Friday, 30 November 2012

A whack from a WAC

Another month has flown by, and what a month it was.  It started off with a WAC.  WAC’s are infamous at Cranfield and will either raise a cold sweat or a warm smile from the Alumni who have had the pleasure of doing them in the past.  A WAC (a ‘Written Analysis of a Case’) is a 1,500 word business report that is allocated to us at 2pm on a Friday afternoon and is due 25 hours later.  We had two for the month: one for Economics (which required a recommendation to a firm on their remuneration strategy) and the other for Accounting (which required a financial ratio analysis of a publicly listed company for a firm considering making a takeover).  There are generally two approaches – stay awake until it’s complete, or get a start, then a sleep and then make a final burst to the finish line.  It is a highly valuable process to go through. 

So that covers 50 hours of the month - what about the rest?  Well apart from the usual lectures, case study’s, tutorials, readings and team meetings which fill most of the days we have also had

·        a statistics assignments (which included creating a dummy variable for a sick cow – don’t ask);
·        two reflective reports on our experience working with our teams and of our own learning’s throughout the term;
·        multiple evening talks;
·        a fantastic Operations and Supply chain simulation (where we had to design an operations process that would allow us to make 3 different indicator modules in the right order, on time, as per spec whilst maximising profit.  A fascinating exercise.      
·       And of course there has been the usual sports practice for coming inter business school competitions and celebratory events including Guy Fawkes night; Indian Diwali  where yours truly somehow managed to win best dressed male; Thanksgiving night (where the cohorts fantastic band ‘The Diminishing Returns’ debuted)
·       We were also had an information session on the choices for next year’s IBE trips (International Business experience).  The choices are China, Brazil or Japan or a field trip to a developing nation where you advise and assist chosen local businesses.  Everyone is pretty excited by the prospects and are now waiting to hear the outcome.

I finished the month with a trip to London for a Finance night hosted by the Cranfield Careers service at the great Ironmongers Hall located in the square mile of London City.  It was fantastic to get down there with some great talks from Andrea Ward, MD of AMT Training, OBE Sue Vinnicombe; Andy Vallings, Director of Global Cost Management, Barclays and Jason COO of Asset Management Risk function, HSBC. 

It’s been a full month but the fun really starts in December where we will have the three remaining assignments and four exams - more of that in the next post.    
Well I think this post deserves a mention of the weather, afterall I am based in England - in summary it is getting very cold, there aren’t many day light hours and we actually have snow forecast for this weekend.  Perfect weather for the coming exams but nothing to be jealous about for those in Australia who are waking up to the start of a warm sunny weekend as I sign off.  Please enjoy a swim for me!

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