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Okay: this was the first quarter of this class, so I came in having no idea what to expect, but this has by far been my favorite class in the Econ department. Professor Board's lectures are interesting, informative, and funny, and the weekly lab lecture is always a guest speaker.
The grading breakdown is 30% case study write-ups, 30% final paper, 30% final and 10% final presentation. The one-unit lab is separately graded, 50% attendance and 50% participation.
Though this class was really informative and enjoyable, it's not a light load; 70% of the class is done in a group of 3 people completing weekly 3-page write-ups on HBS cases and one 6-page final project with a presentation to UCLA alumni (so pick your group wisely). However, the cases are really interesting to read and super manageable, and I feel like I learned actually useful info (plus it's nice that there's no midterm). Take this class.
Okay so I asked Bruinwalk to create this class (because it is a new class) just to write this review. Hands down, one of the best or the best class I have taken at UCLA. Consider yourself lucky to get this class. You will learn basically everything about competitive strategy, but my favorite part is that you get to use it every week in HBS case studies, with discussions led by industry leaders. For instance, we had one of the heads (CEO possibly) of TimeWarner come in to talk about Disney and how he had to deal with their competitive advantages. Hearing Dr. Board and the speakers' insights week after week was so amazing, and was the highlight of my week. Some things to know:
1. No midterm. Grades based off group case study write-ups (weekly), 1 project (+presentation), and the final. Not too bad.
2. The 106SL discussion is not important, at least for this quarter. The only thing that matters is that you get the 106S lecture, 106SL lecture, but the 106SL discussion is not used by Dr. Board.
All in all, be prepared to learn A LOT in this class. If you want an easy A, this probably isn't the class for you. But if you WANT to learn about how the business world operates, expect good grades as long as you work hard. And Dr. Board, if you see this, thank you for a wonderful quarter.
70% of the class grade is based on group work, which sucks when your teammate is not as committed as you. It will become a nightmare for you because you will have to turn in homework, project, and presentation with your group member. Only recommend if you can find group members that are reliable otherwise it will ruin your class experience. It is an overall fantastic business class but with bad group members, you'll have a terrible experience in this class.