WHY MBA?

Why MBA?
All MBA prospective students can’t get by with avoiding this question.
When I was student, I never doubted about the effectiveness of MBA degree. However, when I came to States and began to think about this question seriously, I found that it’s not a pretty easy question to answer. After visited 4 classes in the top MBA school, I’m sure that knowledge-wise there will be very limited or even no take-away for me.
Following is my preliminary thoughts.
1. Design my career plan without boundaries
First of all, I don’t have enough time and mind share to craft my career plan. Sometimes, I try to take advantage of 3 days vacation to come up with a plan, but usually it will end up producing very short term goal which is not inspiring at all.
In addition, consulting firm is a extremely homogeneous work place. Most of people are thinking the exactly same career plan. It doesn’t allow me to chart my future course with a broad perspective.
In my view, 2 years time and diversity of people will help me to design my next 20 years career plan.
2. Become a real global business person
If I really want to engage in the business related to both of China and Japan, English is the language I must to master. To master English means that I will feel very comfortable to lead a multinational team. Although it’s not impossible to gain this capability within my current company, MBA is a shortcut to it.
As the next step, I should weigh up between those benefits and MBA’s financial/opportunity cost.

The Social Network

The best ongoing movie I have watched this year so far.
10 times better than George Clooney’s “American”
100 times better than notorious “Wall Street 2”
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Two thoughts
1) It might be commonsense, but selection of team member is extremely important for a venture’s success.
Especially for the initial team member selection, you can not pay more attention to it.
2) When Mark started to write code, Myspace already had existed for a while.
As a result, Facebook original had to differentiate itself as a exclusive network.
E.g. only allow certain university’s student to sign up, able to disclose much wider range of private information
However, after Facebook surpassed Myspace, Facebook become almost the same SNS as Myspace. It’s very interesting.
It might mean differentiation factors vary a lot on the different product cycle stage.
It can be a hint for us to tackle on some markets which considered to be very saturated.

Recommended Podcasts

These days, many people asked me about the best way to improve listening comprehension skills. Let me share some of my favorite video podcasts. Hope you will like them.
1. TEDTalks
http://feeds.feedburner.com/TEDTalks_video
I really highly recommend this podcast. It not only helps your English, but also stimulates your intellectual curiosity. It updates daily except weekends, help you to keep study pace. Length is always less than 15 mins, which is perfect for us to keep concentration.
2. Fareed Zakaria GPS
http://rss.cnn.com/services/podcasting/fareedzakaria/rss.xml
Well balanced between politics and business related topic. The only one TV program has high quality broadcast about foreign counties. Sometimes it has exclusive interview on top government officials. For example last week it featured Chinese Prime Minister Mr. Wen. And this podcast is Mr. Wen’s only exposure towards western media.
3. NBC nightly news
http://podcast.msnbc.com/audio/podcast/MSNBC-NN-NETCAST-M4V.xml
One of the best night time news programs which is available in podcasts. Good tool to understand what happening in States is and what people’s interests are.
4. Bloomburg Conversations with Judy Woodruff
http://www.bloomberg.com/tvradio/podcast/judy_woodruff.xml
It offers distinctive interviews with trendy interviewee on hottest topics. Only problem is its update frequencies. You’d better refer to their archives.
5. The Larry King Podcast
http://rss.cnn.com/services/podcasting/lkl/rss.xml
It is the most challenging podcast in this list. Depends on interviewee, but normally can only come across 60%-70% of contents.
Other recommendations:
HBR IdeaCast
http://feeds.harvardbusiness.org/harvardbusiness/videoideacast
McKinsey Quarterly
http://rss.mckinseyquarterly.com/fp/video
TIME Magazine
http://feeds.feedburner.com/time/podcast/video/
Reuters (URL is a podcast focus on business in Asia. You can find variety of topics on their website)
http://feeds.reuters.com/reuters/video/companyasia/rss/mp4/

First TOEFL score

Yesterday I received my first iBT TOEFL test result.
Reading: 24
Listening: 30
Speaking: 22
Writing: 25
Total: 101
Score is much better than I thought, especially the writing part.
However, I still need to go extra miles to increase at least 4 points in order to meet the requirements from the top B-schools.

Incredible Amtrak!

Amtrak announced a concept plan today for what would be the United States’ first high-speed rail service, connecting Washington D.C., Philadelphia, New York City, and Boston. Let’s compare this plan with Chinese high-speed train’s in order to show how incredible it is.
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By the way, my nearest subway station has been shut down because of renovation.
The station is really small but they will work it on for two years.