February 2017: The start of the ‘second half’


After the final exams and essays in January, the first semester ended. While I anxiously wait for the results, other things need to be taken care of. Certainly, one of them is to choose an elective unit for the second semester. On this course, there are three interesting alternatives to be chosen from the MSc International HRM & Comparative Industrial Relations: Comparative Industrial Relations, International Law and Labour Regulation, and International HRM.

In my case, I took the International HRM course, which looks at the growing role of multinational companies in the context of a growing internationalization of business and trade and persistent differences in the employment systems of different countries. In this regard, some Chilean companies have started to internationalise their business to other South American countries, so I think it would be important for me to learn about how developed countries have dealt with this issue. Additionally, during the second semester the programme has three compulsory units: Employment Policy and Practice, Employment Law and HRM: Context and Organisation.

Similarly, February is a critical month to define the dissertation topic. The lecturers have been very helpful from the beginning of this process, which started during the first semester. In December 2016, special sessions were held to guide us about the dissertation process. As part of them, we had to prepare a ‘mock’ dissertation proposal in a group. Additionally, there were several open dissertation surgeries/drop-in sessions to discuss individual queries and ideas. I went to one of them and it really helped me to clear my mind and to define my dissertation topic. Actually, now I am allocated to a supervisor and working on my dissertation proposal (what a relief!).

Last but not least, we had five free days before the start of the second semester. Since Manchester offers plenty of activities, those days were priceless. Our spare time started right after the last exam (fair enough!) when a few classmates and I went to a pub to unwind. There is almost one pub on every corner in Manchester! A good way to start is by going to The Union Bar, which has fair prices and special deals for students. Near to the University, there are other options as well. Some of my favourites are Sandbar, which has excellent craft beers and delicious pizzas and The Lass O’Gowrie, which is a wonderful British pub that often plays British rock (who could ask for more!). You can find many live music venues as well. I was lucky to attend a Flaming Lips’ gig during that week.

The second semester started right away with four new units and a strong focus on the dissertation process. However, there is always time for leisure activities.

Mancunian pub - The Lass O'Gowrie

Mancunian pub – The Lass O’Gowrie

Flaming Lips gig

Flaming Lips gig


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Francisco Muhlhausen

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