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Student Blog: Emmanuel Oduro-Afriyie

EmmanuelAs part of the Global Business School Network’s (GBSN) collaboration with the Global School in Empirical Research Methods (GSERM), I was privileged to take part in this year’s GSERM at the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland. I am a Ghanaian by nationality, and I am 26 years old. Currently, I am a doctoral student in Development Finance at the University of Stellenbosch Business School, Cape Town in South Africa, where I also double as a Teaching and Research Assistant on the MPhil Development Finance program. My research focus is on “Aggregate and Sector-Specific Threshold Inflation Non-Linearity: Implications for Inflation Targeting” In the near future, I hope to be a development and macroeconomic consultant with one of the Bretton Woods Institutions.

This year’s GSERM had over 350 students from over 50 different countries, which shows both the scale of expansion of the GSERM, as well as a presentation of a myriad of possibilities for networking among participants and lecturers.

While St. Gallen boasts of a very well developed transportation network of trains and buses, I personally always enjoyed the daily 25 minute hike from my accommodation at 47 Wassergasse to the University of St. Gallen campus, which is located on top of the scenic and sunny Rosenberg hill, overlooking the picturesque Altstadt of St. Gallen and the Alps. Each time I walked uphill, I was constantly kept transfixed by the remarkable integration of art and architecture throughout the uphill stretch of land.

While at the GSERM, I studied in Tim McDaniels’ ‘Regression II Ð Linear Models’, as well as in Michael Berbaum’s ‘Multivariate Data Analysis’ classes. Both professors proved beyond doubt, their immense expertise and dexterity in their respective subject areas. Tim and Michael gave me a much deeper understanding of the varied underlying concepts, as well as varied possible research applications of the respective methodologies presented in their modules. Also, their availability during lunch and coffee breaks, and even after class hours, to interact with students regarding our research was highly impressive.

Through the well-organized social activities at the GSERM, networking opportunities were not limited to the classroom. Even for the most devoted book worm, the social activities served as a well-deserved break from continuous research. Some of the activities I personally cannot forget include the ‘Do it yourself: Swiss Chocolate Truffes’, the trip to the famous Appenzeller SchaukŠserei, the guided city tour of St. Gallen, the unforgettable weekly leisure times at Drei Weiheren, as well as window shopping at the flea market and the musical concerts on varied musical genres especially the infamous New Orleans meets St. Gallen jazz festival. Finally, thanks to the GSERM being very instrumental in providing free access to the gym for all GSERM participants, I was able to take great advantage of the opportunity to work out.

As the GSERM came to a successful conclusion, I could confidently rub my hands in glee because I knew I had definitely benefited from all that this year’s GSERM had to offer. Without hesitation, I recommend the Global School in Empirical Research Methods to every academic, irrespective of one’s research focus or discipline.


From right: Me, Prof. Tim McDaniel (my Regression II professor), and Timothy Aluko (a friend I made)


Me and Prof. Michael Berbaum (my Multivariate Data Analysis professor)


First day at the GSERM – myself with Monde Nyambe and Timothy Aluko


GSERM weekend beach volleyball


Me with Prof. R. Burke Johnson (lecturer of mixed methods research)