Italians do it better (the MBA)

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Here is a picture of Milan today. I love the white landscape in which everything becomes so smooth!! Did I told you that this term I'm sitting on the back of the class, in the last row. Beside me there is a girl that here, for privacy reasons, we will call Melanie. Melanie spends 80% of the time (with a compound growth of 5%) on her laptop doing anything except paying attention to the class: email, powerpoint, random surf over internet, picture editing and red-eye effect removing, messenger.. and so on. The only class she pays attention to is Managerial Accounting. Why? Because the professor, in a shared opinion among girls, is HOT. Dylan says that from the second row you can smell a bad breath but the way he gives numbers is quite irresistible. He is the guy of "cash is king". Melanie was always late last term but the fact that our Operational Finance professor has introduced the rule that whoever is late has to sing in front of the class makes her extremely on time. Today she was there but i cannot hear her tumbs on the keybord and quickly came the explanation. "George..".. "yes Melanie".. "I'm drunk". She also explained me that is good dutch tradition that when your parents come to visit, you go with them to Bar of The Week. They went home at 4 in the morning totally drunk (totally means everybody, mother, father, not already legal sister, and Melanie.. at full capacity) singing each of them a different song along the streets of Barcelona. Then she went out because she could't sustain an our of operational finance. She came back for the second class: Human Resource Management. Since she was not present during the first class she spent several minutes to manage the backlog of emails she hasn't replyed yet. In the meantime the professor has written down some charts and trendlines for "ENVIRONMENT, STRATEGY and HR-APPROACH". After 10 minutes Melanie wispers in my ear "George".. "Yes Melanie".. "What's the first word? ENTERTAINMENT?".

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Just finished a report for managerial accounting, a subject in which they told you that all that bullshit about profits and balance sheets at the end doesn't matter. What matters is only Cash. Cash is king. To be honest ever time the professor says "Cash" i think at Eli Cash from "the Tenenbaums", one of my preferred films. Among the news of the week there is the fact that Alex has decided to move out and finish the MBA livinig with his girlfriend. Since our flat has been awarded "Best IESE flat of the Year" you can immagine that there has been a great fight to get Alex's room. At the end in the final match Pierre (FRA) defeated Andreas (SWI) and will move in the next weekend. Whoever is going to move in we will have for sure a party to greet Alex and wellcome Pierre. Vale.. voy a terminar mis casos. Un abrazo.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Warm Weather

I heard that in all Europe there is an incredible wave of cold which brings temperatures around -20 degrees. The lengend says that in Milan during the morning you can see the firemen going around to thaw the frozen transexuals in the streets. Well.. here is totaly different. Not only because there are no transexuals in the streets (even if i can understand that for many of you this can be a pity) but also because the temperature amazingly warm and is gettin better every day. There has been no single day in which it was too cold to go aournd by bike. Saturday we played football and during the break we could even lay under the sun! And tonight we go even further... we will have our first BBQ to give baptism to the new roof-terrace season! Viva Barcelona!

Friday, January 20, 2006

ART for my room

Hey i've bought some Andy Warhol's paints to give a color touch to my bedroom. Now i feel much better!

Thursday, January 19, 2006

I'm just thinking that...

... i need to buy a poster for my room. This white wall behind me is orrible. It has to be a big one. Maybe black and white.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Reminder of the night

Today i've learnt that studying Human Resources Management listening to "light my fire" and "people are strange" makes you write "I think they should just take it easy" as a solution for the case. And to not mention the astonishing results obtained in Operations Management! I need to go to bed, i don't know if it's Jim Morrison's voice or the work overload but i had a terrible headache.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006


Today and yesterday was time for consulting interviews. I've got 4 interviews, 2 with Boston Consulting and 2 with Value Partners. With VP was very funny the fact that one of the interviewer was following a wine tasting course with me in 2001 in Milan and we started talking about this commong experience. Both the iterviewers were very cool.. very informal but at the same time very professional. I hope i can get a second round and a job offer even if to be honest during the second case i was a little in panic. Usually, during a case interview they ask you why this, why that, why IESE and so on and then they ask you to analyze a situation. My questions were something like "what is the sum of numbers from 1 to 1000", and "how much will u offer me for a taxi licence in Milan" and.. "i'm a steel producer in West Europe, should i fear the threat of the Chinese producers?". Since now i've only the answer from BCG which said that i'm admitted to a second round in Milan. So, around the 6th i'll be in Milan but i don't know if i will be able to stay a whole weekend or just the day of the interview. Now i'll have to solve a case called "Topesa" which for the italians sounds quite interesting.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Worst Comment Ever! (maybe Comment of the Century)

First class for the new course of "Opertions Management". For today we were assigned a case about the production costs and revenues for the film "Forrest Gump". The issues were related to how costs are seen as fixed, variable, direct, indirect and so on which affects the break even points in terms of profitability and cash flow. First question to break the ice "Who of you have seen the movie Forrest Gump".. Everybody rise the hand Second question "When Forrest Gump started to make money?" and I reply "Yeah when he came back from war.. with the shrimps".

