Daylight Saving Time

Today, my life in the US had 25 hours in a day because of Daylight Saving Time (Summer Time). According to the article below, the system has continued since 1966 in the US.

Refer to: http://webexhibits.org/daylightsaving/b.html
"Since 1966, most of the United States has observed Daylight Saving Time from at 2:00 a.m. on the first Sunday of April to 2:00 a.m. on the last Sunday of October. "

Also, from the beginning of 2007, most of the US plans to extend the applied period. In the European Union, Daylight Saving Time is already introduced.

"Beginning in 2007, most of the U.S. will begin Daylight Saving Time at 2:00 a.m. on the second Sunday in March and revert to standard time on the first Sunday in November. In the U.S., each time zone switches at a different time."

On the other hand, Japan doesn't apply this though there has been a lot of discussion about this in Japan. In summary, the countries that have fewer hours of sunlight can advance by Summer Time, and also the countries which are close to the US can get advantage on business. In the sense of the merit, the pros and cons of the issue are controversial in Japan.

Refer to:

Anyway, I enjoyed the moment of the change from Summer Time to non-Summer Time because it was 9:30 though I got up at 10:30 today.:-) More importantly, I felt that the Sun goes around the earth without thinking of people on the earth. I felt the nature doesn't change. People dance on the earth. This kind of intuition is what I want to treasure.


Mini-2 started

Mini-2 started.

In mini-2, I have 5 required classes. They say that this semester is the most demanding one. I think that this is partly because the wether is getting colder. A lot of students start feeling depressed without sunshine... Anyway, this is the mini-2 schedule.

Mini2 Schedule

Let me talk about these classes briefly.

1. Presenting and Decision Making
    Although Tepper business school is famous for the quantitative nature, this is class for soft skills, following "Writing and Decision Making" class in Mini-1. We will have 6 individual and group presentation in our class to train our presentation skills. For me, this class is going to be the toughest class, even though I like a presentation in Japanese.

2. Accounting for Decision Making and Control 
   This course is about managerial uses of accounting information. This course will mainly use case-method and require us to work on some assignments by a group. Though I was not good at "Accounting" in Mini-1, I would like to try to work on this course hard.

3. Managerial Economics
    This is about Microeconomics. This course will be about demand curves, cross price demand curves, production factions, and market demand / supply curve. Every week, we have to work on the problem sets individually.

4. Finance
   Finance is the efficient allocation of resources (Equity, Bonds, Foreign Exchange and so on) across time and risk. This class also requires a group work every week.
I didn't know the difference between accounting and finance before MBA. But, I have understood the importance of financial skills in our business world.

5. Statistics and Decision Making
   This is the following course of "Probability and Decision Making" in Mini-1. We will learn Hypothesis testing, simple regression, multiple regressions, and Model Building, by using software, "Eview".

Already, I have tons of homework. Let's do it!!

How do you know average salary?

The answer is this web site.

Career InfoNet -> http://acinet.org/

"America's Career InfoNet is a resource for making informed career
decisions to support a demand-driven workforce investment system."

Using this link, You can know salary, necessary skills/education, and detailed work activities.

Occupation Information

For example, the salary comparison between programmer and chief executive is below.

Salary - Programmer        $63,000 (10%-90%: $37,200 - $101,000)
Salary - Chief Executive   $141,800 (10%-90%: $59,200  - $145,600+)

Executive Planet - guidlines for business culture&etiquette


This page is really cool because this site includes a lot of information about the business culture guides and etiquette of many countries.

For example, let me show the comparison in Business Dress among countries.

"In U.S. business culture, dress tends to vary. In some parts of the country--the east in particular--most people wear business suits. In other areas, such as the west coast, a more relaxed approach to dressing is the norm in many workplaces. Executives in most regions of the country, however, usually dress quite formally."

"In Japanese business culture, men traditionally wore conservative suits, typically in blue or gray, with a white shirt and dark tie. Suits are still conservative in medium-sized and larger Japanese companies and government offices, but pastel shirts are now common."

"In Chinese business culture, conservative suits and ties in subdued colours are the norm. Bright colours of any kind are considered inappropriate."

"Normal business dress for men is a suit and tie. However, since India has a warm climate, often just a full-sleeved shirt with a tie is also acceptable. It is also important to select neutral colors, which are subdued and not very bright. In most companies, particularly in the IT sector, however, the dress code is much more casual. It is not unusual to find people wearing T-shirts and jeans with sneakers. However, as a visitor, conservative, though not formal, dress is advisable."

"Refrain from wearing traditional native clothing. Egyptians may find it offensive to see foreigners dressed in their traditional garments."

Saudi Arabia
"The only absolute requirement of dress code in the Kingdom is modesty. For men, this means covering everything from navel to knee. Short sleeves are therefore acceptable but not short trousers."

