After all the posts about SNOW in my last blog, I was all set to continue to write about Manchester winters. But I guess the Manchester weather has its own way of surprising us (or so I feel). All my apprehensions of surviving the Manchester winter rolled away with the onset of very pleasant February weather. Bright sunny mornings, flowers blooming everywhere – lilies and daffodils greeting you on your morning walk to the university. Students moving the study space outdoors for a change from the library rooms and the learning halls were a common sight.
But it was not just the Manchester weather which had a "spring" in its step. With lectures in semester 2 in full force, we had our work cut out – presentations and seminar discussions in all the modules almost every week. But I must admit, the modules have taken a more practical orientation in this semester with a lot more industry-oriented approach in all modules – paving way for interactive discussions and lectures. Most of the time, however, was spent on preparing the dissertation proposal. We were assigned our dissertation supervisors who will guide us throughout the process of writing our dissertation. Deciding on the dissertation topic was indeed a tough task- finding one topic for which I am passionate about and most importantly one topic for which I would be writing 15000 words over the summer (one thing which I have been dreading since last year). I have finally selected a topic and have started working on the dissertation proposal – reading articles and academic journals, trying to find some literature which is in line with my topic and hoping to finish it in time to submit it for review to my supervisor.
In the midst of all these activities was the annual HRM / IHRM Postgrad Conference. Two days of discussions, interactions and activities. The first day included an interactive session with HR professionals and academics sharing their valuable insights and experiences. It was followed by a "speed networking" session where all these professionals interacted with smaller groups of students answering their questions and speaking about opportunities in their organisations. The second day was an intense day for students as it involved all students to participate in a Case study and poster presentation competition. Each group had to prepare a presentation of about 8 minutes and a poster which reflected the case study recommendations. The cases were HR related issues which are faced by all organisations – CSR, diversity-equality and performance management. The winners bagged boxes of chocolates and food vouchers. It was a great experience to learn as well as enhance our analytical and presentation skills (P.S, my group did well to win the 1st round and eventually were the overall runners up!)
As the month comes to an end, the "spring" in the steps remains – but only for us students. Did I say "It's spring" too early? As I write this blog, the dark clouds and the cold wind seem to answer me by looking at me with a smirk.