Monthly Archives: May 2006

Singapore, here I come

Quick update only, because my schedule is crazy at the moment – electives, core courses, assignments, readings, Student Council work, job related stuff and parties, speakers, national weeks … just too much to handle (yes, P3 really is the busiest period at INSEAD, no matter what anyone else tells you).

I have decided over the weekend to spend September to December, i.e. both my P4 and P5, in Singapore. My rationale for it is that this is a unique opportunity for me to find out more about this part of the world, broaden my network even further and travel to some exotic locations. And two months are just not enough to experience all this. In addition, I feel that the professors who will teach electives in the areas I am interested in (Entrepreneurship, Finance and some Strategy) are stronger overall in Singapore than they are in Fontainebleau, at least for my promotion.

On the other side, this may have negative implications for my job search in Europe. Moreover, it means that will not see a lot of my classmates from the first two periods, at least not on campus – after all, my decision means that I have only one month left on the Fontainebleau campus (so if you are one of the many who wanted to visit me in France and never came, time is running out quickly – hint!). Last, but not least, it means that I will have to work for the Student Council from the other campus, but this should not be a major problem, especially not when it comes to working on technology.

As always, there is no free lunch – you have to balance the positive and negative implications for every decision you make. After considering all arguments for and against Fontainebleau versus Singapore in the past few weeks I am conviced that this is the right choice for me now. In the end, it boils down to the same main reason why I have taken many key decisions in my life so far (join Trilogy, travel around the world, apply for an MBA, come to INSEAD …): If I don’t do it now that I have the opportunity, I will regret it for the rest of my life and keep asking myself: “What if …?”

P2 Grades Are Out

We just received our grades, and I am happy to report that I managed to just get past the Dean’s List hurdle after the second period. I know that grades do not matter much, especially at an institution with a grade non-disclosure policy like INSEAD, but getting a recognition for my academic achievements does make me feel better. Let’s see if I manage to stay on the list in the periods to come ;-)

Greco/Roman Week video

… and here is a video of Friday night’s Greek dancing. Enjoy!

Greco/Roman Week

As promised, here are some pictures from the Greco/Roman Week in April. As usual, the week began with amphi stormings during class, where the events of the week are announced in a role play. For this week, the Greeks come in dancing to annouce Greek week, then the Romans attack, when finally both Zeus and Jupiter appear and – in their infinite wisdom – declare a combined Greco/Roman Week.

Amphi stroming - Greek dancing Amphi stroming - the Romans take the Greek women
Amphi stroming - the gods appear Amphi stroming - Socrates speaks

The amphi storming crew
The amphi storming crew

During the week we had movie screenings (including “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”), a “slave auction” to collect money for charity and a treasury hunt through Fontainebleau.

Costas, Dimitris, Bernard and myself Apostolos, Bernard and Elli in front of the Greeek stand

Finally, we had Greek dinner and party on Friday night in the Ch√Ęteau des Malsherbes. Thanks to Ioannis, who organized the evening, everything went smoothly – the food was excellent and plenty, we had more than enough ouzo and – of course – there was a lot of Greek dancing. The theme was to dress as “your favourite Greek or Italian”, and Richard asked for my Lederhosen to wear for the evening – needless to say I was flattered.

Richard dressed as 'his favourite Greek', myself and Chiara Happy guests

Dimitris, Christos, Maria, Myrto, Bernard, Elli (front), Ioannis, Costas (back)
Some Greeks (and a Cypriot ;-): Dimitris, Christos, Maria, Myrto, Bernard, Elli (in front) and Ioannis, Costas (in the back)

Dimitris dancing Ioannis dancing
The crowd clapping Broken plates

Loyal readership despite blog inactivity

Wow! My last post to this blog was on April 15, almost a month ago. During that time, my blog received an avergae of 65 page views per day, and last Wednesday it peaked at 113, the highest number of views I can remember! To me, this indicates that I have a loyal group of readers out there who follow this blog regularly, and who I have let down during the past few weeks. Don’t worry, I haven’t given up on my blog (yet ;-). I will try to post more regularly in the weeks to come.

The past few weeks have been intense: April 17 to 21 was Greek/Roman Week here on campus, which was a big success. I helped out a bit as well (remember, I have Greek roots), and was very happy to see how much the organizing team put in, even though our exams were less than a week away.

The following week saw three exams, and another three the week after. As always, it is difficult to predict how well I did (more so since we get relative, not absolute grades here at INSEAD), but I will find out on Friday when we get our grades for P2 (sorry, I will not be allowed to talk about them on my blog due to INSEAD’s non-disclosure policy on grades). On the weekend in between, I had a nice break as a few of my friends from university visited Paris for Labor Day weekend, and I joined them for an excellent dinner at one of my friend’s home on Saturday night. Christian and Carine, if you ever open your own restaurant (and I do encourage you to!), I would love to be both an investor and your best customer :-)

Immediately after the last exam, I took off to Greece with a few fellow classmates for the break, visiting Athens and Spetses, a tiny island in the Saronic gulf. We also met up with some more Greek classmates, and even joined the participants of a sailing trip from the July promotion for cocktails with local Alumni in Athens. It was nice to see so many familiar faces on this trip.

Back in Fontainebleau, I have just completed my first week of classes of P3, the third of my five two-month periods here at INSEAD. Classes are already in full swing again, half of which are electives, so it promises to be an interesting period.

I will try to post pictures of all these events in the next few days. Stay tuned, and thank you for your continued readership!

PS: Congratulations to my fellow INSEAD blogger Olivier, whose blog made it to the Top Ten of ClearAdmit’s Best of Blogging Awards.