The first Month of the program is over and we had our first exam yesterday! Now that a bit of the program has passed there are a few observations I have made.
1. Classmates are great. With such a large group there are always some people that you just don't match with but the vast majority of people here are terrific. They are driven and ambitious, but also warm and genuinely nice to be around. Your colleagues is definitely the best part of the program.
2. Core courses are (disappointingly) easy. They are basic courses designed to give a good foundation, but thus far our investments course, in which we had an exam yesterday, leaves a bit to be desired. For instance, one component of the course is bond pricing. In bond pricing the concept of convexity is really important, but in our course that is being left to the fixed income elective course. We are masters students are we not? The course should be more complete and more rigorous. We just began the accounting core course and the corporate finance one hasn't even begun. More on those in a future post.
3. There's a bit of a rift between the MiFs and the MBAs. Many MiFs will openly complain about the MBAs and how they seem to be the focus on the school's attention. In my experience the clubs for example do seem to focus on the MBAs and give only a brief mention here and there to MiFs. The problem in my opinion is that the school does not place enough effort into integrating the separate programs into a cohesive community. I will dedicate a future post to this in detail, so now I will just say that the school needs to do a lot more, especially in the months before the program begins.
4. Companies ARE still hiring. This is the reason we're all here after all... Companies are still coming to campus to recruit and there are still jobs to be had. One bank (I won't name it here) came on campus the other day for a presentation and said openly that they are looking to hire in the same volume as last year. I would say though that especially for the big investment banks, (no surprise) there is a lot more on offer in Asia than anywhere else. Brush up on your Mandarin!
More updates coming soon.