Vote for Europe’s President

30 09 2009
How do I call if I want to call to Europe? (Peace Nobel Prize and former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger)

"Who do I call if I want to call to Europe?" (Henry Kissinger, Nobel Peace Prize & former US Secretary of State)

I was in Barcelona during the last week of the campaign for the European Elections and I was surprised to realized that nobody was talking about Europe, but about local issues. Even the parties were not talking about Europe.

The problem of the European Union is that it lacks leadership. Therefore people are not interested in it and look back to their local politic. The rotating Presidency of the EU Council every six months does not assure leadership.

The Treaty of Lisbon (2007) has taken actions on this issue with the by creating the position of “President of EU” in its article 15. This is a great innovation. However, there are no specific plans to let Europeans vote directly for the EU President. This is the main drawback of this position: the EU president will be tributary of the national governments which elected him/her at the Council of Europe.

“The President of the USA is elected by US citizens (although indirectly) therefore he can claim legitimacy to express his views worldwide as those of the country. [However,] the President of the EU will never be free to express his views fully, as his legitimacy is granted by the Council, which can choose to withdraw his mandate at any given time [...]“. [Bibliography: President of the United States vs. President of the European Union]

I believe if Europeans could vote directly for one person to be the President of the European Union, would be much more engaged in the European Elections. I believe in a future in which Europeans from all nationalities will vote for another European, most probably from another nationality, to be the President of Europe.

Forget about national stereotypes! Forget about national rivalries! Forget about language barriers! I know this sounds futuristic but we are the Erasmus Generation! We are the first generation in Europe that can achieve this!

See my post about the Erasmus Generation





International CVs and working cultures

21 09 2009
CV

CV

Analyzing the format and style of CVs in different countries is one of the best ways to learn about different working cultures and to be able to work with culturally diverse teams.

Writing one’s CV in another language is not just a matter of translation, it is a complete adaptation of one’s expertise to the values and practices commonly accepted inside a certain culture.

I have worked in a number of countries and I have faced the challenge of writing my CV/resume in a number of languages. In this article I would like to compare American, French, German, Spanish, Chinese and Japanese working cultures by means of analyzing their CV styles. The only kind I have not written myself is the Japanese CV but I include it here because it very particular and interesting.

I will compare American resumes, not American CVs, which are equivalent to what is called CV in most other countries

Individualism Vs Collectivism

Western CVs (America, Germany, Spain, France) usually highlight individualistic values: competitive spirit, initiative, passion for personal challenges, critical thinking, ability to challenge ideas…

On the contrary collective values are much more important in China and, above all, in Japan:  zeal, obedience, devotion to the community, loyalty to the Company, social abilities…

Flexibility

Flexibility is especially important in China and Japan, where employment has traditionally been seen as a very long term relationship. During this time, the employee will have many functions in the company. General culture and reasoning abilities are more important than specific abilities in a certain work-line.

Achievements Vs Responsibilities

American resumes are achievement-oriented. You do not talk about what you were in charge of but about how well you did it. You try to market and sell yourself. American CVs are very commercial. Without lying, you can really turn a sand grain into a sand castle! However achievements must be objective and must be quantified whenever possible.

All the others are usually responsibility-oriented, which is more conservative. You usually explain your tasks rather than your accomplishments. Talking openly about accomplishments in Europe and Asia can be a kind of taboo. For this reason, CVs are much less commercial and more factual and formal. An American style resume in Japan or in Germany will probably sound too aggressive.

Verbs or Nouns

Bullet points in American resumes must start with action verbs (See examples), which are used to empathize the accomplishments. Bold the individual contribution and the result, which is the accomplishment, must be included. Each bullet point must emphasize one personal strength. Don’t forget that America society is very dynamic and action-oriented. You have to look dynamic to the recruiter.

On the other hand, Germans, French, Spaniards use nouns or nominal sentences in the bullet points because they need to list responsibilities.

Achievements are better told with verbs and responsibilities are better listed with nouns.

