Applying the MBA to real life

31 May

It will be two years this September to the MBA and I must say that I have been applying the MBA to my post-MBA life rather often; both consciously and sub-consciously. The application has been in terms of all kinds of knowledge garnered during that amazing year – both in terms of core, hard courses and “soft” skills.

In my job as a purchaser / product manager, the most useful core courses that I have been frequently applying are Marketing, Consumer Behavior and Supply chain operations. Courses like Decision Analysis, I used a lot more in the in-between time post the MBA and before starting the new job.

Then there are the courses like Organizational Behavior, Change management and negotiation and the soft-skill courses like Team-work, inter-cultural management and the like (focusing on people skills). These have been invaluable ever since I learnt about them. I definitely would consider honing my skills in these three areas over the coming years. They are extremely practical and IMHO, a must-have in every person’s kit.

And finally, I have always felt that whoever termed “Soft” skills as being “soft „certainly did a huge disservice to them. These skills are anything but “soft”. Internalizing them takes longer than one would think. So you know Kotter’s 8-step change management model. However, perfecting it is an art in itself and definitely one that needs practice every single day. It’s what one of my favorite professors always said – “Real application of soft-skills is like The difference between ‘ savoir-faire’ (know-how) and ‘savoir-être’ (application of the knowledge appropriately).”

In other news, I am looking forward to the Summer-party in MBS in July. I really do hope that the weather gets better by then, but either ways it promises to be a great evening at the good ol’ EO! 🙂 Looking forward to catching up with my friends from my batch and hearing everyone’s stories.

I also hope to run into some of you from the current class. Good luck with running the last mile and make the most of Term4. In less than 4 months, you will enter the world of alumni – unbelievable how soon time flies!

And finally, I wish those of you currently in the application stages, all the very best!

Have a great weekend!

Best regards,

Anita (Class of 2011)

There is ‘truly’ no substitute!

2 May

Even at minus2 degrees with the harsh snow against my jacket, I walked excitedly to the fancily designed building at a brisk pace.

Porsche, the sports car manufacturer, opened a new museum right next to the Head Quarter in Stuttgart in 2009 to showcase its design and engineering prowess.

PorsheAs part of the Class of 2013, MBS provided us with a private tour of not only the cutting-edge museum but also an extended tour of the Porsche HQ.

Right after the eye-candy of Porsches from over the decades, the examination of the current supply chain techniques implemented by Porsche A.G showed us a car manufacturer that always stays up to date with technology. If there were an expiry date on the manufacturing components, the car would be delivered to the customer way before the components expired!

The various design, selection and implementation procedures of the company were given a run-down, which also gave us a peek into the life at a global auto manufacturer. It is truly remarkable how Porsche has stepped up its production to almost 200,000 automobiles (this year) in a size-limited manufacturing facility.  The carbon fiber inserts, custom-leather dashboards and made-to-order ceramic brakes even served as an example of complex supply-chain management that we learnt as part of the MBA!

Reflecting on my day at Porsche, the cherry on the cake was definitely the peek into the upcoming (stunning!) Porsches; that even topped the lunch at the rooftop Porsche casino!

– Anoop Thampy –
Mannheim MBA Class of 2013

A company visit

18 Mar

One hour in a bus! That’s how long it took to travel around the BASF plant in Ludwigshafen.

The trip to the largest chemical companies in the world, BASF, is just a walk across the bridge from MBS. Covering the entire expanse of landscape across the Rhine from Mannheim, the facility is the largest chemical plant in the world. True to its name, BASF is a powerhouse in the chemical field with products in almost every industry known to man! Their international associations and open innovation techniques are a source of information to most companies that want to achieve a truly ‘global architecture’.

The information session opened our eyes to the history, changes in the industry and challenges that the chemical industry faces in light of recent developments. Additionally the in-house consulting team and the HR provided us with insights on the exciting work along with the opportunities at BASF.

The beautiful sight of first snow along with a pretty long game of snow-fight with the amazing 2013 cohort made the perfect ending to the eventful day!

1,78,000+ employees in over 100 locations with a turnover of 58 billion USD..Three numbers that constantly remind me about the size of the BASF world.

– Anoop Thampy –
Mannheim MBA Class of 2013

A Visit to the ECB

26 Feb

There I was, staring at a tower that reminded me of the sheer power of authority. If the surrounding skyscrapers were not already a gaping sight, the ECB stood strong in the middle with the Euro clearly displayed in the heart of Germany’s financial capital, Frankfurt.

ECB

© EstonianFreePress

Besides excellent professors, cutting edge facilities and great classmates, the MBS experience also offers certain privileges that are limited to “once in a lifetime” (normally of course!!).  The trip to the European Central Bank was one such opportunity.

The security greeted us with thorough baggage and security checks followed by the mandatory identity verification. For once, I felt the security checks at the airports were a walk in the park! What awaited us was a true plethora of surprises (and I will not spoil any).

The euro zone is probably going through one of the worst patches since its formation. The specialists at ECB gave us a true insight into the macroeconomic factors and future prospects of the euro. Coming from the lion’s mouth, these presentations gave us an in-depth insight into the  euro zone from an insider perspective.

Macroeconomics – a word that tells a lot of stories. According to our distinguished professor it is “a subject that explains every phenomenon we see around us”.

Adding to the experience, we networked with some bankers from the region over sparkling wine and Käse, discussing economics to our hearts content.

The setting sun and the view of the Schloss made me realize the day has come to an end. And, of course, that I need to prepare for the next adventure!

