“You can be light years away from serious intention…” ~ Jamiroquai

Light years – that’s how quickly time flies by over here. And it’s not only the students who go back and forth between the two campuses, the professors do as well, so it’s not unusual for a professor to spend one period in Singy and the next period in Fonty. Prof. Hillion came back to us in P2 for the second module of Corporate Financial Policy and continued where he left off regarding ‘synthetic chickens,’ a humorous and practical way of viewing synthetic financial products – the idea being that parts of a chicken (i.e. financial product) can sum up to more than a whole one (if put together properly). What I really appreciate about Prof. Hillion (aside from his trademark wisecracks and very distinct French accent) is that he highlights the importance of knowing your finance even if you don’t want to enter the industry – after all, we [future CEO’s?] need to learn about NPV, WACC, interest rate risks, and company valuation!

P1 core courses were quantitative in nature: finance, statistics, microeconomics, and accounting. Though finance and accounting are roughly extended to P2, the other courses in this period were a bit more qualitative: marketing, strategy, and operations management. However, you can run from stats but you can’t hide! Prof. de Véricourt re-introduced z-scores in his operations lecture, and a quick look around at the fearful faces in class confirmed our love for stats (it should be mentioned that Miguel Lobo, our stats professor from P1, remains a student’s favorite despite the subject not being so).

At just under 2 months, P2 is incredibly short so things happened at an even faster pace than in P1. On the social front, November brought on Movember and we Singy 12J MoBros survived with various amounts of facial hair to raise funds for prostate cancer (it takes an inordinate amount of time to keep a Mo nicely trimmed, btw!). We also concluded Desi Week 2011 with a bang and it was, I believe, the first time INSEAD had a ‘Holi’ party replete with colors brought in from our homelands – lots of pink faces coming into class the next day! Dean Jain happened to drop by our Desi Week table and chitchatted about the Desi Week in Fonty. The busy week concluded with the BCG INSEAD Olympics that are a staple on the calendar; the Olympics started with ‘08J and ‘08D to commemorate Steven Bussemaker and Fabrice De Greve, both ‘08J, who tragically lost their lives to rip currents while vacationing with fellow students. Each of the three Singy sections (and an ’11D section) competed at Sentosa Beach for the ultimate prize: bragging rights, glory and party. Section A1 came out on top, but let’s face it- y’all are still jealous of A2! 😉

As P2 comes to an end, some will stay back and some will head to Fonty. I bid a fond farewell to some of my friends who I won’t see until graduation- I head to Fonty in P3 and will be back in P4, but many will be spending P4 and 5 over in France. I’ll spend the winter break with my family in Bangladesh, but I’m looking forward to my stay in Europe and the vibe that Fonty brings with it. A very merry X-mas and a fantastic new year to all of you!

Photo below: A2’s last class together- with Prof. de Véricourt (photo courtesy James Wang)