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Insead September 2014 Intake- Calling all applicants

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Re: Insead September 2014 Intake- Calling all applicants [#permalink] New post 20 May 2014, 07:55
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Got a call in Europe (Germany), good luck to all of you!
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Re: Insead September 2014 Intake- Calling all applicants [#permalink] New post 20 May 2014, 11:15
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Received the call this morning as well - 8am Pacific US time - The lady did not tell me which campus (can't believe I didn't ask) I was just in shock since I really didn't expect the call. She also told me that emails would go out tomorrow morning. She said today was the first day they were letting people know of the admissions decisions.
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Re: Insead September 2014 Intake- Calling all applicants [#permalink] New post 20 May 2014, 11:19
Hi guys!

Have a missed call with the prefix 0033 ... I don't know that to think :s
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How taking the road less travelled made all the difference – [#permalink] New post 20 May 2014, 23:00
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FROM Insead Admissions Blog: How taking the road less travelled made all the difference – the consultant with a twist at INSEAD
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INSEAD Blog Series on Diversity


At INSEAD, we put diversity at the heart. As most of us already have come to know, the 14J class is an extraordinary mix of vibrant, inspirational and exceptional people.

This is the seventh article in a blog series, that aims to capture some of the diversity that exists in abundance at INSEAD. It will profile some of our most distinctive class members, asking them to share their unique stories about life, moments of joy, but most importantly about their hopes and dreams.

So, the next one out in our profile series is…..

Jorge Fernandez Vidal 
Nationality: Spanish

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quickies
1. If you would describe yourself in four words, what would those be? I love to learn

2. Which song is currently playing on your iPod? “Entre dos aguas” from Paco de Lucia

3. How many mock interviews have you done to help prepare your classmates for consulting? I counted a few days ago and I had done more than 100 at the time…

4. If you were the CEO of any company, which one would you choose? Probably an agricultural company, like Cargill

5. Where would you take a girl on a first date? If it was up to me, I would take her for an ice-cream (my true passion in life!), but I would probably settle for a decent restaurant

__________________________________________________________________________________

….so, Jorge, what are you doing at INSEAD?
1. Your background is quite different from most of the INSEAD 14Js. Tell us how your professional career to date has led you to business school 
I grew up as the second oldest of ten siblings in the town of Coruña, Spain. I had a very happy and loving upbringing but living together with 12 people under one roof requires a balancing act of give and take. Being part of such a large family taught me from a young age to be independent and solve my own problems, but also the importance of collaboration and support for one another.

I had always had a big hunger to learn and a curiosity for new things, so already in high school I founded my first commercial venture; buying and selling coins online. It was a random decision to go into such a niche business, but I guess it was just a good opportunity and I was in the right place at the right time. This has been a common thread throughout my professional career and led me down many different paths in life, all of which have significantly shaped who I am today. So I dove into the curious world of numismatics, and over time I developed a certain expertise, a loyal customer base all over the world and a pretty decent reputation.

During university, I wanted to continue with my business, and realized quickly that if I wanted to drive demand, I had to create my own market. As such, I saw an untapped customer segment in Africa. I now design and produce coins for different tribes in about nine African countries, as well as tribes in Asia and pseudo-states in Europe and America. I have even started producing official coins for a number of “actual countries” in Africa and the Pacific.

 

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From the collection – coins for the African Brifo tribe

During my time in Africa, I was struck by the all-surrounding poverty, and how where you happen to be born really determines what opportunities you have in life. As so many other people, I felt compelled to do something. Solely relying on the proceeds of my business, I co-founded an NGO to help local communities improve their livelihoods through access to clinics, schools and resources for farming.

Some of the initiatives I started had a great positive impact, but from my own experience I must admit that making change sustainable is indeed the greatest challenge for Africa.

One of my most successful initiatives was the creation of a micro-financing institution, which today provides loans to rural farmers in 11 rural communities and an urban township. I guess that the reason why this programme worked was because as an organization, we invested the time to sit down with and listen to our customers. They help us design the loan terms and we invested significant time in tailoring the products to meet their needs. Many organizations come to Africa with a pre-determined solution and don’t take into account the dynamics of the local context. Even with the best of intentions, they sometimes fail. I learnt this lesson early on (the hard way, I must say) and this has really helped me make some important decisions in my business and my career.

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Ghanaian beneficiaries

2. Back in 2008, you are in your early twenties, already running a number of businesses, just graduating from university. With the world at your feet, what happened next? 

