Saturday, March 29, 2014

MBA World Summit 2014 in Hong Kong!

Some months ago I received an email inviting me to apply for the first MBA World Summit 2014 in Hong Kong. The idea is to bring 60 MBAs from all over the world together to connect, exchange, network and generally have a good time. All expenses paid. During my spring break. In Hong Kong. Yeah right, I also thought this was too good to be true.

I applied, which basically meant writing 2 essays and doing a video interview, and was selected out of more than 2,000 applicants along with 10 other GSBers, several students from HBS, Columbia, LBS, INSEAD, IESE, HEC Paris, Seoul, Tokyo, Singapore, Hong Kong, Milan etc. I also agreed to host a one-hour workshop about taking up a job with a big multi-nationals or a small start-up and what sacrifices each choice brings with it.

Right now I am sitting in a hostel in Hong Kong, ready to enjoy time by myself, to meet friends that are in town and to eat some Hong Kong street food. Reflecting on the past 3 days, some thoughts dominate my experiences. I once more realized how important networking is, not from a standpoint of then being able to free-ride on other people or to bypass application processes, but from being able to connect ideas and create a global network of people that are willing to help you and to make life easier for oneself. Starting with a night out in Lan Kwai Fong, many of those connections are going to be continued on Facebook, lead to having places to crash all over the world and will eventually have a tremendous impact on ones professional career.

Quarterly Crossing, the Germany-based company that organized the summit, is specialized in creating and maintaining such networks and tries to create a broader international footprint. Of course there was some recruiting from partner companies, but the main focus was to help the 60 of us grow together so that this might be the starting point for a long-lasting relationships. This was done by treating us to fancy drinks, dinners and top-quality social activities such as a boat cruise in the Hong Kong harbor. Quarterly Crossing plans to continue with the event over the net years and wants to develop it into on of the signature MBA events that crosses all schools, continents and backgrounds. For 2015, all of this year's participants are invited again. As soon as the date comes out, I will for sure block it in my calendar.

On a lighter note: As already said, several participants held workshop sessions about various topics which everyone could sign up for. My workshop generated the most interest, which is why I was awarded a trophy and since it was the first trophy ever awarded it was named after me. From now on, every MBA World Summit will award the "Tim Eisenmann Award" to the best contribution to the summit. Putting the "Tim Eisenmann Award" on my own CV might still not be the smartest thing to do though :-)

Alright, I am off to get some milk tea and fish balls.

Cheers + bis bald,

Boat Cruise in HKG Harbor
Night Out in LKF
Dinner at the Grand Hyatt
Dragon-i - The Hottest Club in Town
Weather could have been better
I wasn't kidding :-)

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Why don't we go to the beach?

Somehow we don't take advantage of a lot of things that are around us. Many people live in big cities because of all the cultural opportunities, but rarely ever go to the opera. Others live out in the country because they really like hiking, but they don't even know in which box their hiking boots are in.

I was visited by my dear friend Basti last weekend and took him to class, showed him around campus and went to the beach with a bunch of friends. Especially the beach was a lot of fun and we all agreed that we have to do this more often. "Half Moon Bay" is only a 35min drive away and I have been only twice since I got here. I live right next to the ocean and I never go. Yes I am busy, Yes, I have classes, bla bla bla. Is it maybe that the things close to us lose excitement and get somehow shoved to the back of our mind? Or is it that one becomes so caught of in one's routine that doing something extraordinary on an ordinary day is somehow out of the question?

I will try to make it a habit to include my surroundings into my day a little more purposefully. I guess thats also how one gets to appreciate the area one is living in. I think I don't really make any effort to enjoy the things I have, but much rather think about what I don't have and what is ahead. I have been planning with spring break trip to Hong Kong, researched the best restaurants and which bus to take to and from the airport. On the other hand I have not yet been to the Farmer's Market in Palo Alto or any of the underground speakeasy's in San Francisco. I am paying so much money to live in this place, so I might as well take advantage of some of the opportunities.

Cheers + bis bald,

Beautiful Half Moon Bay

PS: Shout-out to my parents for being married for 25 years. You are my role models!