Friday, 22 May 2015

Lemon chicken and almond noodle surprise



It’s been a while since my last post, I do apologise!

I’m sure you’ll all want to know the result of the Broke Masterchef competition – our team “Dim sham and Impasta” won the prize for the most creative dish! We were up against four other teams, and we had a limited amount of ingredients to choose from at the beginning. We chose noodles, chicken, a lemon, rocket and cheddar cheese, and we were given the surprise ingredient almonds. We valiantly named our invention ‘lemon chicken with almond noodle surprise’ (the surprise was cheese!)


It doesn’t sound very tasty (and doesn’t look all that, either), but we have since recreated it at home and it’s actually rather delicious! If you’d like to try it for yourself: For the lemon chicken, cook it as you normally would with some chicken and a lemon, making sure the sauce is constantly drizzled over the chicken as it cooks. For the almond noodle surprise, firstly shave the almonds (lots of these), finely chop up the rocket and grate an incredibly modest amount of cheese (VERY modest). Using a hob that works properly (our main downfall), cook the noodles along with these ingredients, and then serve as you please! Also, make sure to use garlic in both parts of the dish.

Everyone who participated and spectated thoroughly enjoyed Broke Masterchef, and even though it was a one-off, I’m sure there will be plenty of other interesting activities to get involved in. My advice would be just get involved with as much as you have time for, because you will find that many more doors will open for other opportunities along the way.

Soon after the competition, deadlines arose for about half of the year’s coursework (beginning of April). There was a huge patchwork assignment, which included evaluation of theories, data analysis, empirical analysis, and two essays (one for each macro and micro), and is about 6000 words, although it would be easier to write closer to 8000 or more as there is so much to cover!

There was also a portfolio for PPIBE (Professional Practise in International Business and Economics) which included a reflective report on ‘employability’ for the term, a literature review, and a dissertation presentation and proposal. The word count for that one is around 2500.

The third piece of coursework due in around the beginning of April was a group project for Quantitative Methods for Economists 2. This involved heavy use of STATA software, but most of the time we spent on the project was on presenting the results, doing the maths ourselves to prove we knew how the software worked, writing up minutes for each fortnightly meeting we had since the beginning of the year, and formatting the whole document to make it easy to read. Our project ended up being over 30 pages.

Straight after these were due, the exam revision period began, and we had a couple of weeks before our first exam. We then had two more exams, and all three lasted for 3 hours. I can’t say much about the content of these, but I would strongly recommend looking at the past papers, practising with them and the tutorial exercises, and asking your tutor for assistance in the days running up to the exam.

Now, I am fully focused on organising the Rethinking Economics Annual Conference, which is likely to be the focus of my next blog post. For those of you who still have exams, good luck! For everyone else, its summer, and if the sun is out, why aren’t you?

Liam

Monday, 23 March 2015

Bank of England and Effective Procrastination

Hello there,

Last Tuesday, I represented the Greenwich Pluralism in Economics Society at the Bank of England at an event entitled ‘Revisiting the State of Economics Education’. It was a full-day conference hosted by the Economics Network at the University of Bristol (http://www.economicsnetwork.ac.uk/) and it was great to see active involvement in debate about how economics education could improve. For more information on this, check out Rethinking Economics: http://www.rethinkeconomics.org/


Meanwhile, things are heating up for University of Greenwich Economics students right now! Deadlines for more than half of our coursework are at the beginning of April. One of the 3 assignments due is a 5500-word ‘Patchwork’ coursework project that is made up of many sections, covering Macroeconomics and Microeconomics.

At this point in the year, it is important that spare time is used effectively and any procrastination is undertaken in an efficient and productive manner!

