As it has been so sunny and warm the past few weeks, you can imagine my surprise when I woke up this morning to . . . SNOW! As is my usual routine, I opened my curtains to see how the mountains looked as the sun began peeking up over the horizon. However, there was no sun and there were no mountains. Instead there was limited visibility and a lot of white stuff flying around. Having lived in Houston for the past 10 years, I had almost forgotten what it looked like, but there was no mistaking it; it was snowing.
Although the sun eventually made a foreceful appearance, preventing any snow from really sticking, the flurries were beautiful and lasted well into the afternoon. While I would have preferred to take the opportunity to practice eXtreme Ping Pong, IMD’s class schedule had plenty to offer as well. Last week’s end of Industry and Company Analysis / Economics gave way to a new class, which started today: Innovation and Product Design. Taught by American professor David Robertson, this course is all about innovation at every level of an organization: product, process, business model, etc. Its goals are two-fold: 1. to teach us how to innovate ourselves, and 2. to teach us how to manage innovation and create a corporate culture that fosters creativity. Our first class was very interesting and focused on individual class members’ experiences in innovation/design. We won’t meet again for a while but come April we will begin competing in a school-wide innovation competition–fun!
This afternoon featured an interesting Finance class. Instead of sitting in the amphitheater trying to absorb formula after formula, we took part in a team-based exercise. Half of our study groups were companies seeking debt financing while the other half were banks looking to lend. Each bank was set up with a company and was given a time limit to reach a deal that worked well for both parties. If no such deal was reached, companies could go to the market and see if other banks would offer them more favorable terms.
My group (bbb7) was paired with our nextdoor neighbors (Magic 8), who were prepared, reasonable, and committed to finding a mutually agreeable deal. Although our ultimate loan package was a little unorthodox, both parties were happy with the terms by the end of the day. We celebrated together with shots of Slovakian liqueur and headed home to rest up before tomorrow’s Integrative Exercise.