Outline: Do you remember one of our previous articles from an Asian student telling his experience of studying at Católica Business School Business School and also a similar one from a European student? You can now check out the follow-up article, with his response to all the comments and feedback from our community over the last weeks!
Analyzing “terrible analysis in Lisbon’s most elite university”
Dear UDUNI community,
Before I start saying anything, I would like to say thanks to all the comments (I mean all: supportive and not). I know that Portuguese people are very welcoming and heard it from foreigners a lot. It always struck me how hospitable and helpful can people be in Portugal, especially when it is unexpected for them to see a foreigner to ask for any kind of help.
The aim of the previous article was not to discredit Catolica, but to tell about my personal experience. There was no argument involved in the review: it was all about my emotions at that time. Besides, I doubt that any review can be as logical as scientific papers. Reviews are always based on personal views of certain events or things, and one cannot expect the same line of argumentation as in academia.
The aim of this article is to elaborate on the previous article, explain some moments that probably left you, guys, confused, and suggest some of the ways of development in the university and community.
First Things First
Ironically, what fueled most discussions is the naming itself that was actually given by the moderator. Some of you, guys, were ready to see Catolica criticized, and the further reaction was two-fold.
Around half of the students (especially from Nova) left a comment suggesting that Nova is better and that I should have applied there. These guys did not have a nice experience in Catolica, or generally regard Nova as a better place to study, and that is why were compassionate to me. Thank you! Yet, I think it was meant for me to study in Catolica, and I tried to get the best out of the university in terms of studies and extracurricular activities. So, no regrets J
Another group of students said I was unreasonable in my post, and suggested that I was the only responsible person for my experience. I have to admit that it is true: probably, I have not made enough steps to get to know the people around me, did not have enough courage to come up to more people and get acquainted.
However, I totally understand these factors:
- Local students have their own lives here, in their own country; they have friendly relationships in and outside of the university that they have to maintain, which takes a good portion of time and attention.
- Surely, the language barrier is a major obstacle to make friends with a foreigner for a local Portuguese: I sometimes also struggle speaking English, especially when I am tired. Besides, used to speaking my language, it is quite hard for me to switch to English, which makes it hard for me to develop a quality conversation with a foreigner. This sometimes happened during group work, when two or more locals started to speak Portuguese, forgetting about a foreigner opposite them. However, in every case I received apologies, so I am cool J
- Family affairs are always there: if I were a local, I would have to help a lot in my family starting with groceries ending with car repairing.
- For the people of opposite sex it may be uncomfortable to hang out with a guy/girl because of their boyfriend/girlfriend.
- My stance against parties comes from the fact that I had enough parties in my life to be sick of them, and especially of those that involve smoking and drunken people. I had to take many of my friends home after a crazy party, so parties do not have this element of fun for me anymore. Visiting two or three in Lisbon was enough for me to see it was the same story.
So, having these factors in mind (and not sure if you agree – comment) I think that, apart from my shyness, these were possible reasons of my small list of Portuguese acquaintances and friends.
So Let’s Talk About Católica
Regarding the university, I still think it is a great place to study. I am not aware of the reputation of people who graduated from Catolica and their subsequent paths, but I could not but notice several positive moments:
- The quality of teaching is very good at Catolica and I mean it: all the professors I had, in varying degrees, were knowledgeable, open to questions and helpful during individual sessions. I never felt discomfort coming up to them, or approaching them outside the class. Moreover, most of them tried to make classes interactive, filling materials with illustration and, most importantly, making complex stuff look simple. As a result, it was easier for me to comprehend the material and participate during the classes.
- Student affairs were usually helpful when it came to issues they were entitled to solve. However, what I could not understand is the fact that a manager “could not help” if it was not according to rules. Sometimes, I just did not know whom to go, and they did not know either and the problem did not resolve at all. Sometimes, managers tended to point to each other without actually solving the issue. In the end, these were not significant problems, but still this did not make a good impression about them.
- I like the fact that professors at Catolica have an extensive background and are able to draw from it stories, cases or even contacts to make it easier for students to carry out their assignments, comprehend the material or collect information. I especially enjoyed professors in entrepreneurship because of their direct involvement in individual projects. It was truly remarkable to listen to them as they told about their international experience in entrepreneurship and motivating as well.
As I said previously, I do not have issues with the university itself: the quality is satisfactory. Of course, there are always some individual issues that students can have, but for me it went quite alright.
What the studies showed me is somewhat different: I came to the conclusion that corporate studies are in nature convicting, limited, and tend to kill creativity. I agree with the fact that, even though the university is good, it is nevertheless a company to produce future inputs for the European corporations (of course, in case if these input units want to have a career there). I also have an impression that most of the students are planning to pursue this path. I am not judging, but I personally think that the management studies do not add much value: how can being a small detail in a corporation bring satisfaction? Of course, the experience I can get in a company after 5 years is valuable, but I think that the life-long career is an aim not worth the precious time. What are the alternatives?
The author of this article asked to remain anonymous.