Chronological, Anti-chronological Vs Functional

Spanish and French CVs, as well as American resumes, are usually either anti-chronological or functional.

German CVs are mostly chronological for the sake of clarity. Germans are usually very organized and formal.

Japanese CVs are also usually chronological.

Length & Level of Detail

The shortest format is the American resume, which must be one page.  The longest is probably the German one, which may be several pages.

Americans are usually very precise and direct. This is what they expect to see in the resume. On the contrary, Germans are more minimalist and methodical and, as a result, expect much more details. German CVs even go to the primary school and include college marks, specializations and thesis topics.

French and Spanish CVs are somewhere in the middle. They are usually one page in length but two pages are OK if you have a lot of working experience.

Formality

German CVs are very formal and sober. The layout has to be conservative. Even in the digital age, German CVs are often send in paper and signed.

Flags

Flags

Candidate’s Personality

Personal data is not really important in the American CV (no photo, no nationality, no age, no family situation). All this information is omitted for the sake of avoiding discrimination. The candidate’s personality background is very important to recruiters but this information is contained in extracurriculars or hobbies.

On the contrary, personal information is key in Japanese CVs because Japanese really want to know how well a candidate fits in the organization. It is compulsory to write about birth dates and birth places, family history and include a photo. It is not strange either to find information about the candidate’s weight, size or visual acuity.

For the sake of accuracy and detail, German CVs also include a lot of personal data (photo, parents profession…).

Spanish and French CVs are in the middle between Germans and Americans: photo, marital status, family data etc. have been traditionally included but some people tend not do it anymore. But if you are not EU-citizen, don’t forget to mention it. It is relevant for work permits.

Education

Having studied in a top university (grande ecole) is of a paramount importance in a French CV. Similarly, a top university will be a very good point in an American resume. In French CVs and American resumes, only the highest degree is shown.

On the contrary, marks are more important to Spaniards and Germans than the ranking of the university . The concept of nation-wide university rankings is strange to Spaniards. Germans are more familiar with this concept but still value marks a lot because they are more tangible and detailed than the concept of university prestige.

Education is very important in Japan and China, comparatively much more important than in the West. Both Japanese and Chinese are eager to learn. Furthermore, work in Japan has been traditionally been considered for life, which makes education even more important. Japanese usually give a lot of details about their education experience.

Career Goals

French CVs include a line on the top to describe the career goals of the candidate. This can range from the position title the candidate is applying to to an statement about the long term. Career goals are very important for employers in America, Spain or Germany but it is usually preferred to talk about this in the cover letter or during the interview rather than on the CV. Western societies are relatively individualistic and this is why individual career goals are important.

On the contrary, Chinese and, above all, Japanese societies are much more collectivist. Recruiters are not interested in knowing about the employee’s career goals because those cultures assume the Company will decide about their professional evolution. The Company’s success is more important than the success of an individual.

Professional Experience

Americans are usually very practical and achievement oriented. For this reason, the American resume focuses more on professional experience than on education. This is also the case of Spain, France and Germany.

Japanese value education a lot and sometimes devote more space to it in the CV than to professional experience.

China is somewhere in the middle.

Extracurriculars & Hobbies

Extracurriculars are very important, especially for American, German and Japanese.

For Japanese recruiters, extracurriculars should show candidates are social community individuals. Candidates should not look competitive or caring about individual success.

Generally speaking, hobbies are less important than extracurriculars in all kinds of CVs. Probably Americans tend to include Hobbies more than the others, because it is very important for Americans to know about the candidate’s personality.

Attachments and recommendations

Cover letters are common in America, France and Germany.

In Japan, they whole recruiting system is based on recommendations, which are not necessarily written. If an application does not come through the network of contacts, it has no possibilities. The same is applicable to China to minor extent.

Germans also include a lot of attachments like school transcripts, diploma photocopies, job certifications and very detail reference details. Details is important to Germans. They do not just want to believe what the CV says. They also want to be able to verify and interpret themselves the contents of the CV. As a result German CVs are very factual.

