March 2019: How to survive, and succeed on, the coming deadlines

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We are already in the 7th week of class. Second semester is interesting because it is organised according to your chosen electives and, even if it has gotten quite busy this month, classes have definitely been enriching as they are full of new and interesting contents, group projects, workshops, and real-life case studies. However, I have also taken some time off to relax and enjoy my experience in Manchester, which helps a lot with the survival factor!

Coming deadlines have us all under a strict schedule, but we have had so much fun working in teams towards the creation of digital businesses, qualitative and quantitative research projects, and an analysis of the customer experience from highly-recognised international companies like Lego, Ikea, H&M, Facebook, and IBM, to name a few. These are what the projects of my electives look like. It involves a lot of engagement and research. But at the end of the day, that is what success is all about. I especially like that professors are very approachable and open to meet, answer questions and give feedback constantly. Which has helped us all to have a smooth and structured progress on our projects.

If you choose to do the Group Business Project, during this time you are also going to already be assigned an advisor and you are expected to meet with them regularly to start working on ideas about your desired topic and the literature that you might want to use. In addition, we have had two sessions with an industry expert about Category Management, where we did a workshop to understand how it works and how to apply it to our projects. In the workshop, each group got assigned a company and a specific category to analyse. This enabled us to relate the Category Management theory to real-life case studies from the UK market.

As you can see, even if there are many activities going on this month, I have to say that we have had incredible guidance from professors and advisors. So, do not worry about deadlines. It is possible to be successful by sticking to a nice schedule.

Now, that schedule also has to have some relaxing time. Especially because in March you are finally going to have sunny days in Manchester! So, there is no way you don’t take advantage of it and of the small yellow flowers blooming all over the green areas. Now you will be able to enjoy good 16º to 18º, which is awesome, and already prepare you to welcome the very expected spring.

During my blogs, I always encourage to go explore and travel a bit. It doesn’t have to be a huge trip to another country. Discovering England is also a great idea. This time I went to London for the very first time, and it was awesome! I took the train over there, which was very convenient as I have a 16-25 railcard. I stayed there for the weekend and had the chance to see lakes, parks and all the London highlights. I also took a day trip with friends to Cambridge, where we visited the University of Cambridge campus. Cambridge is a good 3 hours away from Manchester but is so worth it. It is a complete change on scenery and the buildings and streets transport you to the old England times.

Furthermore, I guess by now you have noticed that I have an especial love for international food. So, every time I can I go with my international friends to try their cuisine. This time I got to experience a delicious Korean BBQ in the city centre. After that, we got some cocktails at a very nice bar and had a well-deserved relaxing talk, trying not to talk much about classes and deadlines.

All in all, this semester has been great! Time flies when you are having fun and enjoying with friends. I always mention that I am grateful for the friendships I have built during the programme, and that is because they are a very important piece of your whole experience. They share the same goals as you, the same fears, and the same day to day responsibilities.

During your time here at The University of Manchester, try to share time with people around you as well.

Hope you liked this month’s blog. And if you are still indecisive whether embarking on the journey of a master course at The University of Manchester, I hope this blog helped ease your fears and to know that during this journey professors, academic advisors, and friends will always be there to help you survive and succeed!

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Sharon Canas Alban

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