Alarm goes off. I have just enough time to brew some coffee and have breakfast while I look over my notes and prep for a client call for my International Business Development (IBD) project.
IBD is one of the more popular experiential learning opportunities offered at Haas. I'm working with four classmates to develop a business and marketing plan for a global conservation organization to support traditional crafts in Rwanda. The goal is to enable local communities to both engage in convervation and earn a living through a sustainable small enterprise system.
The call is with a specialist at the conservation organization who is from Rwanda and is familiar with the cooperatives and the crafts market. He gives us some great information and advice to round out the research portion of the project and we're ready to dive into the analysis! We are also getting excited about spending three weeks in Rwanda this summer and getting to talk to the community members, present our findings, visit the National Parks, and see the famous gorillas!
On campus now, holding down the fort during my H.S.A. office hours. I'm in charge of the registration for Days at Haas I, so I spend some time making sure things are running smoothly and checking the stats. We are excited to see so many admitted students and partners signed up already! I respond to any other queries that come through the [email protected] email and get some DAH planning out of the way.
I make my way to the Wells Fargo Room for this month's Dean's Speaker Series, one that I'm particularly excited about given my interest in film. Bill Block, Executive Producer and Founder of QED International, spends the next hour giving us an overview of the film industry and methods of valuing a project given estimated earnings in the box office, DVD sales, syndication, and of course, the talent attached to the movie. I should also mention that his movie, District 9, is up for four Academy Awards!
We had plenty of time for Q&A during the presentation but I was lucky to have been invited to have lunch with Bill, Dean Lyons, and four other FTMBA students afterwards. It was a treat to have that opportunity to pick his brain about the future of film, exciting trends in the industry, and to hear first-hand stories and lessons learned from such a successful businessman.
I arrived to the last Macroeconomics class invigorated from my lunch with Bill. We covered the last bit of material for the course and Professor Rose reviewed the major themes of the class to help us better prepare for the final. We end the class with a rousing applause, a common practice on the last day of class :)
I head up to the Wells Fargo Room for the second time today - this time for a talk sponsored by the Global Initiatives @ Haas group. The topic is "Africa - The Final Frontier: Private Equity for Social and Financial Gain." I arranged to meet up with one of my IBD teammates since this is a very relevant topic for us and our project. The talk is geared towards doing business in Africa and some of the challenges at the small and medium size enterprise (SME) level. We come away with useful nuggets of information that we can share with the rest of our team.
After the talk, I head back home. I'm only a 10-15 min walk from campus on the South side, so it's really convenient for me. On the way, I start to crave the carnitas tacos from Gordo's Taqueria on College Ave., a local favorite, so I call one of my classmates who lives nearby and meet up with him for a casual dinner/catch-up session. Since we're in different cohorts this semester, we don't see each other very often. It's nice that a good number of classmates live nearby and that we have plenty of great dining options.
Time to catch up on email and treat myself to a movie from Netflix. It's great to have some time to unwind at home!