Resuming operations

For someone who refused to accept the “no time” excuse in the past for not writing a blog, I have to admit I’ll have to use it now :-( Lots of things happened since last time I wrote about classes.

For instance we submitted our Statistics paper and got the results. These results are still composed of a grade from A to F (and as I wrote I will not post the grade distribution of the class) and an appreciation from the professor. If this appreciation was considered subjective in the previous years (independently of Statistics – this was valid for all courses), Vlerick tried to establish a grid where several criteria can be met or not in order to put some objectivity in the grade. It seems this grid disappeared – or at least it was not used for Statistics (as usual: it is not a complain, it’s just an observation).

Operation management classes ended with a bang materialised by 5 Pecha-Kucha group presentations. Some topics were more controversial than others. I also take as a key message that one absolutely has to test the presentation in a real setting before presenting. I personally also appreciated very much the very dynamic presentation of Roger Bloemen about the global supply chain strategy for Saflex at Solutia. IMHO this is the kind of presentation after which you tell yourself: “Damn! Maybe I should have done supply chain instead of ****** *********”.

remember to thank all the books you haven't read over the past three yearsSome other classes ended like EU business law (also with group presentation) or Communication Skills (maybe the most artistic “paper” we had to hand in – maybe the most confusing directions on what to do too, especially for people with scientific and engineering backgrounds).

And some other courses started. Like Innovation Management, EU integration, … An feeling that I have is that Vlerick has very young and dynamic professors. When they grow a bit older, they are less dynamic but very knowledgable and try to transmit their passion with more maturity. A third category of professors are older and teach us courses with less direct application (or do I have this feeling because I put Economics and EU professors in this category?).

We are now in December and there are still some nice milestones for the near future: an open-book exam for Operations, a video for Communication Skills. And then Christmas Party (for those who will attend) and holidays!

Photo credits: remember to thank all the books you haven’t read over the past three years by Natalia Osiatynska, under CC-by-nc-nd.

Dear Apollo this is Jean speaking …

Well, this one is called Christophe but whatever … (source)

As Colbert (another Jean … “Jean-Baptiste” this time) worked on the greatness of France (aaah, la France!) I will one more time illustrate the greatness of Vlerick Apollo!

It all started again last Friday afternoon with Prof. Louis Verbeke‘s European Business Law. I realized it is the first time I am writing about this course so let me explain some concepts … Contrary to what the title of the course may suggest we are not reviewing European Law articles nor discussing lawsuits where businesses are culprits or victims. The course is defined as “the unteachable” in the introduction. Prof. Verbeke likes to repeat that the only goal of his course is to avoid us ending in jail (as if other courses were leading us to jail, by the way …). But what is this course about then? I was tempted to write that it is “undescribable” but it wouldn’t be fair. We are looking at ethics, organisation of ownership and power, different sovereign models, governance, and the rule of law. Sacrified in honour of the new brand the Apollo group is quite small this year and the class is quiet – or is it because everyone is religiously listening to Prof. Verbeke’s extensive collection of personal experiences illustrating theoretical concepts? I am looking forward to the 10 hours of Business Law, next week! In the meantime I let you read Martin Wolf’s column in the FT on the end of unlimited growth.

The other course of the week is Operation Management (already mentioned previously). I don’t know exactly what happened but people apparently complained that it was too theoretical (or was it made up to introduce the subject of today?). The positive side of things is that we are most probably going to visit some delicious Operation-In-Action production facility – with some chocolate on top, please! ;-) The first part of the course was also a practical exercise, showing us that we have been speaking lean all our lives without knowing it (a bit like Monsieur Jourdain – honestly, France is everywhere!). I must admit I dozed a little bit during the second / last part of the class. But that was because the lean game in the first part was so exciting! Check the pictures below:

(let me reassure spouses, boy-/girl-friends staying at home entire evenings while we are following MBA classes: we are doing more serious stuff also – sometimes)

Last but not least, for those interested, Prof. Deva Rangarajan‘s Sales Excellence Club is here and started already in Ghent (guys, you have to follow: it was already mentioned on Twitter two weeks ago). They are on the official Vlerick Youtube channel and it is already full of small video-tutorials to give you a glimpse of what it is (see intro video below).

If you are interested to be part of such club in Leuven, just send an email to our beloved student reps! (By the way there is also a sale competition with a very interesting prize attached … :-))

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