I’ve never been a religious nor a spiritual person. This is why I was always sceptical towards things like meditation which is perceived to have a spiritual origin. For some people, meditation leads to inner peace and happiness while others might think of it as a placebo.
When I went to New York City during the Fall semester in 2017 to pursue a business certificate in finance, I took an additional course in organisational behaviour where we learned about the effects of meditation within an organisation. Research shows that it can increase productivity and reduce the risk of burnout. Then, a professional instructor went through a full meditation with us. The technique that was used was different from the one I want to recommend to you, but I still felt peaceful and relaxed in that moment. As any sceptic, I thought it might be a placebo effect since we heard about the research shortly before the meditation. Continue reading
Education has been increasingly more democratised by the internet and more broadly through digitisation. This has given us, the eager minds of the world, the great opportunity to explore the causes of things at minimal costs. Opportunities range from deepening one’s own skill set and knowledge or exploring a completely unfamiliar field of science and develop personally.
I believe there are basically three different reasons for learning: (1) develop the theoretical base for your chosen subject, (2) develop hard (i.e. technical) skills for your chosen industry, and (3) develop soft skills through interdisciplinary courses and courses outside your chosen field. Studying the theory required for our desired industry is what most of us do at the University of London. This is the very foundation and starting point for the rest of our journey. But it certainly does not end here. Continue reading
Have you ever cursed the pure memorization of facts just to pass an exam? Then you are in very good and prominent company indeed! Albert Einstein was known for his distaste of the learning of facts and argued that education should not be the learning of many facts but rather the learning to think. Indeed, you all have more in common with Einstein than you might think at first…
Today, he is regarded as one of the great geniuses of human kind. But he wasn’t always successful and struggled a couple of times where he thought about quitting and giving up his dream of contributing to the realm of physics. What a shame for us and theoretical physics it would have been!
Financial markets have always been fascinating for me. I started reading André Kostolany when I was a teenager and after many books, I felt as if I knew everything about market psychology. Of course, I did not! Fortunately, I had no money to speculate with at that time.
But to be prepared for the day I would have the resources, I continued reading from world experts and renowned academics. It was only a matter of time until I came across the name George Soros, who studied at the London School of Economics (LSE). His “Theory of Reflexivity” combined psychological aspects and business cycle theory. During his lecture series at the Central European University, he explained how his life philosophy, derived from Karl Popper’s “Open Society and its Enemies,” helped him to succeed financially, but also personally in his philanthropic work. I became immediately interested in Popper’s work and read it myself during a time when I had lost my focus.
By my definition, personal growth describes the process after which higher personal life quality has been reached. In economic theory, we assume that individuals behave in such a way as to maximize their own utility. By this, society benefits as common wealth enhances. Common wealth is measured as Gross Domestic Product (GDP). But the “World Happiness Index”, a survey measuring peoples happiness and its sources, clearly indicates that GDP is not the only factor that matters to people.
The freedom to take actions to evolve personally is one of those factors. You might have read my previous article “How I plan two full-time degrees at once”. The incentive for studying two degrees was personal development by knowledge and a rather unusual study experience. And it is also the reason for most of you, whether you want a new study experience, to broaden your horizons or advance your career while having a full-time commitment to your family. In the following, I will establish some underlying principles which affect personal growth.
Hello to all my fellow students!
Since I haven’t posted any articles yet, let me introduce myself first. My name is Arnold Kinzel, I am 24 years old, from Germany and I am currently enrolled in the BSc Economics and Finance programme at the University of London International Programmes. But if that wasn’t enough I am also a full-time Engineering and Management student at the University of Applied Sciences Zwickau (In German: Westsächsische Hochschule Zwickau). As a son of an engineer, I followed the same path while privately reading books ranging from A. Kostolany over G. Soros to B. Graham. I always dreamt of studying Economics and Finance but never had the guts to apply for a programme until I found this programme which would allow me to continue my engineering studies.
Today’s conversation marks roughly one year since I started collaborating with the Official Student Blog. To celebrate the event, I titled this post after my very first one, the subjects involved being obviously different.
I’m sure many newly-enrolled students in Economics, Management, Finance and the Social Sciences (EMFSS) programmes will have to take a combination of Mathematics 1, Mathematics 2, Statistics 1, and/or Statistics 2. With this in mind, why not share with you some general information about those units? Even prospective students might find it useful.
Hello readers and colleagues!
I know… it’s been a while since our last conversation but I’m back with some potentially interesting thoughts for you.
How to plan your studies? How to make sure we begin the new academic year in the best possible way? It sounds like a subjective matter but there are some general considerations that apply to almost all of us.
We should take advantage of this relatively quiet period – academically speaking – to carefully devise a basic plan. In my brief experience, I learnt the earlier we start planning (i.e. structuring our studies), the better our results and the more enjoyable the journey.
Over the last few weeks, I had some nice conversations with fellow students. The hottest topics turned out to be May’s exams and how to get prepared for them. In addition, some first-year students asked me about examiners’ commentaries and how to make best use of these. Therefore, I thought I’d post something on the Blog to share my views with a larger audience.
Well, we’ve got four months left before examinations. According to my year-wise objectives, this period marks a shift from short-term routine to mid-/long-term planning, which involves practice and perfection of acquired techniques until May. Now, we won’t necessarily agree on the best way to approach exams or when to start revising. However, we should at least concur on the following: practice with past exam papers should take most of our study time.
As a voracious reader, I often hit upon articles from subjects related to economics (e.g. sociology, finance, mathematics, and others) that stimulate my insane quest for knowledge. On the one hand, this is good as it expands our horizons and gets ourselves looking at problems from different perspectives. On the other, being an undergraduate student, I sometimes feel overwhelmed by the ocean of amazing papers written by scholars from disparate universities around the globe. Indeed, the amount of literature we’re exposed to challenges one’s composure. On this basis, I deem it necessary to periodically reorganise my thoughts and objectives by writing down what my opinions are and what I’m looking for when studying.