As amazing as it seems…

This is the last week of MBA classes this semester.  A hectic nine weeks of core courses come to an end.  Next week the students take on the Integrative Project before moving on to exams.  And then, before we know it, it’s Christmas and time for a break.  As always some will overdo it in the preparation and some will find that they are much better than they think.

As always we have, throughout the semester, attempted to keep a focus on career planning but in the current climate it is difficult to advise.  Just think of the 50,000+ jobs to go at Citigroup and many other jobs have been or are to be axed, making this a time for networking extraordinaire to secure that job.  Many formal recruitment schemes will have shrunk so how do you present yourself as someone essential to take on right now?  It really will be all about networking now.

As mentioned briefly, I lost my mother recently and I am grateful for all the support that has been offered by my colleagues and especially the MBA students.  They have so much on the agenda that it is very touching that they can also find time to ask how I’m doing.


Getting the hang of studying again

First week down and a fair number to go – most of ‘my’ new MBA class seem to have settled in OK and most realise that the first week is not a fair representation of what to expect.  It is only this week, week 2 of classes, that will show exactly what to expect from this semester.  It is now that the effects of studying and taking classes really set in.  Yes, a fair number of weeks to go but it is amazing how fast a one-year MBA passes.  Come the Christmas break it seems like only yesterday that you arrived and by then you will be ‘old hands’ at studying.  Merri and I are still having individual sessions with the new students and it is remarkable how many different directions people want to go after the MBA, either geographical or in industry terms but that is what makes it all so exciting.  So much knowledge in the class and it keeps building. 

On a personal note I, together with our Assessment Co-ordinator, am now getting the information together for the Exam Board for last year’s class.  The dissertation marks are coming in in a steady stream and then that class will leave.  Sad but also reassuring that the students we turn out are wanted by the market.  Some have already taken on their new jobs while others are still looking.  The current economic climate means that this will take a bit of extra legwork and this is where networking comes in.  Networking cannot be underestimated in finding THE job when it comes to MBA level.  This is where the saying comes true, the one about it also being about who you know.  But not just networking but also an active assessment of the value you can add to your target organisation.

And we’re off!

Yes, the new MBA class arrived yesterday and it was great.  It is such a satisfaction to welcome all these people who come here for such different reasons but all because they want to move on in their careers – in some ways similar but yet so different.  And that’s what makes it all even more exciting.

And there was a lot of excitement in the building yesterday.  Excitement and that niggling worry that everybody else will be better.  This of course is not true as all have strengths and weaknesses.  Yesterday was mostly taken over by registration, my introduction and a  brief introduction to the networking opportunities on offer.  This will be reinforced later on.  We try to keep not to pack in too much the first few days as the class has to get used to being in class again.  Studying is so very different from other kinds of work and one has to avoid information overflow.  So watch out for that glazing over of the eyes.

Most important of course, was the chance for the new class to meet each other and start getting to know the new classmates.  During the Induction week we will have more of events, some fun and some serious before the ceilidh Friday evening.  And then of course it all begins in earnest Monday with a very busy programme.