The halfway mark of my journey as an exchange student was appropriately signified by Period 1 exams. A rather hard-hitting mark I’d say. It’s been a crazy and fun ride so far but in order to move on, I need to ace this b**ch! As you can see from the picture above, the exams took place in a HUGE warehouse-looking room in MECC. They literally shoved all the students from all different classes into one huge space. It was terrifying yet pretty cool. In the middle of the exam, if no one was sneezing, coughing, flipping pages, clicking their pens or opening cans, you could almost hear a pin drop. I’ve never been in that kind of environment before so it was definitely interesting. I didn’t really feel the scale of the hall during the first exam as I technically sat right in the middle but on my second (and last) exam of the period, I sat right at the corner of one end of the hall and it felt HUGE. It took me a solid 5 minutes to find my seat after I left for the toilet in the middle of the exam.
Hopefully, I did pretty well in the exams. My grades are transferred back to my homeschool, unlike most others who only reply on the pass/fail results. In terms of preparation, the last few weeks were strictly dedication to planting my face on my books. I must admit, all this travelling has made it pretty hard to truly focus on my studies. I read the assigned articles mostly for the sake of class participation points. Thank god both my classes are really interesting. Talking about the things to you are passionate about comes very naturally so it would definitely help to be doing what you love! Plus, it wouldn’t be that great of a challenge to rant on and on about my personal perceptions of the topic. Since the mentors emphasize on additional material and knowledge on the topic at hand, being an extrovert does have it’s perks. I remember at first, I was reluctant on writing my own notes for the articles I’ve read but later on in the semester, I figured I wasn’t willing to re-read all the 50 articles so I made my own notes (which I managed to sell copies for the exams, yay!). Glad all my efforts paid off. Also, I’m glad I took the classes I took.
So, what classes did I take for Period 1?
I took 2 classes: Brand Management (BM) and Management of Organizations (MOO). Comparing the two classes, MOO is definitely easier with less workload but the exam questions were very tricky. On the other hand, BM has several group facilitations, a group paper plus a final Brand Communication Challenge where we had to present our pension campaign approach to numerous field experts. Some jury members were nice and affirmatively agreeing with our suggestions while others were very skeptical and shook our confidence. During this 5 hour-long event, there were at least 200 people in the MENSA at the Business school trying to put their best foot forward. Our group did not take home the trophy but the experience and friendships built was worth it. In terms of exams for BM, the open-ended questions made it tougher to study for but easier to obtain points, which I prefer.
Now that the exams are over, I visited Poland and it’s very cold weather. Although we spent only the weekend there, we managed to see the Salt Mine, the concentration camps and the main square. I really enjoyed the trip but the unexpected drop in temperature was a sure indication that winter is soon to come.