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May 4, 2009, 5:00 am

MBA Grades and What I Have Learned From My Classes

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: MBA

We ended our last session of 3 courses in March. It took a while to get our marks since teachers have been on strike for a while. This was the toughest session so far because everybody is tired and the motivation level is at its lowest. Nonetheless, we are almost done and we have to finish this with great marks!

Strategy: A

I was expecting a lot from this class. I thought that we would have to elevate ourselves to another level; that we had to think outside the box and realize how the big bosses take their decision…. BIG DISAPOINTMENT! The problem wasn’t really the book or what we saw in class, but the teacher was so bad that I can’t say that I have learned anything. What saved me was that the final exam (which was 50% of our final mark) was on social lending companies such as Prosper and how they can/will influence the banking industry. The positive point of this class is that it gave us the opportunity to create our final and strongest team (we kicked another member out at the end of this session but we “drafted” two really good players at the beginning). So we are now 6 strong students for the final session and the big group project.



Socio-politics in banks: A

I wondered what this class was about until the teacher opened his mouth for the very first time. We talked about conspiracy and how CEO’s are paid and how they unethically managed our banks (are you surprised? Hahaha!). We wrote a paper based on the comparison of a Canadian Bank versus an American Banks. We were looking their ethical practices, how they act in the society (donations, participation in the community, etc.) and how they work on doing responsible business. I was quite surprised to see how the American Banks we choose was implicated in its community (I know now that there is a law about implication in community in the States, which we don’t have here). I actually realized how banks and financial institutions could really impact our society and dictate a better way of consuming our resources by not lending to environment disrespectful companies. I must admit that I first thought that this class was a waste of time but while I was doing my research and writing my paper, I realized how important it is to talk about it if we want a better world with fair wealth redistribution… that’s it I’m turning into a communist 😉 hahaha!

Public relation: A+ (my first one!)

I simply loved this class! This is not even related to the mark I got. We actually learned how to do presentation and learned a few tricks to captivate our audience. We even had the chance of being interviewed by a real journalist and see how tough it was to answer questions in front of a camera! The teacher was amazing as she was giving us the real picture about our presentations. There was no “you are good, you are this, you are that…”. She was giving her uncensored thoughts about how we stand in front of the class. This is probably the only time we will know what we really look like in front of people. This gave me a chance to push a little more and see what kind of presentation I was really able to give (I even explain a bank situation using a medieval analogy 😉 ). Another great point of this class was our lunch break. We had 4 lunch conferences with professionals working in the communication industry. We had a business owner, a guy that worked in banks for 20 years, another working in the videogame industry and a journalist. This was so much fun… I only have good memories of this class ;-D

Now we are up to the last chapter of this MBA. 2 classes left (a Bank simulation and a sales course…. Hum… seems like I’m going to have a lot of fun!). We also have our final paper to write. I’ll tell you more about it later on….

If you have any questions about MBA, please comment below or send me an email at thefinancialblogger at gmail dot com.

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April 30, 2009, 5:00 am

What I Have Learned From My MBA Colleagues Part 2

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: MBA

conspiracy_theory– Conspiracy Theory Man –

I’m writing this title and I am smiling thinking that some people will automatically know who I am talking about. This guy is one of the most analytic people I have ever met in my life. He is the type of guy who will dress according to the teacher’s style to make sure he creates the good impression. As a matter of fact, we all know that the teacher’s perception of a student will definitely influence the student’s marks. But very few of us is trying to make this play in our advantages. Conspiracy Theory Man is just not taking any chances 😉

What I like the most about him it’s his capability seeing everything as a game (school, work, family, life in general), understanding the game rules and play them. If you want to win a game, you don’t have to be the best player; you simply have to know how to play the game the right way! I am not saying this in a pejorative way, he actually never crossed any lines or not even playing with the fine prints, he just has this ability to optimize his time and effort according to the game rules.

As human beings, we have been raised to follow rules set by parents, teachers, laws, employers, etc. So we automatically listen to the rule, understand them and follow them. But how many times are we trying to find how those rules where designed and what is their effect on the whole game? If you understand the way the game was built, you know how rules were made, why they were made that way and you can even predict when and how they will change to make sure that the “game” will still be respected.



I was already doing a part of that analysis but this man showed me how to push it to another level and understand fully how to master any kind of game and turn any situation in my advantages.

The most important thing; he doesn’t look like the guy who understand everything or know-it-all. He looks like the average Joe. This is remarkable as he is one of the big brains of the class and most people don’t even notice him… and it is part of his own “game” ;-). Flying under the radar, gives him the time to make the first move before anyone notices.

Another great asset he has it’s his poker face. I would actually never play poker against him (not with real money though!). No matter what it is happening, he shows the very same face. He doesn’t seem to be nervous about anything. Staying calm is his motto. He will burn his energy on what matters, not on emotion 😉

Here are the three things I learned from him:

#1 Whatever you are doing is a game; understand it and play the game, not the rules.

#2 People don’t have to know when you are successful; this won’t bring you anything anyway.

#3 Stay calm, analyse what is going one. You will have time to vent later on; now it is time to be effective!

Image source: impawards.com

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April 28, 2009, 5:00 am

What I Have Learned From My MBA Colleagues

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: MBA

I am almost done with my MBA (only one class left and my final paper!) and I wanted to write a “tribute” to some people in my class and what I have learned from them. Overall, I don’t think I have learned much from classes but I definitely grew as a human being with my classmates.

