Private International Study Trip: Mumbai?

This has nearly nothing to do with Vlerick. However, here are the tiny links:

  1. Who chose Mumbai as the 1st or 2nd destination for their international study trip?
  2. Who would be interested in going to India for a private international study trip?

Let’s bounce back from the disappointment that Vlerick cancelled Mumbai and St Petersburg this year. Let’s see this as an opportunity to organize a private trip. And I would be more than happy if this idea of private trip is copied or even enhanced for other destinations that students would like to see (I heard about Brazil, the B in BRICS, but why not Russia – also cancelled – or Vietnam, Japan, Singapore, Australia, Israel, Greece – why not, Canada, etc.)!

My idea is that we can do it!

panchratna buidling, and chaupati view ,mumbai town view, Mumbai, INdia

We = the students in Apollo (even the ones who didn’t choose Mumbai at all, 1st year, 2nd year, I don’t care). But then why not invite students from other PTMBA, the modular one and even the full time students (if they have time), professors? And why not welcome spouses and kids (but not for “classes” or meetings)? However I understand there will be at least two drawbacks: it is an additional cost both in money and in holidays (but everything is an opportunity cost, right?).

While I’m talking about holidays, dates would be flexible: the ones that suit most people. I understand one week is a lot (regarding absence from work, family, classes at Vlerick, etc.) but I think it’s a minimum given the investment in money and time (already 2 times half a day for the return journey). Practically, I wouldn’t advise doing it in July-August (too hot).

A starting point for the content could be the program of last year. I already asked Prof. Dewettinck if we could potentially get some help from Vlerick about that. I hope we’ll receive a positive answer. And we could also find people by ourselves (in our companies, in our relations, some full-time students maybe, etc.).

Money: it will be more costly than the Vlerick trip since we’ll need to pay both the trip and the accommodation. I guess there will be also a cost regarding invited professors, guest speakers, meeting places, etc. But we are studying this MBA also to be able to find creative ways of funding, isn’t it?

Sweat: we’ll have to organize this by ourselves, even if we may have help from 3rd-parties (Vlerick?, embassies?, companies?, etc.).


  • Who would be happy to participate?
  • Who is just interested / curious and would maybe join depending on the conditions / dates / etc.?
I have put some draft ideas here. I probably forgot lots of things. I don’t know if it’s too ambitious or really the bare minimum.
Just think about it.
Now I should really start studying Economics for Thursday but I will be more than happy to discuss about this electronically or during classes, next week.

Photo credit: panchratna buidling, and chaupati view ,mumbai town view, Mumbai, INdia by ganuullu on Flickr (Cc-by-nc-nd)

Preferences for the International Study Trip: sent!

At Vlerick, an international study trip is organized for students following the modular MBA as well as the part-time MBA. Destinations are:

As you can see, the emphasis is put on BRICS countries, in addition to the first world economy (and with the notable exception of Brazil). There are however no chosen countries in South America, in Central/Northern Africa nor in Europe.

World map of International Study Trip (in green)

From what I saw so far, each destination has some kind of theme: some topics are covered in Mumbai, others are in Cape Town. And, of course, each destination has classes on specific business topics and issues relevant for the country. For instance: EU-China Trade and Investment (in China), Logic & Benefits of Outsoucing (in India), Stories from Wall Street (in the USA), Russian Banking System overview (in Russia) or South-Africa’s transition (these are only examples and may not be done or relevant anymore by the time you read this post ; we don’t know yet the programme for this year).

As places are limited (either 20 or 40 for each destination), they are given following the “first come, first served” principle. Students have to send an e-mail with their top 3 preferred destinations today starting at 1pm. Like previous years, I expect lots of people wanting to go to China but maybe less people than previous year wanting to go to India. Out of curiosity, I wonder what will be people choices this year.

Btw, did you send your preferred destinations?