Background Verification

It is common that prospective employers in America and China call the candidates former employer to verify data of the CV.

Image: I found the image of the CV on Trabajo y Economía and the one of the flags on faq.org.





Chicago Booth Cohort Elections: Vote for Pedro!

18 09 2009

Dear Davis Cohorters

I need your vote to become the President or the GBC (Graduate Business Council) of the Davis Cohort.

Vote for Pedro!


CANDIDATE FOR PRESIDENT OR GBC REPRESENTATIVE OF THE DAVIS COHORT

.

WHY PRESIDENT OF DAVIS?

  • Because I want Davis to become a real group of friends. I do not want we forget about each other after LEAD
  • Because I want Davis to be the most engaged & lively cohort in Booth
  • Because I want to grow personally serving all of you & learning from you

.

MY VISION & SUCCESS FACTORS

People from all cultures & backgrounds working together for the common benefit

Open-mindedness – Persistence – Generosity – Enthusiasm – Creativity

.

MY ENGAGEMENT

  • To represent all of you at the GBC, no matter my own interests
  • To listen to your problems and work on solutions with the School
  • To organize social activities for our cohort: events, bars, restaurants…
  • To organize joint activities with other cohorts
  • To work with other elected members to foster alumni relations and to win the Golden Gargoyles film festival

.

MY QUALIFICATIONS

I coordinated senior managers from 60 subsidiaries in Asia-Pacific to agree for the 1st time on a common Strategic IT plan.  Doing this, I learnt:

  • To work with different kinds of people
  • To lead without authority & to be lead
  • To exchange & fine-tune ideas
  • To make decisions
  • To talk in public


Some Humor: Vote for Pedro, from the film “Napoleon Dynamite





Chicago Booth Random Walk: Interview to Luis, a baggage porter in the Andes

13 09 2009
Baggage porter in the Peruvian Andes

Baggage porter in the Peruvian Andes

In late August, I took part in a wonderful travel to Peru with some of my Chicago Booth classmates. This kind of travels organized by the Business School is called “Random Walk”.

In Peru, we hiked 45 km during 5 days along the renowned Inca Trail and we arrived on foot at Machupicchu, the lost city of the incas.

A number of local porters was helping us with our luggage in the Inca Trail. This article reproduces my conversations with one of them, whom we will call “Luis”.

“Luis: the future is tourism”

Globthink: Hola Luis!

Luis: Hola

Globthink: Where are you from?

Luis: We are from Misminay

Globthink: Ahhh, tell me about Misminay? How many inhabitants are there? What do people there do?

Luis: Well… It is a small village. A lot of people people, especially the elderly and women, work on agriculture. But men, especially the young, are now working in tourism carrying baggages in the Andes as I am doing.

Globthink: Why did people change from agriculture to tourism?

Luis: We used to be very poor. If you grow vegetables you have money once a year but if you work in tourism you have money every month.

Globthink: When did tourism start here?

Luis: Around 15 years ago more or less. We used to be much more poor before. Now it is better.

Globthink: So how much does a normal porter earn on average right now?

Luis: Around 900 Soles. That is much, much more than as a peasant.

[Globthink note: 300 USD]

Globthink: So what do you think of toursim in Machupichu and the Inca Trail?

Luis: Tourism is the future.

Globthink: Hey Luis, yesterday in the mountains, I saw children coming from School. Where is that school?

Luis: Well, it depends. Most villages do not have a school. Many children have to walk to the train station and then go to a school in a bigger village.

Globthink: But Luis, when I saw those children we were around two hours away from the station. Do you mean those children walk two hours across the mountains everyday to go to the school and two hours to come back?

Lusi: Yes

Globthink: Waaaahhhh! What do children learn in the school?

Luis: Everything: mathematics, Spanish…

Globthink: Do they also learn Quechua?

[Globthink note: Quechua is Luis' native language, the language that was spoken by the Inca before the Conquistadores arrived in the XVI century]

Luis: Yes. They do.

