After finishing the 3-week long exam period, you feel like a superhero. The start of a new semester calls for a fresh start, which coordinating with the beginning of the New Year seems very fitting. I personally believe second semester goes by much faster compared to first semester.
During the first semester of the course, you are placed into classes that cover basic knowledge of your specific track, due to everyone’s previous background in the specific field. For example, in my MSc Marketing course, there are students from all backgrounds ranging from law to English literature and even biology. Therefore, it is important to review basic concepts/theories to prepare for the more specialized second semester. With the new semester start, you are also able to choose which classes you want to take, which gives you complete freedom of your schedule.
In early January, you will receive an email containing the new semester timetable, instructions on how to select classes, and the course handouts describing class’ content and assessment. In my previous university, I studied fashion marketing, so this past semester was more of a refresher course for me; I feel very confident going into the new semester. This being said, I decided on classes about advertising, customer relationships, and retailing to channel all of my current interests. If you are indecisive, don’t worry! The first two weeks of the new semester are trial weeks, so you are actually able to go to any class you want to see if that class is a good fit.
Compared to the United States, I prefer this way of selecting classes. At midnight the morning of your selected registration date, it is a race to get the class you want because of limited spots. However, if you go to class and want to switch or drop, the process is very complicated. The ability to take your time to really think about which classes you want to pursue is a huge advantage of studying at Alliance Manchester Business School. Plus, you are also ten times more excited and interested in your classes because you picked them first hand, according to what interests you about that particular field.
I will say I am having an amazing start to the second semester. I am in class with a variety of students from the Marketing course, but also other Alliance MBS courses, which creates a new environment, class discussion, and potential group members for group projects.
Going into the last semester of graduate school, with only the dissertation remaining, it is truly bittersweet. The course flies by in just one year and with the MSc course intensity, in the blink of an eye you are done. Starting the new semester makes you cherish the little moments, because for some of you, this may be your last time to be a student, as it is mine. So enjoy your time in grad school, but also the last ‘first day(s)’ of your educational career.