Saturday, November 26, 2016

My reputation

Throughout my life I have developed a strong reputation in many facets; whether it be academically, socially, or athletically I have always prided myself on being the best I can be and creating a strong resume for myself. While I have excelled academically and socially, I believe the domain where I developed the strongest reputation was my ability as a soccer player. Growing up, I was regarded as one of the best players in my area. I started varsity as a freshman, I was on the Dailey Herald "Watch List" as a sophomore in high school, I was named to the Dailey Herald All First-Team as a Junior, while also receiving an All-Sectional award as a Junior. I was on the pre-season All-State team as a senior, but chose to forgo my senior season and play for a travel team that plays all year around, they did not let me play high school soccer.

I developed my reputation at a young age, I played travel soccer for my local club team where I stapled myself as one of the better players in the area. From there, I broke the Grayslake Middle School goal record in a two-year career (our school only had 7th and 8th grade), joined a top 10 team in the country, and then as I mentioned before, excelled in high school. I finished top 3 in goals scored in school history, while not even playing my senior season. I was consistent and proved to my teammates and coaches that I was able to preform in games and not just practice. I had colleges coming to watch me play, calling me every week, and even taken official visits to schools. While I was a great soccer player, I had a temper and my reputation was built on skill and temper. My sophomore year I was a hot head, I drew 14 cards in 20 games. I was carded for dissent, unneccessary tackles, and often was not afraid to throw an elbow or a punch. I would snap at comments from players and let people get underneath my skin, it was a weakness.

I was embarrassed of the player I became and decided I needed to make a change. I no longer wanted to be regarded as "Robert, the great soccer player who cannot control his temper", but as "Robert, the great soccer player with a competitive nature to want to win." Instead of losing my temper and screaming at refs and punching kids in the face for tackling me, I used this negative energy and turned it into positive energy. I did not want to be remembered as a hot head. Instead, I would take a second to calm myself down before I did anything rash and if I did channel anger, I would use this anger to score a goal or make a fair tackle rather than swear at the ref.  I wanted to change for the better, I wanted to create a new reputation, a positive one. I lowered my card count from 14 my sophomore season to 1 my junior year, it was my first game and I swear it was a clean tackle. I controlled my temper and as a result, my reputation changed. Once I decided not to play my senior season, my soccer reputation grew as I joined an elite soccer club called Chicago Magic Academy. This was one of the best soccer clubs in the nation and even produced the current national team goalie, Brad Guzan. I believe my only "cash-in" was deciding not to play for my high school, I was regarded immediately as top talent for making the team, but in the end I wish I had played high school soccer because it was more enjoyable and provided me with more pleasure. I chose not to play at the collegiate level, except for club where I helped guide the Men's Soccer team as UIUC to a Final 4 in Arizona.        

Friday, November 11, 2016

Triangle Principle Model

The standard principal-agent model is bilateral. But in reality the situation is often more like a triangle, where the agent deals with two different principals. For example, an associate at a law firm is the agent of both the client and the firm. In this post you are to discuss a triangle like arrangement that you've participated in or that you've witnessed from afar. If the two principals don't see eye to eye on what counts for good performance by the agent, how do those differences in views get resolved in practice. Might there be more than one right way to resolve this tension? In contrast, might the agent fail by satisfying one master while ignoring the other?

The triangle principle model is a unique model that exemplifies how agents may act in their own self-interest for the betterment of whatever their situation may be whether it is a waiter taking a percentage off their customers bill in order to get a larger tip while shorting the business they are working for or a lawyer keeping his client around because he likes them even though the law firm wants to get rid of them. This model shows how moral hazard and conflicts arise in situations that involve this.

My mother has her own real estate company up North of Chicago and is one of the best 100 realtors in the country, her production is extremely high and because of this she has a large range of cliental. Similar to the lawyer example presented in the prompt, working for my mother's company this summer I was able to experience multiple triangle principle situations in which the agent represents two parties: the buyer and the seller. This occurs when my mother is the listing agent and she brings the buyer herself to her own listing, she is given commission from both parties. The problem becomes that the agent has a contract with both parties and these agreements can cause issues of moral hazard and conflict of interest between the parties. For example, we are all human and while my mom has never straight up told me she likes a client more than another client in such a transaction, I am sure has her opinion. This can create an issue or moral hazard, say my mom really likes client A, the seller, over client B, the buyer, she may push client B to pay more than she would normally believe they should pay because she likes client A more and wants to make them happier. his of course is hypothetical, but it does occur. It could also be the opposite, the agent could convince the seller to sell for cheaper than they should in order to benefit the buyer. Additionally, money can be a problem as well. If the buyer offers more commission to the agent, they will aim to work harder for that party because they have a larger incentive to do so.