[Globthink note: this is true for some village school but is not the case for bigger cities like Cusco where the vehicular language is only Spanish]

Globthink: Do you think it is important that children learn Quechua?

Luis: Yes, it is. But they should also learn English, French, German… There are many tourists

Globthink: Luis, can you read?

Luis: Not much

Globthink: Changing the topic, what does the Goverment for native Peruvians in the Andes?

Luis: Not much

Globthink: But  I was told you have a now a school in Misminay. You did not have one before. Who built the school then?

Luis: The State

[Globthink note: Luis contradicts his previous statement. Obviously the debate about how much the State should intervene in native communities is a complicate one. Too much intervention may destroy local culture. Too little will leave native Peruvians poor and excluded from the society]

Globthink: So, Luis, what do native Peruvians want to do? Do they usually prefer to migrate to the cities to be “more integrated” into the Peruvian society? Or do they prefer to stay in the villages and have a “more traditional” way of living?

Luis: We want to stay in our villages

Globthink: Luis, do you know who was Che Guevera?

Luis: No

Globthink: Che Gevara was a guy who travelled a lot in Latin America. He was even here, in Machupicchu. In his travels he discovered the situation of the poor of America and decided to work for the rights of people like you. A friend of him, called Fidel Castro, and he made a revolution in Cuba. They conquered the Goverment but their revolution did not work well and degraded soon into tyranny and oppression.

Luis: Men are too greedy.

Globthink: That’s exactly want happened.

[ Luis changes the topic. He seems not interested in politics]

Luis: How is Spain?

Globthink: Spain is very different from here. Spain is very flat. Most people live in the cities. Now we have a lot of Latin Americans living in Spain. There are many Peruvians also and… well… Now it is maybe easier for immigrants in Spain because they can talk with their families on the Internet. So they may not feel nostalgic.

Luis: What is the Internet?

Globthink: Well, the Internet is just like a phone. It is just that you read instead of listening and you write instead of talking. And it is cheaper.

Luis: I see.

Globthink: Luis, coming to such a beautiful place and enjoying the landscape and fresh air of the Andes is already great. But been able of doing it with good food, tents, gas bottles, coffee in the morning and everything you and other porters carry for us is absolutely wonderful. In my name and in that of my classmates, I want to thank you for everything you are doing for us. Thank you so much.

[Globthink note: Luis smiles and looks downwards]

Luis: Thank you!


Image: the image belongs to one of the classmates who travelled with me to Peru.





2 Recommended Posts for Booth Incoming Students

12 09 2009

There are two posts written by a 2nd-year Booth student that I would like to recommend to all my fellow incoming students:





Perspectivas profesionales MBA en España

7 09 2009
Perspectiva

Perspectiva del patio del Museo de Bellas Artes de Valencia

Me gustaría hablar sobre la manera en que muchos estudiantes españoles de MBA en EEUU ven sus posibles perspectivas profesionales en España. Quisiera recalcar que esto no es un estudio científico sino mas bién una cuestión de sentimiento.

Para comenzar una carrera en puestos directivos en España es normalmente necesario haber tenido ya un puesto directivo antes. Para empezar esta carrera en EEUU es necesario un MBA. Con la notable excepción de la consultoría (no tengo datos sobre finanzas), los MBAs suelen ser menos valorados en España que en EEUU. Existen diferencias de salario (ver ranking de MBA de Financial Times), de estatus y de responsabilidad.

Por este motivo, una estrategia muy común entre los estudiantes españoles de MBA en EEUU es trabajar unos años en EEUU hasta obtener un puesto de responsabilidad y, posteriormente, volver a España (a menudo con la misma empresa) y conseguir valorizar ese puesto allí.

Evidentemente esto es muy relativo. Es cierto que un buen MBA en España, como IE o IESE, ayuda a entablar una carrera ejecutiva y también es cierto que el pertenecer a una élite directiva también ayuda en EEUU. Pero en general, creo no equivocarme al insinuar que la sociedad norteamericana es más meritocrática que la española.

