Italians do it better (the MBA)

Saturday, September 30, 2006


This morning we have been intervieed by the police. They knocked at the door around 12.00. I was still with my eyes semi-closed and the typical headache by vodka-redbull. They were asking me if I heard something yesterday night because there was a burglary in the flat in front of ours, same aisle. I was confused.. i didn't even remember were I was between 8pm and 10pm. So i asked help from the backoffice... "Hey Marco.. Till.. can you come here". Marco was ok, he was already showered, dressed up well, went out to buy eggs for the breakfast. But Till... TILL! He appeared out of his room in underwear. Ok so far nothing special. But there was a police woman. And you have to see her face when till went away showing that he was wearing underwear in the wrong way.. we the hole on the back!
Well at leat here in US they try to investigate. In Italy we are so used to burglary that when you call the police station the best you can hear is "Bad for you! Bye.."

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Cafe Havana

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Daddy Paddy

Today i was referred that during the "class 2008" introduction to the MBA, Paddy Miller suggested everybody to go in exchange in New York... because his doughter is there, and she is single.
Too late Paddy... we already found her! (she is the second from the left)

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Tough weekend

It's saturday morning and I'm sitting at my desk trying to concentrate on some homework. Impossible.
Some friends of marco are in town to celebrate the bachelor party of one of them.. As you can see germans are very prudent. Two of them wear seat belts even for walking!
And here is the picture of the future groom.. Ladies calm down.. he is out of the market now!
We started on thursday evening with the famous Columbia Happy Hour. A serious event that graduating students have analyzed using the usual Porter's Five Forces Model. On Friday we opted for a relaxed evening... but that was just the initial intention. We ended up at Cafè Havana at 5pm eating grilled corn (amazing, a must of NYC!) and drinking mojito. One, two, three, four... oh my god. At 6,30 i was already wasted. Here you have the groom during the mojito super charging. By the evening i went to FIZZ.. a very snobby club for members only where columbia had organized a party. One, two, three, four drinks. At a certain point you don't even recognize that you have just wasted one hundred dollars in drinks. Oh my good my poor finances... Is there anybody who wants to leverage my wallet, it will help me to reduce my cost of capital. Paybacks for the investors? Mmm.. i will think about it. Btw, i wasn't with them last night but we all came home around four. For sure they were more wasted than me. I avoid you the nasty pictures of the five of us this morning. The corridor seems the movie set of "dead man walking"...
Yesterday i also stepped into two funny things. The first one is this street race between an American Cab (Ford) and an Italian One (Lambo). And Lambo is not Lamberto. What? Do you think the winner is not actually a cab? Yes it is.. who else can buy a yellow car!
The second thing is this. It's interesting because it helped me understand why every time i say "i'm from IESE" people look at me very strange. Basically for them is like going to barcelona and tell the people that you study at the prestigeous school "BCNeta". With all respect to the garbage collectors.
Other posts about tonight at CieloClub will follow. Maybe

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Cereal Killers

Till and Juanra have just came back from Fairway, the grocery store i mentioned some post ago.. the one in which you phisically enter into the refrigerator to get cold food (and the flu).
While they were there, I received a phone call from Juarna...

Juanra: "eeeee... George"
Me: "digame"
Juanra: "i think you should talk to Till"
Mr: "why?"
Juanra: "he is buying everything!"

Indeed in our house the shelf life of any item in the kitchen is very low. The highest turnover rate is reached by the Muesli shelf. Since marco introduced the Zerman tradition of Muesli (to pronouce this word i have to flip and bent my toungue in an unnatural way), everybody is eating these cereals. With milk, yogurt, ice cream.
Yesterday Alexia brought me to the best place in town to get a burger. It's so cool how you get into this place. Is a tiny fast food hidden behind the reception desk of an hotel in downtown. To get in you have to go behind a curtain towords a small corridor. And then here we are! The hamburgers are sooo good! I need to post a picture just so that Alvaro gets a little envious of that (this is his favourite place in NY). Then to get rid of the whole bunch of fat food we happily go to the gym or to central park for a healthy run. Here is an amazing view of the east side of central park that i took one of those running days. Now i'm going to go out for the first italian party event of the season.. the kick-off of the NYC winter parties.
Before going out I want to share some pictures I took at the happy hour.
Me and marco deep into the hawaian spirit..

.. while Juanra was a little skeptical about our performances on the dancefloor.

