Monday, April 23, 2007

Summer term courses

Summer term is busier than expected but I love all the courses so far, which is great. Going surfing over spring break might have energized me, but I also think the content and professors this term are better than last term, so I'm thrilled. Courses so far:

Marketing Strategy: this is a simulation game, Markstrat, that we are playing over several weeks. My study group is Firm E and we need to make decisions on product launches, R&D, advertising campaigns etc. over 5 periods or so. I like dynamic simulation games and am putting in more time than I should.

Management Accounting: this is a subject I thought would be quite boring, but it turns out it may be one of the more useful subjects they teach at business school. It goes under the header of cost accounting, which doesn't sounds fascinating at first, but it turns out it is essential if you ever have your own business - how do you allocate costs to your products? I do not only think that it will be useful to me at some point in the future when I have my own business - I also wish I had learnt about this before working as a consultant, I remember several instances where this could have been useful.

Managing Organisational Behaviour Company Audit: I had written earlier I didn't enjoy the class itself last term, though for the final exam I finally did the reading and loved the book, Reframing Organizations. So I did get a lot out of the course via the book in the end (perhaps I should have done the readings right away!). Over the last 4 days I went to Spain with my study group to do an "organizational audit" of a medium sized family business. We interviewed the president and all of the senior management on their motivation, relationships among the management, frictions etc., it was very exciting, time passed very quickly and we learnt a lot.

Macroeconomics: I only attended the introductory class and it appears to be quite something. Our professor is a hardcore liberal economist French guy, which is a spectacular and unusual combination. The readings seem to be interesting (so far I enjoyed Paul Krugman's The Myth of the Asian Miracle), and now I just need to get over our Operations field trip next weekend till I can actually sit down and focus a bit more on Economics, since this was my goal at the beginning of the term.

Operations: so far nothing spectacular, we have started a factory simulation game outside of the classroom but I haven't been much involved yet since I was in Spain over the last week - luckily I have a good team that is running the game at the moment. Other than that, I look forward to our visit to the Porsche and BMW factories next week. To be honest, I have never liked Operations too much and simply will never like technical engineery stuff, I am trying to find it interesting but it seems to be against my nature. I promise to try hard to learn something useful though!

Finance 2: this will be tough. Our professor is a Russian mathematician specializing in interest rate derivatives, which tells you all you need to know. Right now we are reviewing capital structure though, which isn't one of my favourites - even though I know I have to learn it - but I can't wait till we move on to derivatives. Not that it will be easy, but I definitely need it for my internships, so I will work hard for this course.

So you may see, things are busy and there is more than enough to do. Especially since I enjoy the classes I do more than last term. I was going to study Russian on the side and also work on my financial modelling skills, but so far it doesn't look like this is going to happen any time soon! But the important thing is that I'm enjoying the academics again, which was important to me.


Iday said...

Unrelated comment!

Many congratulations on the BoB award :)

Special congrats for the iPod ;)

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