Semester end

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     As the majority of the people on my campus head home for winter break, I am now eager to finish my first semester at VIA. Looking back, I am grateful for the opportunity to study abroad and the great experiences I've had and anticipate having in the future.

Before starting winter break, I was able to do a few trail exams to become aquatinted with the testing process at VIA. As I mentioned in an earlier post, the exam format is entirely different from what I have experienced at NWCC. The exam is administered as a case study covering all five course subjects. You are given the case twenty-four hours before the release of the exam questions to prepare notes and different models that you believe will be on the exam. When the twenty-four hours have passed, you are given the exam questions with five hours to submit the case. After completing a few trial exams, I can honestly say this form of testing is quite difficult as there is no clear answer for a case. Simply memorizing learning objective will not yield a high mark as the test is focused on understanding when to apply relevant models in a specific context over just remembering the models. 

I believe the best way to handle this form of an exam is to create a blueprint covering relevant models and theories for each subject and segmenting them based on how they are applicable. By having a pre-made template of the models and theories used in the class, I can hopefully reduce the amount of time spent looking for information and references. This will allow me to focus more effort towards formulating answers which hopefully will result in a better mark as time was my main concern on the trial exams.

Apart from preparing for my midterm exams, I am also well into my transition/training to become vice president of finance for AIESEC at VIA. I am currently trying to get a head start on preparing the quarterly financial reports for the local committee as the deadline is in the same week as my exams. Similarly, I will also need to close the books and complete the VAT report during the first week of each month. These activities do provide a slight learning curve and will require a fair amount of problem-solving to ensure all documents are formulated correctly. I am thankful to have taken a fair amount of the accounting and finance course offered at NWCC as they have provided me with a foundation of knowledge to start on. If I did not have a strong foundation to start on, I do not believe I would have had the confidence, or ability to apply for this position.

Dagan Steinke