In 2008 I left Cork, Ireland (where I went to University) with a diploma in hand and a profound love for Africa. I knew I wanted somehow to come back to Africa and do something big, although I had no idea of what (and still I don’t today….). But I knew for sure that before this, I really needed to build up my skill-set, learn as much as I could about business and about the world and surround myself with brilliant people from whom I could learn a lot. I wrote down the things I wanted to learn about and for a reason that I cannot explain, accounting and finance came on top of my list! So I joined Deloitte & Touche in Ireland, where I worked as a financial consultant for a while. From there, I moved to the African department at the European Investment Bank (EIB) in Luxembourg where I had a chance to work in Africa and learnt about investments in developing countries. I was lucky to have a gracious manager who gave me way too much responsibility on high-exposure projects across a range of sectors and countries.

I really enjoyed my time there, but for personal and professional reasons (one of which was my desire to pursue an MBA) I decided to change jobs again after a bit less than two years at the EIB. I went back home after a few years abroad and joined McKinsey & Company in Madrid, where I met amazing people, learned a lot and worked in very challenging and interesting projects in Africa, Europe and South America. Luckily, McKinsey is sponsoring me during the MBA and I will return to the Firm post-MBA, although I am changing offices and I am moving to Chicago!

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Embracing diversity at INSEAD

3. At INSEAD, you are a consultant with a “twist”. Having worked both at grassroots of the developing world and in boardrooms, how do you adapt to these different environments?

I think the key is not to distinguish between the different parts of oneself. I am always Jorge; therefore I don’t have a problem with new environments.

At INSEAD it is easy to get pigeonholed into a box. Consultant, European, male, whatever it might be. Many people refer to me as a “McKinsey consultant”; but to me, it doesn’t define my identity. I see myself as a combination of all the things I enjoy, stand up for and do.

If I would have to try and be different versions of me depending on the context I would probably go crazy. While some crazy people have a very interesting and fulfilling life, I am not yet up for the challenge…

I know I have an unusual background in many ways and perhaps I don’t fit the standard pattern of a “McKinsey consultant”. And I am very happy that way. I think I am very genuine in all the things I do and looking at the evidence so far, it hasn’t worked out that badly for me.

4. Embracing disruption, change and challenge takes courage and belief in one’s self. How did you find your guiding inner compass to know what opportunities to jump on and which to let pass?

It sounds very simple, but I think I was born with it. Call it intuition. Call it confidence- maybe overconfidence. Also, my parents strongly encouraged me to believe in myself. I think they believe in me too….if not they are very good at pretending.

Also, I was very lucky to be surrounded by people who believed in me at different points in my life, and did not hesitate to tell me so, even though it was sometimes not expected from them. Those unanticipated moments of encouragement from people I truly respect have given me the confidence to believe that things, no matter of how chaotic your life might look like from the outset, will always work out. 

5. You seem to have taken quite an opportunistic approach to your career, letting your curiosity and interests guide you. A common piece of career advice is that we need strategic goals to manage a successful career, what is your view?  

I personally gave up planning years ago. Like Steve Jobs said in his speech to some Stanford graduates a few years back, you can’t connect the dots looking forward, only looking backwards.

If someone told me ten years ago that I would sit here today at INSEAD and that I will move to the US in a few months to work in a place like McKinsey, I would have shaken my head in disbelief.

I think if I have to re-live my life again, I would probably end up somewhere completely different. I think that luck plays a bigger role in our lives than we care to admit.  I don’t fool myself and I just keep hoping that luck will keep smiling at me. I embrace randomness, stay open-minded and take advantage of what life brings me, big or small. And I make sure I am ready to take advantage of those opportunities and that I work extremely hard to succeed.

I don’t have much of an idea of where I will be in five years from now, but I am perfectly happy with that. The idea of the unknown excites me; in the unknown is where you find opportunity.

 

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Always keep travelling – a way to keep learning and be inspired

6. P4 is coming to an end, in less than three months we graduate from INSEAD. How will you know at graduation that you have made the most of this year?

The ultimate objective of an MBA is to learn (please don’t quote this out of context!). Contrary to what many people expect, it is less about gaining technical skills and more about learning about life. Hearing the stories of my amazing classmates, of their experiences, fears and dreams gives you a completely different outlook on life. This environment is something truly unique and almost impossible to replicate.

