This post is long overdue, written a while ago, covering June and July (accidentally belated in posting) here it is in all its splendour.
I left you with an update on the international business trips in my last post. As we all returned from our various international locations, we realised we were all gathering for the last four terms of our MBA. Now we are worldly wise and MBA wise, also feeling slightly nostalgic knowing that an extraordinary year would soon be coming to an end. However, there was still more to come: new subjects, guest speakers, career events, sports events and of course, the usual assessments and examinations. An additional welcome factor of term four was that the UK was bathed in glorious sunshine –having one of the best summers for many years – hallelujah! It was such an amazing summer; I almost felt I was back in Australia, where the summer days are consistently hot and the national sporting stars are winning everything – ahem! I shall stop there and get back to where I was, ah yes! term 4.
In true form, the term started with an examination – not the usual finance or strategy type subject but in this case potentially my favourite subject - Spanish. I say ‘potentially favourite’ because I sensed that learning Spanish whilst travelling through Spain: sampling local pintxos, tapas, ceverez and tintos, after a day of relaxing in the sun (with a siesta thrown in) beats ‘Accounting’ hands down. The reality of sitting in class, squeezed between lectures and course work, was not quite the same but it all proved to be a valuable worthwhile experience. The amazing thing about an MBA year, you exist in some sort of time-warp where you fit in a colossal amount of stuff (mainly by reducing sleep hours) so albeit, whilst in the time-warp why not throw in a new language as well? Makes perfect sense!
The next event on the calendar in July was the 22nd Annual Cranfield Regatta held down in Portsmouth. Twenty crews made up of Cranfield’s cohort and alumni, European Schools and a US business school, Kellogg, took part in the two days of racing on the world famous Solent. Following a great day of sailing on the Saturday, all the crews landed on terra firma to celebrate with a party. On the following Sunday morning the crews returned for final racing. Unfortunately, the weather on Sunday was more conducive to learning Spanish in Spain; a cloudless day, hot sun, still seas and hardly a wisp of wind. This resulted in more swimming and sun-bathing than sailing; with only one race completed on the day the LBS were crowned as the final victors. Overall, it was yet another well organised annual Cranfield Regatta culminating in a sensational weekend for all.
Back on campus, we had the second mock press conferences of the year. The Press Conference involves your team of six members, being handed a folder of information regarding a scandal that has broken out involving your company. This results in an urgent press conference scheduled in exactly one hour’s time. After quick preparation and allocation of roles, you face predatory professional press journalists (well versed and rehearsed in the ways of the media) ready to put you through your paces and draw out as much emotion and reaction from you as possible. Of course, as well taught Cranfield MBA’s we would ensure we never create such scenarios in the first place but being so learned we may be called on to save others! The whole experience provided us with fantastic media training and was a great opportunity for us to draw together and apply our learning thus far.
Another July event firmly in the annual Cranfield MBA Schedule is the Odgers Prize. The Odgers Prize is one of the major annual awards presented to the full time MBA student judged to have the most potential for a highly successful career in management. It was established in 1987 by Ian Odgers, a Cranfield alumnus (MBA 1965) and Partner of UK’s pre-eminent executive search firm Odgers Berndtson. The finalists, based on nominations from students and faculty were: Andrew Harrison-Chin, Dee Keshwara, Emma Buckland, Martin Aria Tinocco and I. We all had the priceless experience of presenting to and being questioned by a five person panel consisting of Franks Horowitz, Cranfield School of Management Director; Graham Clark, Full-Time MBA Academic Director; David Simmons FTMBA Admissions Director; Kester Scrope, Managing Partner of Oders Berndston and Cranfield alumnus (MBA 2001) with Emma Buckland coming out as the final very well deserved winner. Congratulations Emma!
In mentioning congratulations, hearty congratulations to fellow Aussies who have won a Scholarship and support to complete the coming 2013-14 Cranfield MBA. Daniel George was announced as the winner of the full 2013 Cranfield Australian Alumni Scholarship while Kevin Ha received a part scholarship as “Outstanding Candidate”. I am really excited for both Daniel and Kevin knowing that they are both in for a phenomenal life changing year. Check out the link for more information about the winners as well as further details on this incredibly valuable annual scholarship.
That’s enough from me for this post and to finish off with a small ‘tapas’ like taste from my vast lexicon of Spanish – hasta pronto!