Opening Seminar (I&O Psychology)

Each beginning of the year, all Apollo students gather together for a 2-days opening seminar. Since the group contains students from both years, the same seminar is given every 2 years to Apollo. On odd years (2011), it’s I&O Psychology and we are going to hotel Stiemerheide in Genk. On even years (2012), … well, we’ll see if we are still alive by that time.

Hotel StiemerheideThe hotel is quite luxurious. Rooms have enough space to be shared with a roommate (2 single beds, don’t worry) ; the only problem could be the semi-transparent door for the bathroom ;). I think the rooms are well soundproofed but I can’t really tell you since we were probably making much more noise at the Thursday party than other visitors in the hotel. Although surprising, the food was nice. I’m not a connoisseur but it seems the wine was not as good as expected. Some people tried the swimming pool, sometimes at unexpected times. Some of us also tried the sauna and the snooker. Pictures are here (access may be restricted to protect some students’privacy).

Oh yes, we were there to work, not only to enjoy the spot …

I&O has in fact nothing to do with the Input/Output from computers (as I initially thought) nor the tenth studio album by Peter Gabriel. I&O stands for Industrial and organizational psychology (given by Prof. Dr. Koen Dewettinck, previously mentioned in this blog). According to Wikipedia, it’s “the scientific study of employees, workplaces, and organizations”.

You don’t know your employees, your workplace and your organization if you don’t know yourself first. That’s why we spent a lot of time to dissect our MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator) scores. Maybe a bit too much time. We also explored our personality in 4-quadrants and explored group dynamics through games. Of course, I won’t tell you which ones otherwise your pleasure will be spoiled (especially if it rains heavily during the outdoor game). In the end, it was very funny to watch ourselves on video.

In my opinion, the seminar lacked a little bit of stuff about “workplaces, and organizations”. But past experiences, future readings and probably other courses will be there to help. I was also wondering what is the estimated frequencies of the different MBTI types in a general population. Just to compare to the frequencies of our group.

And there, I was very astonished: there is hardly any statistics about that in the literature (well, I agree I only looked on the web). Then this made my suspicious: if the first version was published nearly 50 years ago (1962), why aren’t there many results available? Because the MBTI instrument is the property of a private publisher and studies on results are guarded secrets? Because some studies showed low validity and low reliability (see Wikipedia article, I didn’t have time to check the references)? Well, anyway, I only found one table about the estimated frequencies of the types in the United States population, at CAPT.

First you put the 16 different types of personalities in this test in a 4 by 4 square like the one below.

General MBTI grid Then you take the mean of each square mentioned in the CAPT results and you get this: more people on the left (on the S-sensing side) than on the right side and, there, more people on top and bottom (i.e. on ISxJ and ESxJ).

Estimated frequencies of the MBTI types in the United States population Now if we look at the results of our group, it’s a bit different … There is practically no xSFx people, except one ESFP. Most of the Apollo MBA students are on the right side (i.e. the N-intuition side). And there are two big group: one at the extreme bottom left (ESTJ) and one at the extreme bottom right (ENTJ).

Estimated frequencies of the MBTI types in an MBA group (Vlerick Apollo, Belgium) Is it “normal” or representative of MBA students? I don’t know: I don’t have any comparison point. One could say MBA students are more N-intuitive than the US population. And, instead of being split between I-introverts (top) and E-extroverts (bottom) like the US population, our class is split between S-sensing (left) and N-intuition (right). It would be nice to see if this show something (or not).

One last thing the opening seminar is usually devoted to is an introduction to the International Study Trip. Again this year, students can choose between Beijing (China), Mumbai (India), Cape Town (South Africa) and New York (USA). There were demands from students for a trip in Brazil and it’s apparently something under investigation at Vlerick (but it won’t be for this year for sure). The way students can choose is a first-come-first-served method: between two dates/times, students have to send their preferences and places will be filled up as e-mails are received by the programme manager. Then … Alea jacta est! We’ll see who is going where!

Where are all these students going?

Where are all these students going to?

P.S. At each opening seminar, Apollo students also elect the student rep for the 1st year students and the Chief Party Animal. Read the previous post for more on this.

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