Being a part of University of St. Gallen’s Global Summer School in Empirical Research Methods (GSERM) afforded me the opportunity to be part of a remarkable learning experience. I participated in the program for two weeks through the Global Business School Network’s (GBSN) scholarship made available to 10 participants from developing economies as well as through further support from my school, Lagos Business School. I was therefore one of the over 330 participants attending the program from 58 countries in 2015!
In week 1, I registered for Analysis of Mediated and Moderated Effects facilitated by Dominique Muller, while in week 2 I registered for Multivariate Data Analysis facilitated by Michael Berbaum. Both instructors are evidently experienced and handled their courses with expertise. I was especially glad to have attended Dominique’s class in week 1 because my dissertation – which focuses on the influence of high performance work systems on employee well-being – requires a lot of mediation analysis! Michael also provided some excellent resources on multi-level modelling which is proving useful for my dissertation. Lastly, being able to incorporate our learning from the second week into research presentations we made on the last day of Michael’s class was definitely a highpoint for me.
It was not all academics though, during the first weekend the organizers of the program – the GSERM team – planned two trips for interested participants as a means of integrating the academic aspect of learning with socio-cultural learning. We were at Jakobsbad, to tour Kronenberg Mountain in the Alpine region of Appenzell. We also held a barbeque on the castle grounds of Schloss Untereggen – located about 30 minutes away from St. Gallen. In addition, there were daily sport activities held in the evening of each school day and interested participants could take up jogging, swimming, volleyball or football. Besides these activities, there were so many opportunities to experience the Swiss way of living – (Kinder fest, Marktplatz music festival, visits to the textile museum, beautiful Drei Linden and the famous St. Gallen abbey) – definitely, the Swiss culture is proudly lived out by St. Gallen residents!
I am richer for my experience at GSERM even though it was challenging and rigorous. Challenging because we hit the ground running from the first day, rigorous, because so much ground was covered in such a short period of time. In the end, I can say ‘it was rewarding’, because not only have I connected socially with other scholars that I intend to build mutually beneficial relationships with, I have also brought back value which I can share with emerging scholars in my home country.
Folasade Olufemi-Ayoola is an Organizational Behavior & Human Resources doctoral candidate at Lagos Business School in Nigeria.