It's been a very busy week but also rather satisfying. Monday started off with the Boston Marathon. No, I did not run it but I got to see the final minutes of the women's race because it was being shown on the large screen at the HKS Forum. (JC waited it out in the apartment before driving back to DC.) It's the oldest annual marathon in the world and they just had their 101th race this year. I will never qualify for the Boston Marathon and will never get to conquer Heartbreak Hill but it's just nice to see other people do it. Later on in the evening, I met up with MP to prepare the slides for our benchmarking project presentation. It was pretty painless and we did a lot of work in a couple of hours. We both went home feeling good and confident about our material I was particularly proud of the framework (and the graphic) that we came up with to explain our topic, which was succession management.
Tuesday was a busy day for me since I had to interview two more organizations for our benchmarking project. It was a back-to-back interview in the afternoon and when I couldn't find a quiet spot anywhere in school, I decided to just go home and do the interview in the comfort my own apartment. Both interviews went pleasantly well. It's hard to get hold of executive directors and CEOs of nonprofits because they all have very busy schedules but the ones that I talked to were very eager to help me out and found time to talk with me about succession. My problem after doing the interviews was figuring out whether to integrate it with the presentation we were doing the next day or not, but we ended up just picking up a few salient points and will just work the rest into the final paper later on. I worked on the slides a bit more but I fell asleep before I had the chance to work on my slide notes.
Next day was an early day. Without any of the presentation notes ready, I had to hustle it to school as early as I could so that I would have enough time to prepare for our 8.40 am class. Well, how hard could it be to write out notes for a 3 minute presentation? (MP and I were splitting the 6 minutes allocated for our main presentation.) Harder than I expected. The thing was I had a lot to say about our topic. I was also working with around six slides. That's about 30 seconds per slide? It could work... I had to edit out a lot of stuff but it all worked out in the end. We were the last of three groups for that day and we were the only one that did not have the client present. Our presentation went rather well although MP had to cut me off because I only left him with only a minute to do his bit! The response was enthusiastic--succession management is a very important topic in the nonprofit world but very seldom talked about in any detail--both in class and in the blog. The feedback were also very helpful. And apparently, we were the first group to ever benchmark succession management so it was great to have tackled such a topic.
I felt great relief after the presentation but the day did not end there. I had an appointment with my marketing professor almost soon after class. Remember the marketing paper that we/I did? Well, we got a 90 (out of 100) and it turned out to be one of the better papers. The prof said that not a lot of people/groups got a grade higher than 90 and we were one of the few to "get it." I asked her about market segmentation and the next case we have to work on--Boston's Museum of Fine Arts--and also felt good coming out of that consultation.
The rest of the day was doing research work and just waiting for the start of the formal launch party of the Kennedy School Review. Yes, we finally launched it (although we've been taking order for the last couple of weeks) and copies had been delivered to us. Unfortunately, the printers slightly messed up the cover and a corrected batch will not be delivered until Wednesday of next week. But it was good to finally be able to hold something in our hands, although I "lost" my copy to Prof CS at the party. The party was fun and I got to have a few very interesting conversations, especially the one that I had with the writer of the Michelle Rhee profile, MF. Speaking of Michelle Rhee... Maybe I'll just write about it in my next post...
So, fairly quiet day today. I got a pack of rice cakes today from my friend S, who just celebrated his baby's 100th day yesterday. I don't know if the rice cake had anything to do with the event but it's supposed to be a big deal for Koreans. And guess what? It finally feels like spring over here!