April 2018: Coursework Assignments and Dissertation and Final Weeks of the Semester


It has widely been known that: What does not kill makes you stronger. As I write this entry for the month of April, below is a list of what lies ahead for the next two weeks (which are also the last weeks of this semester):

  • 4 coursework pieces
  • 3 group presentations
  • 3 group reports
  • 4 final exams

At this point, my course mates and I are guilty of a lot of complaining, but when we thought that we complained a lot in the first semester, I can safely speak on behalf of everyone in the course that this semester is twice as challenging, demanding and possibly rewarding compared to the first one. The difficulty level of our assignments has intensified and has gotten us into thinking as Data Analysts – which is what we hope to become in the near future – but at the same time we have also been learning a lot of interesting tools and techniques that are extremely useful for a career path in Data Analytics.

During this time, you will find yourself being best friends with tools like MS Excel, SPSS, SAS and Python and possibly any other data analytics tool you can find. It is common to find all possible computer clusters in Crawford House and Dover Street flooded with Business Analytics students with giant codes of Python or SAS models running on them. However, as the deadlines are near, the stress levels are quite high but we also absolutely cannot wait to give it our best and finish off these two weeks with our best possible performance, because as I mentioned: What does not kill makes you stronger.

I would like to mention here that it is common to run into difficulties while working on coursework because most of us are dealing with concepts and software that are new to us. However, make sure to ask the professors as many questions as you can as that helps greatly in understanding how to tackle a difficulty and proceed with problem solving. All of the professors are extremely accommodating and provide really useful advice. Hence, arranging a small meeting with the professors for help on a coursework goes a long way. Also, another good idea is to use the discussion board on blackboard to discuss coursework related problems as learning from each other also provides a great deal of help.

Apart from the coursework bedlam at its peak, this is also the time we had to select a preference of dissertation topics based on which we were assigned one. The dissertation is the final (individual) project where all the knowledge gathered throughout the course is applied. This is the last leg of the MSc program, but is an extremely crucial component. One thing to note here is that each student has to preference rank their topics, that is choose about 7 topics from a huge list and rank them according to his/her preference. This means that some students may not be assigned the option that they most preferred, although I was fortunate to be assigned my first preference. In most cases however, students are assigned either their first, second or third choices.

Apart from the extremely busy month of April, it finally looks like the winter woes are ending and Manchester is warming up a little bit. The weather forecast shows that we have some nice sunny days ahead but with Manchester you can never be sure when the sky is going to start crying. I can’t wait for Spring to set in properly to see the beautiful cherry blossoms and other colourful trees. I can already spot a few on Oxford Road and in Whitworth Park. I hope the sunshine is here to stay for some time and to give us some rays of warmth and hope!



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