Participation is Worth 10% of Your Grade

We are over halfway through the semester already! This week I want to touch on the importance of participation.

Nametags are a familiar sight at Haas. Professors actually want to learn your name, and you get the opportunity to build a relationship with him or her. But, I’m going to be honest. I was surprised by how much Haas classes emphasize participation. Going from my pre-req classes where there were about 300-500 students per class, where there was no room to participate, to about 60 students per class in Haas is something I’m still adjusting to.

Participating can be nerve-wracking, especially for people like me who want to be right every single time or for people who are introverted and have a tough time speaking up. There’s always a feeling of self-consciousness – the feeling that if I say the wrong answer people are silently judging me. But that its definitely not true. People are more encouraging than you think. Everybody has been wrong at some point in their lives, so we can all relate! Recruiting season is also a busy one (insert in all my friends who are doing i-banking and consulting). In between casing, interviews, networking, and coffee chats, it can be hard keeping up with assigned readings. Sometimes students naturally fall behind, and the fear of getting cold-called when you haven’t done the reading is too real.

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But having participation be worth 10% of your grade, keeps me motivated. The readings assigned are topics that I actually want to talk about. For example, the case study in UGBA 106 on Kate Spade is something I could speak for centuries on. I love Kate Spade and for anybody who is in that class, I definitely identify with the Kate Spade New York girl! It’s a great feeling knowing that Haas professors care about my opinions on a certain topic or video we discuss in class. It’s also refreshing being able to hear other people’s thoughts, especially if they differ from mine. So, don’t worry. It’s okay if you don’t like Kate Spade, because then we can have a great discussion on why you should like it (just kidding)!

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At the end of the day, being able to participate is a useful skill that can translate into the real world. It’s important that we practice participating and speaking up now, so that in the future we can learn how to connect with our colleagues in the workplace.

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