Happy New Year 2012!

I wish you a very Happy New Year 2012. May you succeed in everything you start (and especially your MBA at Vlerick!).

Three MBA students signing for New Year 2012 (to get some money) - Original wallpaper by vladstudio.com

If I look back on this year blogging about my PTMBA at Vlerick, there are nice things to see …

For instance, here are the top 5 posts (exception made of the home page and the about page):

  1. An Overview of the Euro Crisis (NYT), a small post linking to a visualization of the Euro crisis in the New York Times
  2. Vlerick MBA 2011 planet, a post about what are the other students blogging around ; I’m still wondering why so few students are blogging about their experience at Vlerick. When you look at other schools, many students are blogging every year. Although Vlerick has a blogging platform it is currently not used by any MBA students (only Masters students ; maybe it will change with the new website) (*). Gleana Albritton used to blog as a FT MBA student at Vlerick in the FT blog area (wow!). Are studies too time consuming in Vlerick? Or life in Leuven not interesting enough? Is it not “Belgian” to blog? Almost everyone is on Twitter ; maybe blogs are so passé?
  3. Don’t shoot the red monkey, a post about Jef Staes‘ guest lecture
  4. Applied microeconomics, a small joke about graphs in microeconomics
  5. 1st MBA exam: done!, a post about my 1st exam taken at Vlerick

Of course, older posts have a slight advantage. One day I should maybe compute the exact hits per day each post received. One day, maybe.

If one looks at search terms for this year leading to this blog this year, here is the top 5 search terms (exception made of “jep does vlerick” which is quite obvious):

  1. euro crisis
  2. vlerick admission test
  3. movie maker logo
  4. microeconomics
  5. vlerick mba

Here again, older keywoards may have a slight advantage. I am amazed at the number of people visiting the blog regarding the admission test ; maybe because there isn’t much other information about that on the web.

Btw, Vlerick is also wishing you a happy 2012 :)

See you next year!

(*) Previous year full time MBA students used to officially blog from here but it seems that it is not used this academic year (and it is not linked anymore from the official Vlerick blogging platform). To reiterate my disappointment (as previously mentioned), part-time MBA students seem to be considered as less important: there is no part-time blogging platform (I tried http://ptmbablog.vlerick.com/). However, the number of PTMBA students are 2 – 3 times the number of FTMBA students, their fees are approximately the same and they stay longer. But I didn’t start this post to rant about that. Happy New Year to everyone! :)

Vlerick MBA Experience Day 2012/1

The first annual Vlerick MBA Experience Day is announced and will take place on Friday 27 January at 6.30PM in Leuven. Ok, if it starts at 6.30PM, it’s not really a “day” but whatever …

On this Open Day, we (part-time MBA students) will follow our usual class (it will be a session of Negotiation Skills with Prof. Dr. David Venter). But at the same time, people interested or curious about the MBA at Vlerick can join us, follow the class with us and also interact and ask all kinds of questions during the pauses around an informal drink.

Open Day 2010

Everyone has her/his own interests and her/his own way to get information about Vlerick and its MBAs. One way to track the interest of people is to watch how they landed on your website or blog. For instance, here are some questions typed in Google that led to this blog in the last 7 days:

  • admission test Vlerick
  • classes start 2013 mba Vlerick
  • day of a vlerick student
  • does an mba have exams?
  • educational leave Belgium MBA
  • HEC Paris vs Vlerick
  • how to succeed your interview at vlerick
  • motivational interview for mba
  • ranking belgian business schools
  • Vlerick admission test calculator
  • Vlerick ft ranking, 2011
  • Vlerick incompany project modular
  • Vlerick Leuven on campus assessment
  • Vlerick modular mba exams
  • Vlerick MBA [+study] [+INBEV] [+ranking]
  • Vlerick PTMBA
  • what i remember from my mba at Vlerick
  • what questions do Vlerick ask

(One good thing for me is that by typing them in a post, I re-inforce the position of this blog on these topics in search engines :) )

I am not saying everyone will be able to answer all of these questions during the Experience Day (but the presence of the Programme Director and the Programme Manager will certainly help). But imho it’s a good way to have a glimpse on MBAs at Vlerick. If you are interested, just leave a message below or contact me directly via e-mail and I will forward your request to the Programme Manager (she wants your name, job title, organization and e-mail address).

