Wednesday, January 16, 2008

MBA Class

Cracow University of Economics (in nicer weather)
I haven't done any postings for a while because I've been busy preparing for and then teaching a week-end executive MBA class on Implementing Change (a course I have not taught before, so it required quite a bit of preparation). Though exhausting to teach 6-7 hours a day, three days in a row, I think the class went quite well. It was fun to be with working managers who could readily relate to the information and think of examples to apply the ideas we talked about and I think they also appreciated my business experience. (This was the last class of their 2-year coursework.) Since my other students are from all over Europe, this was also my first experience working with students who could give me insights into Polish businesses and how they are managing the transition to a market economy. Several of the students told me afterwards that it was the best class of their MBA - John thinks they were just buttering me up to get a better grade, but I'm choosing to take them at their word (it makes me feel good)! Their class projects aren't due until the end of February, so I'll still be doing work for this class long after I'm back home!

My office at the University

Amazingly, the University was as busy - if not busier - on Saturday and Sunday as it is during the week. Even at 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. the hallways were packed. I guess that says something both about the University's ability to make full use of their facilities as well as the desire of Polish people to gain an education.

On Sunday we also experienced "fund raising, Polish-style." On our way to the University in the morning, there were young people on every street corner with the same cardboard "bank" boxes for collecting money and heart stickers to give to people who donated. We weren't sure what it was all about, but found out once we arrived at the University. This was a nation-wide effort to raise money to buy equipment for childrens' hospitals. On our way home late in the afternoon, there was a big stage in the main square with bands playing. Everyone had the red heart stickers on their jackets - you just had to donate if for no other reason than to fit in! The fund raisers must have all been well-trained because they were courteous, yet aggressive. Once we got home and turned on the TV, it was like a telethon reporting fund raising levels from different cities in Poland and various competitions between different companies, etc. Very interesting!

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