A crazy Fall...

December 5, 2007

I meant to write sooner, but next year you will understand why I did not. :))) In the meantime, I attended 20+ investment banking presentations, survived one set of exams, played in a football MBA tournament that Yale hosts each year, made a healthy return (16%) in a simulated stock market game for all first-year students, visited London and went to parties from time to time. Banks have been coming to campus and we have been going to New York to meet them. I expected that the SOM "work-week" sometimes spans from Monday to Thursday and Thursday's happy hour marks the beginning of a long week-end. Well, I am in my 16th week and I am still waiting for my first long week-end. Fridays have been mostly devoted to career development events - be it a Career Development Office workshop, a trip to XYZ bank in New York or a session organised by the Finance Club. Of course all these banks are here on all of the other days of the week as well - typically 5:30 - 8:00pm, on average 1-2 days per week. All of this is great because the CDO has created a very well structured process and has saved us a lot of time by organising these events. The exams... were challenging, but it felt good after they were over. A lot of material was covered and the adjustment from professional life back to school was not easy. A second wave is coming our way, but this time I look around and people are much more composed and conversations are actually centered on holidays and international trips. I am going to Costa Rica on 4 January and I see myself sitting by the pool with a cold beer in my hand, while some of my fellow classmates would be sliding on the Red Square in Moscow at -10C - freedom of choice. ;-) The football tournament was a disaster for us - we went in with the idea of winning, but we did not make it out of the groups into the eliminations stage. We lost the first two games (Tepper and HBS) and won the last one (UNC). On the upside, our other team - composed of alumni - won the cup and it is now proudly displayed at our Food For Thought student-run cafe. The simulated stock game was one of the highlights of the extracurriculars during the first semester. I will not go in details about the rules, but I will say that our team (five of us) achieved a 16% return, which sounds good... until you compare it to a 30+% return earned by a huge group of people (more than 20 I believe) that I predicted will not be able to coordinate efforts and refused to join. They sure proved me wrong - hats down! During Thanksgiving break I made my way to London (where I want to be post-graduation), where I met with potential employers to discuss summer internship opportunities. It was an enjoyable experience both from a business and leisure perspective. I was able to arrange visits to some of the banks that interest me and also to some of the night-clubs in the city. I was particularly pleased with club 1001, located on the famous Brick Lane. I was also very pleased with all of the firms, but will not go into details at this point (Hopefully some of the recruiters are reading this!). The only downside is that my visit to London coincided with a tragic event for all of England... No place in the Euro finals next year for the country that invented football - Croatia beat them 2-3 and I saw the unlucky game - people were not happy there, trust me. This is for now from me. I promise to come back soon and share some more of Yale SOM.

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Georgi Marin