IE Business School Online Masters
Atul Tannan
August 24, 2011

Wow – what a week it was. It was the last week of school before IE closed for vacation. During the week we had our forums going, a test in Finance, a presentation to be made and presented in front of the class for Entrepreneurship, e-mails from our respective jobs and cases to read for the classes at Harvard. Basically it was a boot camp to teach time management. (We still managed somehow to find time for beers every night … how about that for time management?  🙂 ). I am sure by now most of you would’ve guessed that we compromised on our sleep..and…Yes you’re right.

The lectures at Harvard were given by very influential professors. We covered a wide array of topics from innovations in public/private infrastructure, urbanization in the developing countries, green energy, transportation, U.S cities in global context to developing cities and public organizations. My personal favorite was the lecture by Professor Alan Altshuler. In the lecture we spoke about how U.S cities are different compared to cities around the world and why this causes the U.S to consume more oil. The U.S cities are different in terms of their density patterns compared to other cities. For example:

City Population Density
Seoul 19.7 million 10,120/km²
Mumbai 20.4 million 26,250/km²
Mexico City 18.7 million 7,300/km²
Sao Paolo 20.2 million 5,300/km²
New York 21.3 million 1,890/km²

What does this tell us?… It tells us that people in the U.S cities live further apart compared to other cities, have to travel longer and that’s why the fuel consumption is so high.  Another interesting point was that every day in the news we hear China is growing at 9% – 10% and it’s soon going to leave the U.S behind. Well look at it in this way… GNI per capita income of a person in the U.S is $46,350 (2009) and China’s is $3650. So let’s be bullish for China and bearish for the U.S. If we assume that China grows at 10% then 10% of $3650 is $365. If we suppose that the U.S growth rate is 1% then 1% of $46,350 is $463. In other words the absolute gap stays more or less the same.

I would say overall the trip was amazing for three reasons: 1) It was the Harvard University 2) It was a chance to see many of fellow GMBA classmates whom I see only online and 3) Informative lectures by professors.

The GMBA train continues its journey. After Boston it’s taking a small break and in about one and half week the IE-GMBA journey will resume once again.


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