Sunday, December 9, 2007

Term 1 - End in Sight

It's been a while since I've written but it has been a busy term. For the first few weeks everyone was looking forward to the weekends to have a sleep in. By about week 4 we worked out we didn't have time to spare on the weekends and every one started dreaming about Christmas holidays. We finished lectures for term 1 on Friday so most of the learning team work and projects are over and we are concentrating on preparing for exams. So I'll try to summarise the last 8 or 9 weeks.

Let's start with the weather. It's now winter which means grey, cold, wet and windy. The odd day when its sunny is really quite pleasant but its usually wet which means you can't stray off the footpath or you'll slip into knee deep mud and if its windy everything is unpleasant and about 10 degrees colder. Really weird to see it get dark at 4pm as well!

My learning team has survived a term together having got everything done well without too many fights and have emerged the other end as a very sociable group. Every second Sunday one of us will cook for the team which has helped us get to know each other better. I'm sure Yogesh will look at his cooking night as one of his MBA achievements seeing as how he had never made so much as a sandwich before and people even went back for seconds. There have also been plenty of jokes. This is Dan who we refer to as the most productive member of the team. Next term everyone gets reshuffled and we get new learning teams so we start all over again.

Work wise it's been an interesting term. We did team projects on Arsenal for Marketing and a company that makes pregnancy tests for Operations Management. We ran a manufacturing production line to put into practice our operations management course. I learnt that I've been doing linear regression the dodgy way for most of my career and now actually understand how to do it. I vaguely understand basic accounting but notyet enough to pass my exam and have started the difficult process of resurecting what was already quite bad German to some sort of acceptable intermediate level. We've also done a lot of careers and organisational behaviour stuff which has been really interesting.

The part of term that I don't think anyone has enjoyed too much has been the WACs. It stands for Weekend Assessment of Case (or something similar). A case study appears in your pigeon hole at 1pm Friday afternoon and you start reading. You then meet your learning team at 3pm for an hour and a half to start analysing/building a solution. There is then a "stream dump" where the 45 people in the class compare thinking followed by pizza. At about 8pm you meet with your learning team again to distill all the information and decide how to share the number crunching or other appendix type things which we are allowed to produce and share as a team. At about 9pm you head home to start writing a 1500 word report that is due at 4pm the next day. This term we had WACs for economics and accounting and there are 2 more next term.

On the social side, themes have ranged from latin night complete with salsa lessons to dressing up in Saris for Diwali night and my favourite so far the "Miss Cranfield" beauty pagent also known as an excuse for the guys to dress up as women. Have a look at some of the photos in the album link on the right.

Christmas holidays start in 2 weeks!

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