Howdy everyone! I realized recently that I’ve talked a lot about the Computer Science portion of my degree (Computer Science/Business Administration). However, I haven’t talked much about the Business side. Let’s take a peek inside the wonderful world of business.
USC does a really good job of offering flexibility in classes and schedule building, allowing students like me to design our own schedules and pick the order of our classes as much as possible. Personally, I came in with a strong Computer Science schedule and absolutely fell in love with that side of my degree; because of this, I designed my schedule to be heavy on the computer science classes and thus lighter on the business classes. This semester, however, I am transitioning into a more business-heavy side of my degree plan with classes in both Marketing and Accounting.
In previous semesters, I have taken classes in Organizational Business (OB) and Microeconomics. In OB, we studied the theories of how businesses are organized and their impact on performance and efficiency. We learned how to analyze conflict within these organizational structures and between individuals as well as how to best approach a solution. In addition, we focused on building leadership skills and learning what is involved in being the leader or manager in various organizational structures. Part of this skill-training involved trips to the Experiential Learning Center (ELC), where we would break up into groups or teams and participate in various activities, like being given roles and opinions in an organization and then discussing and ultimately voting on moving our company’s headquarters. The ELC gave us first-hand experience with real-world conflict that we had been studying, and it helped us to develop the skills rather than just the knowledge. In my Microeconomics class, we studied economic trends and theory on a local level, learning how the market and government react to various stimuli and best practices for profit maximization.
This semester, I am taking classes in Marketing and Accounting. In my Marketing class, we have studied the key elements of marketing, including customers, company characteristics, and competition as well as price, product, place, and promotion. We’ve learned how to account for various market conditions and competitor’s actions, how to determine the effectiveness of campaigns with market research, and how to fashion campaigns such that they create the most psychological benefit to consumers whilst maximizing profits at the same time. Currently, we have formed into teams and are designing our own product for the current market. We are writing up a full description as well as our market plan and monetization strategy and why we believe this product, plan, and strategy are ideal for our intended market segment and conditions. My group is creating a mobile application which will integrate with your university information such as classes as well as your Facebook account to allow for a unified scheduling and group-finding experience. In addition to keeping track of events, it uses schedule monitoring and gps location to send out common messages like asking to go grab lunch together to all nearby friends who are not currently in an event of some sort. This can also be used for larger events, such as university sports events to see who is going and meet up with them at or before the game. We are currently in the process of building our market plan, but the design is to collect data on demographics and user preferences (anonymously) which could be sold as market research data without compromising privacy. In addition, we would integrate featured events rather than traditional advertising which would provide a benefit to both corporations who see it as advertising and users who would be notified about events similar to their preferences. In my Accounting class, we have learned about proper methods of recording and balancing transaction records for a business. This includes valuing bonds and investments in the present based on their future value, determining the present value of old equipment and tracking income both from strict cash flow and adjusted for expenses and transactions on account.
Business, like Engineering, is more than just the classes, and I have met many bright students. Currently, I am working with a friend in the Marshall School of Business to establish a cross-discipline club based on the business of the video game industry. We both took Video Game Production together last semester and loved the subject, and we are working to bring in professionals from the industry as well as provide volunteers for game developer conferences like GDC and E3. All-in-all, Business is looking to be a very interesting and enjoyable part of my degree, and I hope this gave you a little insight into the Business side of the Computer Science/Business Administration major!
Until next time,