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03/15/2012

Fun semester

This first half of my last semester here at Sloan has definitely been the most relaxed one so far. With the job hunt over and no TA (Teaching Assistant) duties I have been able to focus on enjoying the great courses I’m in under no significant time pressure. I want to tell you about three of them in this blog.

“Global Economic Challenges” is a very interesting course taught by Professor Kristine Forbes. The material is very timely looking at historical crisis all the way up to the Global Financial Crisis in 2008 and the currently on going Euro crisis. Iceland has gotten its fair share of (negative) attention, as well. We have had great visitors from the ECB and an economist from Ireland to give us a better insight and different perspective into the Euro crisis.

“Global Markets, National Policies and the Competitive Advantages of Firms” is both the course that has the longest name at Sloan and the course that has most positively surprised me this semester. It focuses on the challenges multinational companies face when participating in the economies of foreign countries and the intriguing social responsibility questions that arise around such operations. The cases in this course were fantastic, including DeBeers in Botswana, IKEA and child labor in India, NIKE and the accusations they faced and Starbucks and their interaction with CI and Fair Trade. I am already regretting that this was just a half semester course.

“The Analytics Edge” looks at different case studies on how DMD (Data, Models and Decisions – the most quantitative of our core courses) approaches have been used in industry to create an edge. We have covered Google’s search engine and AdWords, Revenue management, Moneyball (after you've gotten over how stunning Brad Pitt is in that movie, please realize the amount of analytics involved in Baseball!) and many more applications in this interesting course. The main downside to the course is that it is taught in a double session from 4pm to 7pm on Wednesday nights which has at times made it difficult to keep full focus.

I am looking forward to the latter half of the semester and I hope that the courses I’ll be adding will be equally as informative and fun as the ones I just described.