I am a TECHMARK survivor

R&D, Marketing & Finance dancing all together to meet the desired targets (our office board)

As an iconic closure to the MBA orientation at  BABSON, we (160+ students) participated in a very intense business simulation. The so called "TECHMARK" simulation is suposed to be a tradition among BABSON MBA classes, to the point that the people that go through it join the group of "Techmark survivors".

As any simulation, the goal was to bring a company to meet certain levels of performance, which reflect a good overall strategic management of a manufacturing organization under the always present conditions of market uncertainty (ROA, ROE, Inventory/Assets, Debt levels, etc.). The exercise was divided into quarters (which in Techmark time were presented in 1 to 2 hour slots) where each of the 265 teams had to make decisions the would lead to a cumulative final result. 

I must admit that participating in the simulation ratified that I need an MBA! The first two quarters of the exercise I was completely lost. Frustration was obvious. I kept thinking for myself: do I really have a business degree? It was really a challenge to make decisions based on so many variables at a time ... expected market growth, competition, production costs, customer preferences, debt management ... even understanding where to start was an issue! Every time we came back to the plenary and partial performance results were revealed based on our quarterly decisions, I felt however I strong relief as the professor reinforced the fact that "this" and "that" business topic was going to be thought to us in details during the program. 

As you know  - I am into quotes these days -,  so  here are some key highlights of the experience ...

"Our classrooms are laboratories. The cost of making mistakes is perhaps a bit of embarrassment bot nothing else ... dare to make the mistakes here!" :)

"Ambiguity, Complexity, Uncertainty, these things will never go away, the difference after BABSON is that you will feel more confortable dealing with them"

"Financial Impact of Business Decisions (...)"

"If winning is not important, then why are we keeping the score? You are in a business school, there is nothing wrong with making money (sustainably)" :)

"Disagree without being disagreeable"

"Do  you want to be the first to move? The first to succeed? The first to sustain?"

"We have near term plans for you, do you have a long term plan for yourself?" :)

"At some point, analysis HAS TO STOP and implementation should begin" :)

"We learn  better when we are enjoying it"

"Screw it! we do not have time to do the number crunching at this point" :)

"Let's don't play it safe , let's take risks ... I have risk apetite"

"If  forecasts would be facts, they would be called facts!" :)

With the TECHMARK simulation I felt that the MBA really started. So much to learn in the incoming 21 months!

My respect to all these savvy managers out there that day after day lead their real businesses to success! Not an easy task! 

Team 4, Industry E

Ps. BTW, we did not win, but we were so close that I am just so proud of our team!


First two weeks of the BABSON MBA in quotes

As many of you know, I started two weeks ago my two Year MBA at Babson!
I am just  H A P P Y - I can't wait for the show to go on. You know this good old feeling of knowing you took the right decision.

Processing high amounts of information in very short time becomes a major skill

The following is a compilation of the quotes that have called the most my attention during the past two weeks  - in no particular order - ... at this point I am so full of feelings, thoughts, emotions, that if I write the conventional way, I will end up sharing a minute of each class and writing a 50-pages blog post (and well, I am doing my best to write "american style", short and to the point)!
  • You can scale technology, operations, a business ...but the toughest thing to scale is the human brain. BABSON offers you Intelectual Transformation, personal transformation, professional transformation (Orientation Welcome)
  • At Babson you earn your degree the "old fashion way": you have to work hard for it 
  • This (BABSON)  is an MBA for uncertain times (Orientation Welcome)
  • How many times in your life will you have so many people to partner with you tu succeed? (Orientation Welcome)
  • This is an MBA to understand and manage growth (Orientation Welcome)
  • BABSON IS A TUITION DEPENDENT INSTITUTION, everything we do, we do it because you do it with us (Orientation Welcome)
  • How many times in your life will you have so many people to partner with you tu succeed? (Orientation Welcome)
  • This is an MBA to understand and manage growth (Orientation Welcome)
  • BABSON IS A TUITION DEPENDENT INSTITUTION, everything we do, we do it because you do it with us (Orientation Welcome)
  • Have I ever thought what my message is “doing” to my reader in terms of our relationship? (Writing class, btw check this hilarious example of terribly bad writing, Exhibit 2!)
  • Find a job that you love and you will never work another day in your life (Center for Career Development session)
  • At BABSON you become a good learner and a good listener (Business Case Simulation)
  • They (professors) will push your thinking to places you never imagined, you will be challenged ... and they challenge you because they know that you can handle it (2nd Year MBA student panel)
  • Now I know how to connect education to the real world (2nd Year MBA student panel)
  • Ambiguity is your friend (as a manager) – as also complexity and uncertainty (Business Case Simulation)
  • There will NEVER be enough information to solve a case (Business Case Simulation)
  • XYZ students are competitive, on the other hand, BABSON Students and collaborative! Use this value (Business Case Simulation)
  • I used to be an engineer until I got educated (Business Case Simulation)
  • There are 3 levels of frustation during a business case discussion. First, when another student just other says what you wanted to say!!! Second, when you say something that was super important to you and the professor does not give a s%#t!!! Third, when the class and discussion goes in a completely other way than the one you developed your case for!!! (Business Case Simulation)
  • An MBA is a marathon and the judges are your peers! (Business Case Simulation)
  • GPA is b%$#*@^t! (Business Case Simulation)
  • It should be called IAD instead of MBA. IAD ... "it all depends" (Business Case Simulation)
  • To create something that otherwise would not exist if you had not done it (Business Case Simulation)
  • I do not believe in market research (Business Case Simulation)
  • How you make critical choices that drive strategic innovation (Business Case Simulation)
  • Remember the "Economy of words", go to the point (Business Case Simulation)
  • Do not use "empty" words ... "flexible", "innovation", "entrepreneurship" - what does that really mean? (Business Case Simulation)
  • Engaging with your class mates during a case is not only about attacking them (Business Case Simulation)
  • ENTREPRENEURS ARE LOUSY at managing an ongoing business (Business Case Simulation)
  • If the professor does not call you  often, tell him!!! (Business Case Simulation)
  • Once you have been my student, you have the keys of my office  (Prof. JB, Business Case Simulation)
  • Learning is the destination, a case is the vehicle (Business Case Simulation)
  • Please, no emotions (Business Case Simulation)

First module books

Ps. Sharing a quote does not mean endorsement :-)