The Last One

Hello everyone!

This time I will be writing about the courses I am taking during the second period at SBE. The 7th week starts tomorrow, so I can share quite a lot with you guys.

This period was busier, partly because I managed to pick some courses where the workload is quite a lot, and party because I had many visitors in the last few weeks and I just couldn’t focus on university as much as I wanted to. Plus, I started my own blow (find me on Facebook under Makeuphoarderdiaries!), so I put my time and effort in that one, rather than the SBE blog (sorry!).

First, I will talk about Marketing Management. It is a 2nd year course here, and I had some difficulties with my home university till they accepted my choice (I’m in my 3rd year). Since I knew that the uni here is demanding, I thought that picking marketing (which I already had back in Mannheim) would be a piece of cake, and so did the administration, and boy we couldn’t have been more wrong about this.

True, we learn about the basics of marketing but we also do it through case studies, which is very far from the method my home uni uses, but we have this big market research project going on. On the 1st week, 6 companies from Maastricht and the nearby area presented themselves and the posed some challenges for us to solve. We were assigned in teams and then to companies, and had to come up with a problem statement, research questions, and hypothesizes to test based on the company’s intents. Then we needed to make a questionnaire and after at least 100 responses we gathered to evaluate the responses with some statistical tools in the SPSS program (which was just as dreadful as it sounds), write a report, which we just uploaded a few hours ago, and tomorrow we are going to present our findings.

We still have attendance, participation, and a written exam at the end of the period next to the research project. This course is very practical, but a lot of work and effort (we already had two deadlines on the second week, come on!). I am the only exchange student in my tutorial group meaning I was one of the few brave people who dared to take the challenge.

Anyway, by the end of the period, I like it better than my other course. This one starts out with a big explosion and you have to really put in some work to keep up, but calms down as exams approach.

My biggest stress factor is actually the fact that I have another very big project going on parallel to this with my other course, and the deadlines fall to the same time period for both, so it’s really just an enormous amount of work that I have to deal with right now. OH, did I mention that exams are in one week? Casual.

My second course is Brand Management, which I liked far more than Marketing Management AT FIRST, but then this dreadful project happened, which is just a complete mess. Anyway, this course is obviously about branding approaches, their history, application, pros and cons, managerial implications, etc. The subject itself is intriguing, and it was quite all right.

Then, we had to go to a movie and write a report based on a chosen product placement which was in it and its ethical implications. It was a short assignment, and the movie was a good one (Skyfall), but it only gives us 5% of the full grade and took a few hours to complete, so I think at least a 10% would have been more fair.

On top of that, we go a really awkward branding challenge to complete: a pension awareness project. PENSION. That’s not even branding! We had a looong challenge manual, plus something else about it in the actual course manual, plus some e-mails and announcements concerning some questions or problems with the challenge. So, all in all, it was pretty hard to filter out the really relevant information, our task was not exactly clear, and I got the impression that it was no different for out guiding tutor. Even more stupid is the fact that we only had a consultation with her two times, fifteen minutes each. The first consultation was at the very beginning, when we didn’t have a lot to show yet, but we got reassurance that we are on the right track. Then, the second consultation, one week before the final event, the tutor changed her mind about a lot of things and told us that what we did was not really useful. So, we spent days to re-create the whole thing, so close to the exams, wrote the report, and tomorrow we need to participate in this big event, where we have a promotional stand with flyers and posters and whatsoever, pitching our idea a few times over something like 5 hours.

The challenge in itself was a nice idea, but just the lack of clear guidance and the weird allocation of the consulting sessions made this a lot harder than it should have been. So I hope they reorganize the architecture of the challenge by next year and improve the process.

The workload was easier to manage with the new Gilmore Girls episodes airing in November. Who else has seen it three time already as well??? J

In less than two weeks, I am flying home for Christmas. I cannot believe how fast these few months have passed! I really enjoyed my time here, the uni is very hard and demanding but it really made me speed up and kept me energetic.

I engaged in a lot of activities here, the language course was fun (mostly because I speak German very well, that way it’s a piece of cake), LaunchBase is still going strong and I just love the little community there, and Maastricht is truly a beautiful and nice place to live. In January I will come back for a few more weeks, so it’s not the ultimate goodbye for me, and hopefully I get accepted for my Master studies here and can continue this energetic, busy way of living and learning.

But, for the blogging part, this will, sadly, be my last post. I really enjoyed this task, it was fun, and creative, and inspired me a bit to finally get started with my own blog. It was nice to reflect back on everything that happened over the last few months, I had an amazing time, made some amazing friends, had a lot of fun, and now it’s time for somebody else to experience the same.

I wish you all wonderful Holidays and a successful exam period!
Hortenzia

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