Hello, my name is Dragomir Gospodinov.
I am a second-year Psychology student at the University of Southampton. I am 21 years old and will be going into my third year. Past 7 Months have been exciting. With increasing uncertainty even at the present moment, I am hoping to finish my final year with as fewer interruptions as usual. My goal is to find a counselling job after I graduate. Save up and create a startup although I am not sure in what still.
The first week was quite hectic, in my opinion. I was quite excited about the opportunity myself. Since I am studying Psychology, and the course entails banking and finance-related topics, it was quite a challenge to learn the terms from scratch.
I had to read pre-reading for the course to get me up to speed with the material. I read a couple of books on the topic as well. When school started, I felt prepared. We had a general introduction for the 3 summer schools offered by the University of Zurich. On the first day, everybody got divided into groups of 5. I quite liked my group-friendly fellows, easy to work with. During the first week, we got introduced to basic finance knowledge. We learnt more about developing trends in the field.
Moreover, we had our first two assignments. The first one was not graded since we had to create a presentation about Switzerland, which was meant for us to get to know each other. The second assignment was graded. It was more challenging since we had to work together and put together a comprehensive presentation which we had to present later. The overall experience over zoom was entirely new to me. Still, I have to admit that this online course is working really well so far. We have lectures every day for the majority of the day. During the weekend, we have social activities where we form different groups and get to know each other.
On the beginning of this week, we started learning about how finance can be integrated into climate change. How our financial decision might after future temperatures. We got introduced into our second assignment, which we are currently preparing. We started playing portfolio management, where we posed as bankers and computed against other banks (other groups). It is exciting. We came on top today on the second round.
There will be 5 rounds. I met with my weekend social group over zoom.
We were meant to talk about locations or items in our countries, which would be uncommon for a tourist. I quite liked the experience since I got to meet new people. When the assignment came, we did quite well. We talked about the oil crash. I messed up my part a bit, but it turned out alright in the end. Lecturers continued on the weekend as well. We had another social program where we talked about how different cultures perceive different statements about daily life—Few people from three different countries.
During the last week, we presented the 3rd assignment and continued with the previous 3 periods of the portfolio management game. We were almost always either first or second with our growth clients (ones that were willing to take risks) and did average with our income-oriented clients (risk-averse). We were having many group sessions until we finished the last period on portfolio management. When the lecturers introduced assignment 3, unfortunately, a holiday came up for me. Since appointment 3 was on the second to last day at the school, I thought that I could connect with my phone and just listen.
The actual assignment was 7 minutes overall, which was two times smaller in comparison to the previous ones.
Luckily my team agreed to do my part. I just needed to connect and be present during the actual thing. That day was not very lucky for me since my mobile data ended and I couldn’t find stable enough connection to stream on zoom. Managed to connect in the end, but everything was extremely laggy. After that, we had a photo session where the hosts screenshotted the screen while everyone had their cameras on. It was a fun experience. Following that, we learnt our results, and we did great. Our group has passed summer school.
In conclusion, with high confidence, I can stay that I had a great time during my virtual summer school in Switzerland. I learned a lot, met new people, made new friends. Like everybody else, I was sceptical about the online school, but it exceeded my expectations. Even though it was online everything ran smoothly, and It had minor drawbacks to what it would have been if it wasn’t online. Corona times isolated us but thanks to technology we can still be “together”.