Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Main Street vs Wall Street

Everything you see in the media these days is talking about the battle between Main Street (the average folk) and Wall Street (I guess this represents the corporate fat cats).

I love how the media simplifies things to this extent. By making it A vs B, the public is easier able to decide which side they are on. You are A or B, simple as that. Although with the elections you can vote independant but then you're just diluting the vote.

They are saying that Wall Street has taken advantage of Main Street and profited from them... that Main Street is left poor while Wall Street has gotten rich.

Of course they have! That's what they do.

And it is only a matter of time before this happens again. We had the whole Enron/Worldcomm thing... then Sarbaines-Oxley (aka SOX) and wouldn't you know... the whole time that was going down, Wall Street was getting rich off crappy paper.

So here we are, about 7 years after the last big blow up - another one. This time even worse.

And until they start paying people more money to watch Wall Street, nothing is going to change. The truth is that MONEY TALKS. That's why the best and brightest clammer for jobs on Wall Street, not Main Street. You can be at the top or the bottom and you need to make a choice.

Where are you going to be?

Monday, September 29, 2008

First Month Back

Well I have finished my first month back at school, and other than the fact I am grappling with being very busy all the time, things are going well.

The weather was nice here this past weekend but I spent most of my time working away on the various projects I have due. One of them is a consulting proposal and the other is a creative marketing plan for a company that makes an innovative art/photo display system.

Watched a few bits of football when I was able to but I don't have cable so I don't get much. I looked into getting cable last week but basic cable is 35 bucks and a package with an ok amount of channels is 55 bucks a month. Seeing as I never really watch much live TV, I figured it wasn't worth it. Seriously, how can these cables companies possibly survice at a time when all the content they deliver can be downloaded or watched elsewhere for free? I suppose they know this and are so short sighted they are simply pulling as much revenue from us until the day when they are made obsolete.

I have mentioned it before but MTV.ca really knows what they are doing in this regard. You can go to their site and watch any show for free, anytime you want. They have small commercials inserted a few times throughout the show but it's nowhere near as bad as live TV.

Unfortunately, I'm not going home for Thanksgiving weekend. Although it's too bad I'm not going to see my family, I am looking forward to having three full days off. I am planning to not touch a computer or think about work for one minute. On the Sunday, I'm going to a friend's place watch football all day. Then, I'm going to sleep in on the Monday and spend some time around town. Can't wait.

No school the week after so concentrating on work is going to be a nice change. Then it's back to the grind the week after that.

Talk to you soon.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

I just don't get it

I don't understand how people can be in an MBA level program and have their heads so completely in the clouds.

If you don't know what the requirements of an assignment or project are, then how can you possibly complete it. The FIRST priority whenever you are given an assignment is to fully understand the nature of what you are being asked.

I had some major issues with this just this past week. We have to do a proposal for a consulting class... a proposal is what you would use to secure a job in consulting. I guess you could say it is that industry's version of statement of work. What you are doing, when and how much. What is in scope and what is not in scope. What you are trying to do and why.

Yet some people thought, until just this week, and our proposal presentation is next week, that we had to solve the problem and kept talking about the solution.

Then I really enjoy how nobody accepts any responsiblity or ownership of everything - instead they just expect other people to do it. I wrote about 4 pages of the final work in 45 mins. Only thing I have seen so far are confused faces, emails and a PDF.

I don't know people ever sit up and take a look at the people around them. If they looked at me, they'd see somebody who has a job already and isn't graduating until May 2009.... I can fail courses and it won't affect me.

Think about THAT next time you want to gamble with whether or not I'm going to be motivated to help you coast through the program. When I was full time, I was gunning for a job bigtime... I found my job so I'm happy as a clam.

I'd fail a course in the blink of an eye just to watch somebody else finally learn the most important lesson you can learn in the working world: nobody is going to do anything for you that you don't do for yourself.

Plain and simple. I know.

Add value to situations by providing ownership, direction or significant input.

Do that and you will be ok. Fail to do this and you will find yourself with no job or a in a dead end one.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

One Year Out

I celebrated my one year anniversary of living out west over the past week few weeks. I took a dip in the sweet waters of the Burrard Inlet, a BBQ at Spanish Banks and had dinner at Tojo's.

Let me tell you, Tojo's was awesome. The best, if not one of the best, dining experiences of my life. It was a great mix of good company, unreal food and sake.

For those of you that don't know (and I may have some details slightly wrong) but Tojo is the man responsible for inventing a majority of the sushi rolls you see in around these days. California roll, dynamite roll... and many others. He gets the best ingredients and is able to get fish that almost nobody else ever gets. I had one roll called a Canada Roll that had fresh EAST coast lobster and fresh WEST coast salmon. Unreal. Add a few bottles of the unfiltered sake called Northern Lights and it's over.

We must have been there for over 3 hours... and there were about 8 things that happened that had me laughing so hard I was in tears. Hot chocolate, rice wine... hot dragon...

Anyways, I have also been reflecting on my first year out from the MBA as I went to talk to the first year students about MBA stuff a few times. I can't believe that I was in their shoes just a year ago. It seems like a lifetime ago. If it wasn't for the grind of the two major projects I would do it again in a heartbeat.

Here is a quick rundown of some things I proud of:

  1. Getting over 80 percent in Statistics: Failed this is in undergrad. The only course I EVER failed in my life.

  2. Getting over 85 in Macro Economics: Now I understand what the other half of my Economist magazine is talking about.

  3. Making it through the first year with my sanity in check, although the jury may still be out on that.

My goals for the next part of the program, which I am completing on a part time basis are as follows:

  • Keep everything organized
  • Go to the gym at least 3 days a week
  • Work on the art of selling

I have come to realize that, in the end, the experience is really about learning how to sell your ideas and present arguments in a convincing way. I am taking a few classes this term that are hopefully going to help work on these things.

Now back to work. I watched the new 90210 this weekend and I will comment on that and the Canadian Idol finale soon.

Take care!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

I love chrome

Just downloaded the new Google browser, Chrome today.

You can get it here.

So far, I'm a big fan.  Let me know what you think.