Friday, September 09, 2005

Term 1 courses

Long time, no see you say? I know what you guys must be thinking. Shivesh had a sorta busy week. Yeah, it was a pretty happening week. Before I get into some of the interesting stuff that this week brought, let me introduce you to some of the subjects I have been studying here.

I have 4 courses this term, Managerial Economics (Micro/Econ), Managerial Effectiveness (ME), Statistics & Probability (Stats) and Computer Skills (Excel). A term at Fuqua lasts 6 weeks. We have to learn these subject in quite some depth and we have 6 weeks for that. 6 weeks is a month and a half. At the end of 6 weeks, we have the term examinations, which account for quite a significant portion of our grades. But guess what, there are the mid-terms! Yup! You got it, 3 weeks into the start of a term. That's 3 weeks and no more. And you know what? We have 2 classes per week for each subject, 2 hours each. So imagine this: You have 6 classes and then an exam to tackle! Pretty interesting hahn! 2 classes a week means classes packed with all the information that you care about.

For every class, a student is supposed to do a certain set of things as preparation. For example, ME usually requires one to read a couple of articles and a case study about a company. You are then supposed to go to the class and discuss it amongst yourselves. The Prof. of course gives a whole lot of framework for the discussion and also moderates the discussion. It usually works out pretty well and gets quite interesting! You sit and discuss what incentive structure is useful given a company structure, culture, values etc. or what structure fits a company's needs in the emerging gobal world and so on. I find it the most interesting class. I surmise many other do, but I am sure there are some students out there who just can't figure out what's goin' on!

I am saying this because that is the case with me in Probability. I am supposed to have a science background, very quantitative, analytical and what have you, but I am in the bottom 20-odd percent in the class. Now you say how I know that? Suffice it to say right now that I know that for a fact; I will explain shortly. So yes, the classes are less, but the preparation is usually huge. If you are not prepared, you are lost in the class. At the end of a class, assignments are given out, sometimes team assignment and sometimes individual. There are problem sets to work out for your practice and if you don't work them out soon after, things pile up rather quickly. With the do-nothing weekends, it's unmanageable! :-)

OK you must be thinking an exam in 3 weeks is baddd! There is more. You have the quizzes in addition to the exams and I had two quizzes this week, one in Stats and one in Econ. Quizzes are these short, half-hour tests at the beginning of a class (once in a few classes) that count toward the overall grade. We got the results of the Stats quiz also today and as it happens, I got 9 marks out of 20 in that! The class average is some 13.5 with a std. deviation of 4.5 or thereabouts. And from the little statistics that I know now, in a normal distribution, 68% of the population lies within one std. deviation from mean. So I am one of the outliers, and in the bottom 15-20 percent. (Boy have I picked up stuff!! I am moving quickly towards charts and tables!)

But not all things went that bad. There are other things that went well. My ECON quiz went quite well actually. We have a particularly good Prof. for ECON and he makes things really easy. We also got our grades for our first ME team assignment and my team scored 9 out of 10; the highest in class. We got the case paper we had submitted back after grading and it had a 'Very Good' written on it!! I haven't got a Very Good since my second standard man!! Wow! ;-)

So studies is the meat that I have primarily come here for and this week was pretty eventful (before you jump to any conclusion, let me say that I have no reason to believe any of the coming weeks is going to be any different; in fact it only gets grimmer from here). However, apart from studies, I also applied to a few student club positions in the school this week. I have given one interview and am waiting for calls from others. More about it later when I hear from them. Overall, the curriculum seems pretty strong and the Profs. really know their stuff (Yeah! Like they wouldn't at Duke!). The subjects are pretty interesting and there is a lot of class interaction which makes the classroom really happening.

1 comment:

Tanya said...

I'm with you on stats. So far my best score has been in ME. I totally suck in stats.

Nice to see you blogging! and good luck for tomorrow's stats quiz! :-)