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“Swoosh….that’s how it came, and away it seemed to go. It seemed just yesterday when I landed in Glasgow and now when I look back; it’s been full 3 months of excitement but nose-to-the-grind experience.
On the first day at School, we were treated to a warm and welcoming presentation where our batch was christened Dorain (every batch is named after a small hill in Scotland). It was quite nice to be so adopted. Apart from the faculty and support services, a cohort of senior students came up with a presentation complete with helpful tips, which they added; they wished they had known when they’d started out.
Subsequently, we were introduced to a module called the ‘Learning Manager.’ This gave me tremendous insights that would help me develop my skills as a reflective learner and to appreciate the core aspects of self-awareness. While self reflection is core to what you will learn in the MBA, this module will help one realise that reflecting on what one has learnt and questioning one’s understanding and remedial measures are very important.
In about two days we went to Perthshire, in order to afford us our Blue Sky Management experience where we got to know our peers better. The Blue Sky experience really helped us build teams for the course that was about to unfold. Later during the week, we had a few consultants come to the School to teach us presentation skills, and lastly we were introduced to Mr. Michael Fleming whose networking workshop helped us think about all aspects of networking.
Exploring the International Business Environment (EIBE) as a module has been a great and an enriching experience for all of us. I am sure most of my colleagues would have spent more time in the School than in their cosier houses during those two weeks. Dr. Burt’s sessions on the world of uncertainties jolted us off our comfort chairs. This particular module requires, perhaps, the most extensive group work one would ever encounter on the MBA programme.
Immediately after EIBE, we shifted gears to the Analytical Support for Decision Making (ASDM) which is heavily grounded in statistics, excel and figures. However, Professor Quigley always underscored the idea that getting the solution to the question is not the main criterion. The analysis and interpretation of figures and solutions are crucial to managers unless you want to rely on experts. This module would help you analyse different approaches which would support the management in effective decision making.
After two such intensive courses, one would expect Managing People in Organisations (MPIO) to be somewhat of a breather. On thecontrary, it was a demanding crash course on various frames (structural, political, symbolic and human resources) through which an organisation can be viewed. Professor Findlay introduced us to the first Friday Forum of the year where Clydesdale Bank approached SBS with a management problem where we as teams could harness our newly-acquired skills and knowledge to troubleshoot, or at least suggest practical solutions.
Within a fast-paced MBA schedule of modules, SBS does find some time to squeeze in Careers and Professional Development weeks where one can chalk out, plan and organize a future course and seek Ms. Taylor’s help in going about it more intelligently and prudently.
An icing on the cake: We were introduced to Operations Management (OM) by Dr. Flett who opened the world of operations strategy, product and service design and process design for us in a very engaging and practical way. Many videos case studies made his and our jobs much easier and engaging than we all imagined. The MBA cohort was taken to The Edrington Group (the legendary makers of Famous Grouse whisky). The cohort was introduced to the operations management and strategy of the organisation by Mr. David Donaldson (Director of Supply Chain Management) and a plant tour was duly organised. Subsequently Professors Jill and Bob covered the rest of the OM module with another tour to the Edinburgh Airport to study its operations.
After the culmination of OM, all of us took a brief break before we started preparing in earnest for our exams.
Though the path we tread these three months may not be wholly enviable, but I am sure most of us have emerged tougher and sensitive as people, better equipped, we hope, to negotiate uncertainties, both in the class and in the environment. “