ApEc Alum Zach Ruedy gives feedback on outstanding professor
Metin Cakir taught the best class I had during my undergraduate education at the University of Minnesota. I had him for my capstone course, APEC 4821W Business Economics and Strategy, in the spring of 2015. I was a part of the AFBM B.S. program, which combines business classes from Carlson School of Management with Applied Economics courses within the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Science (CFANS).
This class was the culmination of that education and it was handled excellently by Metin. He pulled together several case studies over the course of the semester with varying themes and backgrounds allowing us to analyze each and apply our education. Not only were these case studies, and the assignments and projects along side the, a great match for what we had learned, they were also engaging and interesting. It was a challenge to dig into each new business and case to identify what had gone wrong, or right, and to understand how the economic principles, as well as business principles, we had learned could be applied.
Metin guided us through each case after completing the assignments for each and helped us make deeper connections and more in-depth findings between what we had learned, and what we were learning, form these real world examples. He provided opportunities to participate in class and have an open dialog with other students to help solidify each learning and the tests and midterms were all an extremely good fit for the content. The open-ended sections allowed us to truly articulate our understanding of business economics and strategy as portrayed within the case studies and learned from Metin's presentations. Between the in-class discussions, the assignments and presented material, and the tests, this class was wonderfully well-rounded balancing reading comprehension with writing proficiency, as well as logic and understanding of real-world business operations.
One of the business case studies that sticks with me today was our analysis of the Global Wine Wars. Though I did not go into the wine business, nor any related industry, nor am I even interested in wine, this case study sticks with me. It was fascinating to see and learn how a global business reacted and competed, especially within the framework Metin used for the class and within our education. I still think back to this case study often and bring it up with family and friends when wine is brough up, especially when discussing competition between California and Australian wine, two-buck chucks, etc.
I've been out of college and in my career for two years now and I still think back to many of the business case studies and what I learned in this class. Working for a food manufacturer in an extremely competitive market means that the things I learned help to influence my actions and understanding every day. My education as a whole, and especially this class with Metin, helped prepare me for this career and set me up for success as I continue to move across the Supply Chain business within my company to exceedingly strategic roles. I can absolutely say that Metin and his course played a great role in this and for that I want to recognize him with this letter and thank him.
-Zach Ruedy AFBM, 2015