07:45am: Alarm rings; I wake up and get into the shower. Like always, I quickly check my email for updates; last night some team members stayed up late to make the latest changes to our marketing project.
08:40am: After a quick breakfast, I’m off to school with my Indian flatmate, Syd. He tells me about what is going on in his section. But he’s in a hurry for his marketing class, as the professor “lets” people that come in late sing a song.
09:00am: After trying to catch up on some sleep 5 min before class, the first class starts: Strategy by Manuel Becerra. Today, we see a case of Pepsi; how they successfully reorganized their company to focus less on their competitors and ‘hero culture’ and more on formal processes and their customers.
10:20am: Break to take my coffee with classmates on campus – the sun is out. We chat about the Atlético game, as they won the Europe League. We watched the match with some friends in a bar in Malasaña – the more recreational area of Madrid, where things loosen up more (especially at night).
11:00am: 1 hour of group work. As usual, we discuss the paper and presentation for marketing which are due tomorrow, and plan our approaches for the other papers that are due in the coming week. Planning ahead is key looking at such a busy schedule.
12:00am: Financial Management Class. On the basis of another case, we talk about investment decisions and how to evaluate those through cash flow analysis.
13:30pm: Last class of the day: Cost Accounting. Not the most sexy one, for some people, but today it’s an important, as we talk about different costing systems and their effects on managerial decisions. For example, when using an absorption costing system, managers are incentivized to increase production even without market demand, just to increase revenues and consequently their bonuses; interesting to know. Starting to get hungry!
14:50pm: Lunch and another group meeting. As 3 of us finalize marketing, the others start already with planning phase for 2 other projects: a paper and presentation for Operations Management, in which we will analyze a real life case of waiting times at a hotel reception desk in Dubai, and a paper for Creative Management Thinking, in which we analyze the effects of the rise in the price of oil on the global economy, assuming that this would have a net positive impact. I also send out the invitations for the Start-up Day we are organizing with the Entrepreneurship Club on Thursday. Of course, we would all like to participate equally in all projects but sometimes delegating tasks keeping in mind the strengths of each and every team member is the way to go to be most efficient.
21:00pm: Still at the library. I had time to prepare for tomorrow’s class of Cost Accounting (read the case and theory) and worked on the paper for Creative Management Thinking, which I ended up doing by myself to free up time and hands for other projects.
22:00pm: Dinner at home. Usually I like to go out to eat as Madrid offers great cuisines, but sometimes there is no time; and as I like to keep a healthy diet there is no other option than to cook.
22:45pm: I make some last adjustments to the group marketing report and presentation and agree to meet with the group tomorrow morning before class to practice their presentation. This time, I’m not presenting; but we all do many times to get the chance to improve our public speaking and presentation abilities.
23:30pm: Chatting with my flatmates Syd and Albert, who’s from California. He is in the Spanish track and has the additional challenge to study in Spanish. By now (5 months into the program) however, he is truly fluent.
Before going to bed: I usually prefer to spend the last moments of the day watching a movie – to relax; but not today. Tomorrow for sure, I will go for a run. Let’s master these hectic times!