Good performance of the realtor, the agent, in this situation would be to be as neutral as possible and offer the best possible advice she can based on her expertise and if she knows it is not a good deal for one party, the way to resolve any moral hazard would be to alert said party in order to maximize their benefit of her working for them. I am not sure you can necessarily fix the issue of a party paying more than another other than disclosing this to both the buyer and the seller.

While I believe the model does bring about many important concepts I believe the ultimate reason behind people's decisions are their morals and values. Some people will act more selfishly than others, it is the nature of our minds. It is up to us to make the correct decisions when we encounter problems like the triangle-principle mode

Friday, November 4, 2016

RSO Fraternity

I know I spoke briefly at the beginning of the semester on being part of a social fraternity that was forced to engage in changes to how we operate our house, specifically the whole aspect of pledgeship. This year I served on the executive board for my fraternity and our House Corp. were very straight forward with us, we either go away with pledgeship and implement an online approach to learning about the ideals and values of the fraternity or we simply cannot be apart of their house and would be forced to move out. The source of the problem resulted from our clashing views between the executive board and House Corp., we did not want to succumb to their rules and allow them to rid of our pledgeship and let the new guys to just walk in and not "earn" their spot. Of course, the concept of earning something and the whole idea of pledgeship is highly argued, is it right? Probably not, but from our perspective we chose to pledge our fraternity and nobody ever forced me to do anything I was not comfortable with. Our pledgeship is highly constructive and while there may be certain parts that are unnecessary, if we voluntarily did it and nothing went wrong, why is it wrong? The problem is the insurance policies on fraternities are extraordinary and it is extremely hard to insure a fraternity in general because nobody wants to be responsible for 100 18-22 year old men. I understand House Corp.'s perspective on the issue, they do not want us doing something irresponsible that could cause us to get kicked off campus, which results in them losing money. They have invested in this house and they do not want to see it go down, at the same time, we believed it would ultimately ruin the quality and bond of our brotherhood. I know some people may not understand that, but pledgeship brought me closer to all my pledge brothers because we shared a common conflict that we all overcame and in that sense there's an aspect of respect.

Now I believed certain changes would benefit us as a whole because I remember pledging and thinking a couple times, why would they make us do this? I was never hard on the idea of not changing pledgeship at all, I believe anything can be improved. The rest of the active members were very disappointed when we presented the dilemma to them. They shared the same views as the executive board and were very upset over this. Certain seniors and older guys will not view the new guys in the same light due to their love for the house. I do not have that same passion, but understand where they come from. Our chapter advisor sympathized with us about losing our peldgeship because he had too at one point, but the reality was these are the times we live in and told us we would have to eventually give in. The problem is there is a large disconnect between us and those in control of our chapter house. They were all active members at one point in their lives at this fraternity here at UIUC and went through even worse things than we did, but as I mentioned they have made an investment and I understand that. Older alumni have already reached out and expressed they will no longer donate to the house without a real pledgeship. Currently we are still in the mist of this conflict. We still operate our normal pledgeship routine, but have implemented nationals pledgeship program. At this time, we are on the notion that we will continue to use this system until we simply get caught. That will be the true breaking point, it won't happen now, but eventually it will and whether the fraternity goes under is up Interfraternity Council and our nationals.

Of course this would not be an issue had pledgeship never developed in the first place. The reality is we work hard to reach the top for anything in our lives. Pledgeship was created to establish discipline and authority. It is ridiculous if you take a step back and think about how this sort of system developed and not one that would be more professional/educational. At the end of the day, I do not think this could be avoided. People like to have power and when you are pledging you are powerless, you are essentially irrelevant. Eventually fraternities will probably fall off completely, I won't be surprised when they do. This also could not be avoided because our nationals come to our initiation week every year and monitor what goes on. It was only until last year when they decided to do-away with pledgeship.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Components of managing income risk

I believe I have always had an eye for the future and ensuring I am effectively managing my future income risk for after I graduate. The most effective way, in my opinion, is the fact that my GPA has been high for throughout most of my collegiate career. I have been on the Dean's List multiple times and since my aim is to attend law school after I finish my undergraduate studies here at the University of Illinois, having a high GPA is essential to receiving the most financial aid and being accepted into the most prestigious law schools. I would like to add I have taken the LSAT and will be receiving my score next week, if I do well on that, that would be my next most essential component into managing my future income risk. There is a strong correlation between attending the top 14 law schools and having a relatively high salary your first few years out of school.

