Anne Marie Heywood: Transitioning from Study Abroad
It’s been six weeks since I returned to Santa Clara from studying abroad in Barcelona and for the first time, I’ve stopped to think about the huge transition I underwent. I will admit I was filled with nerves leading up to the start of winter quarter. I wanted at least one more week at home with my family, I would be moving into a new house with new housemates, I accepted the CFO position of my sorority while abroad, and I had a 13-hour drive from Seattle to Santa Clara to conquer.
However, as I made my way down I-5 through Washington and Oregon and into California, my eagerness to dive back into life at Santa Clara and reconnect with the people I left behind while studying in Barcelona consumed all my thoughts. I was both excited and anxious to start my classes and develop my routine for the quarter, especially with the transition from a Monday through Thursday abroad schedule to a Monday through Friday Santa Clara schedule. This bit of anxiety quickly diminished as the first week of courses unveiled my courses as continuations of my courses abroad. One of my finance courses abroad focused on investments and I enrolled in Finance 124 taught by Wendy Ku for winter quarter, another investment course. While familiar terms and concepts appear in the curriculum, Professor Ku’s class is unique in that students have the opportunity to invest $1,000,000 in a portfolio consisting of stocks traded in the current market. We are able to construct unique portfolios with stocks of our choice and buy stocks at any point throughout the trading day, not just during the hours of class. We can monitor the performance of our portfolio on our own time and track improvements or make adjustments as needed. This has been particularly interesting with the coronavirus outbreak in China and around the world as it has significantly impacted stock markets. Professor Ku’s quarter-long project offered an opportunity to experiment with real-world trading without facing the real-world consequences or risks associated with such investments.
Similarly, my organizational behavior professor, Professor Sackett, incorporated real-world situations to her curriculum. I am in the midst of a project that allows students to work in teams to investigate and analyze a company currently facing issues within their organization. My team and I are researching Boeing’s decision-making process leading up to the 737 MAX crashes, the company’s actions immediately following each fatal crash, and the company’s response to federal investigations into the grounded aircraft. I am eager to explore a topic not only relevant to today’s world but of great interest to me, as well. Boeing has a huge presence in my hometown and it has been discouraging to read the numerous news articles revealing the company’s missteps in the past few years.
I’m looking forward to wrapping up winter quarter and will hopefully hit the ground running into spring quarter, too!