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Wes Beard continues sharing his Part-time MBA journey with another red-eye update from Glasgow Airport:

Writers block appears to be much more prevalent at 6am in the morning than at any other time of the day but here goes….

Work has been crazy over the last couple of weeks and two deadlines are looming on the MBA (2 assignments for a 2nd Year class called Strategy, Analysis and Evaluation). As I write this from Glasgow Airport about to catch a red-eye flight down to London with work, I’m wondering how on earth I’m not actually feeling that stressed. Maybe I’m too tired or maybe I’m just looking forward to a hot BA breakfast.

But I think the real reason is that I’m used to living a life like this now; being able to carefully balance the pressures of both work and the MBA (not to mention family life!) without causing a meltdown. To be honest, second year has been a lot less stressful than first year was and I’m certainly not complaining. First Year definitely felt a bit like ‘boot camp’ with usually two classes per week, at least one or two assignments for each class (involving lots of evening and weekend work with our groups) and the cherry on the cake being exams at the end. For anyone thinking of undertaking an MBA or about to do one, do what I did and don’t underestimate how busy you will be in the first year. Don’t get me wrong, the classes are extremely interesting and rewarding and a fundamental part of the MBA but ultimately be prepared for a demanding year. The best part is, once you get through it, you feel like you can accomplish anything.

So with second year comes ever-so-slightly less intense pressure (so far anyway, I will no doubt be regretting that statement in a couple of month’s time). Maybe that’s also because I’m now used to the work ethic that comes with undertaking such a course to the point that working with my group on the odd weekend is no longer a bugbear. The classes so far have also been a lot broader and are more focussed on high level strategy, building on the foundations of the topics learned in first year. The Strategy, Analysis and Evaluation class has involved studying a particular company (in our case, Tennents), analysing its current strategy, identifying issues and proposing recommendations. The theories taught apply extremely well in practice and through interviews with key stakeholders, we have been able to propose some very strong recommendations (I’m not a consultant but I imagine the work is similar and very interesting to boot). Of course, a tour of the brewery had to be part of the research so we could ‘sample’ the product portfolio!

So all in all, things are still going well and I have a weekend class coming up later in the month called ‘Making Strategy’ which I’m looking forward to immensely.

Anyway, just found out my flight has been delayed for 2 hours (deep joy). Heavy fog in London but at least the fog in my head is now clearing and the writer’s block has gone…just as I finish this blog post.

Time for a coffee and a pain au chocolat…..

Wes Beard Glasgow Airport