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Archive for January 2007

Marketing Research

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My team and I decided, which topic we are going to research over the course of my marketing research class this semester. We are going to determine “what makes a good website,” paying particular attention to user experience. We are also going to limit our research to college students in order to get more detailed and focused results. I am excited about this project, because it is very hands-on and overall a very interesting topic to research. I’ll keep all of you posted on how that goes. Cheers!


Written by markusw

January 31, 2007 at 7:35 pm

US Figure Skating Championships

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I just got back from the Exhibition of Champions of the US Figure Skating Championship. For the past week, Spokane hosted the annual US Skating Championships. Tonight’s event was the final show at which the third through first place finishers of every competition class demonstrated their programs.
I had bought the tickets a long time ago, thinking that the event might be enjoyable. It turned out to be very fun and a great opportunity to see some of the world’s best figure skaters.

Written by markusw

January 28, 2007 at 11:17 pm

Posted in Random

Portfolio Management

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I thought I would briefly post about my (by far) best class this semester. I have mentioned it several times before, but never in great detail. The class is called Portfolio Management and it is taught my Clarence Barnes, the Dean of the School of Business. There are only about 15 people in the class, all of which were handpicked by him. The class, in the first semester, teaches the basics and theories that go into Portfolio Management and Investment. Each chapter is “taught” by one of the students. I volunteered to teach the first chapter. Although it was a lot of work and a little unnerving, I am glad I raised my hand to do the first presentation for several reasons: 1) now I am done with the class (besides listening to the other presentations) and 2) I got the brownie-points from the Dean.

Overall, from what I can tell so far, the class is going to be great. In the first semester we are covering pretty much the entire textbook, in the second semester we are going to pick stocks for our team portfolios to invest in. The business school has three $50,000 accounts available to the three teams in the class. Any money that we earn over the course of the semester will go towards scholarships for Business School students.

I love that the class is more-or-less student-directed, but at the same time (through Dean Barnes’ contacts) we have the opportunity of meeting with many great business leaders from the financial services industry.

I will certainly keep all of you posted on how the class continues…

Written by markusw

January 26, 2007 at 9:03 pm

Thursday – Second day of classes

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Today was my second day of classes, and also therefore the second and last day of “new” classes. Tuesday’s and Thursday’s I don’t start as early and can actually sleep in (if you consider a class starting at 9:30 am sleeping in.) I started the day with Management and Organization. The class is sort of a cross-over between a survey to human resources, team management, and organizational structure. The professor is very chipper (maybe a little too chipper,) but the class has many familiar faces in it and it promises to be very interactive and informative.
In talking with my friend, Chris Semke, I discovered that I could make good use of the time I gained through dropping the Astronomy Lab course. I just added Intermediate Finance (BFIN 322) to my schedule. This actually puts me up to 22 credits, which is more than I have ever taken before, but it also means that I will not have to take summer school and that I can take Intermediate Finance with Professor Time Korkeamaki. He is my current faculty advisor, husband of my former sophomore advisor, and they are both from Finland (I have actually flown back home with them on the same flight before.) His wife is 8 months pregnant and he will be going on sabbatical in the summer, which is just another great reason to take the class now and not later.
I am looking forward to this newly added class. The focus is on corporate finance and specifically the use of Microsoft Office: Excel.
My day ends with another business class. This time the class is for my marketing major: Marketing Research. In both my past internships with Microsoft and Lufthansa I have primarily conducted market research oriented projects. I am looking forward to formalizing some techniques I have used and to learn the theoretical concepts behind them.

After having every one of my classes once, I can officially say that I am looking forward to this semester and the opportunity to work and study hard.

Written by markusw

January 18, 2007 at 10:30 pm

Posted in News/Blogging

First day of classes

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I had my first day of classes today. It is great to be back at school, although I am sure it will take me a couple of extra days to get back into my school routine.

