Wednesday, December 3, 2014

My Economics Organization Experience

What's really new to me in this class is the lectures we covered with Insurance. I am a econ major student but with most of my classes I barely have the chance to learn about insurance. Because there was many calculations and different theory under different situation, it was hard for me to understood to knowledge properly. As painful as it is, I think it is important for me. Economic calls for many knowledge in different area, so I figure it is important for me to understand.
Excel homework was really hard for me in the beginning, because every time I open the excel up, it would be either really long or it has multiple spread sheets. I've learned how to use excel when I was taking econ 203, so using it was not a problem. The problem was I do not know what to do with all the information on it and all I could think of was to just go to the part where the question was and get it done. Time has proven to me that it was a huge mistake. After a couple homework, I realized that reading through every question and all the information that spreads through all the excel spread sheet. Sure it would cause some time, but it would cause even more if I just kept working without reading anything.
This is actually the second class that needs me to do blog post. The first one was an esl class. All the topics that was covered in the blog posts were really practical. Every time when I wrote the blog, I feel like it's new discover in something that is already happening around every one's life, but nobody really give any attention. In my first couple posts, the feed back that I got were mostly critiques on what I should wrote about or what bases I haven't covered or I did not get the topics right. To tell the truth, it was really frustrating because I actually expected a little bit more than just critics. I remember one of the feed backs I got from you really changed my mind about you. It was about team production and gift exchange. I wrote about the team work of Michael Jordan and Scott Pippen. I thought I got the base well covered in that post. However, when read your comment, you mentioned that I forgot to mention another player, Steve Kerr, who is now coaching Golden State Warrior. I was embarrassed because I know never knew the player that was one of the most remarkable point guard that has saved the Bulls more then once when MJ was not in his game. I knew that you are golf, baseball and football man, but I never knew you knew basketball. It was the point where I had a new angle towards you.
I actually really like this blog post through out your class, but I must say that writing a blog post every week is sometimes frustrating. Maybe in the future your blog post schedule could be changed to twice a week. I have taken 420 with Prof. Bear learning international economics, I have taken econ 303 learning advance macro. Those 2 classes were really painful advance classes. I just want to say it's a pleasure learning 490 with you. The knowledge that was covered in this class was far more than the other 2 combined.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

My Reputation

  To my friends, my reputation is that I know most of the songs that are playing on the radio station. By know, I do not just mean I know who sang it and the name of the song, I can mostly remember all the lyrics and how to sing them.
  I love to listen to music, especially when I'm driving a car. I was not really trying to listen or memorize the music, I just find the music I like and listen to over and over again. I would try to sing along with it after I've listened to it for a while. Day after day, people who's been in my car knows I love to sing when I am driving. From that on, whenever somebody play some good song, I would sing along because I know most of the songs that are trending or really classic.
  At first, my friends would just thought of me as a guy who likes to sing. With time goes by, they begin to realize that I know a lot of songs and I know how to sing a lot of songs. Now, whenever my friend heard a good song and wanted to know the songs name or the singer of the song, 8 out of 10 I can give them the correct answer. I was not trying to listen as much song as possible and keep my reputation because for me this approach is more close to I intended to keep this reputation, not because I love listen to music.
  The way for me to keep my reputation is pretty easy. I just listen to a lot of music. Mostly is because I have a passion with music so I try to listen to as much music as possible. I do not have a really specific taste for music. I believe that different genres have their own ways to be appreciated and I love to explore different kinds of  music so it is easy for me to appreciate most of the music whether it is a old classic or a new hip pop trend. After listening all these years, I feel that I all the music that I listened to helped known a lot of different stuff and expanded my horizon. Not just because I listened, I also tried to put myself in a position that can understand what the singer was trying to do.
  Sometimes I do stray away from my reputation because there are situations that my reputation can be a pain in the ass. With my close friends, I keep my reputation because they would want me to sing when the song is on on my car. However, when I am not fairly close with the people on my car or around, I would try to dial down on my reputation because it may be annoying to them. From my past experience, when somebody say to me that: You Actually Know Every Song Huh? It would be my cue to be quiet a little bit.
  In my opinion, I think an individual's reputation is how his or her habit reflected to others. He or she should know whether this reputation is good or a bad influence in the future. I'm running a crew now and what I care about the most is whether my crew member is on time or not. Some of the crew member may not know, but some of their reputation as tardiness has already built up. So one should always keep an eye on how their reputation are.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Group Dynamics

Gridiron is a name that athletes, especially football players like to call the football field. I personally know's not too much about foot ball except it is very intensive and calls for team work. "Gridiron Gang" is the first movie about foot ball that I ever watched. The movie is actually based on a true story about a supervisor in a juvenile detention center wanting to help the miss guided teenagers by playing foot ball. All of the teenagers came from different neighborhood. Under the affect of the gangs in their neighborhood, there is a hate between different kids. In the movie, they were made to work as a team so conflict will be an issue. Two particular players conflict is more fierce than others. One player is a running back, the other is his left tackle. In a regular case, the left tackle should always cover the running back. The problem in this particular case is the gang in their neighborhood have taken the other player's family member.

