With this post I will try to give you an overview of what happened in the second month of the programme (Block 2). This block is constituted of 3 core modules: Business Environment, Strategic Management, and Finance II.
1. Business Environment (Prof. Dr. Simon Evenett)
- The principal goal of this module was to acquire a better understanding of the various strategies of doing business in the global business environment.
- We had two individual assignments:
- How European social models affect firm strategies.
- Selling to the Bottom of the Pyramid (BoP), based on C.K.Prahalad’s notion of BoP.
2. Strategic Management (Prof. Claus Jacobs PhD)
- The goal of this course was to learn how to analyze and develop corporate and competitive strategies.
- We had 2 individual and 2 group assignments to deliver:
- Bombardier Railways (Individual): The question that we had to answer was whether Bombardier has developed a sustainable competitive advantage in doing business in the emerging markets from its past experience in the US. I really liked the fact that Bombardier executives visited us in order to evaluate our presentations, and I much enjoyed the Q&As session.
- Personal Strategic Action Plan (Individual): Strategy to identify your core competencies, analyze the market, and develop your competitive advantage for achieving your goals.
- Cisco (Group): We had to evaluate whether Cisco should acquire INS in terms of the former’s strategic growth development.
- Airline Industry – Air Berlin (Group): We had to evaluate whether EQT (PE) should invest or not in the European airline industry by acquiring a given airline. We were split into groups of 4 people and each group was assigned a different airline. My group was to evaluate Air Berlin. It was very interesting to have with us the Director of EQT private equity to evaluate our work. I think all teams performed very well and we came up with very useful insights of how to evaluate a future investment.
3. Finance II (Prof. Paul Soderlind PhD)
- The subjects of this course were PV, NPV, Firm Value, IRR, Investment Rules, Financial Markets, and Financial Reporting.
- We had two group assignments, weekly exercises and an exam:
- Dubai Debit Crisis (Group): We had to analyse the various options of Dubai’s government regarding its SOHCs debt problems.
- Investment on-line Game (Group): This was also a very interesting assignment since we had to invest $100,000 for one month. The team with the higher returns was the winner. Very thoughtful of them to share the winner’s prize with the rest of the students by throwing a party and having free drinks for all.
Block 2 is considered to be the toughest of the MBA-HSG programme since you have to deliver too many assignments and attend various group meetings in 1 month. However, it was really joyful and useful to learn so many new things in such a short period of time!
Before I leave you, a quick summary of the companies that visited us: Baloise Insurance, IWC Schaffhausen, and PWC.