Last lesson with Lew / 2017~18 schedule !

So Monday the 8th was the last lesson for Strategic Management. Lew has been an absolutely fantastic teacher, and I will really miss the lessons. I have learned so much in a short time, and am really looking forward to completing the assignment for June.
It seems strange that I wont be back for lessons until the next academic year, and for me its the final one at Brighton !
I have already planned my subjects and have gone for block sessions on all of them, I have to say that the weekly commute was hard work, the minium length of day was 18 hours with work at the start, then a commute, lesson and drive back (90+ miles!)
So now I have next lesson will be starting in November !
I’m really excited that the final year is apon me, in Dec/Jan I will start contacting Bournemouth Uni for my PhD!

grades are in for FNM18

The grades came back for FNM18 – and am glad to say that I have passed !
The result, yet to be passed by the exam board, is 64%, which I’m really happy with (resulted in buying cakes for coworkers…) – its not my highest grade of the year, but it was a tough subject for me, so the extra work really paid off.

Any other students taking this module here is my advice –

  • get all the annual reports for your selected companies ahead of the exam date, make sure you have all of them. I got caught out on BP publishing a Q4 report where i had to incorporated all the figures. Get familiar with the reports – myself and a number of students found that even tho they are FTSE companies, they will use different terminology for different standard accounting terms.
  • Use FAME (Financial Analysis Made Easy) at your discretion – i used it as a reference for cross checking only, not for the actual basis of the report values. You could come unstuck quite quickly if you only used FAME for the inputs. It would show in the calculations. I’d rather be slightly out on traceable values, than totally out on values I didn’t understand on how they were created.
  • For the performance management allow equal amounts of time, unless you feel really confident you know about alternate accounting methods (ABC)
  • Give yourself time for breaks/sleep during the exam weekend – I didn’t to the cost of my health, staying awake for nearly 4 days straight didn’t help crosschecking and I made some simple mistakes towards the end.
  • I was lucky enough to get a 48 hour extension due to various factors – let the teachers/course admin know ASAP if you think your aren’t going to submit in time, there is always a possibility you will get an extension – for me that is worth an extra 14% points above the 50% I would of got for being a day late without the extension request.

UPDATE!!

Its been a while – but heres the news !
Marketing – erm, have to see what the exam board say about my results…
International Strategic Management – Got my proposal thru the initial phases. I’ve actually managed to find something in the public domain I can discuss about my employer \o/
I’m waiting on my grades for Accounting & Performance Management. If your a Student of Brighton Uni MBA and thinking of doing this module, take advantage of the prep-time ! I was end-to-end with so little sleep to complete this, in the end i obtained an extension for 24 hours because I had a number of interruptions to during the weekend.
I was really amazed at how much I enjoyed Accounting & Performance Management. Working out different costing methods for Performance Management was really an eye opener. Using the annual reports for the financial analysis was really tough, but I was really happy I could get all the results out the actual reports – I couldn’t coorelate the values from Financial Analysis Made Easy (FAME) to what were in the reports, so I just stuck to the values in the reports. As much as I’m a person that says I’d like a Merit or a Distnction grade, I will be really happy with a Pass on that module.
We have had a big break from lectures but we restart again on Monday with the amazing Leu Perring. Its our penultimate lesson, but I have thorughly enjoyed every single one. It is one paper I am actually feeling very excited about writing, rather than just having to complete to make it thru the MBA.

HRM Grades Back !

My first marked work of 2016/17 has come back – overall I’m really happy with the results and the feedback is constructive and useful for future assignments. Given it was ‘exam’ conditions and time-bound I’m rather happy.

Here is a summary :-

Evolution/Revolution of Organizational Growth – 80% (Distinction)
Management Actions for Team Effectiveness – 50% (Pass)
Training & Development – E Learning – 69% (Merit)

I am glad that i at least passed the 2nd paper with a 50% as reading it again now I didnt really answer the question as well as I could, so again, it is really important to understand and read the question. I am glad at least my submission was accepted and passed despite not fully answering the question.

Really happy with the 80% – i started with the hardest question first, which was this paper, so maybe i need to find a way to maintain that level of staminer in my writing. I think being time-bound was quite hard to maintain the quality, but more about the knowledge i had onbarded and could recall easily, despite it being the hardest question.

Still – Marketing assignement is due for submission soon, I’m not sure where this puts me on an average mark, I’m hoping its around the Merit level on average still.

New Marketing proposal accepted !

After some finessing of the finer points my marketing proposal has been accepted ! I can now start on the data-gather to provide the data i need for analysis.
Needless to say I’m really excited and am really looking forward to completing this assignment now I can start on it!
Horrah !