Thursday, January 12, 2006

George The Banker

Yeah guys finally I can tell you. I'll be a banker! Ehmm.. banker? I said Banker? Ops... a writing error. Barber. Yes.. George The Barber. Yeah my career as the nextMarietto Draghi is no longer part of my future I think I will open the more classic of the Barber Shop here in Barcelona. Mainly for two reasons. The first is that I don't see any good alternative in Industry after hearing a pharma company offering 2 years of "drug representative" (a job that you can do even with a college degree on "french fries"). The second is that actually here in Barcelona I cannot see a good barber who is able to cut the borders. Talking with Sandro, my Italian barber, he told me that indeed to cut the border with the classic old straight razor is not an easy task and that's why women barbers (who cut hairs to women who don't need to do borders with razor) are not able to do it!!

  • CUT € 20.00
  • CUT & SHAMPOO € 30.00
  • BIKINI WAX €50.00 (free for girls)
Yeah.. this is the business of the future!!!

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

A drink before starting again..

Hola. I've done my one and only interview with Merrill Lynch yesterday. Unexpectedly i was really well prepared for technical question and in giving opinion about the markets. However i think a did poorly on the "motivational" side of interviews. Except for interviews during these days the preferred activity was going out and drinking.. at least for the ones like me who were not such involved in banking stuff. On saturday i finally saw some of my good friends here in iese, among them Huy (remember his name, it will come up later). We went to "chupitos" which is a very naaaaaaaaaaice bar where you can have only cheap chupitos.. but hundreds of different chupitos. It's always very crowded, especially by tourists, but it takes a bit to be drunk and overcome the absence of music and the high level of humidity. I went there and the ones who were waiting were already drunk. Then we went to belice and to universal, other two clubs where we ended up the night dancing. On monday after the interviews I saw Huy at school and he hugged me saying "hey George happy new year.. i missed you!"... So with a puzzled face i said "well.. i missed you too but we have seen 24 hours ago..." And then i realized he was so drunk that night that he didn't even remember to have seen me. On monday I went out again just because it was our last night free after starting second term classes. Fortunately i didn't get drunk but today was hard to concentrate and prepare the new marketing case. I also got the occasion to drive the super fast Alexia's Mini Cooper S. We also had a photo during our small trip from one place to the other and today i sent all the photos to alexia just to make her aware of what she has done (including a harmwrestling session with me).

Monday, January 09, 2006

To wear seat belts is unsafe

According to my "Microeconomics" book, to wear seat belts is a bad thing. Indeed a study on the subject showed that people percieve a lower risk when they drive wearing the seat belt. This is a psicological effect which makes people driving faster, because they adjust their speed to the new percieved risk. It is similar to what happens when you see that there is ice on the street and you drive slower. People respond to seat belts as the would to an improvement in road conditions- by faster and less careful driving. So a law that imposes to wear seat belts decreas the mortality of car accidents but at the same time increases its number... and the avarage number of deaths remains the same! But what about pedestrians? Indeed their safety is not changed by the fact that people wear seat belts but they are negatively affected by the fact that there are more accidents in which they are involved. This is amazing. I discourage everybody by wearing a seat belt anymore. And if a "mossos d'esquadra" stops you and try to fine you for not waring a seat belt, try to convince him as well!

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Location Swap

Hola tios! I'm finally back in Barcelona. During the christmas vacations i've been at home for a few days, then in Sankt Moritz for skiing and then back home where i had time to see some friends. Thanks Luca for your "Casa di Proprietà.. anche se un po' da arrivista! :) ". To be honest i was a little sad to come back here and leave my family and my old friends again. But I'm sure that as soon as the courses will start I will regain the full happyness. Nothing has changed here.. neither the picture on our restroom's door. Actually I just realized that I should have stayed in Milan at least until tomorrow. Indeed to be here has no added value because few people are here and the ones who are here are real bankers studying hard for the interviews! I'm supposed to study for mine but there is no point in trying to understand markets in 2 days. Today I tryed a mock interview and was not so bad but it was hard to talk about my "motivation" in working in Global Markets. The only market that I see every day is "Mercat de Sarria"... which gives me a deep smell of fish every day that I pass it by with my bycicle! Well, i told you that nothing has changed here but in reality there is a big news!!!. Alex, my flatmate, decided to marry his girlfriend (not another one). I tryed to warn him about the risks and the cons of this decision but you know that in the world there are hard jobs and somebody has to take charge of them. :) Vale... venga! It's time to start calling somebody for going out tonight.