For me, it is all about connecting with people and learning as much as I can from those that surround me here. There’re always things to learn at INSEAD. I guess I just simply want to make sure that I make an effort to take advantage of this amazing opportunity. I want to leave the school as a better person, a wiser citizen and a better-equipped professional.

I am still trying.

7. You come across as a very composed and calm person, and your life stories speak of happiness. On the contrary, what makes you scared in life?

Life to me is like juggling balls. To be happy, you have to understand which balls are made of rubber and will bounce back in case you drop them, and which balls are made of crystal. If those balls slide from your fingers they will break into a thousand pieces.

Things like power, influence, money and career are made of rubber and can always bounce back, even if it requires effort. So far, the only crystal balls I have identified are my family and a handful of friends, so I try to take care of them.

I am scared of failing to identify other crystal balls until it is too late. I try to stay present and live in the moment, but sometimes the busyness of day-to-day life blindfolds us from seeing what is truly important. And I am even more scared of letting any of these crystal balls fall.

8. Having lived in Africa, how has it shaped you and our outlook on life?

Africa has influenced me in ways that I will never be able to describe. The continent has the power to impact me more than I would ever admit.

You either love or hate Africa, it’s impossible to not be affected. I fell head over heels in love with every aspect of it. Nowhere else have I met so many day-to-day heroes. People have taught me life lessons in 30 seconds that I will never forget, without them knowing about it.

I have for sure met the happiest people in Africa. The ability of many Africans to laugh and smile despite their many hardships is both beautiful and humbling. The degree of pureness and humanity that exists in Africa is both comforting and inspiring.

The most powerful message I got from living in Africa is that I now fundamentally believe that I can do- or try to do- everything I want, and in the end, regardless of the outcome, I will be fine. Even the most extreme failure would still leave me in a position much better off than most of the people I met will ever reach. And when you are aware of this, you can allow yourself to try a lot of things and take a lot of risks!

A memory of a brief encounter with a girl in Ghana will forever stay with me. Walking to the market one day, I met a young girl (perhaps 15 or 16 years old) carrying a big bucket of charcoal on her head. She stopped to rest and I walked up to her. Curious as I always am, I asked if I could try to carry her bucket. I was a very fit guy at the time, but to my embarrassment, I struggled to lift the bucket from the ground and could barely walk for a few meters. The girl told me that she walked for five kilometers back and forth to the market twice every day. I remember thinking to myself: “If this girl can do this, I can really do anything I want. Everything is possible.”. That’s Africa for me.

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In the center of the energy and generosity of Ghanaian lifestyle

Thank you for reading this blog post!
Get in touch with Jorge – jorge.fernandez-vidal@insead.edu

Provide feedback - louise.ronnerdahl@insead.edu

 
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Re: Insead September 2014 Intake- Calling all applicants [#permalink] New post 21 May 2014, 00:44
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I got a call today around 9:15 am GMT+1 (London, UK) and I will start in the Fontainebleau campus.

Good luck to all of you still waiting for the call!
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Re: Insead September 2014 Intake- Calling all applicants [#permalink] New post 21 May 2014, 00:46
I got a call today at about 4pm (GMT+8) from INSEAD - will start in Singy!! So excited!
Good luck to those that are still waiting - the good news is on your way!
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Re: Insead September 2014 Intake- Calling all applicants [#permalink] New post 21 May 2014, 06:45
When is the payment deadline for those who've been admitted in Round 3?
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Re: Insead September 2014 Intake- Calling all applicants [#permalink] New post 21 May 2014, 07:36
greatps24 wrote:
When is the payment deadline for those who've been admitted in Round 3?


23 June according to the email I received from Adcom.
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Re: Insead September 2014 Intake- Calling all applicants [#permalink] New post 21 May 2014, 08:06
Can someone post the current student count at MBA Connect, also the Indian Count :-D
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Re: Insead September 2014 Intake- Calling all applicants [#permalink] New post 21 May 2014, 09:27
vikasbarca wrote:
Can someone post the current student count at MBA Connect, also the Indian Count :-D


We are currently at 422 with 58 Indians
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Re: Insead September 2014 Intake- Calling all applicants [#permalink] New post 21 May 2014, 21:05
rajiv1984 wrote:
vikasbarca wrote:
Can someone post the current student count at MBA Connect, also the Indian Count :-D


We are currently at 422 with 58 Indians


Thanx a lot for the update!!!
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Alice and the INSEAD experience [#permalink] New post 22 May 2014, 03:00
FROM Insead Admissions Blog: Alice and the INSEAD experience
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“But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked.

