Masters Insights: March 2016 – Settling in to Manchester


Alanna May Harrington, Ireland
MSc Organisational Psychology
Class of 2016

My first semester at Alliance MBS was different, challenging, at times exhausting but ultimately very rewarding. I was very nervous moving here for this course; it is the first time I’ve ever lived away from my family home before, because back in Cork, I lived fifteen minutes away from my university and never had any need to move out.  The first weeks here were chaotic.

However, once I started class and made friends it all came together and I settled in pretty quickly. Every single person on the course is really friendly, something which is quite rare, and as a group we get along really well. There are a lot of different nationalities, and as someone who is interested in languages and culture it is really interesting to be part of such a diverse group.

I would be lying if I said the first semester wasn’t tough. There is a lot of work to do, and realistically you have to devote a lot of time to study and completing assignments. The transition from final year undergraduate to Masters is bigger than most people expect. For me, the rise in the standard expected was the biggest challenge, but now that I’ve been through it I feel a lot more confident and capable this semester.

Our assignments are quite varied and interesting; last semester we learnt how to design assessment centres, evaluated factors that aid successful training transfer, conducted a research project on student sleep quality, workload and wellbeing, and started the dissertation process. This semester there’s a lot more focus on the dissertation, and I am also currently working on an ergonomic assessment of a car, and also a statistics assignment analyzing leader member relations.

Outside of class, there is a multitude of interesting things to do at the University. There is a diverse range of societies that cater for pretty much any possible hobby or interest. There are also Alliance MBS clubs which are designed specifically for and organized by taught postgraduate students in the business school to provide skill development and networking opportunities that will help them advance their careers.

As well as this, Manchester is in itself a great city, with a limitless supply of interesting things to do and see. For anyone that loves music as much as I do it is ideal, there are so many concerts and events, and a recent discovery that made me very happy is the Henry Watson Music Library located in the Central Library, which is full of musical instruments, scores, and books.

Shopping is also amazing, with all of the massive brands located in the Arndale or the Trafford Centre, and some really unique vintage shops which I’ve really enjoyed exploring. The sports facilities here are also great, personally I use the Aquatics Centre gym because having a pool to swim in was a priority for me, but there are countless affordable gyms near campus.


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Alanna May Harrington

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