I won’t obviously name people on my blog (some people in the class actually read The Financial Blogger 😉 ), so I decided to give them name (no offence 😉 ).

big-brainGenius

This is actually the person I learned the most and we even became friend along the way. Genius got his name because he was on top of his game in everything: MBA, work, family… this is very impressive.

Most impressive, we have several common points and it showed me how I could evolve (as he is 10 years older than me 😉 ). I have the tendency of going straight to the point without caring much about how things are said. If I don’t like something, my main concern is to get my point through… regardless if it could hurt or not. Genius showed me that there was a way to get your point through, speak your mind, but still do it in a nice way.

I was encouraged to know that he was like me at my age. This shows that I can change and still get my point.

He also taught me to choose your battle and sit back when it is unnecessary. For me, “fighting” is a sport. Every time I see something wrong, I have to stand up and talk about it. However, it is very tiring and it doesn’t always give what you expected from it. I hope to remember this lesson when I feel the urge of joining the fight next time ;-). Sometimes, you have much more to lose when you win!

Being a manager for several years, he also showed me to take a global point of view on a situation. I learned take a step back and think about the situation once more before jumping into the jungle and start working. I am usually successful in what I do, but I understood that I would become even more successful and productive by taking that step back.



So if there are 3 lessons that Genius told me, there are:

#1 You can fight, but you have to do it with tact.

#2 You should choose your battle, you can lose more energy than what you will win out of each battle.

#3 Take a step back before doing something.

Genius is not the only person that I am grateful in my MBA. I will continue this small series in the upcoming days in order to make sure I don’t forget anybody!

Image source: repairstemcell.com

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February 5, 2009, 6:00 am

A Meeting With A Business Journalist

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: MBA

This post is not directly related to personal finance. Hey I admit, sometimes, I want to write about other stuff 😉 Seriously, this will still help you out understand what is going on in the business news as we get most of our information (beside when you are reading my blog 😉 hehehe!) from different media.


During our last MBA class in public relationship management, we had the opportunity to spend the afternoon with an experience journalist that came to talk to us about how they think, how they write and how to react in front of it.

Let me ask you this question: “If you are in a middle of an article and you realize that the news you are about to publish will jeopardize the future of a project creating thousands of jobs for a small region (due to the fact that the project is not far enough into conception before going public), would you still publish it?”.

Well, most journalists would apparently do it because they have to preserve press liberty at all cost. Interesting isn’t?

The very same journalist told me that we are talking and talking and talking about the terrible, never seen before, unique and catastrophic economic crisis like this because we didn’t have anything else to write about. There are not many wars or catastrophes these days so they can at least use the good old bear market as the next step of the world’s end.

This is when I start thinking about what I was reading only 2 years ago. “the oil barrel will reach $200 by 2009”, “Gold will break the 1,000$ stage and can reach up $2,000 very soon”, “TSX will get to 15,000 points before the next correction”.

The funny thing is that it wasn’t just headlines. Several journalists, backed by over intelligent expert, were justifying every single great headlines. 2 years ago, I could have probably give you 25 good and logic reasons why the oil barrel will reach $200 anytime soon. Today, I can find the very same 25 reasons why the oil barrel will stay at $35… Can we really consider this as information? It is so convincing and so empty at the same time I wonder who to believe?

So the question is the following: “should we listen to specialist, expert and journalist now that they are telling us that the end of the world is near?

Unfortunately, I don’t have the answer to this question. However, after meeting with this guy, I really wonder if journalists are writing to report news or simply to make a living and give us an interesting show?

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January 20, 2009, 6:00 am

The MBA Cycle Part3 – Not yet done

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: MBA

The last 2 semesters have been pretty demanding. However, it was not because they required more work than the others. Actually, the summer semester required less work than the first two. On the other side, it was very demanding in term of motivation and time schedule. I don’t know if you went to school during summer time but there is nothing worst than having to open a 600 pages book in your basement when it’s sunny and warm outside!



Vacations were my worst enemy for the last 2 semesters. Summer time and now the Holidays completely destroyed the discipline I gained during the beginning of the MBA program. When you start a MBA, you must setup a study schedule and stick to it. You life is already filled without school, so if skip a few days in your schedule, it will be very hard to get back on track.

So this is where I created another way to manage my time. It is call Planning to be late. Since I knew I was going to be late to my regular schedule, I had “catch-up days” scheduled as well. I was getting a few days off by my employers since I was doing my MBA so I spread them in order to be on time with everything.

In my case, lack of motivation is deadly. Even considering all my projects in the same time, I am a very lazy person. I actually only work when I am passionate about something. If I don’t feel the fire, I just open my TV and beat the hell out of the Toronto Maple Leafs on my Playstation (sorry guys from Ontario but I just can’t stand your hockey team 😉 ).

The problem with fire is that… it burns! So when you don’t have anything to feed it, it gradually stops. This is what happened to me recently. I never been good at marathon, and the MBA is a big one.

So I had to find new motivation in order to finish this thing. I found 2 important ones:

#1 I can’t let my teamwork down

Some of them actually became good friend of mine and I will keep working hard in the name of friendship and respect

#2 I’m almost done; let just finish it and go on

I can’t stand people that start something and don’t finish it. Since I try to be logical (most of the time), I will finish my MBA the way I started it; with good marks!!

There are still a lot of things to learn from the MBA program and I am glad that one of the class I have right now is probably my favourite of all of them (it’s a PR class). So I will keep going and giving you more updates in the upcoming months!

If there is anything you want to know, please comment or send me an email at thefinancialblogger at gmail dot com.

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