“Oh, you can’t help that,” said the Cat: “we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”

“How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice.

“You must be,” said the Cat, or you wouldn’t have come here.”

― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

The first thing about an INSEAD MBA is that we are all mad. By that I mean we are all here for a reason. In the beginning of P3 there is a career workshop that focuses on telling your story. Translating your résumé from bullet form in to anecdotal stories. More than the career advice, the takeaway is that we all have a story. Every person you meet, from every continent and country, has a story. The more you get to know their stories, to more you will get to know your own.

We make decisions every day. Trivial decisions like coffee or orange juice? Croissant or doughnut? Lunch or brunch? To go to not to go? From time to time, we make decisions that alter the course of our lives. What we don’t get a chance to do often is to reflect on those decisions. To play the time travel game and choose one of those “fixed points” in our timeline and revisit the decision. To explore what life would have been if you chose a different college, a different job, a different relationship. Meeting people that are so much like you, and yet so very different, is like revisiting those fundamental experience blocks that build you as a whole. What if I was born in Brazil instead of India? What if I had decided to take a year off and backpack across Europe? What if I had decided to study a lot more and get in to the best college in my country? What if I had decided on a career in Banking instead of Engineering? The answer to all these questions, and more, are in the experiences of your fellow classmates.

However, INSEAD is more than just chatting with your fellow classmates and enjoying coffee & croissants. It is about choices. You have chosen to invest a lot of money, and possibly a lot more in time – both personal and professional time – to come to INSEAD. While the decisions that got you here may be different, unlike a more conventional institution, your experience here may also be completely different from those of your classmates. INSEAD is all about choices. Since I’m paying for this 8:30 am class, should I go? Should I join another sports club or a career club? Should I travel this weekend or prep for my course? Do I want to make friends or acquaintances? Should I try to learn more about my friends or just leverage their professional networks? Should I go to Singy or not? To Wharton? Each of these choices shape your INSEAD experience into something unique. Your combination of classes, friends, clubs, campuses, accommodation, travel groups and places combine to make for an absolutely unique experience.

In the end, the choice is about what you want from the year. It may not be the same as what brought you here. But whatever you choose, there is one thing you can always count on. It is going to be EPIC.

Work hard, play hard.
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Re: Insead September 2014 Intake- Calling all applicants [#permalink] New post 22 May 2014, 05:47
hi all! just got a call and ill be starting in Singapore! it has been a horrible week, I haven't been able to do anything but wait but when that +33 number showed up, it was pure joy

Im an Australian (Indian ethnicity), residing in Bangkok
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Re: Insead September 2014 Intake- Calling all applicants [#permalink] New post 22 May 2014, 09:00
Those who got accepted from R3, did you recieve your mba connect email ?
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Re: Insead September 2014 Intake- Calling all applicants [#permalink] New post 23 May 2014, 08:12
count is up to 453
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Re: Insead September 2014 Intake- Calling all applicants [#permalink] New post 24 May 2014, 23:32
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Guys I got a call on 21 May too and I'm in!!! Singapore campus. Just cannot make up my mind. On the waitlist in Tepper and Cornell, and got a 75% scholarship at Weatherhead. The Weatherhead gives me an intro the US job market, a great scholarship, a good part time job, etc. On the other hand INSEAD is INSEAD! The great alumni network and everything. I just cannot figure out if the long term benefits of INSEAD are going to overshadow the short term benefits of Weatherthead. After all, as one of the consultants put it to me, I could top the course at Weatherhead, get a good job at a top consultancy firm, build a great network there as well which would serve me almost as well as the network that INSEAD provides. Anyone care to clear up the confusion for me? I am a retired officer of the armed forces, a successful entrepreneur, an Indian.
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Re: Insead September 2014 Intake- Calling all applicants [#permalink] New post 25 May 2014, 01:46
Wow. ..congrats to you...75% is too much and INSEAD is too good. ..can't you get both by getting in Weatherhead and come to INSEAD in exchange program..and with the saved money you can also can invest to go for exchange program to top US programs also. Another important thing to consider is geography you want to work post MBA. INSEAD will give you opportunity to work in Asia...

viperomni wrote:
Guys I got a call on 21 May too and I'm in!!! Singapore campus. Just cannot make up my mind. On the waitlist in Tepper and Cornell, and got a 75% scholarship at Weatherhead. The Weatherhead gives me an intro the US job market, a great scholarship, a good part time job, etc. On the other hand INSEAD is INSEAD! The great alumni network and everything. I just cannot figure out if the long term benefits of INSEAD are going to overshadow the short term benefits of Weatherthead. After all, as one of the consultants put it to me, I could top the course at Weatherhead, get a good job at a top consultancy firm, build a great network there as well which would serve me almost as well as the network that INSEAD provides. Anyone care to clear up the confusion for me? I am a retired officer of the armed forces, a successful entrepreneur, an Indian.


