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New flash, plastic everything, and a sneaking suspicion that some things were better off left as-is. As of November 2010, Wool Wood and Whiskey will also feature rugged vintage clothing for men harvested from the wilds of Maine. The genius of the food mill is in the delicate consistency that is created by mechanical simplicity.
You're likely to score one of these at a good antique store, or you can find sweet ones CHEAP on ebay.
It's not really all that necessary to point out that cell phones aren't doing great things for us these days. Let the spoiled boomers live out their silver years "camping" with granite counter tops, I'm down for broken AC and wet dog smell in the Dodge. Regularly someone from around the globe emails me asking if I think doing a Sasin MBA would be a good choice for them. One of the things that surprised me during my 2 years of studying at Sasin was that my classmates had very limited work experience. Maybe I am completely wrong with the observation of lack of work experience but that would then be due to the lack of participation in class.
Nice formula, you want fries with that?Larry Gorman was one of the professors who got most frustrated with the lack of participation. Sasin prides itself on offering an international education founded with collaboration of Kellogg and Wharton.
Studying at Sasin can be very helpful to build connections with people who are already well-connected or who will be influential in the future.
Some nice ideas that would improve the number of connections everybody walks out with after 2 years.
While we had a limited number of full-time international students at the start of the program we did have 2 dual-program foreign students who stayed a year and many international exchange students. While the observations above might come across as negative I must say that while it applies to a large part of my class there are always positive exceptions: people who have had an interesting career in several countries before coming to Sasin, people who not only simply participate but even have the skills and knowledge to shine a new light on what is the professor is telling, people who actually pick an exchange program to jump out of their comfort zone by going alone to a country they know nothing about and study seriously there, and people who have no problem of working together with different students every module. The best advice I can give anybody who considers studying at Sasin is that you have to think very long and hard about what you want to get out of it. For example one of my goals was to improve my presentation skills as I had no confidence to stand in front of an audience or speak up in a large group.
With all courses finished and the last grades dripping in it is now possible to look back at the past 2 years at Sasin doing my MBA and find out how heavy the workload actually was.
Let me first say that the average amount of time spent on a course in the second year stayed about equal to the average amount in the first year. In the overview below also the relative time spent per course, with all courses I did during my 2 years combined. Again, as I did in the earlier article, I need to point out that the study time was in many cases not related to the amount of insights or useful things you learn. Let me now pick out some of the course I have done in the past 2 years which I think are very valuable for every future students who has the opportunity to follow them. The course that inspired me the most was by far Managing HR in a global environment with Steven Miranda.
And another very important course, one of the first courses we did, was Persuasive Presentation skills with Kathy O’Brien. Finally let me shortly mention the last course I followed: Competitive strategy and industrial structures with Chaim Fershtman. Of course everybody experiences each course differently and I did not sit in for a lot of courses as I figured them less interesting for me. Unfortunately the political unrest in Thailand, and Bangkok in particular, made it hard to actually reach Sasin on a daily basis.
The course was partly based on case studies, but unlike previous classes the cases were rather dated. Besides case discussions and normal lectures we also had some moments where small games were played in-class to see how people acted in real-life. The grading for this course consisted of just 3 parts: 20% of the grade was based on classroom participation, 30% on a final presentation where we had to apply the material of this course on a sector of choice in Thailand, and 50% came from an exam. The whole second year of the Sasin MBA program students can pick their own courses; you are not obliged to do any course that you do not want as long as you do one “action course” and fulfill the required amount of credits by the end of the year. Professor Paul Tiffany has been coming to Sasin for quite some time already meaning he by now knows how it works in Thailand. The lecturers captured a broad range of subjects including the reason railway tracks have different widths in different continents, which countries ruled which periods in history and why, and how China and the USA are currently fighting out dominance over the world.
The group report and presentation were good for 30% of your final grade while another 20% would be based on a combination of attendance and participation. Besides this beast of a book, which was not as well written as I hoped, we also had 2 readers with articles and chapters from other books. Why would you need a complete MBA business case if you can find all necessary information in documents like this? Besides the homework assignments we also had a group presentation about a recent M&A deal we could pick ourselves.
