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EBSdigital: Living through Hardships

23 March 2020 | By: Pressestelle EBS Universität
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“Empowering You in Times of Social Distancing”: How do EBS members deal with the current situation? Prof. Rasa Karapandza, PhD, shows how he helps his students with his own very personal story.

In my teenage years when Yugoslavia started to fall apart, I have gone through quite a few hardships. I experienced the life of a refugee and have had to hide from Serbian, Croatian and NATO bombs and rockets. Then later I was in Beirut during the Lebanon-Israel war where I have had to run away from Syrian and Israeli bombs as well as from suicide bomb killers. Somehow, I managed also to get a first-hand experience with SARS pandemic in Hong Kong too.

A good friend of mine that went through wars as I did, went for a visit to the university psychologist while at Caltech. After telling him his life story of bombs and wars, he said that he thinks that in spite everything these wars had not left any consequences on him. The psychologist asked him – Do you understand that what you say is not possible and is not really normal?

Millions of people experienced similar hardships. These hardships either make one stronger or break a person. If I could give one advice to every one of us going through this pandemic it would be this one. Talk about it! Do not pretend that nothing is happening. We are living in the times of global pandemic. We went to Moon and back more than 50 years ago, we will defeat this one too. But once this Covid19 pandemic is over, our students will be different people, we will be different people and the World will be a different place. The worst thing that we can do is to pretend that nothing is happening. In every class that I teach now, I talk about the pandemic with my students. University is not only about learning equations. It is also about growing up. As a professor, my job is to help our students get out of this pandemic stronger and not broken. Pretending that nothing is happening breaks people. This is one of the most significant events of our lifetimes. It will end up in history books and will change us all. Let’s talk about it.

P.S. Use your quarantine time-wise. Sir Isaac Newton invented calculus during a quarantine. Shakespeare wrote King Lear, Macbeth and Antony and Cleopatra during his quarantine days. Let’s create and not despair. And talk about it!


Raša Karapandža (born January 4, 1978) is a professor of finance and Vice Dean Education at EBS Universität.He serves as an academic director of Master in Finance program and head of chair of finance. The general focus of Karapandža’s research and teaching activities is investments, empirical asset pricing, and portfolio management.

Context:

In this biggest global pandemic since the Spanish flu, we are all challenged to slow the spread of the coronavirus as much as possible. EBS Universität would like to make its contribution to this and has been offering courses since Monday, 16 March 2020 until further notice completely in the form of interactive video or audio conferences and e-learning, in which students interact directly with their professors, have room for discussion and there is basically no difference to a normal lecture (except presence). In this way, we fully maintain the lectures. These measures enable us to ensure that students can complete their semester or studies on time as planned. The safety and health of the EBS community and all visitors is of utmost importance to EBS University. We have been actively following developments since the first reports of the SARS-Cov-2 based disease in China. So far, there are no confirmed or suspected cases of the disease at our university or in its environment. We continue to consider personal contact with students to be an important part of a successful study program and a successful start: all employees and professors can be reached by phone, e-mail or video call - in the home office or as the last remaining person from the office.

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