Thursday, May 7, 2009

Term 3

Since I last updated this blog, I have started Term 3 and have landed an independent consulting project (which counts towards credits for the MBA). Part II of the MBA - terms 3 & 4 - is quite different from Part I - terms 1 & 2; you no longer have fixed learning teams (you have to find your own!) the workload is somewhat lighter and the real job hunting really starts!
At the very beginning of term 3, a number of companies came on Campus to participate in the SoM's careers and recruitment fair. It was a great day, since it gave us some hope that companies are indeed hiring, even though the current economic situation is a mess... I suppose they need people to help them fix some of this mess!
The funds from the various countries' stimulus packages are also starting to flow, allowing a number of companies to start planning for the near future. There's even talk of a management consulting 'gold rush' once all this money rolls out (firms and groups of people will need guidance and advice on how to best use their stimulus slice...) We'll see.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Near the end... of the first half!

We are quickly approaching the end of Term 2, which means we are nearly halfway through the Cranfield MBA!

We are starting week 10 now, the next to last week of the term - exams are just around the corner... This term we've had two more WACs, one for Finance and another for Macroeconomics! They were challenging but also very interesting. This year in particular the SoM has changed the theme of the Macroeconomics WAC to match our IBE destinations, which makes good sense if you ask me. We also went through the biggest snow fall in 18 years so we ended up having a couple of 'snow days', since lectures and admin staff could not get to Cranfield.

I have got to get back to my studies now, but I'll update this blog again in a couple of weeks.
Green Stream - Term 2 - MBA 2009

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Term 2 - here we go again!

We started term 2 by having an intesive subject delivered to us - we had one term's worth of Project Management lectures and assignments in one week! It was an insane way to start the term, but it got us into the right sort of mood for the term ahead.
The following subjects are being taught this term:
  • Project Management
  • Managing Information Technology
  • Glogal Macroeconomics and Business Environment
  • People Management
  • Financial Management
  • Business Law
  • Strategic Management
  • Operations and Supply Chain - Part 2
  • Organisational Behaviour and Personal Professional Development - Part 2

It seems like a LOT of work, but we are all looking forward to it!

Oh, Cranfield School of Management was voted 3rd in the world for Economics by the 2009 MBA Financial Times ranking! GO CRANFIELD!

Weeks 8 to 11 - END OF TERM 1!

So I had to go over to Boston for a few days (5 days) but I didn't want to miss any lectures... oh, what to do! Skype in! I discussed with the lectures and attended the lectures remotely, over Skype - it was a bit noisy at first (and my microphone wasn't working) but I got what I needed from attending the lectures from the other side of the North Atlantic.

Some of my classmates took a couple of pictures of my experiment ; Mihou place his laptop on the desk at my original seat, so it was just like being there - almost!

Once I got back, it was crazy! We had our second WAC and the revisions for the final exams started! The exams came and went - lots of studying and group discussions - and we were finaly on holidays for a couple of weeks!

Hello Christmas break! : - )

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Weeks 5 to 7!

By Week 5, the pressure was building up and the first assignments started piling up! Have a look at what the timetable for Week 5 was like:

Do you see the yellow boxes on Friday o7 November? Well this is when we were introduced to our first WAC - Written Assessment of a Case! WACs are a bit of a tradition at Cranfield SoM... They are also quite stressful and surprisingly hard! If someone tells you that you have a bit over 24 hours to write 1500 words on a given topic that doesn't sound too hard, does it? Believe me, WACs are the longest 1500 word you'll ever write. It is a great learning experience though! And then it's off to a kitchen party somewhere on Campus...

During Weeks 6 & 7 the pressure was on, since there were two assignments due and yet another WAC - this time an accounting one! We submitted our Marketing and SDS reports, only to then start working on the Accounting WAC! It has certainly been a tough couple of weeks!

Tomorrow (Monday 24 November) we'll be starting Week 8 by delivering a 15 minute presentation (followed by questions, of course!) on the Strategic Marketing Success of the Toyota Prius - part of our Marketing assignment.

Wish me luck!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Weeks 1 to 4

So O-Week came and went!

And then the real work started! We were introduced to the six subjects we would devote ourselves to for the next few months! They were:

ACC -Accounting
OBPPD - Oganisational Behaviour and Personal and Professional Development
EOS - Economics of Organisations & Strategy
SDS - Strategic Decision Science
MKT - Marketing
OSC - Operation & the Supply Chain
LANG - Languages

Accounting was a bit scary to start with, since I had never done any accounting related work before. However, the accounting Professor is really dedicated to the subject and there are online features to the book and course which are really helpful!

OBPPD (or OB for short) is a really interesting and rewarding subject - you learn more about yourself and your learning team members than you would think possible. I'm an ENFJ, by the way. I'm also an Activist and a CO / RI for my Belbin types. Google this stuff if you want to find out what it all means!

EOS - Economics - has been really challenging, but also quite rewarding once you realise you understand one of the crazy graphs Sean Rickard throws at you. It is certainly a different way to explain the world (new to me, anyway). The Neo-Classical paradigm...

SDS is statistics applied to business and there are some overlaps with EOS, which is fortunate for someone who hasn't done a lot of stats before... We'll see how we go with all these regression models!

Marketing has been really interesting and somewhat familiar to me. Lots of information and theory behind it all though...

OSC in its current form is a new (updated?) subject at Cranfield SoM - it deals with the operation of businesses and the supply chain. We have a number of different lecturers for this one, and they all bring their own flavour and experience to the subject! The Donut Model, the Fried Egg and the Four Blobs are some of the models we've learned so far...

If you don't speak a foreing language you must start learning one from term 1. Spanish and French are the most popular ones - but I got dispensation from doing a language since I'm fluent in Portuguese. Muito Obrigado, Brasil!


Thursday, November 6, 2008

Orientation Week

It all started on the Sunday night- we had an informal drinks party at the School of Management and it was a great chance to mingle and meet all my fellow students and their partners and children. There were literally students from every corner of the earth and I started to realize just what an exciting experience this year was going to be. We also met our orienteers who were MBA students who had just completed their course. (Last year's Australian Alumni Scholarship winner, Sarah Nicholson was one of them!) They were the best source of advice and knowledge you could ever want – and that wasn’t their only talent, as we would soon find out!

During Orientation week the entire class of 120 was split into 3 streams and then divided into learning teams with 6 people. These would be the people who you worked with each day for the first and possibly second term.

As orientation week rolled out I was surprised at just how much activity and information we were exposed to. Our week was fully scheduled with sports activities, intoduction lectures and ofcourse plenty of social activities. My partner Davina was also kept busy all week going to plenty of partners activities.

The culmination of Orientation week was Cabaret Night when each stream presented a cabaret performance for everyone else. Some people revealed their inner musicians and scriptwriters while others revealed their inner cross dresser! It was really something!