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An Impactful Learning Experience

As one of the scholarship recipients to attend the Global School in Empirical Research Methods (GSERM) in June 2018, I am greatly appreciative of the Global Business School Network (GBSN), the host institution (University of St. Gallen, Switzerland) and my home University (Lagos Business School, Pan-Atlantic University, Nigeria) for the opportunity to apply, attend and benefit from the program. With close to fifteen years of work experience as a geologist, geophysicist and subsurface asset manager in an International Oil and Gas Company and currently a PhD student of Strategy Management, I have attended several courses over the years, but the GSERM clearly ranks high in terms of the course content, delivery, and general organization.

Particularly memorable for me was when, on the first day of class, I opted to walk from my accommodation, rather than take a bus, to the venue at St. Gallen University main campus which was just about 1 km away. I did not know I would need to climb series of stairs uphill to where the campus is located. At the end, I was panting and sweaty and guess what, I was in a three-piece suit! Of course, I adjusted immediately afterwards and settled down to enjoy both the course and the city. St. Gallen is a beautiful city carved out by nature and refined by man; dotted by hills, lakes and lush vegetation that are further accentuated by the right blend of ancient architecture and modern facilities.

During my two-week stay, I took two courses Ð Regression I and II Ð both taught by Professor Timothy McDaniel of Buena Vista University. ‘Tim’ demonstrated excellent knowledge of the subject, and his bold, friendly unique teaching style made the key learning points resonate long after the class. I was able to develop deeper understanding of the underlying concepts, processes, limitations, work-around and other nuances of Regression Analysis. Yes, the poem ‘owed to regression’ composed by Bill Hobby and Tim McDaniel is now a steady companion to remind me of the robust course content. Apart from regression, another very useful course that I took was ‘Using MIIVsem: An R Package for Structural Equation Models’ by Prof Kenneth Bollen of University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill USA. All the courses were well taught, quite timely and applicable to my current research work.

It was not all academics though as the course organisers had arranged several social and sporting events to promote socio-cultural integration and networking with fellow scholars and professors. We were given nice accommodations and hosted to coffee gatherings, welcome dinners and city tours, and also had time for volleyball, football and other activities that made us to connect socially as a community. In addition, there were so many opportunities to personally explore and experience the Swiss way of living and night life, which I enjoyed with some of my new friends from other parts of the world. Thumbs up to Prof Hans-Joachim Knopf and all members of the GSERM team.

Attending the University of St. Gallen’s Global Summer School in Empirical Research Methods (GSERM) was a fulfilling learning experience for me. In all, I had an enriching and rewarding experience as it offered me a wonderful opportunity to network with other students and world-class professionals from around the world. I have also imbibed so much value that I am already sharing with other scholars in my home country, Nigeria. Once again, I would like to commend the organizers of GSERM for delivering such an exceptional program with an overall mind blowing experience.