Ooof. Where did the last four weeks go?
Things are definitely ramping up in this last semester. Six new courses, lots of group work, lots of commuting (yay) and the stress of knowing that we have to rejoin the real world in a few short months.
The courses are more business-oriented this semester:
Management – in the first four weeks of the semester, we’ve learned about management styles, some accounting (income statements and balance sheets mostly) and started looking at elements of business plans. The big project for this is to create a business plan for a fictional brewery in groups of four, and present the plan to a group of potential investors. Unlike previous business plan projects, this is full-featured and is to include all the nuts and bolts like research, marketing, financials, etc….in other words, fully relevant.
Industry – we have spent most of the four classes going over the forms needed to make beer, sell beer, market beer, transport beer, and pay beer taxes. The amount of post-prohibition relics in the bureaucratic paperwork is mind-boggling. Another relevant assignment here: find and complete all the paperwork necessary to start a brewery of a certain size. Hand me Form 2205 with the appropriate TPS cover sheet, please.
Human Resources Management – We were all kind of dreading this one, fearing another Ethics debacle, but the professor is an HR consultant and is making a real effort to give us relevant examples for a small business.
Specialty brewing – We have the brewery every Monday, but really only have to be there bout 4 times this semester: one time to make your project brew and the other times to act as an assist to someone making their beer. I chose a later date to brew, which gives me lots of time to make some homebrew batches and decided if I want to make a Bourbon Dubbel or a Chai-spiced Winter Warmer. Both are now bottled, and I’ll bring some to school in a week or so once they’re carbonated to do a taste-test and sensory.
Sensory – speaking of sensory, this is a great class. Nate is now teaching it, and the first classes have been all about learning the different types of taste tests, to actually do the different tests and to track/understand our individual palates. From what I can tell so far, I am sensitive to diacetyl but have a harder time than most with sulfur.
Sales and Promotion – I am on the fence on this one. We are putting together a beer festival as a final project, which is great for getting some real and relevant experience. However; some of the teaching and communication is making me feel old. We’ll just leave it at that for now.
Elective – yeah, I had to take another Stupid Elective. I opted for Creative Writing, thinking it would be more of a learning opportunity to practice the craft than it is shaping up to be. I’ll likely not mention it again.