January 2017: The Manchester Industrial Relations Society Student Debate


This is an event I really wanted to talk about. The Manchester Industrial Relations Society Student Debate (MIRS) student debate, was one the most challenging things I did during 2016, and I would definitely do it again in 2017, if given the chance.

Organized by MIRS, three universities; The University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University and Salford University form teams of three to debate against each other on questions regarding management issues. Our team, in particular, was arguing that trade unions are becoming increasingly irrelevant in the world of HRM.

It was an extremely educational experience, which offered our team knowledge beyond the context of my Masters course as not only extra research was required, but we also had to face any fears of public speech, look confident and determined. It was important for our team to have the support of our professors as well, either through their presence at the debate, or through heart-warming emails to congratulate us as their academic responsibilities kept them away.

In the end, this debate even gave me the chance to make two very good friends, Fani and Atenea, who turned out to be the ideal partners on this small journey.

MIRS debate

MIRS debate

MIRS debate

MIRS debate

Going home for Christmas

Having booked my tickets two months in advance, I found myself counting down the days until I was flying back home. Before we separated to follow different directions, my course mates and I decided to take a night away from our academic responsibilities and say a proper goodbye for the holidays.

I have to admit that although I was really enjoying myself here, the feeling I got as I saw my family at the airport is truly indescribable. I spent two full weeks in Greece and I tried to make the most out of it as I knew it would take some time till I could return back home. Following the Greek traditions regarding Christmas, which involve lots of food, loud talking, laughs and hugs, there was no other way that to feel rejuvenated and full of energy to face the challenges the new year was to bring; Exams…

Obviously, since I wanted to spend quality time with my family, balancing a study schedule was difficult. Fortunately, two out of the three essays I was to deliver for this semester, were due before Christmas and so I decided to relax through these two weeks. My plan included studying before and after the Christmas break, returning home relatively early and then leaving a few days after New Year’s Day. This way I would get to combine both my family- time and my academic responsibilities.

The important thing is to divide the winter break into weeks, during which I promised to devote myself 100% to the activities I chose. There is no need for exaggeration and panic is not going to help either. Scheduling ahead and staying true to that program, is the key.

As I got my chance to think of my New Year’s resolutions, I decided to make some changes in my life. First things first, I decided that it is better to leave behind and forget situations that made me feel bad, anxious or even hurt me. I want to welcome 2017 with an open heart and full of enthusiasm, so dropping off bad emotions into 2016 was the best way to do so.

My goals for 2017, are to work hard on my Masters (and especially on my dissertation regarding Brexit), welcome any challenge and find ways to overcome them, try at least one new thing (favorably hiking), attend exiting events at the University such as Reclaim the Night, visit a country I have never been before (favorably during Easter) but most of all, be happy with the choices I make.

Last night out of the year with my coursemates

Last night out of the year with my coursemates

Hanging out with my friends after a looooong period of time

Hanging out with my friends after a looooong period of time

My dog Tommy with his christmas present - a festive toy

My dog Tommy with his christmas present – a festive toy


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Pelagia Avloniti

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