Photo credit: Open Day 2010 by WTO on Flickr (license CC-by-nd)

Merry Christmas!

Dear Apollo, dear reader,

Have a Merry Christmas 2011!


This academic year so far has been exciting, fun and full of great experiences and discoveries so far. I hope it has been the same for you. But also that it will continue like that in the coming months.

Good luck for those who have to write their projects. Good luck for the next exam too.

But first I hope everyone will be able to take some rest and enjoy some time with family, relatives and friends!

See you soon!

Creating Shared Value: an introductory video from FSG

FSG, defining itself as social impact consultants, is a non profit consulting firm specializing in strategy, evaluation, and research. Having Michael Porter (from Porter’s five forces analysis) in its board of direction, it is not a surprise they released an introductory video about his idea of the moment: creating shared value.

Michael Porter

As explained elsewhere (e.g. on the FSG website itself, on wikipedia, in The New York Times or in the original article in HBR), creating shared value is about developing deep links between their business strategies and corporate social responsibility. Companies can create shared value opportunities in three ways:

  1. redefining the products, services and the markets that you serve (Novartis example in the video)
  2. redefining the value chain (Nestlé and HP examples in the video)
  3. enabling cluster development

IMHO there are two things that annoy me in this idea.

First, there is a lot about ecology, about how companies reduced their waste footprint, how they (help) reduce energy consumption, etc. I know that the earth is facing huge ecological issues but I don’t think it’s necessary to create new words for the same ideas.

Then, I would like to see more example about cluster development. Not only read more example in current practise. But also see more companies applying this idea of cluster development. A company can easily act in order to get more reliable and more “sustainable” suppliers (again new words for a new idea?). Do you know examples of companies that successfully acted to get a functioning infrastructure of roads and telecommunications or to get an effective and predictable legal system and at the same time created value for itself? There is an example about Yara improving ports and roads in Mozambique and Tanzania to help delivery its fertilizers and agricultural products. Are public–private partnership some kind of cluster development too? Although done since many years, are private investments in public universities now also considered as cluster development?

The discussion at the end of the HBR article is also worth reading.

What is your opinion about that?

4,778.00€ for Movember

Congratulations to the gentlemen of Vlerick for raising 4,778.00 € for Movember! This makes them the first Belgian team in terms of amount raised. I agree the second and third are individuals but that was also the strategy, I guess: to set up a team to raise more money and to raise more awareness :) Globally, Belgium is amongst the last countries in terms of total amount raised (most probably because its low level of registration – I guess). Congratulations anyway!


Fourth set of results in!

The results for Corporate and Managerial Responsibility (the course with the 2 graphs made more readable and the amoeba) are in!

Results of Corporate and Managerial Responsibility

This time, together with others, I spent quite some time on these papers and we thought we found interesting issues and metrics (it was a group paper on SWIFT + a personal one, a recommendation following the first paper). So I’m a bit surprised of my result: a B. Maybe I shouldn’t: at least 3 other group members have the same result (i.e. it’s maybe not related to the personal paper) and more than 60% of the class has a B. But having a B means being part of the worst students in the class (aaah: illusory superiority – look for “MBA” in the previous link ;) ). We’ll have to wait for the next session (i.e. January 13th, 2012) to receive feedback!


That’s what we heard twice in Prof. Koen Dewettinck classes about HRM :)

Since a few days, many things happened. First at work some people realized they need to deliver something before the end of the year (i.e. this month). And when you work for several projects in parallel, that’s a rush! And MBA classes keep their pace and we are already at the end of December 2011. There is only one class left, the last one of Management Accounting and Control. And of course, there is also the Christmas party!

Back to HRM, the last class was about the Rolling Toys case and some role playing was involved. It was quite funny to see and play the union part in the Vlerick premises. Let’s keep the following picture very preciously as it might be the only time we would wear an ACV bag :)

ACV in Vlerick!

Enjoy your week-end!

Third set of results in!

The results for the Industrial and Organisational Psychology paper are in!

Results of I&O Psychology - Apollo 2011

And we were again blessed to receive the grade distribution :) The A+ is back and the curve is much more like a Gaussian function than the previous results. Is that because it’s a paper (the first this year) or because the topic was more personal than the previous exam or it has nothing to do?

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