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September 10, 2013


Challenge oneself but never be overconfident

I’ll admit it! I started this year thinking that Clark courses were not going to challenge me content-wise after my year at the London School of Economics. Thus, I decided to fearlessly add a math minor to my degree and enroll in as many finance courses as I could this semester.  But, now, I am learning that the courses are more challenging than I initially thought.

On this week’s post, I shall discuss the courses that I am currently enrolled in at Clark. What made me choose the class? The good. The bad. And, whether I would recommend it to any present or future Clarkie?

International Trade

Being a senior at a small Liberal Arts College, I prefer to enroll with professors that I am already quite comfortable with in terms of teaching and grading style. However, I took a chance with the professor for this course, given my firm interest towards International Trade. At first, the professor came off very demanding. With quizzes, homeworks, research papers and heavy readings squeezed in everywhere, I thought that this course was going to be time-consuming. But, so far, it has not been “that course.” Since I am somewhat familiar with the theory that the professor is currently going over – the Ricardian Model – maybe, I got a bit lucky. However, from what I see in the syllabus, I am likely to see new theory starting next week. Otherwise, I would no longer be enrolled in this class.

The good: The readings are engaging and manage to achieve the side goal of this course – teach students how trade data is analysed in economic journal articles.

Good/Bad depends on how you look at it: The articles are a bit heavy, not just in length but also in mathematical applications.

Final verdict: I cannot recommend this course just yet, so I shall come back to it as I always do by the end of the semester.

Intro. to Money, Banking and Financial Markets


Given my interest towards the financial markets, it was natural why I enrolled in this course.

The lectures started off in an a.b.c manner so it was hard to take it seriously during the first week. But, now that we have dived into interest rates, the atmosphere in the class has changed.

The good: A thorough lecturer going over all the small details.

The bad: The course needs to be more rigorous in terms of the workload. (I know I am that guy).

Final verdict: Will have to wait.

Linear Algebra

I must admit that my over-confident demeanor coming back from LSE was shattered when I received the first two homeworks for this course. How could proving something, such as a scalar multiple*vector 0 = vector 0, be so difficult? I am going to have to shoulder through this, especially if  I want to minor in Mathematics.

The good: I have had this professor for three maths courses already and he is absolutely fantastic. Homeworks excellently mirror quizzes and objectives of the course. Furthermore, there is a tutor every Sunday for extra support.

The bad: Well, there really is no bad. I just need to learn and practice more proofs!

Final verdict: Recommended for those hoping to do graduate level econ., computer science and physics majors. And, from what I have seen in the job market these days (at least in the finance sector), they like students who have demonstrated analytical capabilities.

   Principles of Accounting

As someone who hopes to work in the finance sector upon graduation, this course is absolutely vital for me! Briefly put, it teaches the foundation of financial accounting: how accounting indices are calculated and illustrated in financial statements.

The good: 1. I am loving the professor and his teaching style. 2. It is a fast-paced course.

Good/bad depending on how you look at it: Problems due every day there is class. Quiz and homework due every week.

Final Verdict: Please take it! You may not be interested in Finance, but learning to analyse financial statements is a life skill that can only benefit you.

Those were my four courses. I hope that I have given you a rough idea of how my academic stage has been set this semester. As I have done in previous years (Class update), I shall come back at the end of the semester and submit a more thorough post better evaluating the courses. But, as for now, the lessons learned are as follows: 1. Never be overconfident. 2. A challenge awaits for those who seek it.



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  1. Oct 4 2013

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