Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Yesterday was our first day of classes. Wharton is WAY different than INSEAD, and it's a lot for my system to comprehend.

Wharton has 1600 GRADUATE students plus a whole bunch of undergraduate students. There are literally thousands of students walking around campus, and they don't all know each other.

INSEAD has about 900 students at a time, but in Singapore we have about 300, and you really know 150 of them. Like you actually know all their names other than a few.

Wharton is on a campus in a CITY. There is a lot going on on campus, and there is a lot going on in the city.

INSEAD (in Singapore) is in a building, which they call a campus, in a city with not too much going on that interests me.

Wharton is a building, and there is an ABP in it, but no cafeteria or place for quick coffee.

INSEAD is also a building, but there is a (bad) cafeteria and cafe, which is great to grab something between classes, as well as meeting people. I have to admit, though, that I haven't yet had a tour of Wharton, so there might be something I'm missing (though I think it would only be an area to meet, because I'm pretty sure there is no actual cafe).

At Wharton you have to buy your coursepacks. It should be about $150 (US!!!) for me, plus books, which I haven't yet looked into.

At INSEAD, coursepacks are included in your tuition (and tuition is lower overall, though our program is only one year...). Even if they added another $2000 to tuition, but then included coursepacks, I think it would be nicer. I don't like paying for everything one at a time. It's a psychological thing. I know.

Though there are a lot of differences, the classes seem to be conducted in a similar manner so far. Each of my classes has bashed HBS, which happens at INSEAD as well, and there is some case, some theory, and a lot of class discussion, which is also familiar. I do have two profs who are adjunct - actually work in the field and don't have phds, which I don't think we have at INSEAD. I appreciate that.

In the past day, I have felt like a freshman again. I haven't felt this way since 1996, which I started Michigan (I went to Michigan for grad school, and INSEAD is all in one building - and your first 11 classes are all in the same CLASSROOM, so by the time you get out of that classroom, you know your way around the building). I also felt that way when I started Lahser in 1992. It's a HUGE campus, and there are tons of buildings and tons of people, and I don't know how things work. Where do you get lunch? Where can you fill up your water bottle? What do you mean you have to pay for your coursepacks in cash only? Where is the bathroom?

In addition to the lost, freshman feeling, I'm also basically living in a dorm. I have a bathroom that I share, and I have a little, tiny room with a bed, a desk and a place for some clothes. It's too hot or too cold, and it really reminds me of Markley (minus the Shana part). I'm 31, but I'm 18 this week. Hopefully next week I'll be at least 25.

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