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Re: Insead September 2014 Intake- Calling all applicants [#permalink] New post 25 May 2014, 02:01
Thanks for the reply. This my profile. Care to offer any detailed suggestions? I do not think that you can get to INSEAD from Weatherhead on an exchange program.

I am an Indian, retired armed forces officer, successful entrepreneur with a couple of hotels of my own. I am 28 years old, with a GMAT of 750, GPA of 3.4. I am on the waitlist of Cornell and Tepper and have been selected for INSEAD Singapore campus and Weatherhead, at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio. INSEAD will probably not offer any scholarship but I will receive financing from Prodigy Finance at very minimal rates without any collateral. On the other hand Weatherhead offers me a 75% scholarship, a part time job and rather low living expenses. Consequently, Weatherhead will turn out to be the cheaper investment as I will probably be able to complete my education quite within my means without accruing any debt. On the other hand, INSEAD will mean that I will spend most of the first two years of my career post MBA paying off the loan that I will incur for the education. However, the long term benefits of studying at INSEAD might outweigh the short term advantages of studying at Weatherhead. The name recognition that INSEAD enjoys, the high respect factor, potential assistance from the alumni network and the advantage of being branded with INSEAD during promotions. On the other hand I might top Weatherhead, get a job at a top consulting firm and develop a similar network and let my work speak for itself. In any case my plans for the future are that i would only like to work for a consulting firm for five years, gain experience and start off my own venture. In such case, would the INSEAD name matter as much?
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Re: Insead September 2014 Intake- Calling all applicants [#permalink] New post 25 May 2014, 03:07
If your main aim is to get into consulting, then check the list of recruiters in Weatherhead. If you can find that top consulting companies do hire from
Weatherhead, than you are right when you say "I might top Weatherhead, get a job at a top consulting firm and develop a similar network and let my work speak for itself. " Note: Most of the top consulting firms are US based. So, post MBA if you are in US, you have more chances to work/ interact with Their head quater staff...I.e. Key decision makers. This in long run can have major impact on opportunities you get and your career growth.

With INSEAD MBA, most likely you will work in regional office of top consulting firms

viperomni wrote:
Thanks for the reply. This my profile. Care to offer any detailed suggestions? I do not think that you can get to INSEAD from Weatherhead on an exchange program.

I am an Indian, retired armed forces officer, successful entrepreneur with a couple of hotels of my own. I am 28 years old, with a GMAT of 750, GPA of 3.4. I am on the waitlist of Cornell and Tepper and have been selected for INSEAD Singapore campus and Weatherhead, at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio. INSEAD will probably not offer any scholarship but I will receive financing from Prodigy Finance at very minimal rates without any collateral. On the other hand Weatherhead offers me a 75% scholarship, a part time job and rather low living expenses. Consequently, Weatherhead will turn out to be the cheaper investment as I will probably be able to complete my education quite within my means without accruing any debt. On the other hand, INSEAD will mean that I will spend most of the first two years of my career post MBA paying off the loan that I will incur for the education. However, the long term benefits of studying at INSEAD might outweigh the short term advantages of studying at Weatherhead. The name recognition that INSEAD enjoys, the high respect factor, potential assistance from the alumni network and the advantage of being branded with INSEAD during promotions. On the other hand I might top Weatherhead, get a job at a top consulting firm and develop a similar network and let my work speak for itself. In any case my plans for the future are that i would only like to work for a consulting firm for five years, gain experience and start off my own venture. In such case, would the INSEAD name matter as much?


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Re: Insead September 2014 Intake- Calling all applicants [#permalink] New post 25 May 2014, 20:45
Hi guys!

Hope you all are doing well :).

I applied to 3 one-year MBA programs and got accepted to all of them (INSEAD, Kellogg and ESADE) :D. I will take the decision this week, but was wondering if creating an account at MBA connect is like accepting INSEAD offer - any hints would be deeply appreciated :)

Thanks!

Javier
Re: Insead September 2014 Intake- Calling all applicants   [#permalink] 25 May 2014, 20:45
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