Hungary, Peru, Mexico, Thailand, Barbados
- 9 different tracks that we will all be involved in (calculating Mexican and Spanish as two different ones)
- we took a total of 13 different classes, taught by 16 professors which come from 4+1 distinct countries (Explanation: India, US, Hong Kong, Bulgaria and Boston :)
- 25 credits worth of studies
- 9 physical text books, 1 online text book and millions of cases from our friends from Harvard
- attended 4 CEO speeches (Wachovia lectures)
- eat 2 times per week for free at the International House of Students right across the street
- we spent about $70 worth of parking tickets in 5 months
- estimated 264 bottles/cans of beer consumed by us
- estimated 76(Anand) and 23(Adrian) Starbucks caffeine drinks purchased
- 24,000 actual minutes spend together in class, paying attention

These numbers are only part of our estimates. The actual number are difficult to estimate. It has been a great time, we made a lot of friends and enjoyed a rough sail but it was interesting. Everyone in our program had a great story, everyone added some unique value to our program. Though we had different cultural and ethnic background, different functional experience, varied interests and priorities but we all had the same quest for knowledge, interest in travelling, learning about life of people. Business knowledge is just a bi-product, we gained more than what school can teach us from our fellow cohorts. It is this rich experience will help us sail smooth through our life journey.

Anand & Adrian

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The last 100 meters or the last mile?

The first is the Romanian expression and the second is the English translation! Basically they all show the same issue: the CORE is almost over. There are 3 major obstacles in the way:
1) Finance - Dr. Kwok
2) Managerial Accounting - Dr. Jackson (he promised to bring us doughnuts and coffee before the exam to make the paper sweeter)
3) Information System - Dr. Kettinger (hmmm... I rest my case here)

Anyways, I'm now looking back to the Finance subject. Before I didn't even know how Finance looks like, I didn't even know what to expect from it. Basically, all I knew is that it was all about money $$$$
Q: What do I know now? A: "Not so much" (quoted from the famous Borat movie)

Actually, I realized that compared to 1.5 months ago I found out quite a bit of things: like to diversify your portfolio to minimize risk, the relationship between risk and return, CAPM, WACC, evaluate cash flows, Net Present Value... The second finance class taught me (hopefully) to take into consideration risks (Exchange rate, Economical and Transactional), how to asses them, how to pick the weapons to defeat them and finally implement the changes.
We learned also ways to make money by means of speculations (risky stuff) or arbitrage (not risky, but not available to us, mortals). OK, so you can't make money that easy, but you can hedge future receivables and payments. The final part dealt with International Capital Budgeting (you are a multinational company and you want to evaluate international projects... so you put a lot of work into it and bang bang ... like "black magic"... you get the answer).

It was an interesting class and along with a couple of others I truly believe it will impact my future career decisions.