In the mean time, it has been quite a Winter. I had been swamped in December all the way through with "regular" work. But come January, I spent two weeks in Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan on my own having a blast for my first extended vacation in two years.
I did get to meet up with one of my pals from the Haas program out there, as the Haas Finance Club also did a turn in Hong Kong to meet up with Investment Banks like Goldman Sachs and others as part of a joint program with other business schools. Several people interviewed for Summer internships, which are highly competitive.
Here's a pic of me (sporting new glasses made in Hong Kong in less than two days-- how are we not able to do that in the U.S.?) and my buddy, Asad Baheri (our current EWMBA Association Vice President) and his son, Kian, in Taiwan.
Asad joined the Finance Club in their Hong Kong tour before heading over to Taiwan. Several of the Finance Club folks (and myself) also got custom tailored suits in Hong Kong, since they are well-known for fine tailoring at an affordable price and with very fast turnaround (also only took two days). Never know when you're going to need another suit-- and it never hurts to have one custom fitted with your name stitched in the inner lining (grin).
I returned from Asia two days before MPAR started and am now back from our weekend extravaganza. For those of you that are not familiar with it, MPAR is our Haas Mid-Program Academic Retreat-- a Fri thru Sun adventure where we try to put together a lot of the learning from the previous year and a half AND get an opportunity to again meet with our full class (Go, Class of '11!). Simulation exercises in quick successive rounds kept things rolling, and it was great to "party on" at the Seascape Resort in Santa Cruz. The current first-years are definitely in for a treat next year!
To give you a taste of the less formal side of things, many late-night "informal networking events" (read: parties) went on, including poker (big winner: Jimmy Q.-- I broke even basically), and beach bonfire socials (along with glowing, luminescent algae in the area--weird-- people lightly dubbed this phenomenon: "Avatar"). With all the late night events, coupled with jet lag, I totaled roughly 7-8 hours of sleep across the two nights-- though I'm sure there were others who were worse off. The Program Office and our illustrious Frank Schultz (of OB, Leadership and Competitive Strategy fame) pulled off making it a fantastic experience. Maybe Div actually brought his camera and can share some photos later..
Sleep impairment (MPAR-ment) aside-- it was a blast, and I was so glad to see old and new faces. Looking forward to the new semester. Go Haasketeers!