Reasons for taking this course?
In 2012, I started working on my ‘Envisioning 21st century global manager Program’, a program through which I was trying to equip myself with the skill-sets necessary for a 21st century global manager. One of the key aspects of this program to understand how the decisions are made at higher level? Why things happen when they should not happen etc. My intention was to go into depth of decision making covering all the possible side it has to offer. I have started to study business newspapers across the globe from past 2 years and gradually build up my knowledge base by taking courses to understand more about Microeconomics,Macroeconomics, Banking and working of governmental organizations.
How I arrived at this course?
Although, I had good base in Economics, I was missing some actions, especially trying things on my own. During December 2013, I have discovered this course at the Coursera website. Although, I already had enough knowledge to understand economic policy making but there were 2 reasons for joining this course. First, looking at how economic policy making works in the real world. Second, trying hands on some policy making on my own. I have enrolled into this course and eagerly waited for the begining of this course for over 4 months.
Experiences with the course, ‘Understanding Economic Policymaking’
- Video lectures:
I enjoyed video lectures of this course even though many of them were revision of my previous learning. Prof. Gayle Allard has explained concepts in very simple and understandable ways. She included many of the current examples to explain the debt problem, supply side economics and what is stagflation. I got to know more about GDP perception, how much deficit is too much. But for me, most exciting were week 3-6, when she talked about economic policies in the real world. Tools used by the central banks to navigate economy, monetary policy , fiscal policy were equally interesting. It was hard to grasp that sometime even our government is helpless in reducing debt. Practicing policy making on my own made me to think like an economist. Last week of this course talked about methods used by different countries to solve their financial problem. Although, I am not an economist but now I am very much aware of the meaning behind those scary headlines appearing every 3rd in business.
- Discussion forums:
Like every online course, discussion forums were the best place for learning. Either it was understanding the concept of supply-demand or understanding price discrimination, plenty of ideas were floated by participants. Many participants used these concepts in current situations in their country to explore economics on a real scale. Lot of serious discussions like ‘Austerity program and their impact’, ‘IMF program imposing restrictive fiscal policy’, ‘Who is funding debt’, ‘Inflation in Nigeria’ happened in the forum. It was good to see that so many people are participating in the decision making process, questioning the move by their governments and even suggesting better methods. Not just participants, even Prof. Allard was very active in participating in the forum. I am still going through these discussion forums and learning something new every day.
After watching video lectures and practicing the concepts on my own, most of the weekly quiz questions were easy to answer.
- Peer evaluation:
Trying policy making on my own was the main reason for joining this course. The simulation exercise gave me opportunity to think like an economist. For the first time, I have realized that it is not an easy task in finding ways to put any country on the path of development. With so many difficulties around, it must be a tough everyday for any economist. Through the simulation, I have realized that even reducing debt by small percentage means locking horns with society. I have also learn that in an interconnected world, it is not possible go guess which way markets will move tomorrow.
Further takeaway from this course
After policy simulation, my interest in economics grew manifold. Economics reading is now my favorite part and I can easily relate the announcements made by banks about their benchmarks rates. I am aware of PMI, CPI and their role towards judging inflation/deflation. This information along with other necessary knowledge acquired in past 2 years as part of this project, today I am in much better position to participate in the decision making process. Tomorrow, if there is anything go wrong, I know how to respond to it and protect my personal & professional interests. I can proudly annouce that today a chemical engineer has became an amateur economist too.
Thank you Prof. Gayle Allard and IE Business School for this wonderful experience and helping me in fulfilling my dream of becoming a global manager.