Marketing Proposal #2

Having had some complications with my initial proposal, have drafted up another which is now with my teacher to assess. I have to say I’m hoping its going to be ok – it has alot of good insight for B2C and the addition of writing a case study has opened up.
Looking forward to the market-research – am sure i will get good grades ! Its a fair amount of work to do between now and the submission date on 7th of Jan, but its at a managable level.

Reflection of HRM assement

Having quickly assessed the questions on Friday I made my decision of which ones to answer.

I started with the one I knew would be the hardest for me to complete, but I would gain the most satisfaction on (keep the motivation up !) – by Saturday I had completed the first question, but with further questions to complete I had a tight schedule !

I intertwined regular breaks, power-naps and walking-the-dog as part of the plan. I found the dog-walking especially effective after reviewing a lot of literature. The time spent not reading or writing gave me time to clear my mind then return to the work, whilst the naps gave the energy to sustain the effort.

By Sunday i had completed the second question – it was a challenge due to the type of critical evaluation used – many references had to be investigated to support and contradict the arguments presented, so whilst the writing in itself was hard, getting good and recent arguments was a satisfying challenge.

By Sunday Night and Monday morning I was to the third and thankfully final question. I felt it was the one I would find the least challenging, but in actuality I was really starting to suffer from over-criticism. Every time I started a paragraph, i would delete it. Worst would be spending time on what i thought was a good channel of effort only on reflection to say ‘how does this really tie into the question asked, and how does it support my own arguments’ – it took a lot of re-writing and finding decent scholarly articles to complete, but I was very happy with the majority of the sources I found. I am worried that there is a bit too much of a narrative over investigation and reinforcement, but will find out when the grades come back !

Overall i was very glad to complete the work, I found that I had got it right in terms of the work distribution and giving myself enough time to complete over the weekend.
I am looking forward to receiving the grades and opinions of my lecturers – it has been my first marked assessment since 2015, so what ever the outcome, i will be satisfied with their criticism and look to build from it.

Finally a big thanks to my wife for keeping me refueled with tea&biscuits,reviewing my documents and generally ensuring my health didn’t suffer to the detriment of my ambitions in completing the articles ahead of the submission time:)

Academic writing style

So its the weekend of HRM assessment. The good news is making progress and having some good help on the proof-reading in-house to provide some great feedback.
Its probably the 2nd piece of academic writing i have done this year, and ‘re-discovering’ my style has been quite a challenge. Not to give anything away, but there is a variation in the writing styles – accommodating all of them has been a challenge, but one I nevertheless enjoy.

I have about 18 hours left to finish, so I’m confident I will be ok. This week will still be busy once this is done as I start the formation of my prime-data for the Marketing assignment due in January of 2017…

New site for the academic duration !

So here it is ! After having this domain for a while, i’ve actually got around to putting some content on it.

You can read a little bit about how i got to this academic year on the about page.
But for now, here is a bit of academic history on my grades and the planned path to glorious graduation in 2018 (or is it later.. never sure with parttime..)

Modules of 2014/15

IMM-08 – Managing Innovation B

I thoughly enjoyed this subject and the teacher was fantastic. Not only were the lessons engaging but the additonal material we got was excellent.

I bought a couple of books from Amazon,but still today (11/2016) Managing Innovation by Tidd/Bessant/Pavitt published by Wiley gets well used.

My grades sadly reflected the amount of effort i could put into the paper, i was a bit disappointed, but glad to pass with 52%.

STM22 – Management Environment & Economics B

What can I say – I thought i would never be interested in Economics, but you get some amazing teachers and they bring the subject to life! I cannot remember coming out of lecture feeling I had just about consumed as much information I could take, but these lectures were that ! Dual lead by two great teachers, I learned a huge amount in a short time.

Sadly at the time i was facing increasing external issues and already had applied for an extenstion. Whilst I recieved an ‘ok’ grade, i was capped at 50%, but i thoughly enjoyed the paper and it has really inspired my interest in economics and strategic planning.

Modules of 2016/17

So here we are ! back at school, with some block weeks in there as well ! I’m determinted to start my final academic year for the MBA in 2017, so have taken 4 modules this year. By the end of the MBA I will actually have points in excess of requirement for a full MBA ! Anyhow, thats alot of study away. Here for now is the 2016/17 modules !

FRN18 – Accounting and Performance Management

HRM84 – Managing People and Organisations

MKM51 – Strategic Marketing Planning in an International Context

STM37 – International Strategy – part time.

I’ve already completed a block week in HRM84, which was really great to be back in class in the daytime. It was good to see other MBA students at various stages of their MBA as well, I even bumped into a couple from my 2014/15 year!

I have my first exam for HMR84 in December and my first paper for Marketing due in January.

I am really am hoping for good grades, as I feel ever more confident!