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Kellogg Course QuestionSo it’s my seventh week at Kellogg (or is it eight? It’s difficult to keep track sometimes!). Finals are around the corner, projects are due soon and the sun’s out. All in all, it’s a weird but great combination.

I thought I’d share with you my unique academic experiences so far here at Kellogg. Let me introduce you to three:

Accounting: Our mild mannered and funny professor takes us through the intricacies of Revaluation of Acquisitions using the example of Disney buying Marvel. While explaining why the fair value of goodwill in this case is $2.3 billion, Spiderman comes up. Instead of just saying, in a boring drone “…and Marvel’s intellectual property is the reason…” our professor brings up Spiderman, Captain America and Iron Man.

He quizzes us on when Spiderman actually came into creation (answer: 1962) to drive home the financial value of our web crawling friend even 50 years after conception. Of course he doesn’t miss out on mentioning the Avengers (which is a mix and match of Marvel IPs). This example’s not a one-off; today we spoke about the Grand Theft Auto (Take Two) and Madden football (EA) video games and how they differ in the accounting world.

Marketing: “Of course the Marketing is awesome. It’s Kellogg,” you might say. Well, you’d be right. But it’s a lot of fun in Professor Maoz’s class. I’m sure any marketing professor worth his/her salt will bring up examples of Apple and other current brands, so I’m not going to bring that up. What I’m going to mention are little snippets of marketing research we’re given a glance at that lead to some amazing, unexpected learning, such as:

  • How people buy eggs, and what it says about their buying habits
  • How cream cheese should actually be afraid of cereal, not other cream cheeses
  • And why telling a child off for dancing on the table rarely works (and what that says about customers, competitors and collaborators)

Decision Analytics is by far (for me) the most exciting course of this quarter. No problem we work through is fake (If I had a bag of red and blue balls, and I took out three red…. You know, those ones).

The problems we work on are real life questions you may not have ever thought about, but would love to know the answers for:

  • Does having a resident program in a hospital increase mortality?
  • Why are older houses in Hawaii costlier than the newer, more modern properties?
  • If my grandma wanted to invest in shares, how would I know which combination would give her the lowest risk?
  • And of course, why Guinness is so incredibly important in the world of statistics.

There’s a lot more than the three above that I could talk about, but I’ll stop here. I am, however, going to close with this: If you’ve ever wanted to find out whether Inspector Jacques Clouseau (of the Pink Panther fame) is justified in worrying about a piano falling on his head from the sky, my decision analytics class might just be the place for you.

Shriansh Shrivastava ’16 (@Shriansh) grew up in India, spent 10 years in the UK (undergrad + an awesome job working with unreleased cellphones +  then worked on a mental health suicide prevention project – using smartphones, of course), and finally spent a year in Canada working for an ATM software company (Learning a lot! At this stage, I can pretty much dismantle any ATM).