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  • My thoughts for incoming students

    A new class for 2010-2011 is on the way. This being the case, I wanted to inform "incoming students" about the curriculum of "MS in Technology Management" program briefly. I do not intend to repeat the information upon the classes offered in the program which might simply be found at the program's official website; instead, I will rather try to give a general view about the content of the program curriculum, from a current student perspective.

    I am 2009-10 MS-TM student Melih Serhat Sahiner and have worked as a "bank inspector" for three years and "public procurement expert" for the recent seven years. I have a bachelors degree in "public administration" and also attended a one-year academic "banking" program. It was this program through which business administration issues captivated me. Before attending the  "MS in Technology Management" program, I was attending a MBA program in my country, Turkey.

    We all probably have a clear consencus on that today's businesses are engaged to a great extent with information technologies as well as other technologies. That is why "MS in Technology Management" program aims to equip prospective managers of the business world with a technology perspective.

    Let me first make certain that "MS in Technology Management" program is a "Business Administration" program. However, it differs from other business administration programs in that this program, as its name implies, has a "technology" focus. You may think of the program as a "business "administration" program that is wearing "technology glasses", while assessing the facts in a "business environment".

    In the program, almost all classes are those that are offered in common business administration programs. However, it is the case if you just check their names. Actually, while covering their intended content as they are supposed to do as a business administration class, at the same time, they are accomplishing this by using a "technology perspective" as a framework. This being the case, almost all materials covered in the classes such as "cases" and "examples" are either related to real "technology companies" or "technological processes". This allows you tie "business administration" infrastructure with a "technology" perspective.

    In addition to that, I also need to note that as you proceed in the program, you realize that how all stuff you covered in the program so far are somehow interrelated and that they were in reality the small pieces of the same big picture.

    The classes offered in the program fall into two categories according to the extent they deal with maths and statistics: "Verbal" and "Quantitative". Please note that this classification is an "abstraction" and does not mean any verbal class does not include any quantiative content and vice versa. Even though quantitave classes depend merely on mathematical and statistical calculations, let me clarify one point for those who get nervous when they hear about maths and statistics and ensure them it is not a "rocket science"!

    However, as a current student, I would like to make a recommendation for "incoming students". Even though it will not be a big deal to cope with the quantitative classes without a prior review of statistics, I strongly recommend you to review "basic statistical concepts" before attending the program. This will help you understand the related issues covered in the classes before you leave the class. Otherwise, you may lose the connection between the interrelated successive issues and you may not be able to put everything together, until you cover the missing issue while studying for the finals. This will cost you "your valuable time" and "extra efforts".

    As I mentioned above, you do not need to cover statistics in detail. For example, basic understanding of what a "mean", "variance" and "standard deviation" means will be enough for this purpose. However, I do not mean memorizing how to calculate those, instead, I really mean "internalizing" these fundamental concepts and understanding what really these concepts imply. In addition, as for statistics, I recommend you to be familiar with "normal distribution" as well. You will not need to know other distributions that much, since when "business statistics" is concerned, a distribution almost always means a "normal distribution". What I said above is also valid for this case: "internalizing" the main characteristics of "normal distribution" will be enough, neither do try to prove "Central Limit Theorem" on your own nor get drowned in the details of the statistics sea unless you do not have an "admirable" interest in statistics!

    All in all, please be aware of significance of statistics in business administration. It is one of the greatest "analytical toolbox" for business administration as well as for other social sciences. Therefore, the more you take care of it, the more it will take care of you...

    I wish all my best for incoming students. We are looking forward to see you among us!

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