Ver post relacionado sobre la vuelta a España de MBAs. Este es otro post de opinión personal que no es en absoluto científico.

Imagen: la imagen ha sido tomada de www.baldheretic.com





Chinese and Taiwanese students at Chicago Booth

6 09 2009
China and Taiwan direct flights are allowed since 2008

China and Taiwan direct flights are allowed since 2008

Last week we had our International Student Orientation in Chicago Booth, in which we had some presentations about American culture and multiculturalism. Something quite interesting when talking about cultures is to observe how people sit spontaneously in an event like that.

Most people on my table were from Greater China. Half of the people were from Taiwan and the other half were from Mainland China. I probably chose to sit there because of my three years living in China, which make me feel like part of China. But what is really interesting is why they chose to sit together.

These people are the generation whom the future of China and Taiwan belongs to, and they spontaneously choose to sit together on the same table. I think this shows that people from both sides of the Taiwan strait recognize each other as belonging to the same community.

When I was living in Mainland China I was asked several times, whether foreigners considered Taiwan was part of China or not. My oversimplified answer to this hypercomplex problem was that, for me, this is not the right question. For me, the right question is “Which country is China?”: Are we talking about the People’s Republic of China or about the Republic of China? Or are we talking about a community with thousands of years of history extended on both sides of the Taiwan Strait and all around the world through the Chinese diaspora? In fact, this third idea, with some important variations, is shared by both the Communist Party on the mainland and the Nationalist Party on the island. They just disagree on the definition of China.

The history of China is the succession of dynasties: establishment of a dynasty, prosperity, fall of the dynasty, chaos. The history of China is also the succession of periods of union and disunion. We are now in what we could call the Communist Dynasty (whose current emperor is Hu Jintao). But the Communist dynasty will fall someday -I do not know how-, exactly the same as the Qing, Min, Yuan, Song and other dynasties fell in the past. I believe the next dynasty will be something we could call the Democratic Dynasty. This dynasty will not be a western-like democracy but a Chinese style democracy, which will also have its own series of emperors. I believe the sooner the Democratic Dynasty arrives on the mainland, the sooner the mainland and the island will be back together.

People like those who sat together on table at Chicago Booth International Student Orientation, or maybe their children, will be in charge of carrying out this.

Note:

See my article about the values of Chinese people at work to imagine what a Chinese style democracy could look like.

Image: The image belongs to jaunted.com





El viajero, la juventud, la tolerancia y la sorpresa

4 09 2009
"Viajero junto al mar" de Caspar David Friedrich

"Viajero junto al mar" de Caspar David Friedrich

Viajando uno se vuelve más tolerante. De eso no cabe duda.

Antes de viajar, se tienen ideas innatas, como aquellas de las que hablaba Platón. Las cosas son de una manera y punto! La manera que nos explicaron cuando eramos pequños, la manera que nos dicta la tele, o la manera que aprendimos nosotros sólos hace muchos años. Pero sólo una manera!

Sin embargo, el viajero ha visto tantas cosas nuevas, tantas nuevas costumbres, tantas diferentes maneras de hacer las mismas cosas, tantas diferentes cosas que se hacen de la misma manera, que todo ya le parece normal. Ya no es capaz de recordar sus ideas innatas. Se le olvidaron. Al haber visto tantas cosas tan diferentes, lejos de poder predecir como serán las cosas en el próximo país, el viajero asume que no tiene la más mínima idea de como serán las cosas allí.

  • ¿El color de luto será el negro o el blanco?
  • ¿Beberán agua fría o caliente?
  • ¿Eructar después de comer será de buena o mala educación? (No os riáis!)
  • ¿Esperarán que deje propina en el café?
  • ¿Debo invitar, dejar que paguen por mí, o pagar a medias?

La variedad del mundo es tan grande! Como el viajero no sabe cómo van a ser las cosas, acepta cualquier nueva idea o costumbre. El viajero se vuelve tolerante.