On Tuesday I will be participating in a cooking competition called ‘Broke Masterchef’. It is a student-organised event similar to the TV show (which I don’t watch) but all teams will have to scramble over a table of ingredients that you would typically find leftover in a student fridge! We will then get half an hour to produce the best dish we can, and there will be two prizes; one for the tastiest dish, and one for the most creative. Here is a link to the event: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Broke-MasterChef/872688126105597

I still practice regularly in two bands. With one of them, we are getting songs together to release an EP. The other one is a 3-piece instrumental band playing anything we think sounds good, ranging from jazz, to trip-hop, post-rock and chillout (so pretty open-minded). We are actually looking for a singer at the moment, so if you’ve got some nice vocal chords, drop us a line: saloonjazzmusic@gmail.com


Liam



Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Looking Forward

Hello!

So, the 1-month intense ‘Internationalisation, Trade and Markets’ choice course has come to a close since my last post. I would highly recommend choosing it, mainly because the tutor was very helpful and taught in a way that was critical and constructive, whilst being supportive and inclusive. This has got me starting to think about my choices for next year.

Here are the courses that are compulsory for my third year:

  • Project (Economics & International Business)
  • Applied Econometrics


And here are the courses that I can choose 2 of:

  • Economics of Finance & Investment
  • Economics of International Development and Finance
  • Managerial Economics
  • Monetary Economics
  • Global Macroeconomics
  • Labour Economics, Policy and Regulation


These courses will be the same for anyone currently studying BSc Economics, but some are different for students starting it in September 2015.

From my experience in ‘Internationalisation, Trade and Markets,’ I have come to realise how essential the tutor is to engaging students in the content, and ultimately their success in that course. Therefore, I will not only be looking at whether the course content immediately jumps out at me, but also many other things such as the main lecturer and tutor, and balancing workload throughout the year in coursework and exams.
Meanwhile, things have been productive with the Greenwich Pluralism in Economics Society. We had our launching event last week, entitled ‘What is Pluralism?’ which had a fantastic turnout, and I hope that we gave people a general idea of what the movement towards pluralism is about. It was my first time hosting an event of that sort, and it was a thoroughly educating experience for me. We were riding a delicate balance between giving people enough information to be able to understand what pluralism is and its aspects, whilst keeping the event accessible for everyone, no matter what their background or topic of study.

We have another event coming up on Tuesday 17th March, which everyone is welcome to! Find out more info at: www.facebook.com/groups/greenwichpluralism or join our society for free at http://www.suug.co.uk/societies/GreenwichPluralism/ to receive updates about upcoming events and become part of the movement!

Liam

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Internationalisation

This Internationalisation, Trade & Markets course is getting really busy, especially when doing it alongside my 4 other core courses, but it is still very interesting! It’s entirely coursework based which mean more work now, but no revision or exam later!

The course is split into 3 main sections. First and foremost is the thematic diary. This is a 3600-word research project based on a question that we conceive ourselves and must in some way be related to the course. It is itself split into 7 sections (introduction, 5 distinct segments, and a conclusion). I formed the question, ‘What have been the effects of China’s development model on Africa?’ We have to submit 1200 more words each Friday (called a ‘diary check’) to then leave the last week to make any changes necessary.

Secondly, we had to give a 20 minute formative presentation in the second week (again on a question of our own) to then improve it on feedback and present the final one in the third week. My team presented on ‘Brazil: What are the impacts of MNEs on the government, industries, labour market, and environment?’ and I covered the industries section, which included applying monopolistic and oligopolistic market theory to the mobile telecommunications industry in Brazil.


The other form of assessment is debates. In the second week, we formed debate groups (of 3 or 4) and in the third week (yesterday!) we had a debate. The two topics were:

(1) A sustainable approach to corporate practices is the only way to ensure international business development

(2) ‘The social responsibility of business is to increase its profits’ (Friedman, 1970); hence, it is global consumerism that will ensure international business development.

My team were allocated to argue the first one, and I was a proud team leader as I think we reasoned our theme and rebutted the opposing teams’ points brilliantly.

In related news, I cooked my first roast chicken last night for my flat mates, and it was delicious.

All of this extra work has made me contemplate my time management and how to increase my productivity levels while at home. It’s something that I have found useful. Maybe you will too!

Liam

Thursday, 5 February 2015

It’s Better to be Busy than Bored

Hello again, and welcome once more to my blog.

