Getting the bigger economic picture

Alex Martin
15 April 2013
Alex Martin - April 2013Alex Martin is writing a series of blogs about studying part-time for an MBA. You can find his previous entries here. Module three of my MBA was all about macroeconomics – global economic trends and international economics – a topic I have no background in whatsoever. But I had purchased a book that was recommended to familiarise myself. I managed to read some chapters out of those suggested as I was still working on my strategy paper from module two. I started my week in Geneva, arriving early, attending the Geneva Motor Show and doing some tourist activities for the weekend. I stayed with my student colleague once again and, in case you’re wondering, the weather was much better this month! On Monday, I was still thinking about my strategy paper assignment as well as the week ahead in macroeconomics - and its exam on Saturday. My fellow students and I were presented with Say’s Law, not exactly something to look forward to first thing in the morning. If you aren’t aware of Say’s law, look it up and you’ll understand how the day and the rest of the week continued.

As with the majority of the modules at the EIPM, the week’s content was based on seven core subjects delivered over four days with an essay-style exam on the final and fifth day. We covered macroeconomic basics such as: neoclassical and Keynesian; macroeconomic rules (Taylor rule); various policies (monetary, fiscal and industrial) and their impact. These were complex topics, but were clearly explained by our professor who is also a lecturer at Cambridge University.

This month’s socialising in the evenings was kept to a minimum as I wanted to read up on the subject matter given in the days’ lectures. However, the students had arranged a ‘curry night’ and we were joined by our professor and the MBA programme director. This week was particularly tiring as I felt I had to work harder to digest the completely new material and meaning of the formulas and content that was lectured. Despite the complexity of this module, I have understood what macroeconomics is and what economists mean when they talk about ‘real GDP’ versus ‘nominal GDP’, for example. I’m now waiting for my macroeconomics exam grade and the grade for my strategy paper assignment. I will also have to write a macroeconomics paper assignment, submit it in six weeks and await its grade. While I write these papers, I am also researching my dissertation topic, preparing for module four (finance and management accounting) and completing online distance learning packages provided by the EIPM on its distance learning tool. I maintain this is an amazing, life-changing experience, but the work is really challenging. I’m looking forward to updating you in a few weeks’ time and with more information and updates. But, for now, it’s back to Germany and back to my day job for more challenges. ☛ Alex Martin is IT business service principal consultant at SAP. He welcomes comments and LinkedIn connections
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