First Presentation in Class

I had a group presentation in "Managing Organization Class." Our assignment is interviewing a senior manager and making a presentation for the organizational structure analysis about his organization.

This was the first group presentation in MBA class ( I had already many presentations but this was the first presentation which was supposed to be graded) for me though I will have a presentation class and have to give a lot of presentation in next semester. This time, I put a lot of effort into preparing for the presentation. I listened to the recorded interview, and repeated my presentation. Also, I recorded it by a video recorder and checked it. I found many improvements. Actually, the result was not that bad.

One thing I want to say is that I felt, in the day, my oral communication skill was improved somehow maybe by the preparation of the presentation. Few years ago, my senior university students said, "You can listen 1.5 times as fast as you can speak in English." It might be true. When I studied TOEFL, an English test for international students, I trained my listening skill by repeating the script as fast as possible. I think it worked.


More important than learning the 2nd languages

"Do you think we need to learn the 2nd language to be a Global Leader? If so, which language do you recommend?"

A student asked to panelists in the panel discussion session which talked about Global Leader.

One of the panelists answered.

Of course, if you can speak the 2nd language, you will have a lot of advantages. Especially, Chinese is the most considerable option. However, before mastering the 2nd language, you should understand "Local English". Local English means a form of English which is used in the country and area. In a business world, English is used as a common language. One thing you have to be careful about is that there are a lot of forms of English. A certain form of English is affected by the people, location, history, culture, and common sense of the country. For example, if people from different countries try to express the exactly same thing, they talk it in different ways in their English.

You need to understand not only what they say in English but also why they say so and what the context is.

Good to know.

The one less traveled

I will have final exams during this week. A lot of things to do is putting pressure upon me.
Anyway, last week, I got hearty cheers from my senior colleague. She used to be struggling with studying abroad like me. I would like to embrace this poem in my heart.

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

”The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost

#Thank you, Ms. P!!

Growth Leader - Mr. Fujimori, Chairman of GE Japan

Mr. Yoshiaki Fujimori is chairman of GE Japan and President and CEO of GE Money Asia. Of course, he is a graduate ('81) from Tepper Business School! He came to our school directly from Japan by a company's jet and limousine, and then made a speech for students. He and his speech were terrific.
Let me talk a little bit about GE and what he talked about.

GE (General Electronic Company)
"The General Electric Company, or GE (NYSE: GE) is a multinational American technology and services conglomerate. According to the Forbes Global 2000 it is the world's second-largest company"

Surprisingly, GE is not that famous among Japanese people. However, maybe they will be surprised to hear that the company which was founded by "Thomas Alva Edison."  Also, Jack Welch, the former CEO from 1981 to 2001 is very famous for
one of the premier business managers of his era and Six Sigma quality system. Jeffrey R. Immelt is the current CEO of General Electric.

Organic Growth

"The goal GE has set for sustained organic growth - two to three times the growth of global GDP - translates to about 8% today. Few companies have achieved the kind of growth GE is seeking, and none on a revenue base of $150 billion."
"Growth as a process" - Harvard Business Review

Achieving 8% organic growth continuously is amazing...

What is "Growth Leader"?

Mr. Fujimori talked a lot about Growth Leader. That is not a professional business manager. A growth leader has five growth traits:

1. external focus
2. imagination and creativity
3. decisive and capable of clear thinking
4. Inclusiveness (energize team)
5. develop expertise

He explained that "Inclusiveness" is the most difficult part. Inclusiveness is about how to make good team. How to make each of them to feel that he or she contribute to a team.

Extracting the best of potentials

He closed his speech by talk about the growth model in order to energize us. Growth
When we get over one step, we tend to be an auto-cruise mode because it's easier. However, he said "If you feel good, you have to initiate some changes. That is the way to extract the best of potentials you can do."

Hum...I have to choose less easy way!

First accident - Yale soccer

Last week, I joined Yale MBA soccer tournament. I had a really good time with my team mates and other MBA students. A lot of MBA schools including Harvard, Wharton, and Chicago joined this tournament.

This was the first time for Tepper to join this tournament. Our condition was so bad. First, we went to New Haven by car. After the 8 hours driving, we arrived at hotel at 1:00am. Our game was from 9:00 the next day. Second, we had only 11 players because some student dropped out at the last moment .Those couldn't stand the pressure of homework and incoming final exams. That mean we didn't have any substitute player.

By the way, 16 teams joined the tournament. In the first day, we had a 4 team league match. If we take the first position or the second position, we can go to the final tournament. In our league, there are Colombia, University North Carolina, and Yale Medical Shool. Though most teams were MBA schools, Yale was a host, and the Yale Medical seemed to have a special slot to join the tournament.