You cannot see his hands but guess what Ramon is doing!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

First week report

During this week i've been busy with classes, events, group assignments. Here in NYC the students are already at work. And surprisingly the workload is quite high. So far i've noticed some things that might be the result of a first and superficial overview but also might be confirmed by time:

- here students a really smart.
- career services are more professional, structured and efficient than IESE's ones.
- the school access to job market is better even if is mainly focused on US, especially for the industry (seems to be impossible for foreign student to access the industry job market.. which is a tragedy if u are not looking for banking or consulting and u want to work in a non-US country).
- class participation is absent if compared to iese.
- the case method is not properly applied.. class are more or less lectures with cold call.
- it seems that my name is very fancy which cause a strong attractiveness to cold calls.. i've experienced thousands of cold calls already. i'm scared. - US people abroad define foreign people as "locals".
- US people in the US define foreigners as "foreigners".. or "invaders"
- US people, either abroad or at home, define me as "exotic".

Said that.. i will post some pictures i took. Unfortunately i'm still shy enough to not use my camera always, so i'm still missing the cool pictures at the events. But i will improve so to share with you drunk people, cool clubs and so on. On Tuesday we have been to the World Business Forum. Many good speeches but, because of the classes, i had the opportunity to listen "only" to Rudy Giuliani and Jack Welch. Both of them were amazing. Really carismatic people. After that the IESE students were invited to join a dinner with "Mr. Strategy" Ghemawat. His speech was very good too.. but the best thing was the lunch on the 65th floor of the rockfeller center! :) I really had a good italian mozzarella! And i was happy to find out that there is also a cool italian restaurant few blocks from where i live. They are tru italians. This reminder on the small blackboard was a clear sign of the italian pride for the world cup :) Ok now i'm going to my first Colubia Happy Hour! Basically instead of the BOW here they allocted the expenses of a full term course on a virtual class called happy hour. The difference is that instead of using that money to pay the teacher they use it to pay drinks and food. The DJ is soo cool.. you won't even notice that he is around 50 years old! Last time I had 9 beers in 3 hours. Not baaaaad!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Crispy Bananas

Yestarday was shopping day. Me and marco went again to one of this big malls to buy groceries for the house. As I said in my previous post, everything here is big. At the entrance of the supermarket you get one of these big trolleys. At the biginning i thought there were also the doors to enter and drive it such big it was. But suddenly, with big surprise, you find out that the aisles of the supermarket are super narrow. People fight at every crossing. Your weel is stuch with some other's one and you pull to regain your driving freedom but at the same time you notice that you have just squized one of thise super tiny old ladies against a wall of prezels! Oh.. sorry madame. Then again you are forced to buy big quantities of everything. 200 lbs of yogurth, 100 lbs of nuts. You mix them and in 2 days, before it expires, you need to eat 300 lbs of yogurt with nuts! In Italy i was to see meat and cold stuff stored in refrigerated shelves. Here in the US is different. It's not the meat that is in the refrigerator. It's you that you have to phisically enter the refrigerator to get the milk. I was not prepared and i entered the refrigerator with my italian hand craft made shirt snobbing all that fancy "fairway" jackets... but after two seconds i was riskying to be frozen (and probably packed and sold out) like a beef sirloin. The supermarket was quite cheap and the quality of the food was good. The way the items where stored in the shelves can be a nightmare for every opereations' and logistcs' professor. Moreover, everything is crunchy, chubby, yummy or crispy. Even the grapes and the bananas are crispy. And by the way i'm eating one of this bananas and it doesn't taste like a banana. It tastes like a banana ice cream. Which is different.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Out in NY

First days in New York. We have spent quite a lot of time buying stuff for the house. Then on Saturday big plans to go out and have a walk in downtown. And here comes the rain. Never seen all that water coming from the sky. Only in the movies maybe. And I remember at that time i thought "it can be like that, it's clear that is a fake rain created on the movie set". Unfortunately i have to admit that it's all true! The two typical things that you can see on the streets of new york are frames of bycicles chained to poles and broken umbrellas. Plenty of them. At evey corner you see trash bins full of umbrellas. It seem the cemetery of the umbrellas. I think that reason is that in this grand canyon of buildings the wind blows following the direction of the streets and everytime people turns a corner they are not prepared to change the orientation of the umbrella accordingly to the wind. And it breaks. Everything it's big here. Rain, cars, trucks, food packaging. It seems to be back to childhood, when you are 4 or 5 and you have to climb to sit on the chair, hold the class with two hands and jump to watch yourself at the mirrorin the bathroom. Look at this yougurt and spoon! I think they are taking "the big apple" too literally. In these days noellie is in town and so we are discovering New York nightlife with her and Casey! Tonight we have planned to go to a very cool club.