So I’m back, trying to record all those crazy things that happened to me in the last three and a half months. This semester gave me so many up and down, so many excitement as wells as disappointment. But I’m thankful for all experiences, even the bad ones, as they did help me become more aware of who I am and my limitations.
My Management Simulation class finally ended on a good term, which kinda surprised me. I have never experienced such dynamic in group work and the pressure of corporate politics. For the sake of this course, each member in the group is in charge of a department, and I am VP HR & Strategic Planning. We operate like a real company, and there is definitely a sense of authority in our group. This group is not my most favorite group ever, but honestly speaking, it is probably the only group in which all members possess strong skills and seem to be on par with each other. However, the downside is that all of us are pretty stubborn with our ideas. The couple first meetings were exactly a “storm”, as we had to agree on a single strategy to move the business forward. Actually, I never believed there’s a “storming” process (according to Organizational Behavior theory) until I worked in this group. I guess this happened because there’s no other course in which Strategy & Goal were emphasized so extensively, and they are basically what make or break our business. No wonder my father always tells me not to work in a partnership company because it is very difficult to establish the same point of view among partners. It is hard to find the “homey” feeling with this group, but I guess that’s how a real corporations works. You come to the meeting for work, no joke whatsoever in group discussions. The biggest lesson, however, came from our first annual report. The allocation of resources was so terrible till the point that our team had to pull an all-nighter and ended up cutting/editing the report until the very last minute. Even so, our report still had a lot of mistakes and inconsistencies, which were pointed out later by our board members. Thankfully we did a good job with presentation and defended ourselves pretty well throughout the 70 minutes Q&A, or else our grades would be a disaster. The next report was much better as this time we assigned work depending on each team member’s strength. After this experience, I truly value the importance of good management because it is not easy to assign tasks based on individual strength and leverage that strength for a joint performance. There’s always the issue of fairness when allocating tasks within a group setting, and that issue usually prevents a group from performing at its best. This course also made me realize the issue of gender bias in workplace. I won’t say the detail, but unpleasant things happened. On the good side, I am really proud of my group’s second annual report because that is the first time I formatted a whole report.
My most challenging course this term is Marketing Applications. In contrast to Management Simulation, my team mates are very easy-going and we get along really well with each other. Anyway, I really enjoy this course as we need to write a marketing plan for a real company and combine all the skills I learned in other marketing courses. The project I have for this course makes me realize how much I love working with data and research, and I also think my strengths lie there rather than communication. I know communication is essential in marketing, but obviously it’s not what I am particularly good at. I have met so many awesome marketers who can give a meaningful speech right on the spot, who can captivate audience since the first word they say, who can write in a very unique and concise manner. Comparing to them, I am a nobody. But if it comes to planning with numbers and gathering data to back up a decision, I can say that I do a very good job because I hate creativity without logic. All the recommendations in the marketing plan was based on either primary or secondary research, and most of the research was done by me. I am not sure how other groups approach primary research, but I am pretty sure many of them won’t go to the extent of making sure their data are valid. I chose to do statistical tests for primary research data, even though it took me some time, because I wanted my client to have valid information and make rational decisions. I am known for having a very high standard of working ethics, and that’s something I’m always proud of. My group had a killer presentation, and although we got into some troubles delivering the final report, I took it as a lesson for time management and project management.
These two courses are the centre of my last academic term at UBC. I also had three other courses, but nothing really worth mentioning.
I came back to this draft 4 months later, and so many things happened during this gap. I will just end it here, and let it be the post to remind me of the last crazy term I had at UBC. It was challenging and rewarding, and I made good friends there. Let me not forget this journey.