Last month I had the first semester final exams, and I must say doing exams online was not really that bad. In fact, I felt a lot more comfortable having everything I need at my place than being in a cold exam room surrounded by the anxiousness of other students about give their one last effort for the semester.
This year, most exams for MSc Management were essay question exams where you are given a question, or you had to choose 2 questions to answer in essay format. Ideally the paper said you must take a maximum of 6 hours (3 times the time you have in a presential exam) but actually you had a 24-hour window to finish the exam. For me 6 hours was enough most of the time and felt like I was actually putting my knowledge into practice because instead of memorising most facts, I could go back to certain facts, theories and academics of certain topics and use their studies to formulate a better-quality answer. I felt like if these questions were given in a firm, for example “draw up a marketing plan and explain the process” or “assess the possible impacts of climate change, the Covid-19 pandemic and the increasing digitalisation to the firm” I could definitely know what sources to use to contribute to a high-quality answer. This is great because I could see myself using this knowledge beyond the academic field and more into finding practical solutions.
In terms of the national situation regarding the Covid-19 pandemic (something impossible to ignore) the UK seems to be finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Vaccination rates are going fast compared to many other countries, cases and deaths have been dropping fast, days are lasting longer, and the PM finally announced that by the 29th of March groups of six outside will be allowed. This is great news since I will finally be able to see my friends outside and have some face-to-face socialisation. I have not had a physical conversation with my friends since December so I’m really looking forward to this!
Finally, I must say that modules this semester are super interesting. One of my favourite ones is Sustainability and Social Responsibility, where we talk about different strategies to achieve a sustainable business model and how companies can expand their responsibilities not only to their customers, shareholders and workers, but also to the environment, community and vulnerable people. Since 2015 the United Nations has been promoting the support for achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). One of the main differences that these goals have with the Millennium Development Goals is that for discussing these goals industries were also invited to the table. According to the literature, apart from states, firms have the capacity and incentives to generate solutions against global warming, poverty or water scarcity for example. They are very influential actors one cannot ignore if we want to improve the world for future generations, specially when many states have limited power over them in these areas.
Here is a report by PWC showing figures of the increasing number of firms adopting SDGs initiatives.