Friday, March 23, 2018

Life Lately: On Dangote, P1 Updates, and A Blast from the Past

I have made peace with a few things. One is that I will not write frequently this year. Another is that many of my posts - when I manage to write - will be about INSEAD. One way to put a positive spin on this is that most people who know me want to read about how I am engaging with this year...

I tried really hard two days ago to write about Dangote Cement, and how interesting it is that their revenue went up 30% in Nigeria despite selling 16% less cement in 2017 (at some of the highest profit margins in the world). But - as is so often the case, I could not rationalize spending all that time writing about Dangote given all the other things I had to do: cases to read, cover letters to write, assignments to turn in, CVs to update for the umpteenth time, career next steps to think about, alumni to reach out to, etc etc. It is an endless list, to be honest...

All hail the king!

I have been up to all sorts of stuff. I did my favorite Jay Z impression at a dinner with my study group - I'm sure they're still wondering where that came out of, (almost) attended a company presentation because I wanted the giveaways - but took the giveaways without attending, and changed my career strategy a dozen times. Outside the bubble, we spent an amazing weekend in Geneva with dear friends: Marge, Chisom, Seun Balogun, Dami, Francis, and Tania. That weekend had so many highlights: wandering archaeological ruins dating to decades before Christ; amazing meals with Chisom, Francis, and Tania; happy conversations with our friends from Nigeria, and a care pack with lots of Nigerian goodies courtesy Seun Balogun. Some pictures below...

A view of Geneva's lake and the Jet d'Eau from St. Pierre Cathedral
Time traveler. This Allobrogian chief was buried in 100AD! 
The ruins underneath St. Pierre Cathedral are so well preserved!
I could imagine people living and worshipping in these buildings...
(The ruins are mostly of chapels from successive eras)
After returning from my trip through time.
La familia
P2 is shaping up to be very different from P1. After not actively studying since getting my Bachelors degree in 2011, it was a bit of a struggle to get my "student brain" back. I think it is back now. I am also very conscious of how my introverted behavior has followed me from my village and kept me from having great conversations with all the interesting people of INSEAD for most of P1. Thankfully I had that mental conversation in February - with ten months to go - so I have had a lot of time to mend my ways. Oh, and I am speaking up so much in class that I no longer recognize myself. What is going on?

I'll close with this. We had an amazing close to this week! After sitting through yet another discussion on the "three-legged" stool of Managerial Accounting, the fun people of E9 decided to kick the weekend off in style...

Cheers to the weekend!

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