One year of blogging here!

Birthday CakeYep, it’s been a little bit over one year since I started this blog (officially it was on June 8th). I started because, before joining the program, I was frustrated I could not find any glimpse of what the life of an MBA student at Vlerick is. The only blogger who approached this goal was Gleana Albritton in the prestigious FT.com blogs, a few years ago. That’s why, since I like to blog, I decided to write about my experience too.

And here we are, one year later … First, thanks a lot to you, reader, for your support and comments (also offline)! And also thanks a lot to my friends of Apollo, this blog owes a lot to you!

Then, don’t be fooled by this blog: it’s only one experience and I think there are as many experience as students. My biggest regret is not having participated too much in social events. But parties and drinks are definitely the reason why the Apollo group was so great (and I hope will continue to be, next year, thanks to our party animal a.o.). Also I didn’t write about everything that happened. First because it would really have been time consuming. Second because you have to join to share the experience ; the entrance ticket is only about 30k€ and your company may be willing to help ;-)

In a year this blog finally reached more than 100 posts that were seen a bit more than 10,000 times, with an average between 30 and 60 views per day since April. The top three searches that landed on this blog are: “wacc formula”, “euro crisis” and “vlerick admission test”. There are 5 queries containing “Vlerick” in the top 10 searches. So, coming back to my initial motivation, I’m happy. And the school can be relieved: its rebranding is a well-kept secret because nobody searched for “Vlerick (re)branding” this year! ;-)

Following my obsession of presenting results of all courses, people asked me if I am running after good grades. The answer is invariably: no, I don’t care about numbers/scores but I do care about good results. Of course I prefer to receive an A or A+ but I especially value the feedback (that the school can improve) and that people show me how I can improve. For me, that’s also part of the result. But I don’t know if I will continue to show grades, next year (and if I do, in which format).

So, thanks a lot, again. Enjoy your holidays! And see you next year (at the latest!).

Photo credit: Birthday Cake by Omer Wazir (CC-by-sa), on Flickr

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Eleventh set of results in!

Well, enumerating these results is becoming a bit boring … Yesterday was the closing seminar. Today we received our results for Entrepreneurship (Prof. Bart Clarysse). Here they are:

Everyone passed, worst scores are “B”. Congratulations to everyone!

Ok, next year I really have to find something else for these results. Any suggestion?

Tenth set of results in!

The wait was not too long (and bearable). We got the results for Strategic Management this afternoon. For this class we had to give back a group paper about the strategy of our industry. Sometimes it’s not that obvious to find a common link in strategies of 5 “random” companies but that’s part of the fun!

Strategic Management results

So, results are skewed to the right. Nobody is at the extremes. More than half of the class has an A- or A! Congratulations to everyone!

Ninth set of results in!

Ask for it and you get it. Here are the results for Organisational Behaviour and Leadership (a group presentation, a mandatory personal paper about a 360° evaluation done before and an optional personal paper). This time, this is a skewed bell curve, everyone passed and there are rumors … ;-) Well, this is about being leaders, isn’t it? :-)

Btw this is the 100th post on this blog :-)

Fireworks for the end of year: JAMIS Toys wins the iMEX game in Leuven!

It is probably the same every year. But for us it’s new so let us enjoy … After the FreshConnection game, Apollo also has a winner for the iMEX game in Leuven: JAMIS toys! After a smear campaign regarding its employees’ civil rights they still manage to succeed. Congrats to Astrid, Mike, Jules, Ivan and Sébastien!

Eight set of results in!

It’s been some days since we received the results for International Business in Context. Behind this title, the course had in fact two parts: some theoretical classes and the business trip in itself. Scores were given following a presentation we made in group where we evaluated the possibility for a Belgian company to expand (and how) to another country.

Well, personally, I’m a bit frustrated because, following the feedback given afterwards, the evaluation was very academic/theoretical and not in sync with instructions given during the trip:

  • The evaluator criticized the fact we did not used all the frameworks shown during the theoretical course. Indeed we only applied one framework and realized very quickly that such expansion to another country will not fit with the newly defined strategy of the company. In which company will a team continue to explore all the frameworks in order to tell the upper management that they wasted their time and still reach the same conclusion: it doesn’t fit with the strategy?
  • Instructions given during the trip was that we could hand in a version of the final slides 1 week after the business trip and that we could modify this version afterwards. But the evaluators criticized the fact they did not have the final version of the slides (we just transformed the text in the first version into something more visual in the second version) :-(

Anyway …

Here are the results of the class:

As we can see, there are a lot of excellent results and no failure. Congratulations to everyone! Now we are still waiting for the results of Organisational Behaviour & Leadership, Strategy and Negotiations (as well as Entrepreneurship but the paper is for next week).

Congrats to the “Apollo” Fresh Connection team!

Congratulations to Peter, Sam, Tom and Bart for being the winning team of the Fresh Connection game, all categories included!

iMex auction – bid for an exclusive iToyz T-shirt and support a good cause

Although it’s raining heavily outside we can feel that the end of the year is approaching. First-year students are now alone in most classes, second-year students are wrapping-up the iMex game, etc. And our Apollo team won the Fresh Connection game! Congratulations to Peter, Sam, Tom and Bart!

Always open for good news and people doing good, here is a very interesting offer from the iToyz Management Team …

Dear iToyz customers and fans,

So you’ve seen the iToyz management team walking around with some really cool T-shirts over the past two years and you’ve been dying to get one yourself. Well we have good news for you! iToyz has decided to exceptionally auction off the last remaining T-shirt and all proceeds will be sent to a good cause. So not only will you be able to please yourself, you’ll also contribute to making children in need happy. In line with our CSR strategy and the line of business we work in, we have decided to support the charity “Toys of Hope” (www.toysofhope.org) through this auction.

The auction will take place on Friday 15th of June at 18:00 in campus Leuven, auditorium -1.01. For those who are not able to attend but want to bid, we offer an easy solution. Starting from today, you can send an email to iToyz.Auction@gmail.com with your name and the amount that you’re willing to bid. Until the start of the live auction, we will send regular updates to all bidders if new bids have been entered to allow counter bids.

If you would like to be added to the distribution list or if you would like to be removed from this distribution list, please send us an email.

Thanks in advance on behalf of “Toys of Hope“,
The iToyz Management team

A week ago: the Indian business night

Time is flying: the Indian business night happened a week ago! It was a nice evening. Since very few people showed up we went for an interactive format and many people liked it. Philippe Vlerick shared with us his very practical experience with India and Indians. Kiran Gupta brought humble thoughts from a giant like Tata. Finally Venkat Subramanian consolidated all the discussions with additional data. Food (provided by InBAG) was very good (even according to Indians ;-))

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Thanks to all of you for your presence!

Simon Stockley and rocket science

For those who were intrigued by the fact Simon Stockley‘s hobby was rockets and rocket science, there is a “proof” on Youtube:


Yes, that’s him launching the rocket!

Now more seriously I quite liked Simon’s class on entrepreneurship, on Friday. Before the class I was afraid we would have the same frameworks and ideas as the ones developed for HR or OBL. But it was definitely not the case ; not that the two are completely different but because human relations in an entrepreneurial venture are different than in an established company.

At another level, Simon was the only professor so far not to niggle about his wife. Remarkable enough to be mentioned! And when you read some of his experience (ok, I know, everybody went through difficult times but you are not obliged to believe me), you appreciate more the person :-)

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