A detailed analysis for the deal between CNOOC and Nexen for our final report and presentation. Instead of having everything in PowerPoint and distributed during class you actually had to stay awake to make notes and participate. This course ended up as one of the more interesting ones I have done this year, not only because I have a genuine interest in the subject but also because of the unusual approach to analyzing interesting deals and doing the homework assignments.
Earlier I had told myself I should not only follow finance courses as I already have quite some experience in this field, but again I ended up with 2 finance subjects for this second part of the second quarter. Instead of applying theories and calculating the standard deviation of a stock or a portfolio of stocks, we went back to the basics to cover things that have been jumped over in other finance courses. In total 30% of our grade would depend on the homework assignments and while some of them took some decent time to complete, many of them could be done within 15 minutes.
An interesting part of the course was the guest speaker who had extensive experience in stock research. At the end I have to say that the timing of this course seems odd to me since it covers many basics things that could come in handy for other finance courses.
A long, long time ago we, as a class, organized a Halloween party to build up some class funds. After another big meal there was the opportunity to go on a firefly trip which I skipped; looking back this was a good decision since almost no fireflies were spotted. The Friday started badly for me since I lost some money as I had betted only 20 people would arrive late at the departure spot. In a way it was already clear what we could expect from the course DigiMarketing with professor Ian Fenwick because we had seen him before in our first year with the course Marketing 1. While everything on the internet is changing quickly, the lectures were totally up-to-date with the latest information and most recent digital advertising campaigns. One of the slides we used for our final presentation when we discussed the marketing plan of the company of our choice. In total there were 2 guest speakers for this class who would come over to share their real-life experience in digital marketing with us. Besides the final report we also had to give a presentation about a marketing campaign we could pick ourselves and hand in one case study.
Now that we know the basics of digital marketing it is time to put it in practice before our knowledge is outdated. It is not the first time I am doing a Finance course here at Sasin, and with hindsight I must admit that for many earlier courses I already knew a good part of the curriculum; it was more refreshing my memory than learning something new. Several of the concepts covered in this class were already covered earlier in other classes but had to be repeated since not everyone has done the same classes previously.
The classes had a simple structure: we would go over one case before the break and do another case after the break. Besides participation we would be graded based on 3 assignments which we could do in groups of 4 people (20%), a midterm (30%), and a final exam (30%). The final exam was based on the Flash Memory case where we got the case and Excel files a few days before the exam but we did not know what the questions would be.
It is impossible to work in a medium or large sized company without being involved in one or two projects every now and then, assuming you don’t completely suck at your job. Unfortunately not all assignments had a clear learning point, like an assignment where we had to give advice based on a small case how many cupcakes a bakery should bake on a daily basis, but at least it ended up in pieces of cake being handed out so we gained something.
Also unique for this class was the occasional question from the class which was extensively answered: sometimes directly in class and sometimes the next class with some sheets with background information.
Besides a midterm and a final exam there was also a group assignment, with a group of people we were free to choose, where we had to write a complete project plan for a project we could make up ourselves. While the final assignment was a helpful exercise in getting to know MS Project better, I couldn’t help feeling irritated by the huge gap between what was expected from us and what we (or I) had in mind that we should learn.
Instead of doing only finance courses or courses I have a decent feeling of what will be expected from me I sometimes pick a course of which I do not know anything yet just to broaden my horizon a bit. What stood out about this course was that the professor, who normally teaches at Chulalongkorn University, did not hold back on commenting where the laws in Thailand were less developed or where changes were made for the worse.
Kanich Punyashthiti explaining where responsibilities change from seller to buyer in case of FOB and CIF.
Unlike other courses there was not much we could do for this course besides sitting in for lectures. The notes I made during lectures, as you can see it does not always become clearer when you write things down. Since each part of the law can be a subject by itself the last 3 classes were filled by guest speakers who were more specialized in a certain area of Thai Business Law: securities and exchange law, international trade law, and tax law. Unfortunately this course only has one final exam and that is it, so if something is not clear by then or you misunderstand one question you will be doomed to get a “B”. It yields perfect apple sauce-never watery and never chunky baby food-and the best mashed potatoes ever. Check a Foley out, you can thank WWW after you've finished happily churning out something delicious. We all work more, drive crazier and are completely disconnected from people who surround us in our everyday lives-it's pretty obvious.
