* Note that 3 hours each week is spent in class
International Business Strategy
We got back our midterms this week. Outside of a stupid mistake that I made on the multiple choice questions, I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. Since I have some cushion from the midterm and nothing left except the final, this class has officially fallen in priority. I’ll continue to do all the prep for classes, but outside of that I’ll only spend time on it if I have nothing else to do. It works out perfectly because I’ll have 3-4 days before the final that I can dedicate solely to this class.
Our lectures this week were on trade costs: Time, Tariff and non-tariff, Transportation, and Transaction. We talked about how trade costs impact globalization, and we debunked the idea that trade costs are low right now by looking at multiple “mini-cases.” Our big case was on how and why Cemex, an international cement company out of Mexico, expanded internationally.
We wrapped up our discussion on strategies for growing established businesses and then discussed a case on Pedigree dog food. In the middle of the discussion, the professor handed it off to the protagonist of the case, who was sitting in the back of the room. Although I’ve heard of professors that bring in the people that cases are about all of the time, this was the first time that I’ve experienced it, and I was completely caught off guard. I didn’t even notice anyone out of place in class, in part because I’ve gotten used to seeing random people in classes.
Most of my work for the remainder of the quarter is coming out of this class. We still have one more MarkStrat simulation round to go, a final presentation on our MarkStrat strategy, and a final project on the company/product of our choosing. We’ve started doing research for the final project, but we still have a long ways to go on it.
Human Resource Management
This class continues to delight. We talked about performance incentives and evaluation methods. To demonstrate how various factors play into a tournament evaluation (aka Relative Performance Evaluation, which is commonly used for promotions), the professor held a tournament in class using a few books for prizes. The big takeaway of the week was that when designing a compensation package for an employee, the base salary only determines if they’ll accept the job; it has no impact on how much effort they then put into the job. To motivate effort, you then want to add some kind of performance-based component to the package, though there are pitfalls to watch out for (like incentivizing the wrong behavior).
I’m still waiting to get back the midterm in this class; fingers are crossed.
Bunnies are all over the place!
I don’t know if it’s because I’m more alert now, but I’ve been seeing bunnies/rabbits all over the place recently. They must be reproducing like rabbits! In addition to the one near the music building the one near the music building</a>, I’ve recently seen two frolicking across the street from Jacobs and two young ones that I think live in front of McManus. I was leaving McManus today when I saw them again munching on the grass in the rain. I stopped to get footage of one of course.