I’m pleased to say that after 5 1/2 hard months, I have finally reached the end of the first semester for my distance learning MBA. It has been a great (and challenging) experience so far, during which I have gained some fantastic insight into financial and management accounting, macro- and micro-economics, and the behaviours seen in organisations, groups, and individuals.
Last Wednesday was the assessment for the Accounting module, which took the form of an open-book ’24-hour’ exam; the expectation is not that we spend 24 hours working on it, but instead allocate 6-8 hours during a 24-hour period (given that the course has participants in most timezones). In practice, many people (myself included) spent much longer than this, with the aim of producing the best piece of work possible in the timeframe.
The assignment consisted of two parts; the first part accounted for 70% of the overall grade and required us to compare two organisations using the CORE framework (see here for an explanation), and the second required us to select two questions out of three and write a shorter report for each question.
Moving on to the next module, on Saturday evening I submitted my Economics assignment. The assignment title was given to us at Warwick Week, but due to the intense learning schedule, I like most people focussed on this towards the end of the semester. This assignment also consisted of two parts; the first accounted for 25% of the grade and required us to assess the impact of a specific economic shock on an economy. As I had completed my first TMA on China, I thought it would be sensible to use the same country; this helped me significantly as I already knew the location of the right data sources and had an understanding of the key economic dynamics.
The second part of the question required us to complete a micro-economic analysis of a chosen company. The company I selected was Marks and Spencer, as I have a lot of experience working with retail customers, and M&S had a diverse performance over the last 10 years (I’d like to thank my wife for the suggestion, it was a good recommendation!). It also helped as we used this company for our ratio analysis lesson in Accounting, so I could understand better the interaction between the two modules.
The final module for this semester is Organisational Behaviour. Due to unforeseen circumstances the assessment for this module will now be completed over the next few months. Obviously this has changed our plans slightly, but I guess unplanned changes happen in academia as well as in business! I’m looking forward to getting the assignment completed though, before I start the second semester modules.
That’s it for now, and time for me to have a few weeks off (and my family to actually see me for more than a couple of hours a day!). I have a few more blog posts planned before the second semester though, following which I will provide an overview of the modules we will start in July.