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September 2, 2013

Weekly Highlights

First week back and I am finding myself being more excited than I thought I’d really be. Last post, I shared my sentiments towards beginning the first finance undergraduate club at Clark. But, I forgot to mention my joy in re-joining the Clark Model United Nations (MUN) Team (ranked in the top 20 in the US) and being back in Mass. Therefore, in this post, I’ll talk a bit more of my primary extra-curricular commitments and what it means to live in Massachusetts.

Model UN – What can you expect

Headed by Yohan Senerath and Patrick Burchat (multiple award winners at the Harvard National Model United Nations Conference, Yale Security Council and many others), one might ask how can we possibly go wrong this year? In the first meeting itself, they bluntly described what it takes to part of the Clark MUN team and the secret to being the most successful team (in terms of awards) at Clark: impeccable courage and unyielding effort. As a team that hopes to enter the top 10 this year, the policy uptake by the head delegates is simple and is as follows: the best available team will be sent to each conference. But, those inexperienced at MUN should not worry about this decision. As I have personally experienced in the past, newcomers will receive multiple opportunities to show their might and hard-work. Knowing the head delegates personally, I am certain that they will scope those of you who really want to make it!

As much as I’d like to sugar-coat what MUN conferences are actually like, I won’t. Truth is they are intimidating…especially when other delegates are there to backstab you, steal your work and possibly even send a virus to your computer via e-mail or USB.  Below I have provided one of the 48 laws of power, deduced by Robert Greene, which I believe really determines a true winner at a MUN conference: (please note that I do not advocate such qualities in your day-to-day world :)


• Transgression of the Law.

The Marquis de Sevigne was young and inexperienced in the art of love. He confided in the infamous courtesan of seventeenth-century France, Ninon de Lenclos, to instruct him on how to seduce a difficult young countess. She made him follow a plan over a number of weeks, where the Marquis would be appearing in public always surrounded by beautiful women, in the very places the countess would be expected to see him. He was supposed to assume an air of nonchalance. This increased the jealousy of the young countess, who was not sure of his interest in her. One day the Marquis, unable to control his passion, broke from Ninon’s plan, and blurted out to the countess that he loved her. After this admission, the countess no longer found him interesting and avoided him.

• Observance of the Law

Otto von Bismarck was a deputy in the Prussian parliament at a time when many fellow deputies thought it was possible to go to war against Austria and defeat it. Bismarck knew the Prussian army was not prepared, so he devised a clever way to keep the war at bay. He publicly stated his praises for the Austrians and talked about the madness of war. Many deputies changed their votes. Had Bismarck announced his real intentions, arguing it was better to wait now and fight later, he would not have won. Most Prussians wanted to go to war at that moment and mistakenly believed their army to be superior to the Austrians. Had he gone to the king his sincerity would have been doubted. By giving misleading statements about wanting peace and concealing his true purpose, Bismarck’s speech catapulted him to the position of prime minister. He later led the country to war against the Austrians at the right time, when he felt the Prussian army was more capable.

Wisdom in a nutshell:

• Use decoyed objects of desire and red herrings to throw people off scent.

• Use smoke screens (a poker face) to disguise your actions.

• False sincerity is one powerful tool that will send your rivals on a wild goose chase.

• Publicly declare your false intentions to give misleading signals.

• A noble gesture can be a smoke screen to hide your true intentions.

• Blend in and people will be less suspicious.”


Clark Investments and Trading Society Progress

Last Friday, my co-partner, Ye Jung, and I decided to use the Student’s Activities Fair as a forum to attract like-minded people to the club. More than 50 people, which is far more than what I expected, showed interest by providing us their names and e-mails. If it is due to Ye Jung’s beautiful poster work or students really interested in learning about finance, I am not sure. But, I can assure you all one thing: I am fully dedicated to making the first finance undergraduate club at Clark a spectacular one.


Boston for the day

As always if you need a break from Worcester, Boston is always a good getaway. Today I reunited with one of my old friends from Sri Lanka after two years of being continents apart. After finding a free day from her schedule at Mount Holyoke, she decided to pop me a visit and drag me to the Beantown! With less than one-hour driving distance, Boston is always worth the travel. May it be dining in its multiple restaurants, sightseeing or exploring its multiple university campuses, there is always something to do in Boston.

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