It’s now almost three weeks since we finished our last exam of the first semester. The end of exams called for a bit of fun and relaxation so, along with some friends, I decided to visit two beautiful and historic English cities, Chester and York. Full of picturesque landscapes and various attractions and being only 1.5 hour away from Manchester, both of them are ideal destinations for short getaway trips.
However, the second semester had already started and it was time for serious decisions. We had to choose two out of four elective units. Since I have chosen to take the CIPD path of the course, there was no need to contemplate. In order to receive the CIPD qualification at the end of the year, we necessarily have to enroll in the following units: The Management of International Organisational Change and HRM: Context and Organization, led by professors Mike Bresnen and Miguel Martinez Lucio respectively.
I wish deciding my dissertation topic was equally as easy. Around the end of January, we had to define the thematic, around which we would like to conduct our research and got allocated to our supervisors. I am now in the process of collecting information and studying the existing literature on my topic so I can finish on time the 3000-word dissertation proposal that we have to hand in by the 15th of March. I used to get nervous only by the sound of the word dissertation but I can tell you for sure that choosing a topic that interests you makes the process much more enjoyable and exciting. Also, I think it is good that the University makes us think of our dissertation that early.
Another thing that I have noticed during the first weeks of the second semester is that our lectures have become much more interactive. Our lecturers encourage us to get into groups and discuss various HR issues or make short presentations. I believe this helps us learn to manage our time efficiently and work well under pressure. It is an excellent preparation for the challenges we will face on our future jobs.
I would also like to tell you a few things for the Annual MSc IHRM & CIR Conference that took place at our University for two days. The aim of the Conference was to get the MSc students in contact with HR professionals and alumni and engage them in beneficial teamwork activities. Professionals working in companies like Accenture, Shell, Barclays, Fujitsu and BAE systems gave us a valuable insight on what it really means working in Human Resources and how the theoretical knowledge of our course can be efficiently applied in the workplace. We had the chance to discuss the challenges they face every day as well as listen to their views on the future of HR.
At the end of the second day it was our time to shine. We had been divided into groups, given a case study and asked to discuss it and make a presentation of around 12 minutes. The case studies had to do with various HR issues. My team had workplace bullying, a very interesting topic that inspired us to do our best. All the teams made an amazing effort and in the end the winners were awarded chocolates and 50-pound vouchers to spend on book shopping. It was the perfect ending of two days packed with valuable information, laughs, free food and a very educational contest!