Random Weekend Accomplishments

Reflecting on my weekend, I realized that my accomplishments were quite odd and unpaired. I’m all over the map. What do you think?

  • Succeeded on losing and subsequently finding my credit card
  • Assisted a Disney Imagineer with a live synthesizer setup
  • Lost $20 in poker in less than an hour
  • Paid the dentist
  • Learned how to ask “How many degrees is it outside?” in Japanese
  • Posted an online video tutorial about Logic Pro
  • Talked to my girlfriend for more than a 1/2 hour in one clip
  • Read 31 pages of macroeconomics, 40 pages of operations management, 20 pages of marketing
  • Completed 3 homework assignments
  • Got over a cold
  • Finished redesigning an assessment process for my prior employer

Time to begin a new week. What’d y’all do this weekend?

Time to Get Serious, Again

Photo 6.jpg

Today I met with my Japanese track advisor, a very intelligent and caring individual. I think we will be perfectly situated to handle the logistics of getting to Japan, getting our applications at Waseda taken care of, securing our visas, and convincing the Japanese government that we are otherwise fiscally responsible and can pay for our year and one-half stay in the land of the rising sun.

What does concern me though is my overall language ability and how much I can improve it within the next 222 days. I went out and purchased my study text for the fall today, complete with an incredible amount of business Japanese. I’ve only really studied Japanese on my own and until sometime in January, it will continue to be that way. In January we will begin intensive classes before heading to Waseda.

Our workload for regular classes really doesn’t allow much time for intensive language study at this point. However, I do want to do try my best to get up to speed. So I guess it starts again, but on another level of task and time management yet unheard of. If I begin speaking Japanese to you with expectations of a reply, simply wack me hard enough to bring my back to the reality of Leadership and Ethics.

Apple Reports on iPod City

In the past few months, Apple recent came under fire for its use of overseas labor in possibly harsh conditions. As a followup and throwback to our Globalization and Corporate Responsibility class, this little webpage caught my eye today. It appears Apple has concluded a recent investigation of the allegations and has posted a response on their website. An excerpt from Apple’s report:

We found no instances of forced overtime and employees confirmed in interviews that they could decline overtime requests without penalty. We did, however, find that employees worked longer hours than permitted by our Code of Conduct, which limits normal workweeks to 60 hours and requires at least one day off each week. We reviewed seven months of records from multiple shifts of different productions lines and found that the weekly limit was exceeded 35% of the time and employees worked more than six consecutive days 25% of the time. Although our Code of Conduct allows overtime limit exceptions in unusual circumstances, we believe in the importance of a healthy work-life balance and found these percentages to be excessive.

Continue reading “Apple Reports on iPod City”

Finding the Time

T-Rex Raaarr Is it me? Or do none of us really have any time to do much of anything right now.

I found myself having a very enjoyable weekend with my girlfriend. But on the way back from the airport, I could feel the stress covering my head like a wet, wool sweater. I’m still amazed that people can find time to go out and be human with the workload.

We begin a new class this Thursday, “Leadership and Ethics”. The syllabus is nearly 10 pages long and looks to be pretty intense. The reading list is fairly spartan as well, and the grading will be based upon peer review, case studies, and a case project. The day after that we have our Financial Accounting final which covers thirteen chapters of debits and credits which we have covered in exactly thirteen class sessions. This will all be followed by the decision analysis exam the following week which seems to be the T-rex hiding behind the fig leave for many people.

In addition, my team for Global Entrepreneurship has decided upon a fairly unique international business opportunity that will take a fair amount of research to develop fully. But wait, there is still room for more classwork. Next week we begin an Operations Management course, and the week after that, a Global Marketing course.

These first six weeks in this program have been intense, but already I can see myself looking at the road ahead of me, the opportunities just beginning to break the horizon. Yes, there does appear to be light at the end of the tunnel, we just need to keep reminding each other of that.

On that note, its back to the books for me.

Worlds Collide

Yes, it is true. In another life I have been a rock musician. Less so now that I am also a full time graduate student. But nonetheless, these worlds still seem to intersect in weird, but satisfying, ways.

This past Tuesday, a good friend of mine was in Charlotte playing Van’s Warped Tour this year. I had made plans to catch up with him and brought along a few of my new MBA program friends, grabbing Alex after class, literally about 15 minutes before we left.

