The Three Months Drought (turned into four)

March 23, 2011 1 comment

I am alive!  My apologies to my loyal readers (if any left)…i have not been a good friend/blogger to you.  it has been 3 months since i’ve given you an update on my INSEAD journey and honestly, i really have been thinking of you….but only enough time to think and not to act.  So here we go with the updates:

P2 ended with another round of final exams that made me question my intellect.  I’m really NOT accustomed to taking exams that make you feel lower than dirt afterwards.  However, I have persevered and passed all my classes. And to celebrate (the passing and the New Year), I headed to the Alps and managed not to break anything while ‘attempting’ to snowboard again!

P3 started with the warm (and i mean warm) welcomes of Singapore!  I remember stepping out of the airport and catching a huge swift of hot and humid Singaporean kiss…reminded me of Louisiana 🙂 and i felt right at home!  The classes this period have definitely been able to capture my attention more than the previous periods.  I feel like a ‘senior’ on campus…now that the P5s have graduated and the P1s are starting.  I have an entire 4 months on them!!  hahaha

Aside from loving the fact that I actually live in a city now, the locale of Singapore has been keeping me and my weekends busy busy busy….

So far the travels have included “fear factor’ Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong bonanza, Bali relaxations, Saigon’s Lunar New Year and finally diving on both Gili Island (Indonesia) and Sipadan (Borneo).

I honestly started this entry a month and a half ago and would really like to just post something new.  I promise to be back within a much shorter time frame to give more details…

Categories: Uncategorized

Fall in Fonty reminds me of home…

November 4, 2010 1 comment

The colors outside my window have changed from green to yellow, orange and brown.  My mornings are starting off with a slight drizzle of rain these past couple of days.  Of course the quiet drive into school is missing the hustle and bustle of the streets in Toronto.  But the scenery of the quaint French streets with leaves flying around everywhere, makes me miss the Autumns of Canada.

Intense is an understatement for describing these past two months here at INSEAD.  We were all able to (somehow) race through Hypothesis Testing, the CAPM Model, Game Theory, Statements of Cash Flows and ‘Team Building’ within this period and actually comprehend enough of it to take our finals.  Now that it’s all over – P1, P2 has not been shy with us for our official first week of being ‘sophomores’.

The rumor of P2 being the most difficult one is starting to have some grounds.  It appears the buzz words for this period is ‘group work’.  We have 19 group assignments due, in additional to individual papers and assignments and pre-readings…and most likely another couple of things.  So here we go!!


Categories: Uncategorized

The Freshmen Flu

September 16, 2010 1 comment

After an intensive week 1 of classes, preparation for classes (readings and exercises), company presentations, social events, etc my body has waved the white flag.  The extreme dosage of Cold FX couldn’t prevent this nasty ‘freshmen flu’ from blowing up in my face yesterday morning.  So yes, I have officially missed my 1st day of classes 2nd week of school!

Yes, the late morning arrival from Paris back home at 6am last Friday wasn’t the best of way to prevent this…but we did have a great time 🙂

Aside from the minor detail of feeling like i can’t breathe and my throat is on fire, i still feel like I’ve been hit by an 18-wheeler.  Everything seems to be happening at warp speed here at INSEAD.  ‘Get your resumes ready if you want a career in Finance, they’re coming and will be interviewing within the next 6 weeks’….WHAT?  Seriously??  So now I’m shifting from ‘I-haven’t-been-in-school-for-5 years gear’ to the ‘I’m-looking-for-a-full-time-job gear’…all within 2 weeks of school officially starting.

One thing that I’m slowly starting to regret is opting out of taking any exemption exams.  Somewhat similar to what American schools call ‘Spring testing’ the exemption exams give students the opportunity to test out of courses that they are already familiar with.  However, my thinking was…I’m paying 52K for the education, I wanna get my money’s worth.  Yea, not a great idea when your schedule’s completely packed and wished your days had an additional 10 hours to fit everything in.   So I’m still sitting in ‘Prices & Markets’ aka ‘Econ’ (I don’t know why INSEAD gives these courses funky names)…learning about supply and demand.  Prof. Bennedsen: I like him.  Danish guy with great credentials, and encourages class participation through these market games…here’s a look at my schedule for next week.

Ok, back to the grind for now.  Will try to update in about another week or so…

Greetings from France!

August 26, 2010 Leave a comment

Packing my life away in 3 suitcases was definitely a stressful and expensive task.  Completely went over my 40 Kilos allowance for baggage and ended up paying way too much for overweight.  And to think I’ve even donated about 5 garbage bags of clothes to charity beforehand.  (sigh)

First impressions: My house is situated in a lovely quiet French town surrounded by the forest.  Town is full of narrow streets, making parallel parking very difficult for someone like myself.  Housemates are great, and very helpful.  I think we have a great mix for the Villa, I’ll have to make a separate post to give you all the details 🙂  Croissants here are cheap and delicious.  Surprisingly, groceries in general are also very reasonable, I think even cheaper than Toronto with current exchange rate.