Pero también existe una contrapartida: un parte oscura de esta transformación. Al aceptar todo como normal, el viajero pierde la capacidad de impresionarse, de sorprenderse, de encontrar algo tan insólito que pueda volver a saborear por unos instantes unos átomos de fragancia de sus ideas innatas, que ya se le han olvidado y casi desaparecido por completo.

Por ejemplo, yo recuerdo que cuando viajé a Australia por primera vez en 1997. Fue con una beca de Gobierno Vasco para estudiar inglés en Melbourne. En aquella tierna edad, Australia me sorprendió profundamente: los rascacielos, las relaciones de amistad entre los Australianos muy por encima de los vínculos familiares, el paisaje plano y verde, la comida, la pasión de los Australianos por viajar, las largas distancias. Sin embargo, estas mismas cosas ya no me han impresionado en mi segundo viaje a Australia que acabo de realizar en 2009. Ni siquiera he encontrado otras cosas que verdaderamente me impresionen. Después de vivir en Nuremberg, París, Hong Kong y Shenzhen, ya pocas cosas me impresionan. Ya no soy aquel joven impresionable que solía ser. Y esto es triste, muy triste.

Afortunadamente, he podido rejuvenecer un poquito hace unas semanas en Chicago; he podido volver a saborear esos átomos de ideas pre-concedidas que casi había olvidado por completo; he encontrado algo que me ha sorprendido: El río Chicago.

El río Chicago siempre había fluido naturalmente hacia el lago Michigan. Pero en el siglo XIX, los ingenieros de Chicago invirtieron su curso para evitar que la polución del río contaminase el lago, que es de donde sale el agua potable. Ahora el río fluye desde el lago hacia en interior del continente. Lo más asombroso de esta obra de ingeniería es que 100 años después todavía nos sorprenda tanto.

Después de ver el río Chicago, no se si soy mas impresionable o menos tolerante. Pero desde luego soy más joven.





Tiananmen and beyond

3 09 2009
"Execution" by Yue Minjun, a painting which really remembers me of Tiananmen

"Execution" by Yue Minjun, a painting which really reminds me of Tiananmen

Speaking Mandarin allowed me to learn a lesson about peace in my home country, the land of the Basques.

While I was living in Hong Kong,  I spent 3 holidays in Beijing taking a 3-week intensive Mandarin training each time. In one of those Beijing courses, I met a teacher who wanted to know more about her country’s recent history. She asked me about the events of Tiananmen square in 1989. I was afraid to answer. As she insisted so much, I finally accepted. We discussed about the historical context China was living at that time and, eventually, about the events in the square. All she had heard before about the events in the square was just rumors. She wanted to know more.

On a later visit to Beijing, I brought my teacher a 3-minute documentary about those events, which I had downloaded from youtube in Hong Kong. When I showed it to her, she bursted in tears!

At that very moment, while she started to cry, a sudden flash about my own country came into my mind. Why is she crying? Why don’t people usually cry in the Basque Country when they watch news about terrorism in the television? Maybe because they do not know the victims personally? But my teacher does not know anybody who was in Tiananmen either! Why then?

My teacher cried because nowadays Beijing people are not used to violence. Unfortunately, many Basque people are so used to the problem of violence in the Basque Country that are no longer shocked when somebody is killed. The lesson I learnt that day is that peace in Basque Country can only be constructed when we stop seeing violence as something normal. And  my opinion is that this can only be achieved through multiculturalism and education.

Important note

The events of Tiananmen in 1989 and the Basque terrorist problem are events of very different scales, historical backgrounds and significance in geographical and political terms. Although in this article I have established a subjective connection between them, they are not connected to each other in any possible objetive way.

Another important point is that the emotional charge that my teacher experienced with that documentary was by far much higher than that experienced by watching news about terror attacks.

About the Figure

Yue Minjun 岳敏君 is my favourite Chinese painter. He always paints people laughing ironically, even at the most serious things. Unlike people portrayed in his paintings, Yue Minjun is not laughing at all; he is making constructive criticism about nowadays China.