Things have been very busy since my last blog post in November. I attended the National University Trading Challenge with the Trading and Securities society which I help run at the University. I was leading a team of 6 people in the competition which was split into five sections: a 30-day portfolio challenge, Forex day-trading, short-term portfolio optimisation, and two case study presentations using options and swaps.


I was very proud of my team as we came third in the 30-day portfolio challenge and everyone put in sterling effort. Luckily, I won the individual Forex day-trading section, but could not have done it without the support of my team. Unfortunately, we did not make the podium at the end, but I think we all benefitted from the participation, made some great friends and had an awesome time!

I spent Christmas and New Year in Malaysia which was incredible, but it was a rather big shock coming back to the British winter! I have since started another trading competition, this time an internal one with the society which finished on the 25th February.

Since I am doing the BSc (Hons) Economics course, I have a choice of which 15 credit course to do. I chose Internationalisation, Trade and Markets, which started on Monday (2nd February). It is a properly intense course which is condensed into 1 month, as it is taught on a block teaching format like the International Business course. For IB students, they only have 2 other courses going on, but for us Economics students we have 4 more! It is a really interesting course but it is going to be an extremely busy month for us. Even though it is important to see it from the University’s point of view that they want to give us the best choice of courses, from the student point of view it is a huge workload which means for this month we will regularly finish the day at 7pm.

Meanwhile, I have started Greenwich Pluralism in Economics society, which has just been unanimously approved by the Societies Council. It is essentially an initiative to participate in a global campaign for the improvement of economics syllabuses and the way they are taught. Too often, Economics is taught in such a way that disconnects it from the real world, leading many graduates to feel like they haven’t been equipped with useful knowledge relating to the fundamental principle of economics: How to allocate scarce resources in a world of unlimited wants. The society will help to address this because one of the things we are campaigning for is making the syllabus and teaching of Economics more pluralist and giving students a more critical understanding of the history of thought behind economic theories, and I want to make sure that Greenwich is one of the Universities at the forefront of this accelerating global movement.

Till next time,

Liam

Thursday, 20 November 2014

My first blog!

As I the lift doors were closing, George – one of my lecturers from first year – walked past.

‘Hi, George!’

‘Hi Liam, did you see me on TV?!’

The doors closed.

Getting to know your lecturers is one way of improving your experience at University, but there are loads of other ways, too. I have decided to give this blog thing a go to give you more of an insight into what day-to-day student life is really like, and hopefully give you some tips on how to make it more rewarding.

I didn’t really get involved in extra-curricular activities in my first year. I am already 3 years behind because after Sixth Form I went travelling and ended up working in Malaysia. At the beginning, didn’t have a clue what I wanted to do with my life.

Eventually I came to the decision that a good degree would help me, which gave me motivation and focus. In my first year, I put pretty much all my effort into studying, because I felt that justified not actively engaging in many societies.

This year, that has changed dramatically as, being an optimist, I like to say ‘Yes’. I enjoy helping others and making the most of my time, but on the negative side starting lots of new activities can leave little time for other things (such as studying).

I put quite a bit of time into the University’s new scheme to improve students’ employability, the Employability Passport. This is becoming an increasingly important part of Business School programmes and, whilst it is not compulsory at the moment, I have heard that it is soon likely to be.

You have to gain points for it by doing activities that will improve your future employability, like having a job and attending special lectures and workshops. I did those things last year meaning that at the beginning of this year I was invited to various networking events, workshops and the like, which have been very constructive.

In September, I became a Vice President on the board of the University of Greenwich Trading and Securities Society, and our University won the national University Trading Competition last year – so, no pressure then!

One of the most important things for someone on the sandwich course in their second year (like me!) is to apply for placements. A good time to start doing so would have been about a month ago, but I have not yet got round to it. It is one of those things that is really easy to put off, but could be significant to your future success.

Meanwhile, I am a drummer in two bands, one of them gigging regularly – Coast.

Hit us up:



Seeing as all this other stuff has left me with no time to study this year yet, I had better get started! 

Ciao!