Thursday, June 2, 2011

Second Period Classes

Business Performance Tools: This class was a lot less work the second half because all we had was one large group paper, but it was worth about 50% of our grade.  We had the same groups that he had the whole semester (Lisa and Aldo).  We had to choose a company and do many analysis (SWOT, Porters, Pestel, McKinsey), their strategy and create a balance score card. Our group choose to do Chuck E Cheese because its a company that pretty much only Americans and Canadians know and it was kind a fun company.  Our teacher really really liked our report and we got a 9 on it which is crazy high for this school.  So overall I got an A in this class. This class was kind of fun because the teacher was nice and I had a good group to work with.

Finance: I feel that we didn't really do much in this class the whole second half.  We started with a guest lecture from Lithuania.  We had a few group cases to work on.  The only thing I have left for this class is the final exam next week Monday which I really need to study for. Our grade in this class is based on the two exams and then our cases.  This class was really a struggle for me.

Event Management: We didn't have as much to do the second half as the first half because most of our planning for our event was already done.  We had a few more plans to do and finishing details of our event which was held on April 28th and was a big success.  For our grade, we had to create a group portfolio which had all our plans, evaluations, picture CD, promotional material and a few other things. We had to make two portfolios, one for each teacher, and each portfolio was probably about 150 pages.  Coline and I spent 4 hours putting them together.  We had a final feedback session with the tutors where they just asked us some more questions about our event to be able to give us an individual grade.  Our portfolio for completeness got a 9.5. We were missing one feedback email that we forgot to print off and they took a whole point off for missing one sheet out of 150 pages! They gave us half a point back for printing it out and giving it to them. We got an 8.5 on the quality of our portfolio which they said was the highest for our class.  I am just waiting on my individual grade but that should also be high so I will get an A in this class as well. I would say that this was my favorite class, even though the first half the semester it seemed very time consuming do all our plans but in the end it was worth it.

Business Ethics: This class was switched to 8:45am Friday mornings so it was really hard some days to get up and go to this class! I think this was the most pointless class that I took here. The teachers were really good at getting distracted during lectures so they would always get side tracked and then would only spend about the last 30 minutes of a three hour class talking about ethics.  The only thing we had to do this half was a large group paper comparing the ethical practices in two countries; we had Germany and Mexico.  My group was mostly the same from the first half; Bettina, Ainel and Remco (Dutch). We wont get our grades on this until next week; I'm not sure though how well we did.

European Integration: This class had the same layout as the first half.  The second half was focused on mergers and acquisitions in Europe. I was the most excited for this class; I think it has the potential to be a really good class but the teachers were really boring.  We had one multiple choice exam at the end of the period. It was only 30 questions, but out of them I was only confident in 9 of my answers, the rest were all guesses.  I was at every single class and took notes and still didn't not know where they got the questions for the exam. I managed though to do ok, I got a 7 and the highest grade in the class was 7.9 so I was fine with that.  Before the exam, one person in the class had created a Facebook group to help each other study.  I typed up all my notes and put them on there and I think a lot of people studied off of them because a lot of people didn't come to class.  One time they gave they gave the exact same lecture twice! He was starting to teach and I thought I had heard it before, but thought maybe it was in a different class.  I looked back through my notes and found where they had talked about it in this class and just followed along with my notes that I had taken a month before; every thing was the exact same, even all the examples they gave! We got new groups for the second group assignment. My group was Anna (the Netherlands), Mike (Canada) and Teo (Bulgaria). We were a good group and worked very effectively.  I think we only had about one group meeting; we just communicated through Facebook, we just broke the paper into parts, we each did our part and then sent it to Anna to put together. We had to do our paper on a recent merger/acquisition in Europe. We did ours on Heineken and Carlsberg acquiring Scottish and Newcastle. Then we had to give presentations in Brussels. (I will talk about the trip in my next blog).  I think I should get an ok grade in this class because on our first presentation we got an 8.5, then a 7 on my exam so now I just have to wait to see how we did on our last presentation.

I can't believe how fast everything went and that I am done with classes! (besides one exam).  Right now, it doesn't seem like I learned a lot, school wise this semester, though maybe after I get back to the States I will be able to realize more what I have learned.  It has been nice though working in very internationally diverse groups.  A lot of students here though complain a lot about how they do not like the school system here.   The teachers do not explain things very well as to what is expected.  I always like to know exactly what they are looking for to help ensure that I can get a good grade.  But maybe, they don't give as much instruction because then it is up to you to be more creative and really think about what is necessary for what they are asking. They are also not very good at giving feedback, sometimes.  Event management and BPT we got feedback but ethics, finance and EI we hardly got any feedback which was really difficult because then it is hard to improve for next time to know what you did wrong. Another thing that is really different is how open they are with grades.  In the US, you are never allowed to see other students grades.  Here, teachers just have a spreadsheet with the grades that they just post on our online sight.  In EI, the teachers just read our exam scores out loud in class. It is kind of nice to be able to see other peoples scores so that you can compare yourself with the rest of the class to see how you are doing but I don't really like other people seeing my scores.  The grading system is pretty different too.  They have a scale of 1-10 but they say ten is for god, nine is for the teacher and 8 is for the good students so you have to work really really hard to get an 8 and above so most of the times they just give out 7s.  Transferring back to Whitewater, 8-10 is an A, 6-7 is a B and then it goes down from there.

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