Yue Minjun’s is representative of a contemporary Chinese style called “Cynical Realism“. Cynical Realist artists make a humorous and post-ironic kind of art and provide a “realist perspective and interpretation of the transition that Chinese society has been through, from the advent of Communism to today’s industrialization and modernization”.

Yue Minjun’s “Execution” (above figure), which is clearly inspired in the events of Tiananmen, became the most expensive art work ever by a Chinese contemporary artist, when in 2007 it was sold for the equivalent of  US $ 5.9 million at Sotheby’s in London.





What is Chicago Booth all about?

2 09 2009
Edward A. Snyder, Dean of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business

Edward A. Snyder, Dean of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business

I had a great time yesterday discussing with Professor Edward A. Snyder, dean of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, who came to meet incoming students yesterday after our pre-MBA accounting class.

Dean Snyder, told to us about what is special about Chicago Booth. I totally agree with him. Chicago Booth – he said – is all about challenging ideas, even our own ideas. This is the only way progress can be done. Challenging ideas is generating, analyzing, comparing, discussing ideas, criticizing and questioning ideas politely, and as a result, refining ideas and creating progress for the world. Chicago Booth students usually challenge professors ideas. They even the dean’s ideas in a polite way - said Dean Snyder . This is something that only happens in Chicago.

For me, this is not being theoretical. This is being intellectual. This changes the world. And this is the reason why I chose Chicago Booth. Because I am somebody who likes challenging the status-quo politely and wants to pursue a career doing exactly this in a management position resulting in better practices for business and society.

Furthermore, he also talked about his objectives for Chicago Booth, the most important of which is leading a revolution in marketing, in the same way Chicago already lead a revolution in finance in the past by challenging the previously established financial theories. Most modern financial theories come from the school and have resulted in 6 nobel prizes at the School (82 in total at the University of Chicago).

It is not by chance that Chicago Booth slogan is “Challenge Everything”.

Image: the image belongs to Chicago Booth.





Memoria de estudios para las becas La Caixa

1 09 2009
Memoria

Memoria

La parte fundamental de la solicitud de becas de La Caixa es la memoria de estudios. Y la parte fundamental de la memoria es el resumen.

Para las becas en EEUU, la memoria debe tener una versión en inglés y una en castellano (cada una de 5000 caracteres). El resumen de la memoria debe tener 600 caracteres en inglés y otros 600 en castellano.

La memoria (5000 caracteres)

En este ensayo no es necesario ser un Antonio Machado ni un Miguel de Cervantes. Habla llana, clara y concisamente. No te enrolles ni uses un lenguage complicado ni con tecnicismos.

Para solicitar un MBA, lo ideal es escribir este ensayo siguiendo el modelo de las solicitudes de MBA. Para otro tipo de estudios, yo pienso personalmente que este modelo también vale, aunque es posible que se tenga que adaptar un poco (lo desconozco porque yo solicité MBA). Básicamente en este ensayo hay que contar:

