Hello from Manchester! It is such a great feeling to be back at school knowing that exams are finally complete. Within my last post I talked about how working with a study group really helped me when preparing for my written exams. I am so lucky to have found such a supportive group of friends and was so relieved knowing I wasn’t alone during these intense few weeks of studying. I found it really useful to create a Google doc. and shared it with some other students. Here, we included our most useful notes and could even Google chat if we had any questions or issues – really great to exchange ideas and learn from other students! My biggest takeaway for exam prep was really pacing myself throughout the semester so I didn’t cram. As this is an MSc course, I can’t emphasise enough how important it is to keep up with attending class, reading, taking notes and getting involved in discussion on a weekly basis. The best part of exams (aside from finishing them!) was really feeling the support from my classmates and knowing that we are all in the same position with the same goals in mind. As I’ve said many times, the bonds/relationships you build throughout this year are truly the best of the best.
After having a nice 4-day break our MSc cohort is back to it with this week being our second week of classes. As mentioned in my last blog, it’s really great having the professors openly talk to you about what each course will be like. Having this add & drop 2-week period has been a great test trial for deciding on classes since there are so many interesting options. Last semester was mainly focused on independent work where this semester highly focuses on group projects and real world application. Three out of four of my classes have a group project with the other 50-60% of the workload being self-assignments, papers and or final exams. I am really happy that last semester things were a bit more slow because I felt I had the time to really make friends and acclimate to the teaching style and working pace within the U.K. As I had heard from past year students and definitely agree, second semester contains a lot more focus and organisation due to the many deadlines. All of these are made very clear from the professors at the beginning of each module.
My favourite part of this semester, although it has just begun, is my International Marketing module. While looking at schools I decided to choose the University of Manchester not just because of its great reputation and familiar feeling/friendly city, but also because of the option to select a specific pathway, or specialisation within semester 2. By selecting the International Marketing pathway, I am taking the International Marketing unit and am selecting a dissertation topic that I can apply within this framework. Within the first 2 weeks of February, the course Director sends a list of 30+ marketing related topics with qualitative, quantitative, and mixed/exploratory options. Throughout the next few weeks students get to look at past dissertations, read-up on provided articles/topics, and do their own research when deciding how to select their topic. All of these steps lead up to certain projects and deadlines that essentially help prepare each student for their final dissertation write-up over the summer.
Overall, all is well here in Manchester. Although the last month has been very focused on my academics, I have taken some weekend trips/walks in the country and hope to visit beautiful Wales within the next few weeks. More pictures and updates to come!