May 2019: Post-Spring break events, final exams and dissertation time!

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Welcome back to Manchester! After a well-deserved trip to the US for spring break I am already back in Manchester, ready to continue on my duties as an MSc Marketing student. May at the University of Manchester starts with interesting events that are important for postgrads. On May 1st, the AMBS organised a networking event where companies like EY, IBM, Lloyds Bank, Deloitte, KPMG, and others were answering questions on graduate programmes and other job opportunities. I do recommend going to these AMBS organised events as they give a unique opportunity to talk to professionals from the biggest companies in the world, which represent a chance to do some networking and get valuable tips on job applications.

At this point in the programme there are no more classes, however, you might already have your exam schedule. Exams take place between the 15th of May and the 5th of June. In my case, I will only have two exams, one for Consumer Behaviour and one for International Marketing. But, this will vary depending on your electives and the course structure. For example, some of my courses had a 50% group work and 50% individual assignment mark. So, no exam. But you have to check for your personal exam timetable in “My Manchester” portal. There you will see the exact day, time, place and seat for your exam. As a pre-exam tip, I suggest organising well the time for revision and using all the study resources that The University of Manchester gives you. You can take advantage of online resources at the Main Library and Alan Gilbert Learning Commons sites, writing academic sessions, past exam papers examples, workshops and online courses; which you can find in the “My Learning” tab on My Manchester Portal. Also, have in mind that your designated academic advisor will always be there to offer the help you need. You should know that during this time you are not alone, and you could get peer support. Study groups are a great idea and can help answer some questions or doubts you might have on class topics.

In addition to exams, you are expected to prepare some research for your dissertation. If you are writing your dissertation individually, then you might have to meet with your supervisors during the first week of May. This meeting will be to revise your dissertation proposal, which might be due on the 8th of May. If, on the other hand, you are writing your dissertation as a group, you will have to submit an annotated bibliography on the 8th of May and the dissertation proposal on the 26th. In my last blog I talked about the Poster Day for the MSc Marketing students, and it is here where it takes relevance, because the feedback you got that day from peers and professors would have hopefully helped you polish your dissertation topic and bibliography. Therefore, writing an annotated bibliography and dissertation proposal will not be difficult. In addition, I recommend having constant meetings with your group supervisor to check up on feedback before submissions.

Right after exams the summer vibes will be flowing in the air, and even if you will have to be writing your dissertation by then, you will also have to get ready for the Summer Ball. This will be a formal graduate ball to dress nice and celebrate the end of the semester with your peers. However, I will update you on these summer events in the coming blogs. Now, back to dissertation time! During July and August, you have to work on your dissertation as the final submission will be at the beginning of September. As I am doing the Group Business Project, I will have to participate in Category Management sessions and a boot camp, which will happen at the end of June and will be held by industry experts. In this boot camp, we will be allocated in groups and will have to solve a case study. This will help polish research, argumentation and teamwork skills so you can successfully write your group dissertation. After those events, we will have to submit the group part of the dissertation by August 26th and the individual one by September 3rd.

As you see, busy months are on the way. However, it has been an amazing experience and I have never felt alone or lost during the process. There is plenty of information and resources along the way; and if you need more information, you can always contact the programme team and director, Dr Alex Gunz.

Now, I promised in my last blog I would add some pictures of my California trip, and I will do so. I had an amazing time going around California and the West Coast from Los Angeles to San Francisco. But, I really want to visit Europe and the UK more once I get the chance after I finish my dissertation. As for now, I have to organise my revision schedule and prepare for exams.

I hope this blog was useful and clarified questions on how the dissertation process is and what happens on the last months of the MSc Marketing programme. Time flies, so live your experience to the fullest!

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Sharon Canas Alban

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