On some level, the conflict might not be solved because there is no way for them to have a decent communication the tension is very hard to resolve. In this situation, the coach used a method that accidentally let the two players communicated.  Coach was trying let the running back run over him as a way of conquer the fear and gain the confident in the running back. Eventually, the running back did it and it somehow gain the respect from his left tackle. In reset of the matches in the season, the running back and the tackle worked perfectly with each other.

Even though the team never made to the  playoffs, all the players learned many great lessons which helped them to move on with their lives. In the movie, it is not just telling a great story, it is also telling the importance of communicating. Communicating is not just to sit down with everyone and start talking about the problem face to face, it is about finding the right way to commute as effective as possible. In the situation that was described in the movie, the conflict was inevitable because of some objective facts that it wasn't easy for them to get over something that related to a person's lost in their family. In both the players mind that they could never work as a team because they think the other person is representing of what has been done and holding them responsible. People on the team has no particular feelings, only they have been feeling this the same way to somebody else. When the coach first noticed this situation, he tried to ask a truce for the two, but this got them nowhere. The way that actually worked out did happen under accident, but it did explain how important it is to find a right way to communicate

Friday, October 24, 2014

Team Production and Gift Exchange

In the article" How to Get the Rich to Share", it shows a character that is long lost in the business would, that is fairness. There are some experiment in the article to demonstrate how the fairness is displayed in a toddlers world. The conclusion is simple enough: Rich people do not want to give up or do any thing for the poor because they already have everything. When there is a first come first serve or privilege scenario, the one who got the first would not want to do anything for the second, in which create a gap between the rich and the poor would only be bigger and bigger.
In the actual world, all people would only do is to look out for their own best interest. With the fast pace of development of the world, people tend to forget about collaboration because all they care is to get stuffs that matters to them as much as possible. Take basketball for example, star athletes are rich because they have the skills that could influence the game that other regular athletes night not. They are rich not just because of what they can do, but also about what they can do to the team. Michael Jordan is no doubt the greatest NBA player in history. Nobody else can play the way he plays on the court. However, if you imagine that there was no Scott Pippen by his side to support him, he might still won the championship ring, but it's not going to be an easy road and he might not achieve what he has achieved in history. Also, Steve Nash is one of the most legendary player in history. He is not known for his dunks, he is not known for his three point shots. What he is known is for his passes. Nash might not won a single championship in his career, but he is already a legend because he knows how to be a team player.
For business man, this team work might not be practical because things get more complicated when it involves profit. If two business man are fighting over for a same client that could bring a lot more profit to their own business, they would not collaborate when they have the same information on the client or has the same offer to the client because they do not want to split the profit. When the scenario is changed into where one man has more information than the other, this man would also not help out the other, because this unfairness is the reason to win the client.
People learn to take chances to get what they wanted, it might seems to be a good approach for individuals. However, when people in a team wanted to be get what they wanted as individuals, it would harm the efficiency of the team. Ted Williams once said the hardest thing to do is to hit a baseball, round ball, round bat and you have to hit it square.You may feel like it's a solitary sport, but the truth is you are one out of nine. It is good to get what you wanted when you helped your team to achieve something, but you have to always keep in mind that you are not just relying on them, they are also relying on you.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Managing Future Risk

