Friday, December 2, 2016

Final Reflection

Looking back on this class, I feel that I have taken several lessons, both regarding the economics of organizations as well as about myself as a student.  From the beginning, I believed that the material covered in this course would be beneficial in my desire to pursue a career in a business setting.  However, I did not expect to take so much out of it with regards to myself as a person.
To begin, I found that learning about different managerial styles and set ups was beneficial.  In the real world, unless I am lucky enough to become the CEO of a company, I will always have to deal with some form of a superior to report to.  Being able to learn now how different styles of leadership operate and what works best for different managers will be useful when in the job force.  Also, this is helpful for me in that I eventually want to take on more leadership roles in my jobs someday.  To be able to do this, it is important to learn now how different managerial styles can be successful.  Throughout the semester, we discussed the importance of ourselves as human capital.  As an upcoming graduate, I have been able to gain a better understanding of how I can make myself a better “product” to those I will be working for.  I have always considered myself a good worker and have thanked my parents for instilling a good work ethic in me.  Before this class, I have never questioned or considered the benefits of or what it means to be a good worker.  Now though, I am better able to understand myself as a tool for human capital and how to achieve profit off of this not only for me, but for my employer as well. 

Overall, I believe this course is very successful in its set up.  I personally feel that as college students, we are old enough to be responsible for our own success and failures in classes.  Having come from a background in both engineering and now the liberal arts, I know that every student learns and understands material differently.  What works for one simply does not work for another.  Some students need a professor talking them through their lessons, while others are able to read material and understand it well enough.  That is why I really like the  policy on non-mandatory attendance.  One way to potentially improve upon this would be to maybe offer random extra credit for those who attend class.  This again does not penalize those who like to learn alone, while also somewhat rewarding those who take the time and effort to make it to class.  With regards to the blogging component of the course, I found it easier and more enjoyable than I originally anticipated.  I was not looking forward to this aspect of the course because I did not see myself as the blogging type.  However, the prompts helped me get a better idea of how these economic concepts tie into our lives every day.  If anything, my only criticism of the blogging would be the date it is due.  With many people going home for the weekend, and even just being done with another week of classes, I am sure most people forgot about these assignments on a Friday night.  If the blogs were due even on a Thursday, I am sure more people would remember to get them done sooner.  Also, setting a firmer deadline on the blog posts would have probably helped me remember to get them done.  Having the weekend to work on my post definitely made it easier to find time to sit down and write a thoughtful reflection.  However, there were many weeks that I knew I had a soft deadline to write a blog so I did not think about the post until Sunday.   If anything, this just goes to show me that I am the type of worker who appreciates hard deadlines to keep myself motivated with my work.  


  1. Let me take on your leadership comment in the second paragraph. I believe there is some misconception there. You can actually start being a leader pretty early on in whatever work you are doing. If you think of leadership as raising the performance of your co-workers, that doesn't have to wait till you are in a managerial position. It can be there early. Also, my experience is that quite a bit of that sort of leadership is invisible to those not directly involved. So there are some challenges about expressing leadership, on the one hand, and doing work where you get credit for your efforts, on the other. You can't do one to the exclusion of the other. Finding a good balance is the goal.

    On the attendance issue - I wish your theory about students learning in different ways, so some need the lived class session while others do not, was the real explanation for what was going on. Over the years I've observed the better students tend to come to class and then they enjoy it. Students who are just getting by are the ones more likely to skip. Difference in learning style is one thing. Being prepared or not is quite another. In the movie A Beautiful Mind, John Nash doesn't go to his math classes because he is spending his entire time working out his own theories. It's a lovely story so it is surely possible. But is so unusual that it shouldn't serve as a guid to our expectations.

    I found your suggestion about the deadline interesting. Another student in the class noted that I am quite lax in enforcing those deadlines and that has set a certain tone for when students submit their posts. If I did push the deadline up to Thursday evening, as you suggest, should I also become more of a stickler about students meeting that deadline? The enforcement issue goes hand and hand with determining what the rule is.

  2. I agree that the students who truly care about the course will make a greater effort to attend class than those who do not. I think that setting harder deadlines will help you in the long run. Several times, you mentioned that getting late blog posts was taking an affect on you. By setting a set deadline from the first assignment, people will understand the tone of the class is not lax and take advantage of your generosity. I also know for myself that when I know there is a set deadline on an assignment, I am much better at remembering to do it because I get in the routine of doing it at the same time each week. With the soft deadlines, I would often forget because I did not have the same weekly reminder that something was immediately due.