Durham, Day 14: Le fin du monde

Dinner, pre-embarassing CCMBA story re-telling

What seemed insurmountable 13 months ago in London has come full-circle:  the end of the residency portion of the Cross Continent MBA program.

Last night’s final dinner was a recognition of the end of a huge milestone in the program, and yet, I wouldn’t describe the moment last night as ‘happy’; bittersweet seems to be the word most often written on Facebook.  We’ve still got the distance portion of Semester 6 to go, so the celebration was somewhat muted…if anything, yesterday’s dinner reflected that we’ve run out of time together and the amazing experiences now become stories to be retold at graduation, reunions and the like.

While the dinner food itself was fairly mediocre, I’m sure I’m the only one who probably noticed.  It was clear that last night was going to be the last time to get together for pictures, to have one last talk with a classmate you might never (easily) run into again.  At the same time, it further highlights how far we’ve all come; I’m fairly confident that I’ve got at least one lifetime friend in the major business markets in the world.

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Durham, day before The Day: No work gets done during Hour 15

I’m sure it is no surprise that the prior post was somewhat tongue-in-cheek; having 3 classes this week has been just a little slice of Heaven!  There’s nothing better than going to class from 8 a.m. – 6 p.m., with very minor breaks to switch classrooms and eat lunch.  A little dinner, a case due in Strategy every night, a Valuation here-and-there, and some Investment homework…yeah, that’s not ideal.  Hour 15 as the break-point might be generous, as I passed out Monday (?) reading a case study on my hotel room bed.

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Durham, Day 1.2: No Hell yet

So today started off week 2, which for me should be a whole new level of Hell.  Since I wasn’t smart enough to check that I scheduled my classes properly, I’ve got 3 classes this week instead of the customary two.  Funny that week 1 didn’t really seem to be that light…

Here’s how I see this week’s classes:

Valuation and Fundamental Analysis:

This is going to take some effort, which is probably a good thing since I should know this stuff for my career (or future career at least).  Only major downside was professor at 8 a.m. going “So I’ve heard you’re all worn-out from the first week.  Yeah, you’ll be tired after this class too.”  That’s just NOT the way to introduce yourself (even if that’s the dry Swedish humor!)

Strategy Implementation:

High energy professor, which will definitely be necessary to keep me moving in this qualitative class.  Don’t quite understand the tendency of Strategy professors in showing pictures of their wives though (core class professor did this also); I mean, I understand being proud of your family and all, but none of the other professors seem to have this tendency?

Only major downside here is the one-case-per-day and the homework that goes along with it.  Not that a case per day is that onerous, but needing to complete the assignment after my 3 classes, before midnight each night…that’s going to take some serious time-management.


Complete letdown.  By the time I arrived at this class at 4:30 p.m., I needed a serious dose of ‘interesting’.  What I got in return was a rehash of the material that was part of the math review…and Corporate Finance in Semester 4…and 8th grade for that matter.  While I can understand the desire by professors to want to get off on a good foot, partner-in-crime Ashish put it best:  “I really wish we could save time by enforcing the pre-requisites.”  Indeed.  Reviewing time value of money at this point is really mundane, and if there are problems with this concept by now, then perhaps UNC might be more your speed (j/k, sort of).

While this rehash of material will make the next week fairly easy (assuming the class material doesn’t skyrocket tomorrow), I’m really hoping to learn about the more exotic side of investment valuation…clearly our professor has the background (Goldman Sachs, to Wharton MBA, Fuqua Ph.D) to show us the complicated side of Finance.