I have finally come to the decision of getting a car.  After walking home from the local grocery store (which is only 500m away) with 2 huge bags and stopping about every 10 steps and thinking to myself ‘my shoulders are killing me, my arms are going to fall off, my fingers are going to break…’, i’m getting a car.

Last night I went to dinner with some of the INSEAD Toronto crew and also met a few new faces.  Had my first taste of French wine at dinner since arriving, 2 glasses and I was a very happy gal.    Then we all headed to ‘Le Shaker’ for some more ‘Hi, where are you from?  When did you get in? Are you doing the Business Foundation Program?…etc’.  All very good fun, but I was exhausted.

Now I’m just going to relax…it’s raining outside, perfect time to finish my book and hopefully get over my jet-lag.

I haven’t had the time yet to pull out my camera, therefore, pictures will come very soon.


Categories: Uncategorized

T Minus 8 Days!

August 16, 2010 Leave a comment

Tomorrow will mark my 1st completed week of unemployment. If I had to give myself a grade for my productivity within the past week, it will be a sad C-.  I didn’t do anything!  Or rather, didn’t check off many items off of my ‘List’.  Here’s my list (in no particular order) this week:

Updated!  Aug 23rd, 2010: T minus 1 Day!

  • Cancel car insurance
  • Cancel internet/cable/cell phone
  • Change address
  • Pick up Student Visa*
  • Post furniture ad on Craigslist
  • Wire Aug/Sep rent to the Villa
  • Get an International Driver’s License
  • Review French (No longer required!!!)

Now on top of all that, I’m still meeting up with friends for coffee/lunch/dinner and still trying to squeeze in a few yoga classes.  I knew I should’ve ended work earlier!

*Before I forget, I do have some advice for future students (based in Toronto, or using the Toronto French Consulate office) applying for their student visas.  Make sure you start early.  Don’t send multiple emails!  I;ve made that silly mistake and they didn’t respond to me until a month after, whereby, the normal turnaround time is usually the same day.  I ended up sending an email (probably the 5th email) saying something along the lines of  ‘My sincerest apologies for the multiple emails, however, I’m leaving for France next week…’

Categories: INSEAD

An Official INSEAD Blogger?

July 21, 2010 2 comments

So I get this email titled ‘Social Media Campaign’ from INSEAD asking me to partake in a new project.  Next thing I know, I’m an official INSEAD blogger!!  Apparently, I’m going to get set-up with my new blog site.  And I will be submitting my blogs through I guess their ‘project manager’ before the post will but published.  The purpose of this is to promote the school, and also assist potential students with their application, preparation for the move, etc.  I’m already writing about these subjects here, so I think I’m pretty much going to use my existing posts to start-off my official blog for the school.

I do intend on keeping this one still, because the audience is going to be family and friends.  So I’ll probably provide more personal updates, while the other one will be more school-related blogging.

Will keep everyone posted on this and will link my new blog as soon as I get further details.

Categories: INSEAD, Uncategorized

Summer Lovin’ – Can’t Handle the Heat!

From earthquakes, to riots, to power outages!  Toronto is just experiencing everything these days!

Downtown Toronto (west) blacked out around 4:45pm today, leaving me and my co-workers stranded on the 19th floor with no elevator access.  So the stairs we took….just to be welcomed by the 40 degrees weather we had outside.  I seriously think I’m losing my Southern touch.  The humidex didn’t even get past 90% and I was feeling uncomfortable.  Now I can only think back to those good ole Louisianan days where the humidex was almost 100%.  Or at least felt as if it were. 

So it was today that I had decided I needed to look for unlocked smart phones.  Smart right?!  I’ve been debating between an iphone and a blackberry for the past couple of months now, and have yet to come to a final decision.  The iphone was definitely ahead until more recently whereby I’ve realized that most of my friends have BB’s.  So BBM would be a huge asset to maintain (free) communication when I’m in France and Singapore.  But then again the idea of having an iphone is just soooooo attractive.  All of the apps I can download!!  It was way too hot for me to make a decision, so just found a few places that supplied both phones and will have to go back once I’ve made up my mind.  Any thoughts??


Another update in relation to scholarships.  Remember how I was dinged for the 1st one I’d applied for and was hoping and praying I would get a little something from the 2nd one?  Well, heard back from them last week and it was an anti-ding!  good news for a change 😀 

I should be picking up my student visa fairly soon as well.  I find that the French Consulate is a little slow in responding to emails.  So it looks like I’m almost there.  Another month and so before I officially become a full-time student a France.  Speaking of which, I haven’t been quite diligent with my 3rd language brush-up!  Just a tad bit behind and I had to return all of those library books, after I’d renewed them to their max limit 😦  I blame it on the fact that I’m still working full-time.  Almost all the INSEADers that I know (here in TO) have ‘retired’ and are travelling to extravagant places!  – yea I am just a tad bit bitter lol.  On a lighter side, July 30th isnt THAT far away.

Categories: Financing, General, Languages