Monday, December 7, 2015

Final Post

This class was formatted in a way in which I have never experienced a class.  I came into this class with very few expectations.  I knew that when I was signing up for classes that I wanted to take a few 400 level economics courses to fulfill my major requirements.  I ended up learning more real world material in this class than I could have pictured from the start.  The way we learn in this class is basically designed for us to question everything being said. 

At the beginning, my blog posts were very vague.  You kept bringing up a point about how I needed to dig deeper into my ideas to come up with new ideas.  As I began to understand what you really meant by this, I really started to see how I needed to start to expand my thoughts because that is the only real way in which I am able to come up with new ideas that have relevance. 

The biggest takeaway from this class are the ways in which you can be a successful leader.  Ideally, I would love to be a leader at whatever job I end up choosing after I graduate.  I know I will not be in a leadership role right away but maybe eventually.  There are many types of effective leaders.  You can lead by example, or you can lead by explaining every little detail about what is going on.  I can see myself being a combination of those two types of leaders.  I find it easy to communicate my thoughts to people verbally.  I also have always been a visual teacher/learner.  I feel as though it is hard to really understand something until you see it happening.  A perfect example for this is football.  I can explain anything that is going on to anybody, but until I actually physically show that person exactly what I am trying to explain to them. 

Blog posts were a great way to express my thoughts in my own way.  The best part about the blog posts are that I was in total control of them.  I was able to let the ideas stem off of whatever I wanted.  If I wanted to tell a story I told a story.  If I wanted to simply express and explain many facts, that is exactly what I did.  The sooner future students realize that they can conduct their blog posts however they want; they will find it a lot easier to create better blog posts every week. 

The excel homework is a very good way to see where you are in the course.  There are times in which the homework can be difficult, but if you take your time and follow all of the instructions, you will find that the homework does not take too much time.  I would say that the blog post takes about 30 minutes and the excel homework can take anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour.  This is a very reasonable amount of homework per week for the class.  The homework is definitely not time consuming, but it makes you think a lot which is better in my opinion.

I really did enjoy this class, but there were a few things that I wish we could have had but we did not.  There were times in which I found myself lost during the course.  That is mostly my fault, but in a way I wish there was a weekly checkpoint review in which we were asked specific questions based on that week’s material.  The excel homework is usually more numerical based.  Sometimes I need a little bit more analysis to really understand the concepts.  I feel as though me and many other students are able to plug in numbers on excel and we eventually would figure out the work.  I was able to retrace my steps and always understand it, but I would have loved to have just known how to do all of the problems on the first try. 

Last words of advice to any incoming students.  This course is not going to be an easy course.  The workload is not crazy, but the concepts are not going to be easy to understand.  If you are not willing to put in the necessary time, you will find yourself struggling.  The information learned in this course is practical and will help you throughout the rest of your life. 

Thursday, November 19, 2015


My reputation is one of the most important aspects about my life.  How people view me as a person and how I conduct myself has always been extremely important to me.  The best reputation that I know I have obtained throughout my life so far is with all of my family.  In my family, I am known as the nice one.  I am the person who will always be very kind and understanding no matter what the circumstances are.  These values were instilled in me by my parents.  My parents raised me to always try to do the right thing no matter what I thought the outcome was going to be.

My immediate family obviously knows about the fact that I am known as the nice one.  Everybody in my family is substantially ruder than I am.  As strange as this all sounds, it is very true.  Every single member of my family would openly admit that I am by far the nicest person in the family.  This reputation of mine developed throughout my life.  I am not confrontational at all, and I have a way of understanding and connecting with other people that everybody around me seems to enjoy.  My family all say that I am very easy to talk to, and they have no problem coming to me whenever they have any problems at all.  They know that I will try my best to create a great outcome for them. 

Keeping my reputation where it stands is not very difficult to me.  Being a kind and genuine person really comes naturally to me.  I rarely will have moments when I get overly angry or upset, and when I do, I seem to be able to control them very quickly and not have my problems spill over to other people and create problems for them.  In my opinion, there are not many overall levels of being kind and genuine.  Either it comes naturally to you or it does not. 