Not because "retro" is all the rage in Front Gate, in fact, not for aesthetic reasons at all (although, come on!).
Such a question is rather hard to answer since it totally depends on what you are expecting to get out of it. Many books covering the MBA experience explain that about half of the knowledge you gain comes from the professors while the other half comes from your classmates. One of the best ways to get to know your classmates better during your 2 years at Sasin is by working together with them. The least we could have accomplished was more mixing up, even if it only meant Thais working with other Thais than their best friends only. You can just sign up and go through 2 years of education without clear targets but you most likely end up with near to nothing.
So during the first course I volunteered to give a short presentation on stage in front of 75 people who I did not know and from there on I did almost every presentation of group work possible and participated in class regularly. I did a similar thing earlier at the end of the first year but it is much more interesting now that I also know the exact amount of minutes spent on all the courses I did in the second year.

The heaviest course regarding workload is still Business Strategy and the second place is for M&A.
Time spent depends on your background, the grade you want, and a significant factor is if there is a group assignment or not (click to enlarge). But keep in mind that I did not sit in on every course and that courses can change over time, even if the professor stays the same. A lot of things being discussed in class were directly relevant to my current situation or related to my previous work experience. These courses are put together very well and were taught by a motivated professor who knows how to use interesting cases to support the points he tries to make or knows how to direct a discussion the right way. For me this course was very useful since we based our group assignment on a concept we are actually planning to bring to life. This course is an absolute MUST for new students as you are expected to give many presentations during your 2 year MBA course. One important lesson from this course was that almost every interaction can be seen as a game, and since he explained that concept I am now beginning to interpret a lot of news I read differently. So don’t blindly follow what I wrote here, go sit in for a few classes and experience it for yourself before making up your mind if you want to do a course of not. At this point I only had one more subject to pick and after sitting in for several different classes I decided that competitive strategy and industrial structures could be of some help in the future. Many students therefore chose to go with the alternative which was offered for this module: logging in from home with WebEx. In one case we discussed how Nintendo controlled the 8-bit game-console market and I couldn’t stop wondering how many people in class actually had an idea what a Nintendo 8-bit game-console is. Unfortunately it seemed hard for many students to completely understand the rules of games we played resulting in some strange outcomes here and there but in general it resulted in some nice changes in pace in the teaching. The exam was sold to us as multiple-choice but it was closer a list of statements which could be either true or false. With as nice twist an analysis of how the current protests influence their pricing strategies. Many of my classmates are still abroad on an exchange program while others already ended earlier: the next time everybody will be together again must be at our graduation I suppose. There is one exception on this rule and that is the course strategy in domestic and international business which is compulsory for all students.
He does not ask the students open-ended questions as this will only result in silence and will stop the whole flow of what he is teaching. Besides lectures we also had presentations of groups of students based on cases but due to limited time for asking questions the workload of that part was relatively low as there was no need to actually prepare the case when you did not have to present. The final 50% would be made up by a final exam which was a huge pack of multiple choice questions, or one word answer questions, and 2 essay questions. And the broad range of material covered in this course made this course also perfect for that, but again the timing near the end of the year is quite strange to me.
The same course with the same professor, probably with a more European focus, is available in my home country for a few hundred euro’s less but since it is freezing there now and the plane tickets are not cheap I happily signed up for it here in Thailand. That seems like a lot, and it is a lot, especially given the limited time available meaning we reached some details for some parts but not for all. The strange thing was that none of the readers contained the cases, and unlike any other course done so far we did not get the complete case at all. Since we had to pick a deal early on in the course we had no clue which deals might be interesting meaning it was a bit hit or miss where some teams picked a deal which was boring and straightforward while others were more lucky with an interesting deal with some unusual twists and turns.
This exam consisted for about 30% out of calculations which we had practiced in class and the other 70% tested our understanding of concepts discussed in class.