I chose to major in economics and minor in political science for two reasons in particular. First, I enjoyed my economics courses in high school and my interests mostly included joining the business sector rather than the medical sector or scientific fields. I had an interest in marketing, but I believed economics gave me a stronger fallback if law school does not work out and having a degree in economics from the University of Illinois is great in terms of potential job prospects. Secondly, I enjoy politics and believe it would provide me with a solid foundation for law. Additionally, my mother works in real estate, where I have developed an interest, and I believe economics has wired my mindset to be more logical and think more thoughtfully. I am very lucky and have not had to take a single loan out because my parents have paid for all of my school, room and board, and a majority of my expenses. In return, I have worked hard in order to keep my grades up and I work for myself, but I also work for my parents so I do not disappoint them. This has allowed me to have a head start because I will not have to worry about paying student loan payments each month. While law school may cost me more, I have put myself in the position to receive substantial financial aid.

Additionally, I have had many job experiences throughout my collegiate career. First and foremost, I have held a bar job on campus as a bartender where I worked my way up from a doorman to a bartender. It taught me hard work and have me the realization in life that hard work is necessary in order to become successful in anything you do in life. I believe that is of value. Additionally, I have had internships at real estate firms, AK Homes and RE/MAX Showcase, where I have been responsible for various tasks such as contacting multiple real estate offices to set up appointments, preparing brochures, and preparing contracts. I believe having this experience may allow me to obtain a better job in the future or possibly even get me into a better law school which could manage my future income risk. I also have been on the executive board for my fraternity and the Illinois Men's Club Soccer team, which has allowed me to gain valuable leadership experience. Additionally, I am the social chair of my fraternity meaning I have managed thousands of dollars of the chapter's funds and I have also been the one in charge of contacting businesses, which I have used to practice dealing with people in the professional world.

My older brother is a dental student at the University of Michigan so he has yet to go through the job market. However, I have any fraternity brothers who have gone through the process and advised me to be patient and weigh your options. They said particularly to not jump at your first offer, but take the time to ensure you are making the right decision for yourself financially. They also said to consider where you will be living and your living expenses based on your location. 

Friday, October 7, 2016

Reflecting on Past Posts

Obviously, the most glaring similarity between all the blogs posts up to date are that they all involve discussing organizations, but specifically organizations I have been a part of and organizations I have experienced firsthand on campus. All the posts aim to tie in my own experiences with what the class entails so I can apply these concepts into my everyday life and see how they apply in the real world. For example, the first post was about my experience with organizations where I spoke on behalf of my fraternity, but then the third post was about a successful organization where I spoke on behalf of my soccer team; two different organizations with two different results. I am not sure if that was one of the aims of those posts, but I thought that was an interesting comparison I made when I was reading through my blog posts. Our last post was about how "IlliniBucks" could be successfully allocated on campus through different organizations, such as the library or the class registration system, using my prior experiences with organizations, I was able to tie in my own experiences with how I believe the bucks could be used.

Aside from addressing the prompt I believe my post on using the "IlliniBucks" through the Undergraduate Library and even private organizations such as campus bars connects to the economic approach of "establishing a framework for thinking about what might be possible for the organization and in producing well-reasoned conclusions about what efficient structures look like". These organizations such as the library and the private establishments need to experiment with these "IlliniBucks" in order to see what would be the efficient price to set them at and the efficient amount to produce. They take into account the distribution of preferences, who should get what, and they think about production capabilities of how many bucks they should use.

In terms of what is more obvious to me now, for the opportunism blog post, I failed to acknowledged the essential component of opportunism - the ethical dimension of it. It is more clear to me now, after reading through my post and taking a sounder approach and investigating more into the concept, I was able to more clearly see that my actions through the soccer team had ethical consequences as well. I was actually harming myself through playing academy, my actions were negatively effecting me during this time when I believed they were helping me in getting a Divison 1 scholarship for soccer. Instead of focusing on my academics and trying to earn a scholarship that way rather than the athletics route, I would have allocated more time to studying and focusing on collegiate placement exams. I was spending four hours a day after school commuting to soccer when I could have allocated that time to more productive things: ACT studying, school in general, AP tests. 

I believe my process when writing these blogs has evolved through Professor Arvan's comments, he aims at wanting you to learn conceptually what you are speaking on behalf and really deriving the crucial lessons from each of his prompts. I now have a more open mind about things and try to think about the deeper meaning behind what the prompts are trying to entail. Additionally, I have learned to read more closely and ensure I am correctly answering the prompt entirely and not straying too far off topic. The driving force has been the comments though, in the past, instructors do not always comment and just give you a grade without and real feedback. I am able to see where I need to improve through the Professor's comments, but also my classmate’s comments. I use their feedback to fuel and engineer my future posts.