Archive | May, 2011

MBS goes to Leipzig!

30 May

So, the past week, we completed our course on the Challenges of Strategic HRM; the crux of the lecture being that the strategic part of HRM is successful only when the functional line managers take an active interest in their team’s coaching and development needs and participate actively in mentoring them with HR playing the facilitator’s role. The role of HR needs to evolve into one where it permeates all sections of an organization and ensures that an organization’s competitive advantage is its People.

The weekend was spent in rowing practice for our upcoming rowing competition in July. We also walked around the local Stadtfest (City music festival) in Mannheim where a host of bands played all sorts of music; from the oldies to cover-versions of U2 and past German hit musicians. Today, we began with course no. 7 of Term3 – Global Information Management. The course covers the strategic part of Information Technology with an emphasis on implementation and managing information on a global level. It promises to be an interesting week ahead.

And finally, on the weekend, our class travels to Leipzig to participate in an inter-college football tournament. We have a fantastic team on hand that plays well as a team and that knows each other strengths and weaknesses. I am SO looking forward to cheering our team and having tonnnes of fun! Wish us tonnes of luck! 🙂

Which is what my year at MBS has had an abundance of; Fun. It sure has been one of the most intense, dynamic, demanding years of my life ever but totally balanced with ample fun, new experiences, new ideas and a bunch of the greatest people this side of the world! Couldn’t have asked for more.

till later,

Anita

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2 subjects, a hike and a marathon race

25 May

Its been an eventful, packed past 2 weeks. My previous post was on the eve of our International Marketing course. The course was 5 packed days of an individual case-study, a group case-study and a computer-based simulation game on entering a new market. The thing with case-studies is, in my opinion that one needs to definitely read between the lines before one can develop one’s line of thinking and come up with meaningful recommendations. Grasping the intricacies of a case is like discovering new layers to a good book after each subsequent read. The cases were focused on deeper concepts like re-branding, market-entry into a new continent, pricing a new medical invention- the worst nightmare for a  marketer and the like. Via healthy class discussions, the course sharpened my interest in brands and what makes them tick. Here’s hoping to apply these concepts soon in the real world.

I had a guilt-free hike on the Saturday after the course, having had a good previous week especially since our team did a neat job during the market-entry simulation and more importantly, we had tonnes of fun! We visited the area called ‘Bad DĂĽrkheim’, which is the spa-capital this side of the world. We hiked to a local monastery and enjoyed amazing views of the surrounding forest area over a glass of local wine. Post the hike, we had lunch at the world’s largest wine-barrel, that now houses a restaurant. Our lunch was authentic German food accompanied by a music from a local  musician and performances from our very own in-house guitar player. The highlights of the afternoon were  good food, good music, good views and awesome company, can’t complain 🙂

The previous week was the course on Strategic Leadership, which focused on our personal leadership styles and how we could develop ourselves to become future strategic leaders. Strategic Leadership, in a broad sense, ‘is a person’s ability to anticipate, envision, maintain flexibility, think strategically, and work with others to initiate changes that will create a viable future for the organization’. Examples of strategic leaders are Herb Kelleher from Southwest Airlines and Anne Mulcahy, the former CEO of Xerox Corporation. A key insight from the course was the emphasis on Authentic Leadership, that focused on being yourself, knowing your strengths and weaknesses and adapting your leadership style accordingly. This emphasis on being authentic ensures that you come across as a whole lot more believable which creates trust and you stand a better chance of building a long-term relationship with your employees. 

And finally, this past weekend, 21st May 2011 was The Mannheim-Marathon. 18 of us from MBS participated in various runs; the full marathon (42 km), the half-marathon (21 km), the duo-marathon and the team-marathon (4 participants). I participated in the team-marathon and our team completed 42 km in 3 hours and 43 minutes, pretty awesome, if I may say so myself. The best part, was that the Marathon began at 6.30 p.m. and we completed our run at 10.30 p.m. So it  was quite the party on the roads! Post the run, we went to our favorite watering hole, lol and celebrated. 

This week, we are studying the various Challenges of Strategic HRM via a mix of lectures, case-studies, debates and guest speakers. More posts on the other side of the lecture!

Till later,

Anita

Coming up – International Marketing

9 May

As I write this post, its already the 2nd week of May and the eve of the 4th course this term- International Marketing. I am currently reading up on the various entry strategies that companies could adopt when going global with a local flavor- glocal, as someone real smart coined it. I really want to coin at least one such Marketing/ Strategy terminology over the coming years; for e.g. long-tail, best practice, viral marketing and my current fave- ‘Twinternship’.  ‘Twinternship’ is when a ‘twintern’ would intern for a firm and work for its social-media team; read ==> Update the Facebook and Twitter profiles of the company, among others, to generate a buzz around the company and its products. Sehr interessant, oder?

Anyways, I digress. In the past weeks, we have had the ‘States and Markets’ course, which touched upon theories on inequality, growth, globalization  and their relationships. We also learnt some applications of Game theory and the various aspects of implementation of policies, along with issues faced in policy creation and implementation and the relationship between the State and the market, keeping the larger picture in mind. As in most courses, we were treated to insights into the German economic and socio-political system and the linkages between the two, which is something I really find very interesting. So, time permitting, I really would like to brush up on German and Indian history and Economics sometime in the near future. Then, some of us also were part of the ‘European Taxation’ course, where we learnt about the principles of dual taxation, guiding principles of international taxation concerning inbound and outbound investments and tax-planning strategies for cross-border investments.

Also, with spring already underway, its time for 3 key sporting events in our events-calendar; the  Marathon and the inter-school Rowing and Football competitions. The Marathon, for me, is just to prove to myself that I can run approx. 10 kms. in a little more than an hour. The Rowing and the Football, is where I’ll be cheering for MBS, unless I get to do a Glee and play on the teams, haha. So, if you are around Mannheim and see a bunch of MBS-students running along the river, you’d know why!

And in other news, the class will be going on a hike to a local monastery over the weekend, followed by lunch at a traditional German restaurant. So, in the interest of hiking with a clear conscience, I’d better get back to preparing for tomorrow’s International Marketing class, where a mixture of group case-studies, computer-based simulations and an individual case-assignment promises to lead to some definite Brandstorming.

Till later,

Anita