Today, I went back to Vlerick …

I maybe should have posted more about the life as a Vlerick alumni :-) Anyway, after … ooops! already 2 years, I went back to Vlerick, in its Leuven campus, in breakout room 006, with a suit (no tie) and for an interview. But this time I had the great honor to be a jury member for the MGM.

Vlerick Admissions test binder

I will not write about how to succeed in this type of test (I blogged about it before and other websites might do it better than myself). However it was interesting to see adaptations from Vlerick and the motivation of some students.

For Vlerick, a lot changed since I did my admission test in Vlerick. There is a new logo and branding, a new campus in Brussels, they reorganised the MBA program, ranking improved a bit, etc. But it was very nice to see and meet again familiar faces like Mathieu Luypaert and Marion Debruyne, to sit on chairs that prevents you from sleeping in breakout rooms – like before, to taste the (improved) food of the cafeteria, …

And, last but not least, independently of their success in this assessment, I was also impressed by the motivation of the students, the diversity of their backgrounds, their eagerness to join Vlerick. Well, for some of the students at least ;-) But if you feel the need to start/improve your business knowledge in Belgium, I would encourage you to consider joining Vlerick – and show your enthusiasm from the first to the last minute of the interview!

Some more news

It was a quiet and rainy month on May, here in Leuven. However several news are worth to be mentioned …

First the FT Executive Education rankings were out. Vlerick Business School is now #43 (up from #45 a year ago) in the customised report (the only Belgian school ranked if we except the CCL that just has a campus here). It is #41 (same as last year) in the open report (before Solay BS: #60). And everyone is happy! :-)

Then most of us defended their project – and from what I heard it was quite a successful year. Congrats for those who passed and good luck for those who will present soon!

And now Apollo students are busy with the IMEX business game. I already wrote about it earlier (here, here and here). This year we have four teams:

  1. Sky Whirlies, also on Facebook and on YouTube (and another video here)
  2. What’s up, also on Facebook
  3. ROB-O-Toy on Facebook and on Twitter
  4. TenSai Toys, aslo on Facebook and on Twitter

Visit their web/Facebook/Twitter pages and support them! More on the game in a coming post … ;-)

And last but not least, congratulations to Fabian Frola and Mark Willems for their participation in the 20km of Brussels. Both ran faster than Prince Philippe (respectively 1h35, 1h39 and 1h55).

Btw here is my certificate for 2013 ;-)

Robert Tudor now in the FTMBA blogosphere

I may be a bit blinkered on this but I really think a business school should live with the tools currently available. By 2020 who knows if you could survive with just a static website. So I am always delighted to read that new people are taking the challenge of maintaining a blog when they start a MBA.

This time, let me highlight Robert Tudor’s blog at http://on-mba.robert-tudor.com/. Robert is a Romanian FTMBA student in our beloved Vlerick Business School. On his blog you’ll be able to follow his first steps in Leuven, trying to cope with the Belgian culture and way of doing things. Very few post yet on courses, their content and his feelings about professors, etc. But one about the start of the new academic year and one about the party that accompanied it. Good luck, Robert!

P.S. you can also follow Robert on Twitter, obviously!

Some economic conferences about India in Leuven / Brussels

I don’t know if the international business trips changed with the re-branding nor if destinations are still the same nor if second-year students will still be able to go. But, as this blog is accustomed to posts about India, here are two events that may interest you too:

Leuven India FocusOn Monday October 1st, 2012, Jayanthi Chandrasekharan will present a lecture about “India and EU: Trade and Beyond“. It will be at 6.30PM at Ravenstraat / Erasmusplein in Leuven. More info on the Leuven Center for Global Governance Studies website.

From October 8th to 11th, there will be a theme week: “India and development cooperation – from recipient to donor“, in collaboration with KH Leuven, HUBrussel and HIVA. Again: more info on the Leuven Center for Global Governance Studies website.

Entrepreneurship Lecture (Monday September 24th, Leuven) – Free

For those who are interested in entrepreneurship, there will be a lecture with entrepreneurs telling their stories … The announcement on LinkedIn was:

Dear Entrepreneurs,

An interesting lecture on Entrepreneurship is planned on Monday September 24th in Leuven. Some young entrepreneurs will talk about their experiences. Furthermore, a representative of “Start-Up Chile”, a Chilean governmental initiative to promote young entrepeneurs to start their business in Santiago. As a result, the event will have both a national and international dimension. Subscriptions are now open!