The workload for this course is relatively high but luckily it was spread out pretty well over the weeks meaning it never resulted in stress or problems. The main reason for picking this course of security valuation by Thorsten Egelkraut was not that I disliked the others courses on offer so badly, but more because it seemed like the angle of approach would be a bit different from earlier courses. While most of this has already been covered in earlier classes the new insights of this course came at an earlier point.
If you want to trade on this recommendation and it turns out well please consider donating part of your profits to us, if it turns out badly then it is your own mistake. Since he was retired, at a young age, he could speak the truth about the whole industry and the main lesson we got from him was that you should not trust brokerage firms with their recommendations since they just try to make you trade to get commissions.
It is strange to first do 3 courses where the professor just wants you to pick a growth rate of a country to later find out that this decision can have large implications.
Part of this money has been used to pay for expenses like buying tickets when other classes organize parties and buying matching shirts for class events. The busses were supposed to leave at 4:30AM and everybody was warned they would leave without them if they were late. The first activity was a trip to a local waterfall where you could take a dip in the water if you survived the climbing tour through the hills to reach to place.
It was not the most spectacular coral I have ever seen but it sure was relaxing to do some floating around in the sea and trying to touch the fish swarming around you. In the evening we had a big final party which started off with everybody coming to the front of the group to address the rest of the class by telling what they liked about the past 2 years. After that we followed our footsteps of 2 days earlier in the opposite direction to arrive back at Sasin. And as expect the course had quite some similarities, some of which I was rather happy about; case studies. And unlike the slides in the previous course, the slides during this course were a lot easier on the eye. There are several action courses being offered during the second year and to be able to graduate you need to do at least one. Unfortunately one speaker had to change the date he could come over to a weekend so he could address the EMBA group, which meant I was unable to attend.
Just like last year the grades for everything we handed in came back within days which could make you wonder if the professor really reads everything we hand in. Hopefully it won’t be long till we can try out the things we came up with for our final report and see how it works in real-life. I sat in on the first day of this course expecting a similar experience and was thinking of dropping it soon after, until I noticed the level of explanations offered by professor Paul Malatesta and the details we would go into in the cases lying ahead.
But to my surprise we didn’t stop with an “and therefore assume xx” explanation but actually got the details of the impact of assuming a number in simple language: it was almost eye opening how simple some concepts can be explained.
It became very interesting when the professor presented the standard answers of a case followed by his own analysis why the case writers had made some mistakes. Of course we had to prepare the cases but in this course that mostly meant reading and understanding the material because the level of details reached in class would be impossible to do before the class by you without help. Everything we handed in came back with very detailed feedback where points were deducted for every assumption made that did not make sense and every calculation error. So even though I have worked 18 months in a project management department in my first job I still figured it might be helpful to do a course of Project Management at Sasin now that I am there anyways. On the slide a comparison between the project knowledge of classes: of course we score higher than previous classes! To keep it interesting normally a part of the day was filled with some in-class assignment.
This approach surprised me a bit since most professors just answer the question and never look back, but here we got an thorough explanation.
In general this meant we could pick anything we wanted, from a small project to a huge one, and make up all details as long as they were realistic.
While I assumed that when you do an MBA you should try to figure out as much as possible yourself (taking initiative, analyze things yourself, come up with original solutions, implement them, present them) it seemed that for this assignment you would be punished for that.
This seemed quite unusual since most Thai professors are careful to not critique Thailand and rather say nothing than something negative about the country. There was no book available to read, you could get a law book from the library though but that would be some dry reading, and besides the handouts there was nothing. And there is not much you can do besides going over your slides one more time before the exam since there is no book available for this course.
This is what food processors looked like before there were food processors-simple, easy to use, no electricity required, undeniably functional. According to a certain WWWer who works a certain renown restaurant with certain slow food leanings, a mill gently loves starches while a processor thrashes them grainy and sour.
At Wool Wood and Whiskey we like communication-sitting on porches and stoops, spinning yarns and chewing the fat. And while it is easy to imagine the great things that can happen during 2 years of studying in Thailand, I would like to share some of my observations here which you should consider before applying for your MBA at Sasin. By itself that is no problem but it became pretty clear during the year that people lacked an understanding of how to set up an organizational structure; leaders and representatives were picked based on popularity and age instead of skills and vision, meetings were held without decent minutes being taken and actions points with deadlines being assigned, and no checks and balances were implemented at any stage. Unfortunately a majority of people had voted at the beginning of the MBA that they would rather pick their own groups then being assigned randomly to a group.
