Diploma stage over

After ten months of case study reading, essay writing, mock merger negotiating and project researching, the diploma stage of the Manchester MBA is finally over. It doesn’t seem that long ago that I was sat in a lecture theatre with my new colleagues being told what hard work it was all going to be. Now, with the final term’s M&A and UK Consultancy projects finished, we move onto the Summer and, for me, an eleven week internship at Google.

Given that it is the end of a key stage in my MBA journey, it is now incumbent on me to give you the run-down on the highlights of my first year. So, in reverse order, here are the top 5:

5. Financial Accounting – “What?” I hear you exclaim, “A load of middle aged men in grey suits querying expense claims?”. A year ago I’d have said something along those lines as well. However, it has been an immutable rule on the MBA that the courses I’ve looked forward to least I’ve enjoyed the most, probably because I feel I’m actually learning something new. This was certainly the case with Financial Accounting. The professor was a bundle of gangly-limbed energy, imparting the reasons why accounting regulations should actually matter to us in his own eccentric style.

4. New Friends – A bit obvious and sycophantic I know, but one of the great pleasures of the course has been an environment with no hierarchy, no preconceptions, no politics, just an opportunity to bond with colleagues in the white heat of MBA pressure. People from the other side of the world have become good friends in little to no time and the real joy is that I know that I’ll probably be in contact with them for the rest of my life.

3. Brathay – A rainy few days in the Lake District may not seem like the ideal bonding environment but it was certainly the moment that we moved from being a group of individuals to building the foundations of the Class of 2014. As I said at the time, if you could bottle the feelings of optimism and excitement that we experienced in the marquee on our final day you’d be a rich (wo)man.

1(=). SVCIC – A tough choice and in the end I couldn’t decide between my top two. The trip out to UNC and the buzz of victory is difficult to beat. From the challenge of getting ourselves invited and funded through to the blur of competition it is an achievement I’ll always be able to look back on with pride. How many people can legitimately call themselves a world champion?

1(=). MBAT – Not so much an educational experience but certainly the most fun I’ve had on the course. A chance to compete shoulder to shoulder with your Manchester colleagues against the cream of European business schools and if you’re lucky take home a trophy or two. Also, the opportunity to really speak to fellow MBA’s from other b-schools (and find out that everyone else has the same whinges about their own program!). A riot of sport, socialising and alcohol.

With the constraints of a busy internship I’m not sure how often I’ll get to post before I get back to Manchester. I’ll also be restricted in what I can say about my job due to confidentiality. I may re-start my Chip Shop Economics series of essays to fill the gap but can’t guarantee it. So, if I don’t post in the meantime have a great Summer and see you in the Autumn.

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