February 25, 2011

An update from Ilanit

Post by:
Ilanit Shtein
Mathematical Finance 2012

I apologize for not writing in so long – the first semester was very intense. Very. It flew by so fast, while I was solving tons of homework problems, preparing for exams, researching companies, and hanging out with my friends. I have a feeling this semester is about to pass by even faster.

Luckily, the winter break was a month and a week long, so I had a chance to rest and gather up some strength for the new semester. After an amazing two weeks home visit in Israel, I was ready to explore South America for the first time in my life. I spent some quality time tanning and going up the Corcovado and Sugar Loaf Mountain (the view was unbelievable) in Rio de Janeiro. Then, in Buenos Aires I enjoyed touring the city by walking all over it. The people were amazingly nice and welcoming, and their Empanadas were even more amazingly delicious… Last but definitely not least, I finished in Santiago, where I visited my best friend from Israel. Obviously that made the whole trip even more exciting!

I arrived a few weeks ago to a frozen Boston. Although that might sound a bit sad, especially considering my recent sunny vacation, I have to admit that the snow is not that bad. First of all, the snow is much less harmful than rain. Second, Boston is really beautiful these days –all covered in white. And third, it’s actually fun to play outside in the snow J

This semester I’m looking forward to learning more practical courses, like Fixed Income Securities and Statistical Methods for Mathematical Finance. The course I am most excited about is the Algorithmic Trading course, taught by Prof. Ahmad Namini, who’s actually a trader and strategist at Fortress Investment Group. His classes are challenging and fascinating, backed by examples from the real world. In the last session of the course we will have a trading competition against each other, employing our own developed strategies. Last year’s competition even caught Wall Street Journal’s attention - http://www.bu.edu/phpbin/news-cms/news/?dept=644&id=56004

Other than that, I’m putting a lot of effort in seeking my dream internship for the upcoming summer. The competition is tough, but I guess “without the bitter, the sweet ain't as sweet”. I hope my hard work in networking, researching and interview preparation will pay off soon.

About the author:
Ilanit is a first year Mathematical Finance student. Prior to studying in BU, she was designing and implementing voicemail applications as a software engineer at Comverse, a leading provider of telecommunication and billing services, in the Tel-Aviv branch. Ilanit holds a degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from Tel-Aviv University. She likes indoor cycling, experimenting in the kitchen, and traveling around the world.

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February 16, 2011

The beginning of the end…

Post By:
Michelle He
MS.MBA in Health Sector Management
Class of 2011

The beginning of the end…
So it begins here with another busy semester. Besides taking six classes, part-time internship, and juggling between student clubs, I’m also the Teaching Assistant for a core MBA class. It’s my first and probably the last time being a TA. As I recall TAs in all kinds of classes I took in my undergraduate and graduate school, good ones can really make a difference in students’ learning expereince and I certainly hope I can too.
For classes I’m taking this semester, I am fulfilling my MS degree requirements with three Information Systems electives. Two of the three are healthcare related which are very applicable to my post-MBA career field. Negotiations is a must take at BU, and I’m sure that the take-away from this class will be helpful to me both personally and professionally for a long time. For clubs, Health Services Management Association(HSMA) and BioBusinss Organization(BBO) continue to deliver concrete results: a group of students have just returned from the West Coast Trek, where they visited various healthcare organizations ranging from hospitals to pharmaceutical companies and spoke with executives; we are getting busy planning the Spring Alumni Panel event, a platform which we aim to connect current students with alumnus and to encourage conversations on wonderful ideas and inspirations; HSMA is also planning to integrate a charitable event with the club’s mission and the MS Walk will be the first one in action in this Spring.
Yes it all begins here as I started the last semester of my MBA program with a mix of emotions. Knowing where I will be after the graduation is a big relief and starting a new career in just a few months is definitely exciting, but at the same time, I have a hard time picturing the end of my student life. All passed by too fast: the tears, the joy, tough decisions I had to make on jobs, on personal relationships… But when looking back, I know that I’ve become wiser and stronger, and that I understand more of who I am and what I want. To me, this is the best beginning of the end.
About the author:

Michelle He is a second-year full time MBA student with a concentration in Health Sector Management. She is also pursuing an MS degree in Information Systems. Prior to MBA, she worked at CITGO petroleum corporation in Chicago, where she was responsible for managing a variety of projects to ensure successful implementation from inception to completion. Michelle misses the beautiful city of Chicago, but she starts to appreciate the change of seasons in the Northeast and the unique characteristics of Boston architecture. In her spare time, besides shopping Michelle likes watching movies with friends, power walking along Charles river, and exploring different cuisines in Boston.

