What better synthesis between academia and the cold realities of the free market than having students bid for the elective courses they want to take next semester? Armed with 1,000 points, we faced a veritable smorgasbord of modules, the task being to choose 3 credits’ worth to supplement our core courses.
It was not, in fact, obligatory to take all 3 credits (effectively two extra classes) – indeed it was not recommended; this coming semester is going to be pretty intense as it is by all accounts.
Nevertheless I couldn’t resist the lure of both Practical Strategic Management (taught by a McKinseyite from Shanghai) and Theory of Investing. The latter I chose both out of career relevance and the desire to supplement the numerous ‘soft’ courses with some more quantitative skills-based learning. Soft skills courses are naturally essential to the formation of a well-rounded skillset, but in the course of the week I’ve found it is refreshing to study something with a correct answer or two!
Back to the bidding. Having heard plans of equal attribution and ‘the ebay theory’ of waiting until the last moment to bid, based on how full each course was at that point, I made a pretty basic tactical decision which seems to have worked. Practical Strategic Management was in English only, and had 40 places for 120 possible applicants, while Theory of Investing was offered in both Chinese and English with 50 possible seats for each. Judging the former was at least four times more likely to fill up than the latter, I allocated 800:200. Would you have made the decision on a similar basis?