Financial Crisis for Beginners

. Thursday, March 19, 2009

I came across this rather fantastic assortion of articles that explain the current economic crisis in very lay man terms. 

Ever since I became aware of the global financial crisis, I have been fascinated by the systemic breakdown of the American economic system, and its ripple effects being experienced by the world. Reading articles, blogs that offer different perspectives on the roots of this breakdown, while being interesting, can also become mind boggling for a person who wants to know the basics, and work up towards that. Like any paradigm, today, the amount of articles posted on the financial crisis is so overwhelming, that to search for the root causes is like searching for a needle in the haystack. This page is an excellent starting point for people interested.

I had tried to summarize my understanding of the financial crisis in my own layman terms in my other blog. The contents might not be extremely accurate as the article was written just as a personal excercise. 

I am confident that the current economic turmoil will be case studies and lessons for many batches of MBA programs in the future, and this site will be extremely useful.

Queen's expands class strength


This is an update from Appleseed. Apparently, the class size has been increased this year from 75 to 100-110 and there might be two sections.

For more about this change, at this point refer Appleseed's Post.

While the class size is still considerably lesser than most other MBA programs, it will be interesting to see the diversity that is introduced this year. Needless to say, the first thing that came to most minds was the hope that the quality of intake is not compromised. I am sure, if anything, this will make the program even more competitive and intense. And there will be more experiences to share. This article in the star mentions that 3700 applicants applied to the Queen's MBA program. In such an intense competitive applicant pool, I am left with no doubt that the quality of entrants will be as high as ever.

One of the reasons why I preferred Queen's to other schools is its smaller class strength, which can be great when it comes to the 'MBA experience' and assistance when it comes to placements from the career cell of any school. The knowledge that people in the corporate cell know you, your personality, strengths and weaknesses has a calming effect on students. The flipside is the class strength can also affect placements and networking to an extent. Most alums I have spoken to have said allayed any fear, reiterating the strength of its alum base. With a size of 100, I think the program strength is definitely not small but thankfully not insanely large.

The competition during the placement season will definitely increase, but as Appleseed pointed out, this can also bring in more recruiters to campus. The MBA program teaches us to be flexible to situations, and I look at it as practicing what they preach.

The challenge will of course be in how this point is addressed:

  • Finally, if the class could be split for teaching purposes, the class size could be lowered. Having 75 students in class is not a problem, but having two classes of 55 could create a more intimate setting. In order not to lose the community feeling that students enjoy at Queen's the administration will ensure that each student and team has the experience of working with all of the others. One way of doing this is to rotate one quarter of the teams between the two classrooms every second module.
I feel maintaining the 'community feeling' going to be quite a challenge. Rotating one quarter of the teams between the two classrooms very second module can either help fruitful gelling or result in too little time with too many people. I feel that the onus is on the students here to get the community feeling going.

One of the things I look to closely monitor in the program is how this change works out.