The result of this is that the second year was a bit lighter than the first year because I did 1 course too many in the first year meaning I could do one course less in the second year. When I go over the list with courses it becomes clear that there is often one deciding factor if a course will be a lot of work or not: group assignments. There were several real eye-openers that I still apply in everyday life which I will not share here since you need to understand the complete context of the course to get the point. My preference for these course might be motivated by the financial concepts they covered, but even with my background I was able to learn a lot of new approaches to financial problems.
By doing this as a team, following the structure of the course, we ended up with a marketing plan that does not need any more work, besides the implementation.
Unfortunately the course has been cancelled in 2013 meaning the class of 2013, and maybe newer classes, will miss these fundamental skills which will not only make their MBA harder to complete successfully but will also set them back in the future when they get a normal job.
Especially news surrounding the current political unrest in Thailand can easily be analyzed as a game. This course can best be seen as a little bit of macroeconomics and microeconomics combined with a lot of game theory, and according to the professor we play games all the time all our lives. Everybody I spoke to who had logged in on WebEx shared the same experience: doing this class from home is rather cumbersome as it is sometimes hard to hear, you get easily distracted, it becomes very boring to stare at a screen, and it is almost impossible to participate. Luckily the quality of the cases was relatively good and according to the professor these cases were valuable because they perfectly underlined the points he was trying to make in class.
In my view knowing if a statement is true or false is not so interesting for a course like this since it all depend on how you explain it and if you are able to think several steps further. The fact that this course is compulsory and offered near the end of the year is a strange combination. Instead he mostly limits the questions to rhetorical questions or questions that require a students to only plug in a word to complete a sentence. The structure of the final exam was a bit disappointing as this course did not lend itself well for multiple choice questions. To me the content covered will give some insights into developments around the world that cannot be left out of any MBA program, even though you might not apply it directly in any business venture. The idea was to just search for information online: newspaper articles, fairness opinions, and official announcements are all accessible for whoever knows how Google works. The write-up of this final assignment was limited to 3 pages of text only which made it very difficult to summarize all interesting information in such limited space. The instructions told us to use bullet points but given the exam format, where we had to explain the linkage between two concepts, this did not seem totally logically to me.

Another part of your grade would be participation but unlike other courses this did not mean you had to ask or answer questions, paying attention was already enough.
So if you want to invest in a stock market you can best buy index trackers as the commissions are very low on these products. Luckily the total workload for this course was rather light meaning it combined well with the other course I did this quarter which had a heavy workload. How much of the balance is reserved for upcoming costs and how much is left is not known for outsiders, with outsider defined as the actual owners of the class fund but not directly involved in the budgeting, but it seemed there was an access which could be spend on a class trip. Luckily for most people the busses did not arrive till 5:15AM so even the 30 odd people who arrived too late were able to find their seat and try to sleep in one of the worst bus rides I have ever experienced. The hotel had everything nicely arranged with speed boats to bring us, pick-up trucks to drive us further, and tour guides to help us find the place and rescue anybody who was about to drown in the water. The rest of the afternoon we had time off meaning we could go kayaking in the sea, go for a swim in the pool, or just relax in the shade somewhere. Unfortunately most people chose to do this part in Thai meaning that 10% of the attending people who did not speak Thai were about to witness a 3-hour lasting ordeal of jokes and funny insights of which we could not understand a word.
Unfortunately traffic is always a bitch in Bangkok on Fridays meaning the ride back took a bit longer; it wasn’t till 7PM till be arrived. In my experience a case study works pretty well especially when we actually go into detail.
