Google / Apple

Google Apple

Just as I was about to settle in and focus on some reading tonight, two companies I have been following recently in the past few months pull an interesting move, coming together in such an odd way as Google CEO Eric Schmidt joins Apple’s board of directors. What lies in store for these two giants? I just hope they don’t start putting my audio apps to the web-desktop …. or should they?

Too much to think about now. For now, its stick to the goal of finishing Operations and Leadership reading before the holiday weekend!

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?

An Online Education

A classmate of mine pointed out a great resource for MBA students. The Sloan School of Business at MIT has posted most of their classnotes for free online. It makes me wonder if it would be entirely possible to get an MBA-level education (without the degree of course) online. With such sites as Google Scholar, OSEF, and now this MIT site, one really could learn completely online.

I plan on using MIT’s site whenever I have some downtime to expand what I’ve learned so far within my program even futher, now to just work on that pesky lack of time aspect.

Life After Decision Analysis

(metaphor, not mine)

Batteries blowing up everywhere, Pluto no longer a planet, two tests in a week time period, left-handed people still rule the world, two review sessions for Decision Analysis this week, two new classes starting … it is all coming down at once.

I hope everyone does well on the DA exam tomorrow. Thankfully it will not be cumulative. Though I learned much in this class, I am glad it is over. It seems we will now be turning our attention to applying what we have built as a base of knowledge in the operational realm with our operations class – a class I am very much looking forward to. Good luck and have fun 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.

Japan Trip – Day 8/9 – Shimbashi/Ginza


From: Saturday, November 19th: I think I had mentioned before that I had accidentally deleted the backup footage from my trip. I gave it the old college try and even looked for the footage on various hard drives. Please accept this slideshow as a proper substitute and just pretend the objects and people in the photos are moving.

This post contains sights from around Ginza and Shimbashi on our last night in Tokyo and will also be the very last video edition of this particular trip. If you missed any of the prior espisodes, you can still catch them here. I will start to post more current videos next week. (^.^) またね!