Management Analysis with Brett Saraniti

February 12, 2013

It is not till the 12th of June that the first quarter at Sasin will officially start, so everything that happens before that time is grouped under the header “pre-program activities”. There is not really a common denominator for these pre-program activities since it embodies a bonding trip to Hua Hin, a presentation skills workshop, this course for which no credits are granted, and a real course valued at 3 credits.

We can't complain about the amount of public holidays in May in Thailand :)

We can’t complain about the amount of public holidays in May in Thailand :)

The title of the course, management analysis, is a bit confusing since the content has not much to do with management or analysis; in reality it is an introduction to statistics, probability, and microeconomics.  But to make sure nobody complains about the deceiving name of the course they flew in professor Brett Saraniti from Hawaii who is about the opposite of what you would expect from a statistics professor with an PhD. He typically sported a Hawaii shirt and sandals and actually had a sense of humor, and not just the kind of humor only other professor would appreciate.

Study material for the Management Analysis class, instead of a completely reviewed book we got a reader with unreviewed chapters from the upcoming book.

Study material for the Management Analysis class, instead of a completely reviewed book we got a reader with unreviewed chapters from the upcoming book.

Since it was an introduction course the pace was relatively low, but several people in this year’s class have no finance or statistics background at all and for them it was a tough nut to crack I guess, based on the questions being asked during class. Many lively examples passed by to give a good idea what we were doing instead of just learning some formulas (or formulae as Brett would call it) and the next time we go to a casino we can now actually calculate upfront how much we are supposed to loose, on average, at each game. Plus, we also know which beer to order afterwards to drink away our sorrow or celebrate our lucky streak. All together the course was a fun experience and, I must say, it was very useful to refresh all my old statistics knowledge since I haven’t used it for some time and it had migrated to the back of my brain. It is only too bad for all the professors coming after him since he laid the bar pretty high now to engage the class, keep people focused on the story, and show a humorous personal side.

When in doubt, answer "Singha" and you probably get some points.

When in doubt, answer “Singha” and you probably get some points.

After two to three weeks of class, interrupted by a generous amount of official Thai holidays, there was a final exam which seemed mostly implemented to make sure people paid attention in class and put in some effort to summarize the course for ourselves since we were allowed to bring in one page of hand written notes. Even though there were no credits for this course, and the exam was only “pass” or “no pass”, people still studied seriously based on the limited amount of swimmers in the Sasin pool the morning before the exam. Word-of-mouth was that if you fail this course you cannot start the Finance I course later this year, but nobody was able to show any proof of this assumption. Guess we will see when the results come in.

For questions/remarks you can contact me at: eric@stuckinthailand.com

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