While it sounds pretty exciting and you might expect a lot of action, it actually only means that there is no final exam and instead you hand in a written report. Luckily the other speaker was still coming on a normal lecture day and it was interesting to hear what he had to tell about running the digital marketing for one of the larger phone companies here in Thailand. In this case I am pretty sure he does since we got very specific feedback on everything, stuff you cannot make up without actually taking the time to go through it. In the first class the professor already said he had a “black belt in finance” but after going over a few cases there was not a doubt in my mind anymore that he actually had one even though it does not exist. Just to make sure people would not slack off with this minimal reading requirement your total grade would be based for 20% on participation, something that could result in a lot of B’s, or even worse, since only 6-10 people actively participated in class while the rest just sat there and did nothing. The midterm was unfortunately not open-book meaning we had to learn some ratios by heart but for the final exam we had a more unique concept: the case study on which the final exam would be based was distributed a few days before the exam meaning we could study all data and start calculating based on what we thought the questions would be.
We were randomly grouped up and in the allotted time we put something just covered, or something that would be covered right after the assignment, into practice to experience it instead of just hear it. While this sounds easy it ended up in a lot more work than expected due to the fact that MS Project is a bitch to use when you haven’t used it for some time and since everything can be made up and you can keep moving and changing things indefinitely. It appeared other groups had several times a week a meeting with the professor to discuss minor issues in their report and they send him emails almost on a daily basis to get every paragraph of text approved. I have done only 1 law course before, Dutch tax law, and that was over 10 years ago so I could start this course with about as much of a blank slate as possible. It did help us a lot though since we now better understand the weaknesses of Thai law and where those weaknesses came from.
Since many details were explained during the course which were not covered in the handouts it mostly resulted in people scribbling the handouts full with remarks in the hope they would be able to recollect the important parts during the final exam.
Luckily it is an open book exam though, so we will just see who made the best notes in class. The apparatus itself is simple: the food mill body is essentially a colander that tapers in to an inverted cone at the bottom of the bowl.
Several smaller “organizations” or “committees” have been set up in our class, all financed with our class fund, but nobody knows what has been accomplished and where the money went besides the insiders.
In our class about 20% of the people did 80% of the participation and there must be at least 20% of our class who never participated out of their free will during the whole 2 year program. The consequence of this is that while the classes are in English, almost everything outside of class is in Thai. Of course it is easier to always work with your best friends as you know each other’s strengths and weaknesses, but how will you ever know the strengths and weaknesses of the rest of the class when you never work with them? Maybe not everybody liked all my comments, I am pretty sure of that as it goes against the Thai culture where nobody speaks up or has an opinion, but at least I practiced some skills that will be very helpful for my further career.
But in general you can expect each year costing you about the same amount of effort and time. Since I am normally able to follow everything discussed in class I never need much time to study for exams, and even individual assignments are often easy to do.
Unfortunately Steven Miranda did not teach this year’s MBA class, he did do the EMBA class I believe, so I am not sure if any Sasin MBA student will be able to do this course in the future. Of course in case you base your group report on something you don’t care about or never plan to do then the course might be a waste of time as the digital world is changing rapidly and what you learn today will be outdated soon. Do not take this too literary by thinking of board games or computer games: even in every relationship or at work you try to give signals to influence others to reach the most optimal outcome. But on the other hand I can understand that this is much easier to grade for the professor. First of all compulsory courses are normally courses that give you a foundation that you need for other courses and are therefore offered at the start of a year and not near the end.
In case there is still hesitation he will even go as far as whispering the word or giving another word that rhymes with the word he is looking for.
In a math exam multiple choice questions would work as only one answer is correct and the others are clearly incorrect, while in a strategy course every answer can be correct as long as you can explain the reasoning behind your choice. The professor indicated he preferred that we looked for our own information this way as this would be closer to real-life work experience; your boss will not hand you a Harvard Business Case to analyze as an assignment. Normally we just throw everything in the appendix but in this case that was also limited to 7 pages. Bullet points are fine when you ask for several reasons or multiple arguments, but not when you want to link executive stock options with the chance of overpaying for a target. In each case you end up with a different number and none of the answers is wrong (or right?). While this seems strange it did limit the number of students asking questions just to participate. Or, in case you got inside information, you could make some decent money in the stock market. Even the cheap-ass busses driving me to Nakhon Ratchasima several times a month appeared to be more comfortable, as this bus was bouncing on flat roads like a customized low-rider car in a rap video. After returning we had a bit of time to relax after which the best part of this whole trip could start: the food from the canteen at the Captain Hook hotel. It was surprising to see people actually reading books to relax since in the past 2 years I never had the impression anybody has ever opened one of the textbooks we had to read for classes. All together it was a nice relaxing trip with as biggest downside that our big one week off between the quarters only lasts another weekend and then we start with the third quarter already.
