Masters Insights: March 2016 – Settling into Manchester


Jack Milne, Australia
MSc Business Analysis and Strategic Management
Class of 2016

G’Day and welcome to my first blog!

I am Jack Milne from Australia. Over the next few months I will be sharing with you what it is like to be a student on the MSc Business Analysis and Strategic Management course at Alliance MBS. Also, throughout the series of blogs I will share an insight of what to expect in Manchester and the United Kingdom.

I am currently living at Whitworth Park which has been really convenient in terms of location as it’s a 10 minute walk from the furthest building at the University I need to travel to. It also has its own squash courts and there’s a bar where you can socialise and share some good times. I highly recommend anyone looking for accommodation to look into Whitworth Park.

Tick, tock, tick, tock, tick, tock… There I was waiting at Alliance MBS West at the start of induction, excited that the moment I had been anticipating for such a long time was no longer a dream – reality was here.  Walking into the lecture theatre, my head was running at the speed of racing cars, zipping round the corners and thoughts closing in.

Fast forward to the week after induction week and listening in carefully of the outline of the year, the Programme Director gave us a strong indication of what his expectations. He was straight to the point stating that it was going to be a challenging year; however, it was important to embrace what was ahead and share this experience with each other.  After collecting three packs of case studies and making numerous trips to the library to gather books and relevant printouts, preparation had begun. I was ready.

From the start of my classes, the major themes were going to be understanding, ‘How business models differ from organisation to organisation and how business systems vary from country to country’.  Both concepts were areas I was slightly aware of, however, the importance of understanding both were evident throughout the year.

We were split into designated groups (a great asset of multiculturalism) and given specific case studies. For three of the units, the case studies were the major source of analysis. Alongside our group members, we had to put together presentations and discuss our findings in reports. These case studies gave a true indicator of what multinational companies faced in their industry. It’s a fantastic opportunity to expand both knowledge and interest across various sectors.

With the one unit that did not require a case study, we were required to write a report on the pharmaceutical industry, of which activities appealed to me. Our final submissions were completed with joy and relief but this would be cut short as there were 4 exams to undertake the following month.

The exam period for many students was a stressful one due to its nature and it was compulsory to pass all the subjects in order to undertake a summer research project/ internship in the summer. Competition was heating up for good grades as most students wanted to take up this opportunity.

After reviewing the previous 6 months, my major highlights were the development of the Horizon Society, networking with companies and employees that visited the School and University, visiting Brathay (in the Lake District) overnight during induction week and collaborating and connecting with other students on the course and at the School.  The next semester will be difficult as we select our new units with the addition of applying for the summer client facing project, however, I am looking forward to sharing the next few months with you!

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Jack Milne

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