Period 5 at Maastricht University – summary

Period 5 is the last period for master students who started in September. Last courses, tutorials, exams, finishing master thesis. I also had my last courses but I also managed to work at the University and to enjoy travelling a bit.

Spring in MaastrichtSpring in Maastricht, source: my picture

Tradition continues and I look back again at period 5 of my Infonomics study programme that just ended. It was actually last period when I had regular courses, I am only left with the Master thesis and skill course connected to that. Pretty good feeling I must say. Only the Master thesis stands between me and masters degree. Well, but for now I will focus on the two courses and just passed and my life in the previous period. Both of my courses were compulsory for Infonomics master programme – Internet Economics and Intellectual capital and knowledge systems. Actually this period was pretty busy. Next to my own courses I was also tutoring at FASOS and working on an internship website for the Maastricht University. I managed to go for a weekend and Queensday to Amsterdam and also for 4 days to Paris. I hosted my brother and 3 friends in the first week of May Smiley :D Maybe my time management is getting better Smiley :) Let's start with my university duties.

My Timetable of period 5

As in the previous period 4 I had free Wednesday and Friday. We agreed on meeting only once a week for Internet Economics, but then we also had an extra tutorial in the exam week. I was tutoring on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays – 3 Groups and each group twice a week. Pretty busy schedule, but I liked it.

Day Time Course Tutor
Monday 8:30 – 10:30 Intellectual capital and knowledge systems
EBC4085, tutorial
E. Feron
Tuesday 13:30 – 16:30 Internet Economics
EBC4083, tutorial
K. Hyndman
Thursday 8:30 – 10:30 Intellectual capital and knowledge systems
EBC4085, tutorial
E. Feron

Intellectual capital and knowledge systems

The title of the course may be a bit misguiding. The real content of the course was human capital theory and research connected to that. Every second meeting was focused on empirical results, we were given datasets, questions to answer and access to STATA. Let's play Smiley :) I liked this approach, because we weren't just reading articles and discussing their content, but we also learned how to apply the theory and how to operate Stata. I had previous experience with this software, so some commands were familiar to me, but I also learned new stuff. And we should not forget that "practice makes perfect".

The grading of the course was based on participation (25%), paper (25%) and written final exam (50%). I would personally put more weight on the paper, because everybody spent a lot of time with it and it was of a real added value. Final exam was based on the literature we read and discussed in the tutorial session and we also had to interpret some Stata output. As it was written and we were like 15 people enrolled in the course, we wrote that as usual in MECC. I hoped that it was my last visit of that place at such occasion. For some of my colleagues it was the last course, last tutorial and also the last exam at university in their lives. That deserved some celebration, right? We went to Erwin's place, prepared dinner, drank beer, had fun, later in the night went to play some billiard, then back as the city was completely empty and played Wii before we went to bed. Awesome day.

Internet Economics

The course was not only focused on the Internet but in more generally network industries, technology, adoption of standards and also a bit of auction theory, as it was field of interest of our great tutor Kyle Hyndman. We followed a book called "The economics of Network industries" by Oz Shy. Next to that we had for each topic a few more or less recent economic articles. Actually good combination. We were only master students of Infonomics, therefore tiny group of 4 people. I didn't miss any class but sometimes we were only 3 at the meeting – tutor and 2 students. That's not ideal composition of PBL system. Actually, this course would be much better if there were also lectures not only PBL sessions. I think Kyle knows that therefore he sometimes prepared a presentation of some exercises for us. The content of the course was a bit related to microeconomics, as we used simple utility functions and some profit calculations. Basic stuff. For me, the most interesting parts were auctions. It was something new and also connected to real life situations.

We were asked to write a paper in groups (well as we were 4, we created 2 groups by 2), present it and this counted for 25% of the grade. Another 25% was the participation and 50% was the take-home exam. Never heard of? It's like huge assignment with quite specific questions and some topics for half-page long essays. I actually enjoyed solving it, even if I was not completely sure whether I am on the right track. We had about 10 days for the exam, which was enough as I spent like 2.5 days with it.

Free time

Since the 5th period started after Easter, conditions for the travelling were the best since I got here in September (ok, September was pretty awesome too). I missed a few opportunities to visit some of my friends who are/were also on Erasmus abroad, but I didn't have much time to spare this period. At least I managed to make two great trips – for 3 days to Amsterdam and then I went for 4 days to Paris. I hope I will visit some interesting place in the next period too.

I continued with salsa lessons on Tuesday nights and I also went to salsa parties on Friday nights at Stay Okay hostel. I didn't see Adam, Aidas and other from Microeconomics course this period, which is a pity, we must get better in that next period. Playing card games is fun Smiley :) I hosted 3 times someone in Maastricht and I managed to see the Maastricht undergroundthe caves from limestone mining as well as the catacombs created for protection of the city.

Working – tutoring at FASOS

Some of you may know that I also got a job as a tutor at FASOS (Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences) in two courses – Making a European Market and International Economics. Both are 2-year bachelor courses mandatory for students of European Studies programme. They need to write a paper and have written exam at the end. I love teaching, it's fun even if it's not easy all the time. I had 3 groups 2 times a week for 2 hours. Well, the content of the course is pretty condense and extensive so especially at the beginning of the period the 2 hours were not enough to go though all the learning goals properly. But we somehow managed to overcome all the difficulties and I think the students learned quite something. I don't know if I was their favourite tutor but when I asked what they think about the tutorials, I only got positive feedback, which was pleasant to hear.I would be interested to know how many of my students passed the final exam.

Overall, I think the period 5 was a success. I did many various things and I did it good. I enjoyed it most of the time, I got my best (9) and worse (8) grades in this period.

Article last edited 6. 2. 2013, viewed: 1054-times.
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labels Labels:Beer, Czech people, Easter, Eurolines, Infonomics, MSc, PBL, Queensday, Salsa, Sightseening, University
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