Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Internationalisation

This Internationalisation, Trade & Markets course is getting really busy, especially when doing it alongside my 4 other core courses, but it is still very interesting! It’s entirely coursework based which mean more work now, but no revision or exam later!

The course is split into 3 main sections. First and foremost is the thematic diary. This is a 3600-word research project based on a question that we conceive ourselves and must in some way be related to the course. It is itself split into 7 sections (introduction, 5 distinct segments, and a conclusion). I formed the question, ‘What have been the effects of China’s development model on Africa?’ We have to submit 1200 more words each Friday (called a ‘diary check’) to then leave the last week to make any changes necessary.

Secondly, we had to give a 20 minute formative presentation in the second week (again on a question of our own) to then improve it on feedback and present the final one in the third week. My team presented on ‘Brazil: What are the impacts of MNEs on the government, industries, labour market, and environment?’ and I covered the industries section, which included applying monopolistic and oligopolistic market theory to the mobile telecommunications industry in Brazil.


The other form of assessment is debates. In the second week, we formed debate groups (of 3 or 4) and in the third week (yesterday!) we had a debate. The two topics were:

(1) A sustainable approach to corporate practices is the only way to ensure international business development

(2) ‘The social responsibility of business is to increase its profits’ (Friedman, 1970); hence, it is global consumerism that will ensure international business development.

My team were allocated to argue the first one, and I was a proud team leader as I think we reasoned our theme and rebutted the opposing teams’ points brilliantly.

In related news, I cooked my first roast chicken last night for my flat mates, and it was delicious.

All of this extra work has made me contemplate my time management and how to increase my productivity levels while at home. It’s something that I have found useful. Maybe you will too!

Liam

Thursday, 5 February 2015

It’s Better to be Busy than Bored

Hello again, and welcome once more to my blog.

Things have been very busy since my last blog post in November. I attended the National University Trading Challenge with the Trading and Securities society which I help run at the University. I was leading a team of 6 people in the competition which was split into five sections: a 30-day portfolio challenge, Forex day-trading, short-term portfolio optimisation, and two case study presentations using options and swaps.


I was very proud of my team as we came third in the 30-day portfolio challenge and everyone put in sterling effort. Luckily, I won the individual Forex day-trading section, but could not have done it without the support of my team. Unfortunately, we did not make the podium at the end, but I think we all benefitted from the participation, made some great friends and had an awesome time!

I spent Christmas and New Year in Malaysia which was incredible, but it was a rather big shock coming back to the British winter! I have since started another trading competition, this time an internal one with the society which finished on the 25th February.

Since I am doing the BSc (Hons) Economics course, I have a choice of which 15 credit course to do. I chose Internationalisation, Trade and Markets, which started on Monday (2nd February). It is a properly intense course which is condensed into 1 month, as it is taught on a block teaching format like the International Business course. For IB students, they only have 2 other courses going on, but for us Economics students we have 4 more! It is a really interesting course but it is going to be an extremely busy month for us. Even though it is important to see it from the University’s point of view that they want to give us the best choice of courses, from the student point of view it is a huge workload which means for this month we will regularly finish the day at 7pm.

Meanwhile, I have started Greenwich Pluralism in Economics society, which has just been unanimously approved by the Societies Council. It is essentially an initiative to participate in a global campaign for the improvement of economics syllabuses and the way they are taught. Too often, Economics is taught in such a way that disconnects it from the real world, leading many graduates to feel like they haven’t been equipped with useful knowledge relating to the fundamental principle of economics: How to allocate scarce resources in a world of unlimited wants. The society will help to address this because one of the things we are campaigning for is making the syllabus and teaching of Economics more pluralist and giving students a more critical understanding of the history of thought behind economic theories, and I want to make sure that Greenwich is one of the Universities at the forefront of this accelerating global movement.

Till next time,

Liam