International Affairs Reflection #6

To finish off my first year with the International Affairs Scholars Program, I attended the Current Events Conversation on Thursday, March 28th from 7:30-8:30 PM in the Glass Classroom in Smith-Steeb. This event fulfilled the academic requirement.

Our academic chair, Sam Stelnicki led a presentation to update us on what business events were occurring at the time. She began with some definitions of the S&P, Dow Jones, and NASDAQ. Sam then discussed European copyright laws and the shift in the responsibility of the financial burden of copyright infringements. Another event that she talked about was that Uber bought Careem, the middle east direct competitor, for $3.1 billion. This is a key play as Uber is going public this year on the New York Stock Exchange. The company’s initial public offering is estimated to be as much as $120 billion.  Additionally, Sam mentioned Huawei and accusations around selling goods to countries with sanctions. This behavior could disrupt relations between the United States and different countries around the world. Another topic discussed was the potential issues with Boeing 737s and what can be done going forward.

This event impacted me by allowing me to become more aware of what is happening around the world. As an International Affairs Scholar, I should be more aware of daily news but often find myself missing out on what is going on. This event relates to the topic of International Affairs because business is typically international in modern transactions and deals with economics and a variety of factors around the world. Although I am not specializing in international business, it is crucial to keep up with business news to make smart financial decisions for companies.

Personally, I enjoyed this event as I was able to review the things I already knew and learn more about events I had heard briefly about. While I already knew some terms related to the stock market it was beneficial to quickly review what they meant. Academically, I learned more about specific business topics that relate to my finance major. To make educated predictions and effective analysis for companies, it is vital to pay attention to different outside conditions. Overall, the conversation was beneficial in getting to hear the opinions of others and how they would respond in positions of power.

As previously stated, this event relates specifically to my core business classes that I am taking this semester. There is a strong correlation to my international business, business skills and environment, and business law classes. We have discussed specifics about the previous topics and can apply skills to these situations.

After attending the event I have a few questions. I wonder when Uber will officially become a public company and how much they will actually be valued at. It is difficult to gauge surrounding specific controversies. I also question how China will handle the issues with Huawei and how diplomatic relations will be affected by this. I am also interested in learning more about the issues with Boeing 737s and when this issue will officially be fixed.


International Affairs Reflection #1

To kick off the year with the International Affairs scholars program, I attended the Current Events Conversation on Sunday, August 26th from 5:00-6:00 PM in the Glass Classroom in Smith-Steeb. This event fulfilled the academic requirement.

This activity impacted me by opening my eyes from the beginning of the year to issues going on the world. Coming into the program I realized I wasn’t keeping up with current events as much as I should have been and I was dedicated to learning more about the world. This event relates to the topic of International Affairs because it involves a different country and the impact on not only the United States but countless other countries. For Venezuela to recover from this situation, the assistance of other countries is all but necessary.

On the surface level, I gained academic knowledge about the Venezuelan economic crisis. The country has long relied on oil and spent too much while the price of oil was high leaving nothing for when the price fell. There has been little if any improvement in the industry resulting in destruction for the nation. I also gained some professional experience by discussing current events and providing my opinion. I generally find myself listening to and observing others instead of participating and I believe I spoke up more than usual. I found this conversation very beneficial in getting to know my starting place and well as where everyone else in the group was.

Personally, I found it interesting how many bills were required to purchase seemingly everyday items. Stacks of millions of bolivars could be translated to a few US dollars. It is mind-blowing that people have to carry so much cash to buy chicken, tomatoes, toilet paper, carrots, soap, and diapers. I was fascinated that eggs had started to become a form of currency as people reverted to bartering. This concept of repeating history and reverting to old methods is baffling but so common. I have always been taught that the purpose of history is to learn from mistakes and adapt to improve the future. This situation in Venezuela makes me question why we are not taking actions to better the world.

This event relates to the topic of economics that I have previously learned about. After defaulting on countless debts, Venezuela couldn’t borrow more international money. This created a difficult situation not handled in the best way. Simply printing more money will only cause a higher inflation rate. President Maduro tried to create a solution to this problem by introducing a new “Sovereign Bolivar” with five fewer zeroes. However, it is not so simply corrected.

After attending this event, I would question what Venezuela should do next. They are currently in turmoil with desperate attempts to fix problems with no avail. Varying sources estimate about one million percent inflation by the end of the year. Waves of people are attempting to flee the country as conditions only worsen. I believe the currency should be anchored to something with more backing. Other countries probably need to intervene and try to assist before Venezuela is completely done for. Overall, this was a positive first experience and I cannot wait to learn more about the world I am living in.