An overview of my first semester

The first term (of four) at the University of Miami’s MBA programme is officially done. We had a very interesting term in which, frankly, I have learned more than I can express. I took four main courses during the semester.

For strategic brand management, The School of Business’ very own dean, Barbara Kahn, was the professor. While we looked at how to manage a brand in the different stages of the cycle and how to analyse it with qualitative and quantitative data, the entire term was about one main project.

We worked alongside Perry Ellis, the clothing brand, to create a brand audit of some of their different brands and provide recommendations on how to position and/or improve the brand’s image. Last week, each group presented their term’s work in front of managers for all the different brands. Needless to say, it was an incredible experience. We tackled each subject that we had talked about in class and compressed it to support our recommendations in a 10-minute, timed presentation. It could be because I am a marketing major, but this was my favourite class of the semester.

Operations research was a very interesting class to be a part of. It wasn’t, frankly, my cup of tea, but I had never taken an operations research class and I was pleasantly surprised.

With the use of equations and the help of Excel and Solver, the course aimed to allow students to see both how and when operations research can be used. How can we optimise the outcome with the minimal cost associated? I could definitely see where and how this material could be used in the real world outside the classroom.

Besides a finance class which was a refresher course for what’s coming next semester, I was also part of an international management course in which we studied the various entry modes to a country and how globalisation influences how a company expands.

International management and strategic brand management were electives I chose before the semester started. Many of my friends chose other electives such as group synergy and teamwork and effective leadership. The programme offers several to choose from so you study what you choose.

The second term, however, offers no electives so I have international marketing, business law, information system management and the second half of finance to look forward to.

Hopefully this has given you a brief idea of the classes I took this term. I now have some business writing workshops and then, spring break!

While I will most definitely enjoy the time off, I will also be on the look-out for summer internships.