On Friday the 20th of April the MBA program at Sasin finally began with the orientation, a week of activities which lacked, except for the first day, activities related to the official meaning of the word orientation. And that first day would be a long day, from 8:30 till, at least, 19:30 when the closing party would start. This is not something I am used to anymore since I normally get up around 10AM and just relax all day.
After registration the first one to speak that day was the director of the Sasin program, professor Toemsakdi Krishnamra, who gave an introduction into Sasin and the current state of the world. Next was the CEO of Kasikorn Bank who spoke for almost an hour about a broad range of subjects, from doing business in Thailand to the three rules of drinking and the importance of being able to deliver a good speech. One of the most remarkable things he mentioned, in my view at least, was the need to know the largest part of answer already before asking a question. Apparently your subordinates lose trust in you, as a leader, in case you have no ideas yourself already. Compare this with Europe where it is quite normal for a the boss to ask for input, since, if he put the right people in the right place, they are capable of a lot more together then the boss alone.
Following were more presentations about the IT-infrastructure, which was a presentation that was short and to the point like I always prefer, and I am not just saying this because I know professor Fenwick will probably read this, about sustainability, and various other subjects. Not every presentation caught the attention of the students equally, and some of the attending professors even pulled out their phones to have something to do, a book to have a quick read, or an IPad to do some online shopping on Amazon.com for watches.
At various points alumni or students of the 2011 class gave some input and the message was the same message as I have heard many times before already: you might have to put in an average of 40 hours a week and there will be lots of parties with lots of alcohol. The alcohol part did not sound very professional to mention as a selling point for an education, and the 40-hours a week is something I am unable to get confirmed with anyone I speak to “off the record”.
Finally there was a welcome party hosted by the class of 2011, and, as expected, this was a typical Thai party with lots of whiskey, music that is way too loud, and mostly Thai songs playing. For me that was the cue to leave.
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