â€œI know! We should do a survey on class participation! Or… on post MBA salary expectations!â€.
When you are an MBA student, your whole life pretty much revolves around MBA topics â€“ class participation, hating the professor for two minutes of lecture overtime, endless fatigue and lack of sleep and of course the lunch menu for the day. So, when your group gets an assignment to do a statistical analysis of whatever topic in the world you want, these are the first ideas that come to your mind. Of course, these were also the ideas that came to mind of other study groups. â€œI can’t think about that right now. If I do, I’ll go crazy. I’ll think about that tomorrow.â€, I was quoting Scarlett Oâ€™Hara that evening. My group decided that we should sleep on it and agree on the topic tomorrow morning.
That evening, I was catching up on some celebrity gossip (yeah, yeah, like you never do that :)) and I was really surprised when I saw that Leonardo Di Caprio hadnâ€™t won the Oscar. Again. This guy has made so many great movies and yet he has never won. What does he have to do to finally win one?! And then it hit me. Really, what DOES he have to do?
The next morning I talked to my group. I was lucky to have very creative and open-minded people there, so we finally decided to analyze what are the most important factors for winning an Oscar. And of course, what does Leo have to do to get one. We gathered tons of data on all sorts of things â€“ from actorsâ€™ hair color and country of birth to movie genre and budget. We did cross-tabs, clusters, t-tests, regressions and all sorts of other fancy statistical stuff and actually found four variables that mattered. No, Leo, I wonâ€™t write them here, you need to call ESMT to get the results!
We made a really nice presentation with lots of photoshoping (Hollywood style), we all dressed up in fancy dresses and bow-ties and in the end we did the Oscar selfie. We got some good grades, some Facebook likes for the selfie, but we didnâ€™t win the Oscar in the end. Just like Leo. We didnâ€™t mind. We had lots of fun and laughs with this assignment. Probably much more than we would have had with the class participation survey. This just shows that even in this time-pressured MBA, one night of sleep can make a difference between just working off the assignments and having fun doing them.
P.S. In the end I did win an Oscar, but a couple of weeks later with another group in another assignment â€“ the MARGA simulation. It proudly stands next to my window for everyone to see. In your face, Leo!