Do Europeans really know it all about culture in America?

26 10 2009
Jackson Pollock in Action

Jackson Pollock in Action

Many Europeans think they already know it all about America. Many see America as a country with a very short history and a Hollywood-McDonalds approach to culture, where there is not much culture to learn.

In fact, I used to think I knew much more about America than I indeed did. When I took part in the Orientation Week organized by Indiana University for La Caixa scholars, Professor Bruce L. Jaffe, prepared a quite interesting quiz about culture in America. Topics included: education system, geography, politics, employment, demographics, American units of mesurement, American sports …

I got a quit humble mark. But I am learnt quick – I hope. It is not a matter of flashing my mind with American customs. It is a matter of understanding culture in America and picking up what is good in it.


18 10 2009
Team-Building with La Caixa at Bradford Woods

Team-Building with La Caixa at Bradford Woods

I have taken part in three team-building activities, which have been all very interesting:

  • The LOE (Leadership Outdoor Experience) of LEAD course at Chicago Booth, (Wisconsin’09)
  • A team-building day at Bradford Woods during the orientation week for La Caixa scholars (Indiana’09)
  • A couple of team-building days organized by my previous company in a resort at Yalong Bay (Hainan province, China)

These are some of the asks I have carried out during my team-building experiences:

  • Get the whole team pass over a rolling barrel situated 2 m high between two trees (LEAD). No rope. No ladder.
  • Build a boat with barrels, wood planks and ropes, and cross a lake on it. This was absolutely grate! (La Caixa)
  • Get the whole team of 30 move forward 100 m stepping only on some moveable tiles (around 10). Stepping on the ground is not allowed (Yalong Bay).

I think team-building is very important because it helps people:

  • Create network: One of the problems in the corporate or academic world is that people do not like working together. They do not ask for help, they repeat work and mistakes already done for others, and the rest hidden in their niches of responsibility neglecting cross-functional aspects. Team-building makes people know each other and feel like working with each other.
  • Know about others. Team-building is very useful to know…
    • Who is good at which particular kind of work?
    • Who is creative
    • Who is a strategist
    • Who is methodical and organized
    • Who is authoritarian
    • Who is passive
    • Who is deceitful
    • Who is impulsive
  • Know about yourself
    • How I tend to act in team settings
    • What I usually do well?
    • What I usually do wrong?
  • Know how to work in teams
    • Ask for help when needed
    • Lead when you know the topic; being led when you don’t
    • Offer observations regarding the team’s progress
    • Propose, discuss, improve ideas
    • Don’t take other people’s comments personal

This is why I love Chicago Booth

7 10 2009

2009 Booth Follies. A parody of the “Wassup” Bud Light beer commercial. Starring Deans Snyder, Martinelli, & Kole and Prof. Erik Hurst. Written & Directed by Samarth Chandra

Rotational / Leadership Development Programs for MBA

4 10 2009
Rotation (image from wikipedia)

Rotation (image from wikipedia)

Are you an MBA student? Are you considering applying to an General Management / Rotational / Leadership Development program?

Here you have a list of companies with this kinds of programs.

I hope it helps.

  • 3M
  • A T & T
  • Abbott
  • Acciona Energy North America
  • Aetna
  • American Express
  • American International Group
  • Archer-Daniels-Midland Company
  • Automatic Data Processing, Inc. (ADP)
  • Avaya Inc.
  • Avery
  • Bank of America
  • Barclays Bank Plc
  • Barclays Global Retail & Commercial Bank
  • BASF
  • Bauch & Lomb
  • Baxter Healthcare
  • Bayer AG
  • Becton, Dickenson
  • Bertelsmann AG
  • Blacksmith Applications, Inc.
  • Bloomberg
  • Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals
  • Boeing
  • Bristol-Myers Squibb
  • British Petroleum (BP Gas UK)
  • BT Group
  • Cargill, Inc.
  • Chevron Corporation
  • Chicago Transit Authority
  • Cintas Corporation
  • Cisco
  • Citi
  • Citigroup
  • Colgate-Palmolive
  • Computer Associates International, Inc.
  • Cummins
  • D&B Read the rest of this entry »


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