Several things contribute to this course being a useful and interesting course. The number one reason would be the fact that you work with actual companies who are looking to expand into Asia. It is an empowering and exciting experience to work as “management consultants” with the company administration, gauge their needs and come up with an analysis and recommendations that are actually put into place. Some of the companies actually started taking the recommendations of the students even before the project was over, basing their actions on recommendations made by the PMBA students during working meeting while developing the project. The course is structured in a way that periodic instructor guidance and suggestions give crucial direction to the students. This is unlike some other courses when students are sometimes left to work on their own, without much guidance. This experience was truly hands-on experiential learning in a guided environment, with the right amount of independence given to the students for original thinking.
A second major reason was that learning was actually fun in this course. There were plenty of opportunities to interact with each other. By sharing our experiences during class times, a class consisting of busy professionals with full time jobs who were seeing each other only during class times, became closer knit. There was an exercise for which students could present on anything interesting about Asia; several of these presentations were unique and we learnt a lot about other cultures from these.
A third reason was the vibrant and current nature of the course. The course was taught through the “Slack” communication platform and thus we became honest “slackers”, in a way. We kept up with current events happening in Asia and shared thoughts through our comments. This was so interesting that I found myself checking this channel for updates and interesting news several times a day! In summary, this is an interesting and engaging course. If I had to change anything at all, I would make assignments more distinctive to avoid repetition. Since we were dealing with the same topic, some amount of overlap is bound to be there. In this case, it was actually good for students since it was more of a case of reinforcement through repetition.
-2016 PMBA Graduate