Monday, 23 February 2009

Academically me, part I

So far, I've refrained from commenting on life @ UST as a student studying global business. I've decided that it's not fair since well, I've only experienced less than a month of GBUS-specific courses. In the first semester, the core courses for GBUS (shorthand for global business) are the same as Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) students. Oh! Core courses are different from required courses, I came to realize. Core courses cannot be flunked, deferred, or dropped. Required courses can be deferred. Unfortunately, all my classes this semester are core classes and I have seven. No flexibility in choosing courses for now!

So, what's so special about this semester? *drumrollllll....* BMGB 101! The course that makes GBUS special. Okay, not really, but it's the GBUS course. Our textbook consists of business cases that focus on (gasp!) globalization of companies. We analyzed a Zara case last week. Did you know it's Spanish? That it rarely outsources? That its main value is speed? That shops are updated almost twice every week?

....I just broadcasted my nerdiness, didn't I.

Anyways. Some students have said that BMGB is basically an extension of Labu (language for business, which also is a case study class). Besides the fact that they both analyze cases, I'd say the similarities end there. In Labu, you get quite a bit of guidance. The issues in the cases are incredibly clear and the worksheets/packets tell you what you need to know. However, in BMGB, the potential pitfalls are much harder to spot. My groupmates and I are analyzing a L'Oreal case and... well, we spent an hour discussing, groping for problems the company has, and failed. (Digression: Shu Uemura is L'Oreal's. Seriously.)

No doubt, I'm a complete newb at this analyzing thing. I'm probably as competent as an elephant trying to belly dance. My only consolation is that after this semester of case after case after another cursin' case, I'll improve. With a sprinkle of a miracle, maybe I'll even be able to crack out incisive comments.

Almost 8pm! Time for a swim. I think Part II will consist of a rant about cases.

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Food @ HKUST Part I - Bistro

The day before yesterday was a happy happy day, dear reader, even though I am starting to feel ancient. I gorged down three different slices of cake too - amazingly, I didn’t feel sick at all. Maybe I’ll regret it fifty years from now, toothless. And shaking a cane at my granddaughter.

Dear reader, understand that I am a food fanatic. My friends who were pampered by exquisite and inexpensive food in their high school years are now complaining to me about the insipid cafeteria food at their universities. There is a certain amount of schadenfreude in me, so I smugly detail the ARRAY OF CHOICE of food at HKUST. Of course, it’s not haute cuisine, but HAH! – there are two places where I can get dim sum on campus! I can have udon! I can have an avocado-smoked turkey Panini, oozing with cheese! Curse it, and all my meals are under four bucks. Drinks/soup included.

I digress. HKUST has a subsidized Bistro that is a very good restaurant at a very good price. Because it was my birthday, my friends and I got drinks on the house. The bartender arranged three wine glasses on the base and stacked an inverted glass on top. A bigger wine glass held a peachy alcoholic drink. The bartender then LIT the drink and poured the flaming liquid down the glass pyramid. Impressive! I wish I took a picture, but the sight took my breath away and I could only drink in the pretty sight.

The Bistro’s burger is 55 HKD, less than $7 and is delicious. Good old grilled chicken Caesar salad, hearty lasagna, simple sandwiches and others are on the menu. Though the menu is not comprehensive, the food quality is amazing for its price, as is the décor and service. Of course, the Bistro charges higher than our cafeterias. Still, no complaints!

So, dear friends, how about coming-a-coming to HKUST?