  1. ¿Cual ha sido tu trayectoria académica, profesional y/o extracurricular hasta el presente? (30 % del texto aproximadamente) Obligatorio: Explica brevemente los aspectos de tu trayectoria que están relacionados con tu objetivo profesional. No expliques aquellos aspectos que no lo están porque ya salen en el CV.
  2. ¿Cual es tu objetivo académico y/o profesional? (30 % del texto aproximadamente) Obligatorio: El objetivo debe obligatoriamente emanar de la trayectoria previa. Si no, no es un objetivo serio. Por ejemplo, no se puede querer ser periodista sin haber hecho previamente algo relacionado con escribir, entrevistar o, incluso, leer o cosas similares. Tal vez no has estudiado periodismo antes, o no has trabajado en prensa, pero al menos debes tener un hobby relacionado con el periodismo. El futuro se basa en el pasado. Si no hay pasado, tu proyecto de estudios no es creíble. Sé tan preciso como sea posible. Habla de tus planes a corto plazo (justo después de graduarte), a largo plazo (5 años) y a muy largo plazo (15 años). Explica exactamente lo que vas a hacer en cada una de estas etapas. Por ejemplo, en qué sector quieres trabajar, en que función, por qué, qué vas a hacer exactamente. Ellos quieren saber que sabes dónde quieres ir. Si finalmente vas o no es otra historia. La vida da muchas vueltas, pero al menos has de saber donde quieres ir.
  3. ¿Como los estudios que planteas pueden ayudarte en tu objetivo profesional? (30 % del texto aproximadamente) Obligatorio: Cita el programa que quieres estudiar. Explica qué conocimientos, habilidades o experiencias necesitas aprender para hacer tu objetivos realidad y cómo est programa te puede proporcionar todo esto. Ten en cuenta que estos necesidades de aprendizaje deben ser cosas de las que tu te has dado cuenta durante tu trayectoria (Tu futuro está relacionado con tu pasado). Esta explicación sobre cómo los estudios que propones te van a ayudar debe ser tan precisa como sea posible. Cita asignaturas, profesores, organizaciones de estudiantes, laboratorios, publicaciones, prácticas en empresas…lo que sea. Lógicamente vas a solicitar en varias universidades pero, por motivos de espacio, te aconsejo que aquí solo describas en detalle una sola universidad, tu primera opción, y luego menciona simplemente cuales son las otras universidades que te interesan.
  4. ¿Porque quieres estudiar esto ahora y no una año antes o un año después? (4 % del texto aproximadamente) Opcional: Puede haber muchas razones. Tal vez es una razón de madurez personal, o tal vez es debido a la situación actual de la industria o el campo de investigación que te interesa… Una frase basta. No te enrolles.
  5. ¿Como tu beca va a beneficiar a la sociedad a nivel local, nacional o mundial? (6 % del texto aproximadamente) Obligatorio: La Caixa es una obra social. El objetivo de la beca es contribuir a la sociedad. Tal vez, tu vayas a estudiar nuevas tecnologías que en España aun no existen y que van a mejorar la vida de los españoles. Tal vez tu vas a crear empleo en España. Tal vez tu vas a desarrollar teorías políticas, económicas o filosóficas que pueden ser útiles a nivel mundial. La sociedad, tomando a La Caixa como mero intermediario, va a pagar tus estudios; no la decepciones. No te enrolles. Una frase o dos frases son suficientes. Te recomiendo este otro artículo mío que habla de la deuda a la que vas a incurrir con la sociedad.

El orden de estos componente es variable e, incluso, puedes fusionar varias partes.

Plasmar esto en 5000 letras es difícil. Se conciso. Si no te cabe todo, puedes prescindir del apartado 4, que es posiblemente el menos importante.

Os propongo un artículo en inglés que explica muy bien estas componentes del ensayo. Es una artículo sobre uno de los ensayos para solicitar el MBA de Chicago Booth. La ultima parte, la de beneficiar a la sociedad, falta. Pero teniendo en cuenta que estáis pidiendo una beca, yo recomiendo encarecidamente que habléis de este tema.

El Resumen (600 caracteres)

El resumen es lo más importante. Debe dar ganas de leer la memoria. Debe ser interesante e impresionante. Debes venderte bien. Si ellos dicen “Guauuu!” cuando lean tu resumen, habrás ganado la mitad de la batalla.

En el resumen yo pondría sólo tres frases:

  1. Una frase cuenta tu trayectoria
  2. Otra frase cuenta tus objetivos, que deben encajar con la trayectoria.
  3. Otra frase cómo lo que quieres aprender te va ayudar en tus objetivos.

El orden de las frases puede variar. Tambien puedes agrupar varias frases en una más grande o, incluso, mezclarlas, siempre y cuando el significado este claro y, sobre todo, tenga un efecto “Guauuuu!”

También puedes leer mi artículo sobre las entrevistas de La Caixa. Muchos de los consejos también son válidos para la memoria.

Imagen:  Memoria Ram 12MB DDR400 ECC Reg (p/n AM34090). Imagen tomada de upgradecomputermemory.com








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