Archive for May, 2010

One afternoon in Presentation Land

Yesterday, I ‘just’ wanted to import a Powerpoint presentation into OpenOffice Impress and create a rather simplistic presentation.

Phew, what an experience… It started off pretty well. After importing, the slides didn’t look too messy, so I wanted to adjust the Slide Master, for some better alignment and a few issues of personal taste. To cut a long story short: I gave up after roughly an hour. I just couldn’t convince Impress to change the styles of the different outline levels the way I liked them to be (really simple things like bullets, indents, …). As soon as I changed for instance outline level 2, level 1 got messed up again, and vice versa.

At this point I’d like to stress that, despite being an ex-Sunnie now, I’m still rather fond of OpenOffice, and I use Writer and Calc on a regular basis, e.g. for my study assignments.

However, yesterday afternoon I decided that I had enough with Impress and needed a copy of PowerPoint! A quick check at Amazon.de revealed prices for MS Office on Mac of 300-700 EUR. Dude! (Although I do officially have student status now, the license still doesn’t allow any commercial use, so the ‘cheap’ 89 EUR license is not an option for me). Maybe I’m still a bit anti-Microsoft at heart. But anyway, that made things look different again.

Luckily, Apple offers a free 30 day trial-version of Keynote, so that’s what I tried next. Hurray! Works like a breeze. At first sight it looks far less sophisticated than PowerPoint, but you can do a lot to make your slides look professional / fancy / wahtever you like. Great drawing capabilities, transitions, object embedding, etc. PowerPoint file import worked well. Managed to adjust slide masters. Exported to PPT and PDF and it’s looking really good.

So I’ll probably buy a family license of iWork for just 99 EUR, which has Keynote plus Numbers and more stuff in it, and I hope I’ll get by with that. Maybe I’ll have another look once the new MS Office is out for Mac, but prices would need to look really different.

Any similar experiences on your end??

May 11, 2010 at 07:46 1 comment

Back to business school!

On May 1, my next course at the Open University Business School (OUBS) started officially. It is called ‘B821 – Financial Strategy’ and is one of the ‘electives’ of stage 2 of the studies towards the MBA degree. I am about half way through my MBA program now, with two 6-months electives (one of which is B821) and a one-year closing project (‘MAD – Making a Difference’) left. Phew.

The OUBS Masters program is 90% distance-based learning, with excellent course materials, online collaboration and the support of local tutor groups. It looks like there aren’t enough students in Hamburg, so I’ll have to travel to Frankfurt for my tutorials. Well, it will probably be worth the ride.

The good news this time: I am through more than half of the course materials already, as I had the opportunity to start studying early. I hope this will give me the needed flexibility as I’ll soon have to combine work, studies and my family.

So far, the course is really interesting and a bit easier to digest than I thought. The maths in there are pretty straightforward. The bigger issue is putting the right numbers into the formulas and then making sense of it afterwards.

I am currently working on my first assignment which is about Ryanair, and deals with financial ratio analysis and forecasting based on their 2009 Annual Report. It is really interesting to dig into Ryanair’s business model and numbers, and put this into perspective with the current business climate and the situation in the airline industry.

I’ll keep you posted…

May 3, 2010 at 09:35 Leave a comment


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