Friday, October 27, 2006


The Michigan Football road trips don't end after graduation

Saturday October 14, 2006
State College, Pennsylvania
Michigan 17 - Penn State 10

Here we are celebrating the big win amongst the second largest crowd ever in Beaver Stadium of 110,000+ fans. I still don't know why the Penn State athletic department decided to do a "White Out" in a game where their opponent was wearing white uniforms. Visually, it looked like everyone was on Michigan's side.

Tailgate start time 3pm; Game start time 8pm.

Michigan 17 - Penn State 10

Thursday, October 26, 2006



I don't know about you, but I loved working in teams for class projects while at U of M. I highly recommend learning as much as possible out of your teamwork experience because you will confront many team activities and projects in almost any given career path. Ultimately, it is such a relevant and valuable practice that we all encounter in our professional and personal lives. Get comfortable working with your peers now because you will be expected to work in teams often in your future careers and higher academic pursuits. Thinking back, the teamwork that I was involved with in my academic life has made me a better team player in my personal life, and vice versa.

Obviously, some professionals must work cohesively in teams more so than others. For example, marketing professionals are often faced with the task of coming up with campaigns that have mass appeal. Would you be confident in only one person's ideas to figure out how to promote and sell the new Sony PS3? It takes a diversity of ideas from many group members to come up with the best, and sometimes worst, proposals and concepts in the creation of marketing initiatives. In fact, the focus groups and surveys that we often participate in for company evaluations or product feedback are essentially a method of bringing the general public into the realm of a company or product's team. Think about how many teams you already are a part of without actually realizing it! Your Math 116 team and IM broomball team are some notable ones, but are you conscious of the fact that you are also part of a team of roommates, a team of Notre Dame haters, and/or a team of Dance Marathon moralers?

Generally speaking, the entire business world is split into teams that come together to form an overall company of products and services. Those teams can be further subdivided into even smaller team classifications. For example, my company could be viewed as one huge 360,000 member team - Citigroup, Inc. It could also be seen as a group of four major business teams: Global Consumer Group (GCG), Corporate and Investment Banking (CIB), Global Wealth Management (GWM), and Alternative Investments. Then, the CIB can be broken down further into divisional teams such as Investment Banking Division, Global Capital Markets, Finance, GTS, Operations & Technology, etc. And so on, and so on.

In my relatively short three-year work experience, I would have to say that my job is extremely team-based in principle, but not so much in interaction. In other words, I have my individual tasks every day, but as part of a multiple-product trading desk, I need the reports of my co-workers in order to produce the total FX-related P&L for the Emerging Markets Sales and Trading group. Why? Well, think of FX as the team and each FX product as a team member. Thus, in order to report consolidated daily FX P&L, I need the FX Options P&L, FX Swaps P&L, FX Spot & Forward P&L, FX Futures P&L, FX Securities P&L, and FX Interest Rate Options P&L. I am responsible for the FX Spot & Forward P&L, and ultimately the consolidated daily FX P&L. Without the inputs from my team members, I would only have one piece of the puzzle.

Well, that's all for now on the teamwork topic. I have some emails from readers keeping me busy still, so I need to attend to those. Hopefully, I can get some pictures up on here from a successful road trip to Penn State.

M Go Blue. Beat Northwestern

Monday, October 09, 2006


The Weekly Michigan Reunion (of sorts)

On Saturday afternoon, I returned to a familiar locale. It could be argued that Michigan football's New York home is Park Avenue Country Club, or PACC, (E. 27th Street @ Park Avenue). While this sports bar is certainly not a country club, and definitely not my favorite sports bar by any means, it is one of those places that feels like home away from day per week. I felt that the most comforting aspect of living in Ann Arbor was the community aspect of being around fellow Michigan students and supporters wherever I went, from the Section 29 Row 1 bleachers of Michigan Stadium to the back patio of Dominick's to the hills of the Arb and even within the cereal aisles of Meijer. PACC exudes a similarly comforting atmosphere as it is where as many as 400 Michigan alumni and fans unite every Saturday afternoon/evening to watch Michigan football games. Naturally, I will run into old friends and former classmates at PACC who have made their way to New York as well. It never ceases to amaze me how large your network can be just because you went to Michigan and you (hopefully) know other people who went to Michigan as well. Sure, I plan to go watch the game with x amount of friends on any given week, but the best part about going to any Michigan event in New York is the possibility, and probability, of running into people you did not expect to see. Here is a sampling of Michigan grads that I unexpectedly ran into at PACC, and how I knew them back at Michigan:

I will not claim that what I just wrote is coherent. But, I sort of wrote those descriptions of my encounters in the same language that I would speak about them as if you were standing right here next to me in order to emphasize the randomness of how I met some of my friends while at Michigan. Wouldn't you say that you have similar stories about meeting your Michigan friends?

Anyway, if you find yourself in New York during football season, drop by PACC and you might just find yourself reuniting with old friends and acquaintances that you walked through the fountain with at orientation or met at your first Detroit Project mass meeting. Heck, if you knew Amani Toomer, you might get lucky and see him at PACC watching his old team play.

Well, I am heading to State College, PA this weekend to see the Michigan-Penn State game in Beaver Stadium. I have no doubt that I will see some familiar faces at the game, and I will spend a lot of time figuring out how I met them while we were all students at U of M. Reunions are the know, like the Real World San Diego reunion.

M Go Blue. Beat Penn State.

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