During the first semester, we studied the essentials – Finance, Accounting, Economics, Marketing, and Organizational Behavior. We spent all day in a windowless classroom. Some lecturers were contemptuous of the students and compared the program with London Business School, almost as if they deserved to teach at better schools. Students were also harsh on them and demanded a lot from the program. I had no room in my brain to assess the quality of the program. Keeping up with class was a daily struggle. I bit the skin around the fingernails while working until it bled.
There were also some group projects. One of them was an innovation project with IBM. We presented to the clients our recommendations for improving innovation in the organization. IBM didn’t seem too impressed. In another one, we made a business plan for inventions by Imperial College researchers. We didn’t impress them, either. I couldn’t bother about these projects because of my lack of interest, but I tried to look enthusiastic for fear of disappointing others.
Despite my dedication and hours of preparation, the exam results for essential subjects were pretty mediocre. Stuart said it was an excellent result, but I didn’t trust the words of someone who never worked until they bled.