3 months in and exams are upon us!

3 months of intense learning, distilled down into 12,000 words and 9 hours of exams. To produce those 3 assignments and answer just 11 questions, over 500 hours of reading and note taking have gone into it.

Thats been the workload since september 23rd of last year, and it’s now january 10th, the day of our final exam of the core modules for this MBA (corporate finance).

Having not sat exams since the 90’s (middle thereof) the pressure is quite intense, and it’s seemingly a new experience trying to find nooks and crannies for financial formulae to hold onto.

The last 3 months have flown by in a rush of lectures, late nights and annotating journal articles. Exploring, in sometimes huge depth, subjects which may or may not be relevant to the assignment at hand.

But by golly it’s interesting work.

I’ve studied marketing to women in sportswear, the conception and production of a small family car in India and the negligent HR capacity of a fictional company in the midlands – producing original content for each subject, backed up by cutting edge thinking in the relevant industries.

And the exams, how they seem so far away at first, yet they seem to creep up inexorably until it’s the night before and some will find themselves up until 3am trying to grasp hidden concepts.

Certain exam questions definitely become easier when you can relate to previous work experiences and principles learned on the front line rather than the classroom – who for instance thought that 6 years working for McDonald’s would put me in such good stead in the academic environment of an MBA classroom – yet the many hours of burger-work allow for a deeper understanding lean processes, of Kaizen principles, of smooth and even flow, and even for an easy comparison with the Model-T production lines of old.

We have lost 1 class member so far, and hopefully will lose no more through outside pressures. It’s hard work, just missing one day can mean losing 8 hours of lectures, and with the schedule and workload the way it is, that it tricky to catch up on – I’ve missed 90 minutes one morning and lost 2 key concepts in just that short a period of time.

For those thinking about returning to study, I would absolutely recommend it, but be careful, it can be addictive – thoughts of doing a PhD or a DBA may well float into your subconscious….

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