February signalled a welcome end to the first Exam/Deadlines season. For a brief period students are able to return to guilt-free socialising. I capitalised on this by inviting a friend over from Holland for a long weekend, promising to show him the best of Manchester.
We started off participating in the Free Manchester Walking Tour. This is actually run by my friend, and fellow Mancunian, Josh, and is well worth a visit – boasting a 5 star rating on Trip Advisor. Josh guides visitors through the streets of Manchester from Sackville Gardens through to the Arndale shopping centre, and site of the IRA bomb. In doing so, he recounts stories relating to the founding of Manchester and its industrial past. Subsequently, the plight of several of Manchester’s most famous children: Alan Turing – the father of computer science, Emmeline Pankhurst – the mother of the suffragette movement, Liam & Noel Gallagher – the two brothers responsible for producing and influencing most of the music industries finest work over the last two decades. The latter is drawn on to elaborate on Manchester’s development into the modern day cultural capital it currently is – or “Madchester”.
Being completely honest, apart from that somewhat cultural detour, the remainder of the weekend was devoted mainly to Manchester’s finer drinking establishments. Junkyard Golf Club was good for 9 holes of bizarre crazy golf, accompanied by strobe lighting and cocktails. Common in the Northern Quarter was ideal for a few casual pints of local ale. Finally, Liar’s Club, a Tiki bar hidden away on Upper Bridge Street in Deansgate, offered excellent gin, music and fire shows.
Dropping my friend off at Manchester Airport early Monday morning, I returned to lectures a little tired (& possibly still a tad hungover,) but ready to kick off Semester 2. With this Semester still in its infancy, perhaps it’s best I instead offer a quick summary on last Semesters compulsory modules:
Theories of International Business – lectured by course supervisor Olli, this course proved the most challenging for students not versed in complex theoretical debate. However, the assessment method offered the opportunity to apply these theories in a practical way. We researched a firm and industry, & specifically, analysed an offshore outsourcing decision made by this firm.
Comparative Business Management – this module revolved around the comparison of cross-border business practices, and the influence of institutions and culture. It was assessed through a group presentation, and an exam.
Research Methods – teaching involved assistance on data collection and analysis, both qualitative and quantitative, and evaluation of the same. Although undoubtedly being the driest topic, the assessment was very straight forward and primarily there was a focus on our upcoming dissertation, which I’m sure will serve us well later on in the course.
International Business Strategy – without a doubt my favourite module, IBS focuses on different strategies used by MNEs in entering and acting within foreign markets. A group presentation requires the analysis and evaluation of a given firm’s strategy. Additionally, we had a choice of several essays, and I chose to write 3000 words on the socioeconomic impact of global value chains on emerging market suppliers. Being your standard liberal snowflake student, I relished the opportunity to identify and condemn the harsh effects of laissez faire capitalism in such instances.