Monday, 29 February 2016

The day that exists every four years: Because 365 days is so last year.

       Today is a special day, not only did we have a “break” in the Law department, but also Leo finally got his Oscar. This story proves that after hard work always comes a reward. In our case (hopefully) it will be our corrected Thesis and our Master Degree (although I always secretly wish to win an Oscar one day).

So, what have you and I been up to? Between research proposals, and reading, again, my heart was broken for the attempt of snow, but none of that matters, as tomorrow Lente is here. I know you must be surprised as my level of Dutch is getting better by the minute, I feel like a 3 year old saying (and repeating) random words such as Lente, schoen (shoe), vliegtuig (plane), and many many more. Anyway, I feel the end is coming, as the task list is becoming shorter, we are only 2 papers, one presentation, two exams and a Thesis to go. It’s really not that much is it?

I’m very happy and excited that I had a meeting with my supervisor, presented a research proposal and had feedback for my topic. As I think I mentioned in the previous post, I completely changed my subject and I will focus on regulation in developing countries, by doing a comparative approach with the EU. Since this is probably too broad, I decided to narrow it down to the banking sector. My idea is to find out whether the regulation in this sector is appropriate, meaning if the approach taken by the regulators is the most effective (in an economic and legal aspect). Honestly, I can’t wait to start writing my thesis, but first things first… the two last subjects have to be passed before.
I suffer what many students have suffered before, and that is a too broad research question. I know I can narrow it down as soon as I start doing research and reading more about my topic. I think not having written a thesis before is my greatest strength and my curse. Since I don’t know the process I do not fear it or dread the moment I have to do it, I am looking forward to it because I see it as a challenge. And by now, we all know this challenge is accepted.

So, let’s celebrate… by reading. I’m very sure we can do this 4 months with grace and elegance.

Monday, 15 February 2016

What to expect when we are NOT expecting.

I will not address the subject that we almost (almost) got snow yesterday. I promised in the past (last week) I would not give in to hope. Nevertheless, I will attach a meme for the moments when I identify volatile snow in the air.

Either way, I feel a bit odd this last semester as the two subjects we have are quite different from what we are used to, at least in the structure of the courses. For example, in Independent Regulators, Regulation and Accountability not only we have a research paper and group presentation but also receive an opposing view from our classmates. I have never experienced something like that in a presentation, since usually interactions among students are quite rare. Furthermore, in Regulation and Supervision of Markets, we have a similar approach, but with one twist: The oral presentations will consist in providing feedback on a paper of a fellow classmate. Certainly different approach, I am a bit curious about the outcome.

Speaking of presentations, dear classmates, do look at your peers, look at them carefully, because this are the last group projects we are going to do. It is funny how we managed to know each other in this past few months, and I was lucky enough to always work with different people every time. I am not sad, but thankful for all this time. Take a closer look at that good friend we all made, all those moments that we needed it, it was there, asking almost nothing for our company... the coffee vending machine, our ally in moments of distress.

On the Thesis corner, we must also mention something about peer groups. Last week we received a list in which we are divided in groups of 5 or 6 people, that alongside our supervisors will help us work on our thesis in a more efficient way. I think the reason behind this is to make the writing more amiable and dynamic. Without a proper incentive and feedback, students might get a bit stressed or frustrated. I'm having a meeting with my supervisor tomorrow, so I can start discussing how can my topic be addressed.

Short reflection: Lets enjoy and try to give our best (as always). We have come this far, we are almost in the finish line.

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

7 days of windy freedom

Well, unlikely as it may be, exams are finally over, and we have one week of rest before the Master catches up with us. Also unlikely is the lack of snow over Utrecht, and since I always check my window when I wake up, I think it is time to let go...

Anyway, lets start with some good news: It is time to start writing (at least an outline) of our thesis! By now all of us have our tutors assigned, and at least one starting point. Personally, I will try to contact them before the end of the week in order to check whether my ideas are too general or not. At first I was interested in the previous steps that an undertaking has to go through before a merger could be cleared, but now I find the behaviour of firms itself very interesting. Of course I found out about my new inclination for this subject when I was studying, but I guess that is the normal procedure. I imagine that writing a thesis (I have never written one) gives you more questions than answers, and I know for sure it is not going to be an easy task, but I keep my hopes up.

On other news, tomorrow I will be part of the Master's Programme Information Evening, and at 15:45 there is going to be a meet & greet borrel with some prospective students at cafe Broers, so if you are around, feel free to join! Also, on Thursday there is going to be an Orientation Programme for Exchange students, that starts at 12:30 in Janskerkhof.

Finally, lets not forget we still have two more subjects to go: Independent Regulators, Regulation and Accountability, and Regulation and Supervision of Markets. But let op! (caution, note, warning) this are also our last subjects, so we can be a bit happy (even though we do not have our grades yet). So far, we are doing good, and I am personally very excited for finishing and seeing what will come next. I hope snow is part of it. At least a little bit.

Ps: In the last picture you can appreciate an specimen of "studentuss-free-of-examus" in its natural habitat.