I had my first Management Lab today and the professor appears to be a great guy – an interesting class to look forward too. I also had my first college level science today – Astronomy. I thought it would be refreshing to take something different than basic biology or chemistry. Exciting news for that class: I don’t have to take the lab, so I already dropped the class (bringing me down to “only” 19 credits.)
Other than that I sat through my first couple of lectures in Philosophy 301 (Ethics) and Perspectives on Global Issues (International Studies 410). I know how important a well rounded education is and I understand the value that a class like Philosophy might have for me, but I still struggle with them anyway. I like classes in which the professor lectures on theoretical concepts and the students then have the opportunity to get involved by applying the learned concepts in case studies, activities, etc. This is my third Philosophy class and I still have a problem with the idea of not definitely knowing what answer is right or wrong.
The most exciting class of the day was Portfolio Management A. I have previously posted about this class and after the first day I am even more excited to get into the thick of the material. I actually volunteered to do the first presentation, which in retrospect proves to be a huge task on very short notice. Oh well, at least it is fun and insightful.

Take care,


Written by markusw

January 17, 2007 at 8:00 pm

Posted in Gonzaga University

Seattle TREK – a success

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In the past two days, I participated in and helped organize the annual GAMP “Seattle TREK.” I have earlier posted about the program offered to Gonzaga students, if you don’t remember here you can read-up ๐Ÿ˜‰

Every year (this was the 6th time) the GAMP program invites Gonzaga students for two day of events to the Washington Athletic Club in downtown Seattle. The first day began with a panel of young alumni, which included my own GAMP mentor, friend, and Microsoft employee: David Donovick. After the panel, during which the young alumni shared their experiences and wisedom with the students in attendance, the students split in three groups. One group, wich I lead, headed on an excursion to The Boeing Company and Microsoft. The second group headed to Washington Mutual and Paccar, while the third visited 2ยบ Consulting and Amazon.com.
The evening was concluded with a great keynote speech by David Sabey, President and CEO of Sabey Corporation a Seattle based $400 million dollar privately held firm.

The following day, a career fair took place in the Washington Athletic Club ball room. Over 30 high-profile Seattle and Puget Sound Area businesses were invited. Companies like Microsoft, Boeing, Holland America, Pepsi, Horizon Air, and many more had sent alumni of the University and company recruiters to talk to students interested in full-time positions and internships.

The Seattle TREK was, in my opinion, a huge success!! I have talked to both students and company representatives that were pleased with the turnout and the organization of the event. I am looking forward to next year and the seventh Seattle TREK. Maybe then we can give even more students the opportunity to come to Seattle! Wouldn’t it be would great to break the 250?

Written by markusw

January 13, 2007 at 3:17 pm

Traveling – oh the weather

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It has been a while since I have last blogged. My semester break was very relaxing and enjoyable. I returned to the States Thursday and the trip was strenuous to say the least.
I left Hamburg very early in the morning with stops in Frankfurt, Denver, Spokane, to Seattle.
Although I like traveling, I have to admit that 11 hours in a crammed seat with little legroom is no fun. On top of that I was stuck in Denver for three hours because of snow in Spokane, WA. After another 2:20 h on a United flight to Spokane I was finally approaching the end of my trip – or at least so I thought. My final leg of the day’s travel was from Spokane to Seattle, WA on Alaska Air, but due to the blizzard conditions on the west side (blizzard meaning anything over 1 1/2 inches of snow to “real” snowfall) I was forced to wait in the Spokane airport for over 4 hours.
It was not until 1:30 am that I arrived in Seatttle-Tacoma airport. Getting my bags, renting a car, and driving to northern Seattle “only” took me a little over 30 minutes.
I-5 turned out to be covered with a trace of snow and still many cars where creeping along at less than 40mph.

I finally arrived at 2 am after over 27 hours of traveling.

Happily back in the States, yet a little exhausted and jet-lagged,


Written by markusw

January 12, 2007 at 1:39 pm

Posted in Hamburg, Random