May 2018: MSc International Business and Management: Semester Two Electives

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Just as the lecturers and careers counsellors suggested, the taught course has flown by and I’ve now attended my final International Business and Management lecture. No time for sentimentality though as we get stuck into deadline and exam season. As, naturally, social life becomes relatively non-existent this time of year I’ll stick to offering a brief overview of my Semester 2 units. Hopefully, this will be of some interest for those of you who wish to know a little more about the course, or else, for those of you on the course already and considering your Semester 2 electives:

Frontiers of International Business

The only compulsory unit in Semester 2, Frontiers very much builds on foundational knowledge from Semester 1 in terms of subject matter; looking at contemporary issues affecting global value chains (GVC). However, the assessment method was very different. We were tasked with a group consultancy assignment; choosing a company, mapping their GVC and then advising them regarding a contemporary environmental or social issue. My group selected De Beers, the diamond mining MNE, and environmental complaints they have faced following their adoption of marine mining in Namibia. This was then assessed by a presentation and group report. The unique and largely practical assessment method meant that this was one of my favourite units for the course.

Marketing Issues in International Business

Taught by course leader, Olli Kuivalainen, and very much what it says on the tin, Marketing Issues was without a doubt my favourite module of the whole course. And again, this was largely due to the unique assessment method. We took part in a group simulation where we entered a fictitious brand into the Latin American market where success was determined by the efficacy of our 4Ps decisions. This was assessed by a group presentation and a report. We also had an interesting individual marketing assignment, where we planned a brand of our choices entry into a new market. I chose British craft beer brewery Brewdog, and an entry into the emerging market of Colombia.

Responsible Business in a Global Environment

This elective, assessed by two individual essays, offered an insight into various issues relating to the concept of corporate social responsibility. I enjoyed writing essays on the prevailing issues of tax avoidance and child labour practices. I suggest taking if you’re passionate about social and environmental issues and/or you enjoy a good liberal rant in an essay.

Multinational Business Finance

This unit offers a practical assessment of global capital markets, and how MNEs react to the opportunities and challenges within that environment. Naturally, this course requires considerable numerical ability to understand certain financial concepts and not being from a maths/economics background it offered the most significant challenge for myself. But, I’m happy I stepped out my comfort zone and chose this elective as it’s probably the only area where I have developed a completely new interest. (However, my exam is in a couple of days so if that goes badly I might ask to revise this blog post!).

 

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Ben Lloyd

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