Saturday, October 27, 2007

Did you miss me?

Hello my loyal readers - did you miss me? Do not ye worry, the end is nigh! angie will only be working one more week and then I will have all the time in the world. I will continue to have only 3 evening classes, which means I will have all day free all week, this is so amazing! I am planning to do the same next term and just take the time to read, go to the museums, go to the gym, party, travel.... I have already planned a trip to Berlin and another one to Istanbul, and there is definitely more to come. It's time to enjoy my spare time!! One very valuable lesson I have learned from the MBA is that the idea of being an employee sucks, and it is important to get out of that role as fast as possible.

On the weekends of course, I try to enjoy my freedom as much as possible :-). Last night we went to a great Iranian rap concert (mixed with traditional music), especially the first group was amazing, their name is Simorgh and they were outstanding, luckily they are from London so it will be easy to attend all the concerts in the future :-). That's the impressive thing about London: so many talented people from all over the world come here to find their way, be it musicians, comedians, or just ambitious students looking for money. I for one have great admiration for people who have the courage and the talent to make it as artists in this city, which is so so so expensive and so competitive. Unfortunately I'm not talented enough to go that way, so I have to do other things. But no problem, I'm happy!

Now I'm off to Bayswater to meet a Filipina classmate for Chinese food, yuuuuuuum!! Watch this space for what's been happening in London, some eager MBAs might want to hear about the job market in finance which is not easy for those who didn't make it in the summer, from what I know in the US the firms have started firing lots of people already, and many investment banks have hiring freezes. I for one am almost happy, hoping that the house prices in London will finally come down, but let's see what happens over the next months.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

angie is back to school - but still working!

I am back at school, yay! This is me in front of our beautiful London Business School on Park Road this evening. As you can see the sun in London is shining again! I am still working full-time from 7am every morning and am taking three evening classes now. Studying in London makes this possible. I have another friend and classmate who has been working full-time at Ferrari throughout the first year - don't ask me how!

What I really like about working and taking classes at the same time is that I can apply what I do at work in class - and I realize just how much I have learnt over the last months of work - but also I can apply what I learn in class at work every day, and that feels great.

My three classes this term are great so far, even though it is tough sitting in class from 6 to 9pm, particularly today when there was Sundowners at the same time - and I missed it! No drinks for me yet! Let's try to forget about drinks for now and talk academics :-):

Options & Futures: one of the most dreaded courses at London Business School, this is supposed to be the toughest course. The first lecture was very introductory though - how do forwards and futures work and things like that. After two months on a commodities structuring desk over the summer, you cannot scare me with terms like contango or backwardation! I had trouble shutting up in this class because there is a big divergence between theory and what happens on the trading floor - but I know how annoying people who think they know everything better than the professor are, so I didn't argue about certain things. I don't think my classmates could care less about the reasons for roll yield in commodities markets ;-).

Global Currency Markets: Macroeconomics suffers from the same divergence between theory and empirical evidence or reality, but it is great to think in a more systematic way about exchange rates, trade, budget deficits, what happens to the dollar, how Chinese foreign reserves affect the US and things like that. The professor is very experienced and knowledgable and it seems he is well connected, because we'll have some amazing guest speakers over the next weeks - among them Jim O'Neill, chief economist of Goldman Sachs, as well as the top FX strategist of Goldman, and then a good mix of policymakers, financial journalists and practicioners active in the currency markets.

Mergers, LBOs and Corporate Restructuring: as with the other classes, the class today was introductory and basically a recap of what we have done on M&As in the first year. But the professor, Paolo Volpin, is highly entertaining, smart and knowledgable. I must say each and every finance and economics professor at our school has been amazing. Joao Cocco was brilliant, I loved Marco Ottaviani in Microeconomics, and Paolo Volpin promises to be highly entertaining as well as intellectually challenging as well.

Tomorrow morning at 6am I have to get up again, but soon it is weekend! I will have to do the Options & Futures assignment and some reading for my economics class, but there is also a housewarming party and a dinner with friends lined up, so I am slowly making the transition to student life again.