Thursday, April 14, 2011

Half Way

So I am officially half way through the semester. We just started our the first week of the second period. It is a little different how they have the semester laid out.  They do it a little more like high school, where they have one semester but within that semester there are two periods.  We have the same classes all semester, but in the second period some of the classes move around to be held at a different time and location.  I don't like that the class schedule has changed because now I have class at 8:45am-12:00 on Fridays, but no classes on Tuesdays.

Business Performance Tools:  This class is pretty easy but has a lot of busy work in it.  In the first period we had a group paper due almost every week.  I have a really good group for this class and we get along great.  The group consists of myself, Lisa (from Austria) and Aldo (from Spain).  I think that in the second period we don't have as many small assignments, but instead we have just one big group project (paper and presentation) due at the end of the semester.  The teacher is pretty nice and friendly.  He is kind of informal in that he always wears jeans to class and one day he even answered his cell phone in class!

Finance:  This class is going to kill me! This is my hardest class and causes me the most stress.  I need this class for back home because it is a upper division course required of all business majors.  I feel that this class goes pretty fast and our teacher does not explain things very well outside of definitions of things; but even having a definition doesn't mean I understand like why you use something or how to calculate the problems.  I think part of this is because most of the students in my class seem to have taken finance before, just not in English.  I have never taken a finance class before, so it is all new to me.  So far we had one group assignment and one exam.  My group is myself, Stefan (from Canada) and Stephanie (from Whitewater).  I think we do not make a good group because none of us really understands what is going on in this class! The exam was just last week and we are still waiting for our results.  This week we had to do a small group presentation on a case and I think ours went ok.  The second period is a lot like the first in that I think we have a group project and then another exam.

Business Ethics:  I think if I had to pick, this would be my favorite class.  This class is taught by two teachers which I really like.  Its nice because they work well together and provides good discussion, some of which is pretty funny!  In the first period we had 5 individual papers and one group paper.  My group is myself, Bettina (Austria), Ainel (Kazakhstan) and Luis (Mexico). In the second period I believe all we have is one group paper.

European Integration: I think this class is the most interesting.  It is a little of a mix of international law and marketing.  We had to do a group project and presentation on a business idea of a current product and how we can enter into another country to sell it.  Our group did waste incineration from the Netherlands into to Poland.  I had another great group of Hastomi (Indonesia, though he goes to school at HAN), Reza (Iran, though he goes to school at HAN), Bea (Slovakia), Conor (Ireland) and myself.  In the second period we get new groups and have another group project to do which we will present on our trip in Brussles.  Our class is traveling to Brussels May 30-31. We do not have to pay for travel or accommodation for this trip, only food which is nice. 

Event Management: In this class each group is assigned a client and has to create an event.  Our event is a fundraiser for a charity in Sri Lanka for a computer lab.  In my group is Petra (Solvakia), Coline (France), Stefan (Canada) and Mikel, Iker and Pablo (all from Spain).  I got really lucky in that all my groups are great!  Our event is a Nerd Party with a slogan of Be Nerd, Be Sexy!  Our event will be held at the Plaza, which is a popular bar in the city center and we will have a raffle, photo booth, and a best dressed nerd contest.  Our event is fast approaching, as we are hosting it on Thursday, April 28th. This class has been a lot of work as in the first period we had a guest lecturer each week in which we had to do a different plan for such as a brand plan, PR plan, sponsor plan, finance plan and more!  Hopefully our event is good because our whole grade in this class is based off of our group portfolio and peer evaluation.

I have to say that I actually don't really like most of my classes and have not learned that much school wise here.  If I have learned anything though, it is how to work in very diverse, internal teams which has been really fun getting to know people and learn a little about their culture.  I cannot believe how fast the semester has gone already; I cannot believe that I am already half way through!!

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