Poker, Financial Analysis, Improv and beyond

     
It's funny how many MBA students take their turn at the poker tables. I wonder if it speaks to negotiation skills, coolness under pressure, or "ability to b.s." No matter the case, it certainly is a fun bonding activity for the group. Perhaps a second career is in the making for some?
On my end, the semester is again in full swing. In Financial Information Analysis class, we've had some fun times analyzing potential investments, from industry/sector and firm analysis down to accounting and financial analysis. Our professor has admirably kept the "numbers" game very entertaining, which is a feat in itself. It's incredible how obviously bad some investments seem, when analyzing in retrospect and finding distortions. I'm sure our whole class hopes it will become second nature and just as easy, understanding the ins and outs, on future investments (good luck).
Last week, in Power and Politics class, we had a special guest from the Groundlings Troupe come and teach us Improv. One of the activities was to get-together and come up with marketing ideas on an assigned "wacky product," only allowing positive feedback to each other (Not allowed to say: "That's a dumb idea." Only: "That is an amazing/stupendous idea!"). Some of the products included: fruit-flavored soup, pets with heads shaped like tools, super-heavy shoes and more. The idea was to use the positive energy and ideas and turn it into fuel for brainstorming further, no matter how crazy the thought. Certainly, some insane but fun ideas came out ("heavy shoes to be marketed to the mob?"). Ultimately, thinking on your feet is a part of everyday business, and it's nice to take a fresh approach with Improv in striving toward that goal.
Also, congrats to our first-round admits for the Class of 2013! Hopefully more blogging to come. Time to stir up the troops. Hope everyone had a Happy Valentine's/President's Day Weekend.
- Tim

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