More information: http://www.startupchile.be/ or the FB page: https://www.facebook.com/events/213777338750363/

Date: Monday September 24th at 19.30
Location: Leuven, Naamsestraat 69 (HOG 00.85)
Language: English
Price: Free

Here is the video from Start-Up Chile:

 

I also take the opportunity to promote a Belgian startup: 8th Color. If you deal with (IT) developers and want to manage their talents and skills, they have the tool you need! If you are lazy to click and read what they are doing, just click and listen to their interview on TechBrew!

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!

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 1st-year-student’s look at the IMEx game

Since a few weeks, some strange beasts are invading the Leuven campus. Oh not as strange as a few years ago when people used to see this:


But it is strange enough to see simple A4 papers with names of toys companies like iToyz, Jamis Toys, etc. As well as a team of strange animals with green T-shirts in the wild. If we stay in the comfort of our home, just simply sitting in the sofa with a tablet in our hands (an iPad for iJules!), we could even spot a few e-mails sent to the Apollo mailing-list and browse the wonderful website of Jamis Toys ;-) (at least they have one).

They all said to belong to the IMEx game. Even other students in the full-time MBA as well as other part-time students in Ghent played or are playing this game. It is supposed to be the culmination of the MBA, the nirvana that transforms everything you learned in silos during 1 or 2 years in a giant soup of knowledge, a bit like a ligand in a metal complex. So, as first years students, we are a bit intrigued, we try to take advantage from the last moments we will be with 2nd students to grab some information about this “thing”.

Ok but what is the IMEx game? First, it’s an acronym for Integration Management Exercise. Well, it’s immediately less sexy … But it tells what it is: it is about developing and implementing a strategic plan, in group of 5 to 7 students representing a company, each of the participants having a role to play (the documentation states the following roles: CEO, HR manager, Finance Manager, Purchasing manager, Productions Manager, and Marketing Manager). The goal is obviously to beat other teams in terms of market share/share price but also employees happiness and environmental consciousness. The underlying goal is to apply what participants learned in the last 2 years: HR, marketing, finances, strategy, negotiations, etc. I guess this is also the place to put a bit of your personality since some “unplanned events” happened in this Apollo session: a fire in the factory, strikes (ok, both not so sexy again) and claims of child abuse (as in “child labour”) or environmental issues (and probably others, kept behind closed doors – and closed curtains – of break our rooms in Leuven).

So, yes, it’s a business game. And Vlerick has a web-based system as a technical backbone for it. From an external point of view, it seems to be a bit like a turn-based, role-playing game – only a bit more serious with tables and charts instead of real-time, gorgeous 3D characters ;-)

Of course there are business games in other business schools: FORAD, Industrad, Stratpharm (among other games) at INSEAD for instance. But since there is an association of business game producers (ABSEL, also using WordPress :-)), I wonder if there is also a kind of classification of business games. Which one is better overall or in specific domain(s)? Which one is the most user-friendly? Which one is the closest to reality? Can we make them compete one against each other (like in chess)? And is there any of them (including Vlerick IMEx) that can beat Capitalism (*), apparently the best business game out there?

So, ready for IMEx, next year?

(*) Capitalism is apparently so complex that one said “it should come with a free MBA in every box” :-)

Get Down on It!

Do you fancy one last video for tonight? Here is a glimpse at a Friday evening for Vlerick Full Time and Part Time MBA students in Leuven :-) Thank you all for the cool moments!

Chinese New Year 2012: January 23

Smiling dragon Like in many Asian countries, the Lunar New Year in China will be on January 23, 2012 (in our Gregorian calendar). The Chinese New Year (aka the “Spring Festival” or 春节) is the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays. According to the Chinese calendar, this year is the year of the water dragon (龙). I thought it would have been interesting to know for the lucky ones who are going to China this year :)

There are usually many celebrations with many customs and traditions. I guess there will be also celebrations in Belgium but as it’s not very easy to find them (except maybe at your local Sino-Vietnamese restaurant), here are three activities found for you:

If you know any other celebrations, feel free to post them in comments below!

Photo credit: Smiling dragon in the Forbidden City, Huế, Vietnam (from my photos on Flickr, licence CC-by-sa)
Edited on Jan. 10 to add Maasmechelen Village celebrations. Edited on Jan. 20 to add the three celebrations from belvietnam.

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