– Anoop Thampy –
Mannheim MBA Class of 2013

Term 1 Highlights

7 Jan

Decision Analysis Class

scenario analysis

Football – Time to score

Football

The dream team 😉

Football Team

Surrounding

Man

 

Days in Mannheim Business School

26 Nov

Strategy without implementation is a day-dream; Implementation without strategy is a nightmare. More I read about it, more I feel.  Setting up a strategy and implementing those sounds real easy but is it that simple? I wonder if this was so easy, every product in the market would have been a success story.  A good marketing strategy can make a brand and people would line for hours to buy the products. And sometime a product from a top brand with huge marketing fails. What could be the reasons? If I combine my knowledge of strategy with marketing, I would say… it depends :-). All that matter is successful implementation of a good strategy.

I neither studied nor worked in finance before. Financial statements to me were just sheet with revenue and profit. But the same tabular sheet now makes a lot sense to me. The financial statement speaks up everything about the company.  Group case studies helped me understand key financial concepts.

Macroeconomics is a good subject and open economy is interesting topic. The funny examples from our Professor made me understand this complex topic better. I can now explain benefits behind the open economy. It’s interesting to understand how a part of an economic can be made more competitive by just adjusting the exchange and interest rates and vice versa. The professor had so much knowledge, ask him a topic and he has an interesting example/story to tell you. Just listen to the meaning behind the story and you under the topic.

“Leadership talk” with a top leader from a leading customer product company was so interesting. He had so much knowledge, such a clear strategy and understanding. He had solution for every possible leadership challenges – cross culture, motivation. You name it and he has an experience to share.

This is the beginning, more to follow ….

-Bikram Shrestha-

Mannheim MBA 2013

The beginning…

5 Nov

It’s all about you. I was a little nervous, yet excited, when I reached Mannheim in early September this year. After all, coming to Mannheim is one my most important decisions and of course a big investment.

It’s just been a little more than a month and there is so much to learn. I just need to keep my mind open. The knowledge simply flows in. I was talking to one of my classmates during kickoff week for about 20 minutes and I already learned a concept in Finance. That makes me wonder how much I will learn in an entire year.

The company presentations are great. I especially liked when a CFO of a company explained how his company survived a bankruptcy situation and what they learned from it. He was so confident that his company would never face that situation again. The post-MBA options that are offered by some companies are useful and many companies encourage us to take part in their competitive challenges. The industry experts explaining how they overcame the near crisis market situation was encouraging.

Weekends have never been so much fun. Every week someone organizes something. We already had a BBQ party, football matches and trips. Working in Multi-Competence Teams (MCT) and looking for information for our social project has been exciting, too.

Working in groups is essential here in Mannheim and helps us a lot to learn quickly, especially when working on real financial and marketing projects. I didn’t know that learning could be so easy.

Looking at Rhine River every morning from my window is so refreshing. Walking down the lane towards the Business School makes me feel good. People in the class are so helpful. We all have a different background, yet we have a common goal – to learn from each other. Some people in my class say “Sky is the limit”. It truly is.

And this is just the beginning ….

-Bikram Shrestha-
Mannheim MBA 2013

https://blog.mannheim-mba.com/ – Now a group-blog!

3 Nov

So, the class of 2013 started their MBA-journey a few weeks back. I am sure that they are working hard and hopefully partying  harder. <*slight twinge of jealousy*>

As for me, I am looking forward to the annual alumni homecoming event, later in the month. It is quite unbelievable that its been more than a year to the MBA and that I would be attending the second homecoming event already. I cannot wait to meet everybody, catch up on old times and party at the old hangouts. 🙂

Also, starting this month, Bikram Shrestha, a student from the Mannheim full-time MBA class of 2013 will be blogging his thoughts and experiences related to his 365 days at Mannheim Business School. Stay tuned to obtain yet another perspective on the MBA-journey at Mannheim. Welcome aboard, Bikram and happy blogging!

And finally, all the very best to those of you currently applying to Mannheim Business School. Perhaps we will bump into each other next year at the castle!

Have a great weekend.

Best regards,
Anita

Image

The Class of 2011 graduation ceremony

9 Sep

The Class of 2011 graduation ceremony

This day, last year 🙂

When nostalgia strikes.

4 Sep

So today, I was trying to sort out my photo albums and came across tonnes of footage (if I may call it that) from the MBA year. That sent me down memory lane, nostalgically wishing for the amazing MBA days to come back.

This day, last year, most of us from the Class of 2011 were furiously trying to complete our Master thesis presentations. The luckier ones amongst us were already done and were lazing by the Rhein. However, all of us were having mixed feelings about the end of term in less than 5 days, 9th Sept 2011; excitement, anticipation, sheer joy.

Sure, I was looking forward to new beginnings post the MBA. But every once in a while, it would hit me ‘Dear Lord, the real world is only 5 days away!’ And I wasn’t yet completely prepared to bid farewell to my friends, to no longer plan sudden parties, to no longer have something new to learn every day, to no longer be a part of the vibrant, international, fun family, that is MBS.

So, I made up my mind that I would attend every single event possible post the MBA and make sure that I continue to annoy everyone even after the MBA, haha. And am I glad to say that I have managed to do so! I attended the homecoming in Nov 2011, the Spring reunion in April 2012 and the summer party in July 2012. I now look forward to the homecoming in November to reconnect with my friends and make new friends.

So here’s a word of advice; the best part of the MBA is the people you meet, the friends you make, the relationships you build. Make sure you get top grades in this area.

-Anita