Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Past students have said that this semester (marketing and system design metrics) is the most time consuming. There aren't any tests/quizzes this semester but instead papers and presentations (and marketing simulations). Even though its only March, I feel like that in a short time, I'll graduate from this program. This program has indeed progressed quickly. Unfortunately, there are materials that you wished more time could have been devoted to. This is the sentiment for a lot of students but then again, tradeoffs must be made. The fewer the class time, the fewer the opportunities to delve into specific topics. I remember during my undergraduate years many had decided that pursuing an advanced degree was out of the picture. However, after nearly a year and a half into this program, I actually look forward to our monthly class weekend. It provides a break from the professional lives, while helping us to improve in our professional lives.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
It's been a while since my last post. I've been tied up with end of semester activities for the negotiation and engineering economics class. It's been a busy last month with an econ case, negotiation paper, graded negotiation, and two quizzes. It's been a long month but now it's done and in the past. Looking back at this semester, I must admit that I got my money worth (if not more). I never realized how much there was to negotiation. Initially I thought it was just a matter of haggling and being stubborn. But after taking the negotiation course, I learned the many dimensions involved in a successful negotiation. In addition, the engineering economics was very interesting. What made this course even more enjoyable was the environment (the slumping economy and failing financial institutions) that we were in while taking this course. I must say that the professor (Dr. Duvic) did a great job of bringing outside resources to apply to what we were learning and to reality. I think one of the most valuable things I got out of this course was the concept of time value of money. It bought a different perspective to investment and money management. In the end, these courses provided skills applicable to any environment and situation.
There is officially about 1 1/2 days remaining until Christmas. So how many people still involved in last minute Christmas shopping? Well good luck.... I hope that everyone has a great holiday season and a happy new year, and I'll talk to you soon.
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Son: "Dad, I have to do a special report for school. Can I ask you a question?"
Father: "Sure son. What's the question?"
Son: "What is Politics?"
Father: "Well, let's take our home for an example. I am the wage earner, so let's call me 'Capitalism.' Your mother is the administrator of money, so we'll call her 'Government.' We take care of your need, so let's call you 'The People.' We'll call the maid 'The Working Class' and your little brother, we can call 'The Future.' Do you understand son?"
Son: "I'm not really sure, dad. I'll have to think about it."
That night awakened by his brother's crying, the boy went to see what was wrong. Discovering that the baby had seriously soiled his diaper, the boy went to his parents' room and found his mother sound asleep. He went to the maid's room, where, peeking through the keyhole, he saw his father in bed with the maid. The boy's knocking went totally unheeded by his father and the maid, so the boy returned to his room and went back to sleep. The next morning he reported to his father.
Son: "Dad, now I think I understand what politics is."
Father: "Good son! Can you explain it to me in your own words?"
Son: "Well Dad, while Capitalism is screwing the Working Class, Government is sound asleep, the People are being completely ignored and the Future is full of sh*t."
So there is about 2 weeks before the elections and McCain and Obama are still fighting it out until the bitter end. I don't mean to be pessimistic, but doesn't it feel that like always, those not in politics always get short-changed? Politicians seem to work for special interest groups and lobbyists, especially when money and perks are thrown in their faces. However, I do hope that more focus is placed on what the people want. With the economic turmoil that we are in, and the uncertainty that exists throughout the world, one would think that "change" is indeed due. But suppose that one wanted to actually make changes, where would one start? With the deficit this country carries, the war overseas, the economic recession, and the never-ending problems with healthcare and social security (as if that'll exists when I retire), where would one begin to solve the problems this country is in. I know for sure that whoever wins the presidency, they won't enjoy inheriting what Bush leaves behind.
Also, I was wondering if there was any legit places to gamble on who would become the next president. Why not??? People bet on anything and everything, and with margin that is present between McCain and Obama, I think it would be interesting on placing a little friendly wager.... but then again, I'd probably be taxed on my winnings. Like I said earlier, "the people" never win.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
I was lucky that I didn't have any damage occur. I just had an uprooted tree which I needed to chop up. I also lost power for only a day. However, neighboring areas (5 minutes away) were without power for 2-3 days longer. Unfortunately, many were without power for a week. Businesses were also closed for rest of the week. Grocery stores and gas stations were the only places open, however, many times, you wouldn't be able to find much.
I'm pretty sure that many of you are aware of how volatile the current market is. Up 400 points one day, and down 700 points the next. Up 900 points, and then a drop of 400 points. You also see the same images of brokers with their face in their hands as the market keeps falling. Stock values have dropped considerably. Google stocks was once valued at $700/stock, and it is now about $372/stock. Not that I'm saying this is cheap, but it goes to show that for the most part, nothing has been able to hide from the recession-like environment that we're in. Businesses are closing, and families are finding it difficult to make ends meet. It seems like we have a long rough road ahead of us. I don't mean to be pessimistic, but it is obvious that the worst is not behind us.... contrary to what many analysts say. It's going to be interesting how the holiday season will unfold with many people tightening their budget. Looks like Santa's going to be frugal this year...
Saturday, September 13, 2008
I'll keep you posted on when I get electricity running through my house again.
Monday, May 26, 2008
I decided to spend my memorial weekend working on my summer master's research paper. For the engineering management program at UT, during the first summer, the students select a topic to research and write a paper on our findings. During the next summer, students write a master's report on another topic, or continue on the topic from the previous summer. I am still trying to find a topic to research about. I appreciate my professor's assistance on my research paper. I am thinking about researching about knowledge sharing... people's reasons against knowledge sharing, solution for better knowledge sharing, and its advantages. I think the greatest advantage that a company has is its knowledge, and I believe that it is such an important leverage, it can provide means to get ahead of its competition.
During the last couple of weeks, I have realized how unfamilar people are with the area of engineering management. I guess this is the reason why the HR of the company I work for is hesitant in providing me financial assistance. They are familar with MBA, but not engineering management. And so they aren't quite so ready to provide me with financial assistance. I believe students who persue a degree in engineering management will face some difficulties in explaining to people what is engineering management. Because so many companies are familar with MBA's, I think that companies may not be so ready to fulfill a position by a candidate with an engineering management degree. The good news however is that many schools are beginning to provide degrees in engineering management. This will slowly create a better understanding of engineering management among companies and management.