Posted By: Kat Wong Too Yen on November 10, 2011
Hey everyone! It’s been awhile since my last blog post, and that’s because I’m absolutely swamped with school at the moment. It’s a bit of a crunch time right now for a lot of students because of assignments, conferences, and case competitions that are currently going on. Nevertheless, I wanted to take some time to talk about COMM401, which is one of the courses that I’m taking this semester.
Every 4th year Commerce student, regardless of specialization, is required to take COMM401 – Business Policy. While this course is particularly heavy in terms of workload, it is also one of the most relevant courses you will take while at Queen’s. Taken directly from my course syllabus, “COMM401 is positioned as a capstone course which integrates the functional knowledge which students have developed over their undergraduate tenure into discussions surrounding the development of business strategy.” In other words, this is a course where you can directly apply your knowledge learned over the past 3 years to business concepts covered in class.
One of my favourite parts of this course is the Capstone Simulation. To give you a bit of context, as a 1st year Commerce student, you complete a simplified version of the simulation, called Capsim. 3 years later, Capstone gives you the chance to complete the simulation again. Doing the simulation the second time around allows students to learn from their previous mistakes and to make more informed decisions. In the simulation, you compete as part of a team to improve your company’s financial position within an industry, comprised of other companies run by your classmates. You are given the opportunity to make key business decisions, from deciding when to produce or upgrade new products, invest in TQM (Total Quality Management) initiatives, and determine your marketing budget and sales force. All of these decisions impacts your profitability and market share, and directly affects your company’s position in a competitive industry. With Capstone, decisions become increasingly complex, from making ethical choices, to dealing with labour negotiations and wage hikes. As a team, you quickly learn how to “specialize” in an area, like R&D, Marketing and Sales, Human Resources, Production, or Finance in order to make smart business decisions and to anticipate moves from your competitors. The simulation allows us to collaborate and work with students in different business streams, interpret data, review financial performance, and to build and revise business strategies.
While this is by far one of the more challenging and time-consuming courses I’ve taken at the Queen’s School of Business, I can definitely see the real-life applications and value of the concepts covered in class.
Until next time!
Kat Wong Too Yen, BCom’12
P.S. Just a reminder that the Queen’s Fall Preview is taking place this Saturday, November 12th! For a schedule of all the events happening on campus, click here. It’s the perfect chance for you and your family to take a tour of Goodes Hall and visit the student residences.