Our first match was Yale Medical School.  We thought Yale Medical must be weak because that is a medical school. However, after the game begun, we found they were really good... Also, we heard that one player used to play as a professional soccer player... They controlled a ball for a long time, and we had to be defensive.

Then, the accident happened. When my team mate got a good ball in front of a goal, a guy charged him very severely. He injured his right ankle... We had to play only by 10 players.

To be continued...


Yale MBA Soccer Tournament

This weekend, I am going to join Yale MBA Soccer Tournament

This is a website for this tournament though it is for 2005.

I am looking forward to playing soccer with other MBA students!
However, it's going to be tough to drive to New Haven..Maybe 8-9 hours drive...

Four Color Problem

Professor Ijiri is a Japanese professor at CMU, teaching accounting. I met him with Japanese students today.

He came to the US in the 1960s as a doctor student. After teaching at Stanford University for 4 years, he came back to Carnegie Mellon.

He had a wide knowledge out side of his accounting and talked about his recent interest about Four Color Problem, topology (one area of mathematics) and so on. Also, he stressed that multi-disciplinary areas are challenging to work on. He has started thinking about the combination of accounting and topology, though they seem to be in a different area. He was very impressive for me.

My theme is the combination of business and technology, and that is the reason I came to Carnegie Mellon. Especially, new Dean of Tepper emphasizes the combination, and that is a good sign for me.

Let me talk a little bit about For Color Problem Theorem. Briefly, the theorem is about the fact that any map can be colored by four colors. That fact was found in the 1860s and proved in the 1970s.



Swatch - Swiss comeback strategy

I am working on 10 page single-spaced paper which is due tomorrow. Today, I learned how to make a coffee from my wife because I want to keep myself wake up.

Swatch, this word is very famous in Japan. However, most people don't know this was one of comeback strategies which were executed by Swiss watchmaking makers and Swiss government in the early 1980s.

At that time, Swiss was losing the share and Japan and Hong Kong dominated market shares in the mid-end and low-end market segments. Creditors that loaned two biggest watch companies in Swiss hired Nicolas Hayek to overhaul the current watch industry strategy and develop a more viable competitive strategy. Swiss fate lied in his hand...

He proposed a comeback strategy that consisted mainly of two things: revitalizing of flagship brands like Omega in middle-range market and launching a new low-priced plastic watch, Swatch. He successfully implemented this strategy and became the CEO of the former Swatch Group.

Anyway, today, I have to act like Nicolas Hayek, and have to submit the comeback strategy report to Swiss creditors by tomorrow... I should go back to my work. Bye.


My first compromise

I know that I am not good at Financial Accounting mainly because my background is an engineer and researcher and accounting is totally new thing for me. I was trying to catch up with the fast-paced class by reading only English textbooks, but today I concluded that I had to do something for my accounting skills.

Today was due for the third assignment of accounting homework. The assignment had to be done with a partner. My partner is always Mr. and I managed to contribute to our team assignment so far.

However, this assignment was too far for me. Last week's mid-term exams annoyed me a lot and lead to a lot of homework that piled up. This homework distracted me to work on financial accounting. In a result, I was messed up in the accounting class.

At this time, I couldn't contribute to our team assignment. My partner had to do by himself due to my lack of skills. I felt really bad. So, I decided to make something in order to handle this situation.

Even though I decided to read only English text books during MBA study in order to improve my English skills, I changed my policy and asked a 2nd year student to lend me Japanese books which explained accounting in Japanese.

I hate to admit it, but this is my first compromise. I want to survive and contribute to my team. I hope that this compromise work well.

# Thank you, Mr. Y.
# I really appreciate borrowing books from you!

Rebellion against Professor

Although today was Monday, we had dues of three assignments.

Most students seemed to spend all weekend for working on assignments. Maybe our average sleeping time must be approximately two or three hours...In writing class, one student started complaining the endless homework to our professor.

Student A:
"Do you understand we have other classes except for your class? We have 5 classes and all the classes give me a lot of homework. Besides, I have to work on job search. I cannot believe it...”

Student B:
"What is your expectation? I cannot do all assignments even if I spent all weekend. And, I am questioning that this is worth?"

Many complaints came up one after another... Especially, our classmates were frustrated because we know home work in a writing class of different professors was not as hard as our class.

Professor A:
"I don't know exactly what kind of homework do you have in other classes. I know only that I have to give you appropriate workload. Three hours for each class. That's the bottom line. We don't expect you to master all of things. We expect you survive in this school. Maybe, there are other ways to educate, but this way has been proved to be gonna work out. You will survive this. You will get confidence that you can do anything. That's all."

I was surprised that students complaint a professor directly and aggressively because this is not usual in Japan. Also, I realized that I am in such a tough environment which was designed to be tough intentionally.

Anyway, I just do it.