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February 11, 2011

Decision Time

Post by:
Anya Thomas
Public and Nonprofit MBA 2012

I know what you’re going through.

Exactly one year ago I was waiting to hear back from the MBA programs I had applied to. I can hardly express the elation I felt when I opened an acceptance letter or received a phone call telling me I was admitted to a program. However, my joy was slightly dampened when I realized that with options came the need to make a significant decision. This decision would not only affect me for the next two years, but also for the rest of my life.

So I know what you’re going through.

The good news is that you’ve done the hard work and you’ve emerged victorious. Just don’t stop there. Before you make the two year commitment, visit BU again, come to Open House, make sure you know the culture that the BU School of Management has to offer.

BU’s Open House was the turning point in my decision making process. As I mingled with students, staff, and faculty I was pleased to see how much they enjoyed relating to each other. This created an energetic and inviting atmosphere. I enjoyed hearing about various students’ ambitious dreams and yet I could see that the students were willing to help one another instead of only competing with each other. Several students connected me to classmates and alumni who could answer my specific questions. I felt like I was already a part of the community before I even signed on the dotted line.

Fortunately this was just a sample of the good times to come. When I returned to Boston last August the welcoming, collaborative, and lively culture that I had experienced during Open House embraced me and confirmed that BU was the perfect choice for my MBA.

So as you’re making your decision, know what you’re looking for, make sure you experience the culture of the universities on your short list, and get your questions answered. It is totally worth the extra effort because when you make the right decision then your only regret will be how quickly two years can pass by because you’re having so much fun!

About the Author:

Anya Thomas is a first-year, full-time MBA student with a concentration in Public and Non-Profit Management. After graduating from the University of Southern California in 2003, she worked with a faith-based non-profit called Christian Challenge. She decided to come to business school to gain core skills and learn best practices that can be transferred to the microfinance and international development sectors.

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February 4, 2011

Winter Break - Finding Clarity

Post by:

Juan J Estrada
International MBA 2011

Winter break commitments are hard to keep. During my break I intended to read a book on case interviews and search for and apply to jobs every day. But then I was at home with my family, with good friends, good food, good 80 degree weather, and a beach for New Year’s Eve. And I just didn’t feel like looking for a job or keeping track of school anymore. I wanted to actually break apart from it all during the break.

By the beginning of January I had some remorse about having bummed out for so long. It didn’t seem like the way to compete, and not competing in this business track of life I chose can be a hazard. But on the other hand, I got to recover a lot of energy and enthusiasm during that time, no longer feeling worn out and instead having a strong desire to take over the new semester.

This made the way I took on my break more than worth it. Mentally disconnecting yourself from a subject allows you to recover from your tiredness from it and take on the challenge in a better way. One usually thinks one can do lots of things at the same time. Vacation and work, take a break and look for a job, do homework and chat online. But then it seems like you never really get to unplug yourself from anything. Everything ends up running constantly. Personally, I try multitasking all the time. It’s harder for me to not do it, even being aware that everything would be easier if I actually didn’t.

So to reinforce the feeling that what happened during the break was actually a positive thing, I came across a good article by a guy from West Point. If you have time you should actually read the entire thing. The author kind of has a military tone, which you may like, or not, but he definitely makes several good points. After referring to a research study by Stanford University on multitasking, the author elaborates:

“Multitasking, in short, is not only not thinking, it impairs your ability to think. Thinking means concentrating on one thing long enough to develop an idea about it. Not learning other people’s ideas, or memorizing a body of information, however much those may sometimes be useful. Developing your own ideas. In short, thinking for yourself. You simply cannot do that in bursts of 20 seconds at a time, constantly interrupted by Facebook messages or Twitter tweets, or fiddling with your iPod, or watching something on YouTube[1].”

Coming back, I all of a sudden happen to know exactly what position I want when I graduate. And what my plan B is. This clarity was not there last semester, and I highly doubt I would have gotten it without having pulled away from school. Thus the importance of time and temporary isolation from work, school, or whatever it may be. So now, back to school, work, and the white, cozy, beautiful Boston weather.

[1] http://www.theamericanscholar.org/solitude-and-leadership/

About the author:

Juan is a first year International MBA student. Before coming to BU he worked coordinating a project on the development of a medical device in Madrid, Spain. Through this European Commission sponsored project, Juan had the opportunity to immerse in a variety of European cultures both in professional/organizational and in social terms. Prior to his experience, Juan had obtained a Biomedical Engineering bachelors at Georgia Tech, in Atlanta. Having grown up in Colombia, Juan enjoys experimenting in the kitchen with tropical ingredients, dancing -specially Latin music- and keeping up with the news and what is going on in the world.

[1] http://www.theamericanscholar.org/solitude-and-leadership/

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