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p1000545.JPG   Competitiveness course for the Term 3 at ICS is coming to the last third. We covered topics such as the definition of competitiveness, evolution of competitiveness along the stages of economic development, diamond model, and views from the firm’s perspective and of the government, advanced, transition and developing economies so far. We will have four more sessions to discuss the issue of global competitiveness and national innovation systems together with policies to upgrade (with guest speakers), role of foreign direct investment and the process of economic development in Africa.  

   Despite the fact that the class starts at 8:30 a.m., which is rather early for those who come all the way from suburbs, we have had very interesting and stimulating discussion. I have encouraged students to disagree with each other, and intentionally made students to argue back and forth, by pointing out the areas they seem to  disagree.  I get exhausted after two-hour of heated discussion, but have enjoyed it so much.  It is quite a challenge to keep the excitement for two hours, sustain high energy level, while getting the points across. As the course is still evolving, each year is full of surprises, excitement and stimulation. 

       In addition to the class sessions which last for two hours, we held six lunch series sessions. This is the time for informal discussion on any subject with me.  Students who are interested signed up and showed up with their own lunch. I would bring some drinks and some cookies, etc.  During the course of six of these sessions, we talked about the student’s background, what they want to do after getting MBA, some left over issues from the class, my own projects etc. etc.    

   I also teach seminar once a week, usually on Tuesdays.  As this past Tuesday was a National holiday and off-day (i.e. no class at school), we decided to have a seminar at my place.(See Photo)  We had food and drinks and embarked on informal discussion, which turned out to be so interesting.  When I have this type of pleasant and exciting time, I feel so fortunate to have my job of teaching at the graduate school. My job gives me an opportunity to constantly interact with young generation. I see new students every year from all over the world and send them off to many parts of the world either after one or two years.  It is such a beauty to have the constant contact with the youth, as I can feel that they will shape the world.

  (As I see so many through interviews etc., I sometimes forget whether I interviewed some students or not during the admission process. It is quite embarrassing when they ask me about what I said or what they said during the interviews and I do not remember! This is happening more often now than before—is this a function of the increasing number of students I interact or my declining memory or both? Sometimes answers may be better off not disclosed.) 

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