With my extended family, there are many similarities to how I am viewed.  They all know that I am extremely kind and outgoing, but because they all know that I am a good person to come to and talk, they do not necessarily do so.  At first this bothered me because I am always looking to help other people, but now I realize that it is a huge weight off of my chest. 

The biggest negative of having my reputation is that I feel some inner obligation to take everybody problems and make them my own.  My Mom and Dad have been telling me for years that there will come a day where I need to become a lot more selfish and worry about my own problems instead of trying to deal with everybody else’s problems.  Going to college really helped me in this category because I am not always around my family to help them out.  I am busy here at school which makes me less available to be dealing with everybody’s problems. 

There are the few occasions where I stray away from the real person that I am.  It is extremely difficult to really get under my skin, but when someone does, I can be extremely rude and unfriendly towards them.  That sounds really bad, but there have realistically only been about 5-10 times in my life where I was really a bad person to someone.  A situation where I have been rude to someone for immediate personal gain is a situation in which I feel I am being wronged.  If I am at a restaurant and I feel as though we are not being seated, or we are just not being served properly I will stray away from my reputation to make the lives of the people I am with a lot better.  Although I do not like doing this, and really do not like being confrontational, there are times in which I am willing to put my foot down if I feel as though the people I am with and myself are not being treated properly.

Overall, having the “nice guy” reputation is something I enjoy because I value being a good guy more than almost anything in the world.  Sometimes people think that means they can push me over, but it has never come to that because people have always seemed to respect me for who I am and the choices I make. 

Friday, November 6, 2015

Principal Agent

This topic made me think for a long time.  I am still a little bit confused about what this scenario means in practical terms, but I feel as though I am beginning to figure it all out.  A situation in which this happens all the time is in my own family.  My aunt is an interior designer, and my uncle is a contractor.  They are married and they have been running a successful business for over twenty years.  There success and overall impact on my life are truly incredible, but I am going to stick to the example.

Every time my aunt and uncle start to remodel, build or completely reconstruct a house, there is always going to be one huge problem during the process.  That problem is taste.  There is always disagreements between my uncle and my aunt on preferences about what should go where.  But there is also always tension between the client and my aunt. 

This is a principal agent scenario because of the conflict coming from both angles to my aunt.  She is receiving two completely different viewpoints and that also goes along with how she views the situation.  It is inspiring how well she can manage everyone’s different ideas and turn it all into one final idea that always turns out to be amazing. 

The way in which the problems gets resolved is crazy.  My aunt will always go through the design process first on her own to see what ideas pop into her head.  She likes to do this because of her idea that she is usually correct.  Obviously that is a very biased viewpoint, but in the end it usually is true.  My aunt will then go through the process with the client.  While doing this, she will not give any of her ideas that she came up with when she did the process.  She wants the client to see everything through their own eyes.  I love that my aunt is able to do this because it really does not let her taste conflict with the clients taste and that is very important to her clients.

My aunt will then go through the process with my uncle.  This time, she will totally listen to my uncle, but she does not shy away from giving her own opinions.  She will call out my uncle when she believes that he is wrong.  The last step in this process is when my aunt sits down with the client and my uncle.  They all talk about their ideas and usually in this one, hour long, meeting they are able to decide on how the design for that particular project is going to look. 

There are so many things that they need to think about.  Cost, material and placement are only a few of the conflicts that are resolved in this meeting, but they always are resolved.  There are obviously a few ways for these conflicts to get resolved.  In the end, if the client is very adamant about how they want the design to look, my aunt and uncle must oblige and allow them to do what they want.  That resolution obviously completely ignores what my aunt and uncle want, but in some cases, that is just how the cards are dealt. 

In the end, as long as the client ends up happy, so are my aunt and uncle.  They always want to make their jobs perfect, but sometimes their version of perfect is not the exact same version of perfect as their clients.  My aunt’s ability to compromise is amazing because she is able to put away her own personal views, to suit what the client really wants.  This is a really hard task for a lot of people to do because lots of the time, people let their own ego’s get in the way when they really should be focusing on pleasing the customer.