And during the case discussions we went into detail: instead of just choosing for one strategy over the other, we actually made some assumptions and calculated what the impact of the choice would be.
For this course the final report was a digital marketing plan for a company we were allowed to pick ourselves.
Its only one-and-a-half years after starting this MBA so why would anyone expect that people feel comfortable and analytic enough to actually participate in a small class filled with people they already know since the start of their MBA?
Luckily there were quite some hints in the case which questions would be logical but during the final exam I was still surprised we had to make a consolidated balance sheet and income statement meaning a lot of hard work in that 3-hour timeframe. The first assignment was to build a tower with some material that was given to us and points were distributed based on height, materials used, and how it looked.
To make it even worse, near the end of the course we had to present our progress and some groups got no feedback on their presentation besides a “you guys fixed everything nicely that I told you yesterday”. When you're anchored to a single spot in your home talking to someone on the phone becomes an activity again. Many professors were seriously frustrated when there was no reaction at all to even the most simple questions leading one professor to yell that you better learn how to ask “do you want fries with that?” as preparation for your next job . Many people were comfortable to switch to English when foreigners were present but I also heard of people who refused to have foreigners in their groups as they would rather stick to speaking Thai. And how will you learn how to perform when you have a real job after graduating when you cannot work only together with your best friends?
But as soon as you have to work together with other people it takes a lot of time: sometimes because you put the bar a lot higher than for an individual assignment to not disappoint your team and sometimes because meetings in Thailand can be very inefficient. Secondly, many students are about to finish their studies early by already having fulfilled their credit requirements due to the exchange program and want start working.
To solve this some of the questions were constructed in such a way that they did not test anything besides your skills how to quickly search for an answer online or in the handouts we had in PDF format. Besides realizing that all information is well available to whoever searches for it, we also came to the conclusion that the analytical skills of most journalists is serious lacking when they report on deal announcements and just copy and paste all information from the company statements.
I solved this problem by just giving one bullet point as answer consisting of a full paragraph. The whole idea of this assignment was to get you thinking about this kind of basic questions since the impact on further calculations can be substantial. Next there were also 2 quizzes, each counting for 10% of your final grade, which mostly repeated calculations done earlier in class.
Too bad for me that I couldn’t sleep, especially since we had spent the night at Sasin playing video games instead of getting some rest as responsible adults would do. So instead of making it an abstract discussion about pro’s and con’s, we would build a simple model to see what the impact would be and how that would impact our bottom line.
Many people picked a company they were planning to set up, have set up already, or their parents have set up, but it was also allowed to just pick any other company in the world. Of course there was a twist during the assignment which was the learning point but that could not stop our group to build the perfect stable tower shown below. So if people give their presentation a day before the presentation date to the professor in his office, then what is the point of giving the presentation again a day later to the professor in front of the class?
Rather than worrying about trying to pass that semi up ahead or if that the crazy guy who rides the 38 is going to want to sit next to you again, you have to sit down (or pace in the general vicinity) and listen.
Sasin does offer exchange programs though, but from observation I noticed most people prefer to go abroad with their closest classmates, who are also Thai, and they mainly meet up with other Thais who are already studying at their exchange university. By making a course near the end of MBA compulsory you force people to keep coming or spread out their courses while that might not be in their best interest. In the end I completely filled up the exam booklet, including the back page which you are not intended to write on, just to make sure the professor had something to do on his 10 hour flight back to Holland. And finally there was a presentation at the end of the course where each group of 4 people had to present a stock recommendation for a company of their choice.
For my group we wrote a digital marketing plan for a company we are planning to set up which made the course rather interesting for me since this was something that needed to be done anyways so why not make use of your fellow classmates to come up with good ideas?
So far for exploring how business is done in other cultures and stepping out of your comfort zone. This became a rather dull exercise for the audience as nobody trusts their classmates enough to actually trade on their recommendations meaning all information goes in one ear and comes out the other.

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