Reflecting on my MBA in 2012

As this year draws to a close I thought I’d provide a quick reflection on the first year of my MBA. Overall I am very pleased with both my decision to pursue an MBA, and the decision to study at Warwick. The course has been very interesting throughout the entire year – some times have been more challenging than others, but I have learnt a lot, been involved in some insightful discussions, and met many people from across the globe.

I think the core modules that we have focused on this year have been very appropriate and provided us with a strong foundation on which to progress into the second year. The first semester started with Accounting and Financial Management, which provided a good insight into the various financial statements, along with an introduction to management accounting. The lighter coverage of the latter topic is one of the reasons I chose Management Accounting as an elective, to get a better understanding of this topic. Economics of the Business Environment provided an overview of the ‘bigger picture’ for the financial environment that businesses operate in, and one of the things I liked about this was how applicable it was to real-life; as the course progressed I was able to not just understand news articles about the economy, but also appreciate the background to the issues, and the implications to both the company I work for and my customers. The final module of the first semester, Organisational Behaviour, provided a good overview to the ‘softer side’ of running a business, which I feel will be invaluable as my career progresses. I’m looking forward to studying some of these concepts further in the Management of Change module.

I also studied three modules in the second semester. The first of these, Marketing, is a module I have been looking forward to studying since before I started, and it has been interesting understanding the various marketing concepts and how they are applied in real-life; like Economics of the Business Environment, this module benefitted from being directly visible on a day-to-day basis. The second module, Operations Management, was much more interesting than the title led me to originally expect, covering not just the basic concepts of running an operation, but introducing complex topics such as supply chain management and lean thinking. The final module, Modelling and Analysis for Management, was the most mathematical of all the modules, but it was pleasing to see the focus was not just on the techniques, but also on how to apply them to real-life business scenarios.

In terms of the distance learning experience, this has been similar to my expectations in terms of the technology and style of teaching. I hope that in the next year there will be more opportunities for discussion and debate in the individual modules – the technology is in place to facilitate this, but the distance-learning nature of the course means that often this is considered an optional part of the course; hopefully this is something that will be encouraged more by those teaching the individual modules. However, I was very pleased with Warwick Week, which was a great opportunity to discuss and debate topics in a live environment rather than on an asynchronous discussion board – I recommend that all current and future students really make the most of the Warwick Weeks that they attend.

My final point point of reflection on 2012 (at least relating to the MBA) is this blog. I’d like to thank everyone for reading and contributing your comments and thoughts over the last year – it has been great to hear that my posts are useful, and really interesting to speak to many of you virtually and hear about your study experiences. I’m also pleased that two co-students have also started blogging – Bosky Mukherjee and Kevin Cheng; if will be interesting to hear how their views relate/differ to mine over the next year.

Moving into 2013, the next modules I am studying are Management Accounting, Management of Change, and Complexity, Management and Network Thinking. The first two are studied by distance learning and I have already received the books for those, so am ready to start studying as soon as the New Year celebrations are over. The latter module will be studied face-to-face in June, which I’m looking forward to using as an opportunity to spend time with fellow students, and gain insights from the discussion and debate that comes from an in-person course.

That’s it for me in 2012 – I wish everyone a Happy New Year, and hope to keep you updated on my journey as we move into 2013.

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5 thoughts on “Reflecting on my MBA in 2012”

  1. Hi Matt,
    Happy New Year to you too. I’m interested to see what you think about Management Accounting module once you finish it. I may consider it as one of my electives.

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  2. This is the best blog I have seen on the MBA experience. Many thanks for sharing this with us and giving us a real insight. I am sure it has lead many students to apply to Warwick as a result.
    BIgD

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  3. Happy New Year Matt! I’ve thoroughly enjoyed your blog over the last year and share many of your views on the style, decision and subjects when related to WBS and the DLMBA. I think the discussions on the my.wbs forums can sometimes be a little intimidating with everyone at potentially such different levels (certainly my experience) and if you have slightly different schedule, forced through outside pressures such as work, they can quickly become a revision point rather than of any interactive use. Some subjects have been facilitated better than others but overall, it is a great learning environment and I, like you enjoy the Warwick Week experience for the personal interaction which is something of a break to the normal faceless, online streaming although that is all understandably the tradeoff when studying the DL.

    I do hope 2013 continues to be useful to you and hope to catch-up on-line soon………

    Kind Regards, Andy

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    1. Hi Andy, I’m glad you’ve enjoyed my blog.

      You have a very valid point here – I am slightly biased given that I work in the technology industry and use online forums on a daily basis anyway. I also agree that it can be intimidating posting to the entire cohort – as you say, there are people of many different levels, and when those ‘in the know’ are producing very comprehensive responses, it can take a bit of courage to add something that at best might be stating the obvious, and at worst might be just wrong 🙂

      To get around this last year, I set myself a goal to try and post at least one comment per lesson. Although I didn’t get there for all lessons and modules, it definitely forced me to get more involved though.

      Good luck in 2013, let me know how you get on.

      Matt

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