March 07, 2008

Engineers have it easy in an MBA? + Fonty experience..

One of the recurring themes I've read over the years before I finally embarked on an MBA was how "Engineers had it easy in an MBA", or more particularly - how skills from engineering would really give an advantage to those in an MBA. As I tread the courses, I can say with great confidence that this certainly is not so. So, here is my laundry list of the advantages, disadvantages of an engineering degree while going into an MBA

  1. A engineering degree will quite certainly make GMAT easier..
  2. But you will also have many other engineers to compete with
  3. The reason engineers why, while studying undergrad in India, there was a perceived advantage for engineers is because it was mostly engineers that went to MBA because most of the bright students went to engineering in the first place and were inclined to do well in the mostly entrance-test driven admissions in the local MBA institutes.
  4. I find very little from my engineering degree that actually helps me directly in the MBA. My finance/economics undergrad based friends have an advantage, and they also happen to be very, very smart. They beat most of us engineers hands-down. So much for my engineering!
  5. But we engineers have great value-add from the MBA. The amount of learning one could do is much higher because we don't do most of this during undergrad - so the bang for the buck for engineers is very high. Higher than many other disciplines.

Engineers don't have it easy in an MBA, so please stop perpetrating the myth!

Now let me spend a few minutes ranting about Fonty...

  1. No car = no leg. And there's seems rule/law in France that we can't lease a car with 2 drivers on it! Even if I get an insurance I cannot drive a car that's leased under my friends name. Argh.
  2. Our shipped packages with lot of essential items (dresses, toiletries, binders..) from Singapore still hasn't arrived in Fonty. Apparently the airlines screwed up something and now part of our boxes are with French customs. Oops. Argh.
Now let me spend a bullet or two talking about France and the French!

Before coming here, I'd heard many remarks about France and the rude French people who would never speak English and would treat you badly and all the pain you would feel...well, that never happened. Just like all the exaggerations in life, this turned out to be another one.

  1. The immigration officer did not even ask a question and stamped me in
  2. The officials who guided me to my airport transfer service were friendly, helpful and spoke English
  3. The staff at school have all uniformly been helpful and have spoken English
  4. The lady at the Singapore-France embassy was helpful. Though I do have a beef with the fact that the visa forms in Singapore are in French! Come on!
  5. The train service between Gare De Lyon and Fonty is fast and efficient and pretty cheap (6 euros)
  6. French towns are pretty. But it's a real b***ch to get around without a car.
When I find really valid reasons to complain and crib, I will do so. I'm really, really looking forward to some relaxing times this weekend. I'm not much of a party-guy and don't pretend to be one. I also react very little to peer pressure - if I decide I won't go to a party or a bar, I won't go. That's it. Sometimes I prefer sitting with a few close friends and having a simple, relaxing time. I really couldn't care less about being with 100 others in a smoky bar and forcing myself into a conversation.

Alright then everyone, have a great weekend!


DTLF said...

Smoking in bars and restaurants was banned earlier this year :(

Noisy bar, maybe. Smoky, no.

Definitely look into getting a car. Buy one of the horrible secondhand INSEAD rigs if you must.

future serial entrepreneur said...

I must have been really unlucky...
I stayed 4 days in Paris when I decided to visit the school. My impression fro French people:

really rude and impolite!

I could have never believed a waitress telling me that she cannot speaki english while I saw her some minutes ago speak english while taking an order from a table 2m away.
But this was not the only case. Of course writing 400words on it is not wise..
Just arguing agaist your opinion...

necromonger said...

well, serial entrepreneur, I have no arguments with your opinion :) But as far as I'm concerned, I will complain only when I am faced with such a situation, and so far I can only report that I've been treated well and in a courteous fashion - and that is what it is. Maybe Paris is different -- I'll find out when I spend time there..

Insead Partner said...

I was as well very surprised that the French are nice. Before I came to live here I've heard a lot warnings etc. I'm very happy to say that after nearly 3 months here I haven't met even one rude French (not even in Paris), everybody is very helpful and nice. And as a partner I spend lots of time outside school. I hope everyone will have as good experience as I have so far.