We arrived at about 3:30pm to a sea of black t-shirts, jeans, and emo-boy tattoos. Though we missed Helmet’s set (photos from Germany above), we managed to catch up with Page and take him away from the prepubescent circus that was brewing on the tarmac of the Verizon Amphitheatre.

As we headed downtown to find a brewery, I was completely blown away with the dynamic of the group we had. There were conversations occuring in German, coverage of avant-guarde jazz musicians, and plenty of mentioning of David ‘The Hoff’ Hasselhoff himself.

The next 3 hours seemed to simultaneously watch the Yankees / White Sox game, cover the history of Germany’s contribution to pop music, discuss politics and business, sample four different beers, share music stories, and just be human. I cannot recall such a diverse mix of people, ideas, and overall friendliness.

For me, it was as if someone mixed up all the aspects of my life over the past six years and threw them in a bar in little old downtown Charlotte. I met Page in LA, worked with him on the east coast, met my MBA friends here in Columbia, and now there I was with all of these aspects interacting with each other in such complimentary ways, together in Charlotte, NC.


(l-r: Jamie, Diana, and Alex)

I realized that night that life is full of these types of connections and you never know when they will come together in weird strange ways. A good night was had by all and another memory gets stored in that grey matter of mine.

The Importance of Language

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It doesn’t always have to be so serious….

Today, in our global strategic management class, our instructor lightened the mood in an otherwise very intense and thoughtful class regarding strategic management and strategy development for multi-national corporations in a global environment. To ensure that we did not lose sight of one of the primary reasons most of us are in this program, the video above was shown.

Funny, but also very important in the realization that cross-cultural communication is so very important and without it, we may lose some very valuable insight. Enjoy!

Small Updates

I wish I had the fortitude to write more at this point. It is truly difficult to stay on top of writing. I am hoping in the long run it will become second nature.

In the meantime, I did update the site a little bit. I’ve received a few emails asking what the site is about, who the heck am I, general “I don’t get it” type emails. I can’t say that I blame them listening to my blather. But if you now look to your right on the homepage you will see two new pages. I’ve attempted to describe my personal reasons for pursing an internationa MBA degree where I’m somewhat at in my life right now.

I’ve got some great topics and some more video lined up for this week though. Until then, its studying Trilemmas from Shell….

My Life as Pole Position

Pole Position

Perhaps one of the best commercials ever. I hadn’t even waited for the download to finish before posting this.

Hey … you look like a real jerk!

Well I AM a corporate executive.

Words cannot describe the amazingness of this commercial. Our marketing tactics today are seriously lacking in the type of straightforward, “give ’em what they want”, marketing of the late 70s and early 80s.

And is it me or is that a segueway at the end of the commercial?

Getting Organized, Getting Ready

Change of address, turn gas off, turn electricity on, get Internet access, find a storage company, move all my belongings somewhere else, get renter’s insurance … the list went on and on. I am surprised that with the recent move, I haven’t forget something. But all the while, I’ve got this sinking suspicion that I really have.

With graduate school about to begin, and my somewhat masochistic choice to continue my employment part-time while in school looming overhead, I fear my personal task list is about to explode in my face. So this week, I’ve turned my attention to different organizational techniques that I am hoping will free up some creative time and keep me somewhat sane for the next three years.

Continue reading “Getting Organized, Getting Ready”

Moved In


It has been a long weekend for sure, but a fun and rewarding one. It’s Tuesday morning and I’m finally feeling like I’m settled in. Over the weekend, my lovely girlfriend Linda, my best friend Mike, and Linda’s sister Robin helped move me down to South Carolina. Each of these individuals took nearly 6 days out of their schedule to come help me. I’m so in debt to each of them. Thanks you guys!!

We left on Wednesday and by Thursday night we were playing cards in my new apartment in gorgeous downtown Columbia, SC. It was very hot and humid but the AC here always works great. I’ve got a pretty decent view off of my balcony and there is plenty of room for me, perhaps too much almost.

We capped the weekend off by spending three days in Charleston, SC. I will post pictures when I have my own dedicated Internet connection.

For the rest of the week, its diving into the books, catching up on what’s been going on at my company while I’ve been gone, and taking care of leftover bills and address changes. I already miss everyone from New Haven.