  I am an international transfer student and major in econ. Before I came here, I was studying finance, but my former school was not good at. For me, managing future income risk started when I made the choice by coming to U of I. After I came here, I did start to manage my next step, but some of the aspects I have not covered.
  First, I choose economics as a major because in future career, I want to be in business area. So far, the choice I made haven't start to pay off yet, but after I apply to business graduate school and graduated, I believe I can be more on track to business. Also, I'm taking computer science class in order to apply in a business minor. After half way through the class, I'm starting to have an interest in computer science and willing to minor. Although this was not my first intention, I think this decision does not lead me away to my original plan. Although I planned the minor, I haven't talked to my adviser for any class suggestions. I did plan something in my academics, but some of the stuff I have not done yet, so the pressure just keep adding up.
  Second, during the summer, I was an intern in an investment bank. The experience was new and challenging because I never worked in an actual bank and I was really nervous. The reason I want that internship is I want to have some working experience to put in my resume, which can get me a bigger chance to get a job offer. However, my debt has piled up. Even though I already have some intern experience, I still haven't start to renew my resume. Also, I haven't been to any career fare. Not just because I do not have a resume and cover letter ready yet, I just do not have the push for me to do it.
  Till now, I realized that I'm junior standing now, which means for me there is less than 2 years for me to know what I want to do when I graduated from undergrad school. If I do not have any job offer that I wanted, I would pursue a graduate degree. I'm international student, which means for me to apply to graduate school I need to prepare a GRE or GMAT test. I know which direction to take on my path towards business, but I have been laying back so much that I might starting to put too much on my senior year and I might end up achieve nothing.
  When I came to U of I, I think it is a great chance for me to start over. After one year, I feel like I have been pushed all the way, and I have left many things along the way. The things I left became my debt, and I do not have much time left to make up the debt. I think most of the students in college are all facing the same problem as I am, we all believe that we still have some time left, but the truth is once we realized that we might need to clear up our debt for our future, there might be not much time left to do so.
  For my career, managing future risk is about clearing debts that were left behind, make sure the path I'm taking is the right path and make adjustment to different situations.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Illini Bucks

  When students are registering classes, in order to be "fair", school developed a system that senior students and James scholar students would be the the first ones to register. Hence, freshmen would be the last ones to  register for class. Such things seems to be fair, but it definitely would be unfair to lower grade students. Things such as registering for classes or reserve a basketball court are prioritized  or follow the first come first serve policy. 
  If the school is willing to issue a "illini bucks", what students are mostly willing to spend on are perhaps registering for classes, reserve meeting rooms or multipurpose room and reservation in health center. If the school is putting a price on these, I would most likely to spend on registering for class because some classes slot are really hard to get in. I think that most of the use for this illini bucks would be for classes. because some of the classes are only for spring semester or winter semester. Also, in some cases that students wanted to graduate earlier and trying to fit as much as required classes as possible. 
  If the price is too high, students would try to trade in illini bucks with actual money, or some students save up their illini bucks, this would cause unfairness to other regular students because they do not have the power to compete with students that have more illini buck. Another case is that the price that is too high for students that illini bucks would be making any change. Also, if the price is too low, students might be using illini buck on every class they want to register which would also be unfair to students who did not use the money.

Friday, September 26, 2014

My team experience

I realized that I can dance when I was in high school. From that point on, I have been dancing for almost six years. I never received any professional training, most of the stuff I learned was from the internet. After I got to college, it was the first time that I was drafted to a dance team. During that period of time, I finally how much I need to improve myself to be one of the team member and perform.
The structure of the team is a dual authority. Executive director would be the highest authority, then it splits down to two most important part in a dance team: assistant director and artistic director. Assistant director in charge of all the execution of orders that was given by the director and the liaison between the director and crew member. Artistic director is the one who in charge all the rehearsal, choreography and training the crew member to enhance fundamental skills. This structure is very effective because it is well covered in a dance team. Also, it is very easy to restructure to adapt to different situation. This structure helped to divide the burden to two sections: assistant director can enforce orders from the director, artistic director can share the load of choreographing and training crew member. All these is to keep the director from micromanaging. Because the team is not very big, so efficiency would not be effected gradually.
Dancers are easy. We do not dance for money, although it would be wonderful if we do. The reason that we dedicate time and other important aspect in dancing because we want to dance, we want to perform, we want to make the audience happy. Every semester, we have a big event that is either held in a club on campus or in Chicago. Every time we deliver a great performance in a rather short period of time. When preparing for a event like this, all team member would contribute to help. Music, one of the most important aspect that is in a dance, would be edited by some skilled team member. In order to be more efficient, people who are skilled would be call in for help to promote the showcase. Rest of the dancers would have to wait to training orders. This is fairly like Katzenbach's "high performance team are of a manageable size"and "high-performance team develop the right mix of expertise."   We do what we could do to help the team, but we do it in way that keeps everything structured. However, of all the aspect that was mentioned previously that could build a high-performance team, the essential key to the success is all the team member has the one true common goal, that is to bring the best performance to make the audience happy.