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At the beginning of my exchange, I did not know how the classes in general worked. I came from a different teaching method (case method) and at the start of the Mod 1 I felt a little bit confused. Later I learned that every class provides a syllabus which mentions the activities, topics and due dates for class. Also, I did not know clearly how to use Blackboard (the online portal for classes), so I needed to ask for help. One international student (from India) was really polite and helped me with that issue.
In general, the first two weeks I felt disconnected and had a lot of doubts. The problem that I faced in the 1st Module was that my friends (the other international exchange students) were taking different classes than me and I felt like a “kiddo in his first day of elementary classes”. After that stage, I learned the way of studying at Owen, the teaching method of the different Professors, the behavior of domestic and international students, etc., and I started to feel more comfortable. In my personal view, the Assistance Director’s guidance was really helpful for me. She was always available for us and always really really polite. Once she helped me with a non-academic topic, so I really appreciated it.
Owen recently expanded its space with an addition in the Center Building. This area is open 24/7 and accessible only via our Owen keycard. We’ve compiled a few things you should know about our new space in this building…
5 Things You Should Know about the Center Building:
1) New features installed in meeting rooms
The Center Building features 3 spacious meeting rooms newly equipped with white boards and large flat-screen TVs for group work. The rooms can each comfortably seat 6 people and are currently available to reserve using the “Reserve a Room” system on Blackboard.
2) Convenient on-site printing
A high speed printer has recently been installed between meeting rooms 2 and 3 to accommodate on-site printing needs. The Center Building printer can be added to your computer through print.owen.vanderbilt.edu. Please check in with the IT support group located on the first floor of the Walker Library if you need any assistance.
B-school isn’t all about the classes (shocking, I know). You’ll get some great experiences from the extracurricular activities that you join as well. Some of the clubs will help you along in your career or give you leadership skills that will be handy later. Some however, will introduce you to new experiences that you may not have otherwise gotten to take part in.
Cork & Barrel is an Owen club that introduces students and Sig-Os (significant others) to the fun and interesting world of wine, beer, and spirits. We’ve had multiple whiskey tasting classes, trips to nearby breweries and wineries, and C&B recently hosted its second Wine 101 class.
We munched on fruit and cheese as Paul Grand, the Director of Education for Lipman Brothers (Tennessee’s oldest Wine and Spirit Wholesaler), walked us through tastings of Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Malbec. Paul taught us about how wine is made and the terminology used to speak about wine knowledgably. So even though most of us still have no clue, we can sound like we know what we’re talking about (you gotta fake it until you make it, right?).
It is a common trope here at business school that grades don’t matter.
Judging from the amount of hours that most students put in at the library, one might assume that this maxim is some sort of game theory-driven bluff to fool the meek and gullible away from the battlefield. For those of us who have spent a lifetime in a system that rewards only grades as a gauge of learning, in some cases fostering the perverse incentive to take easier and less challenging courses, it can be hard to break old habits.
But in business school, grades should not drive your course selection. Don’t opt out of Corporate Valuation or Derivatives if you’re concerned it will hurt your GPA, even if you consider yourself more of a “soft skills” person. This is your chance to learn this material from industry experts. For most of us, business school is an educational safety net in addition to a career reset button. It serves as a last chance to learn dense academic material in a “safe” setting. After this, almost all of our learning is “on the job,” meaning the ramifications of mistakes are a lot more dire than a poor grade.
that Mod 2 is done… it’s time for grades. Who cares… this is grad school,
right? I thought that grades weren’t supposed to matter. (somewhere in New
Hampshire my parents are crying) Yet every time grades are issued, the same questions
pop up, the same issues are raised, and the same complaints are aired.
had professors comment on the fixation that our class (2010) has on our grades.
Not so much that we “Grade Grub”, but that we generally worry about our scores
too much, as though we were undergrads. Some have asked “Why do we care?” … “Most
of the companies do not use it as a measure of employability.”
This question has been posed by most
of my professors… and of course when this conversation starts, someone always
chimes in “If grades don’t matter, then I’ll take an SP, thank you.” (I try to
be first, just in case they say yes… SP is the Owen version of a 4.0 / A ) It IS
true that most disciplines don’t ask to see a GPA. (Finance is the exception.)