A taste of an International Management Degree and Student Survival in the first year
So here we are in Week 10 of term 2! Wow, its been a hella long journey—from complaining about the rain twenty-four seven, juggling between cooking, sports, laundry, coursework and parties, pulling all-nighters for coursework due the next morning, being stuck in bed when the fresher’s flu had returned to coming back from a night-out at 4 AM and bringing myself to go to my 9 AM seminar looking ill stricken from the worst hangover ever—I have been through it all. Well, but I can’t complain because this IS the student life we have all chosen to experience.
Getting down to it, since the first two terms had come to a close, I thought of giving you a taste of my degree—International Management.
Every day of international orientation everyone would confuse me as a management student. To begin with, contrary to popular belief, we are not the management students–there is a difference. Our degree is called international management for a reason. Our degree is four years and in the third year, we can either choose to study or work abroad, or even do a mix of both. We are guaranteed a study placement at the affiliated institutions, Warwick has partnered up with, which are but not limited to: University of Sydney in Australia, to Cornell University and University of Pennsylvania in the United States (most competitive; you can only study the whole year and not split it between work and study) Hong Kong, National University of Singapore in Singapore, France, Germany and McGill University in Canada. We have to list out five of our preferences in the first term of the second year, and so we have plenty of time to make up our mind and research in the summer. The University tries its best to give you one of your top preferences, but of course, you have to be realistic while listing them out as they allocate you, your chosen preferences depending upon your first year and beginning of second-year marks. So DON’T TAKE THE FIRST YEAR FOR GRANTED, DO YOUR LEVEL BEST FROM DAY ONE AS IT DOES COUNT FOR US!
On the other hand, a work placement, unlike a study placement, is not guaranteed, and it is up to us to find one ourselves. Also, an additional requirement for work is if you want to work, it has to be in a country apart from your home country, reiterating the "international exposure" that is part of our degree.
The other modules of the first year are the same as a management degree, while in the second year, we have way more flexibility of choosing our modules, compared to the management students. In the first year, we have all core modules, so we don’t have any flexibility to choose what we want to study in the first year. This is essentially because they want to bring us all to the same benchmark with a diverse skill set, before we can go on and choose what we enjoy and wish to specialize in, in our second year.
In the first term, we study the following modules: –
1. Introduction to Financial Accounting: It is a pretty straight-forward module if you’ve done accounting before, and if you haven’t you’ll need time getting a hang of it, but as long as you give time understanding it, you’ll be fine. The module has an EQL computer software that tracks your learning and progress through the module and every week you are assigned to complete sections of the software. There are two MCQ online class tests during the term, which count 10% each, a summer exam which counts 75%, and successful completion of the EQL packages, earns you a 5%.
2. CORE Practice: Shaping your future self: This is the only creative module there is in the whole of the term. It is indeed very interesting and involves your ability to assess your strengths and weaknesses so that you can become a better team player and business person in the real working world. It is assessed through two audits which contribute 10% each, a reflective report of 1000 words based on the audits which contribute toward 40% and a group project which contributes toward 40% again.
3. Economics for Business- If you have done A Level economics or the IB or equivalent, you have pretty much nothing to worry about as the concepts are essentially the same, except from the SML Analysis, which is the last topic of the term. If you have never done economics before, don’t worry! You are not alone; I was surprised to meet so many students who hadn’t done economics before and have coped quite well. The lecturer is amazing and it is easy to follow her. As long as you keep up with your work, make sure to understand the concepts, you’ll be fine. Another piece of advice I have is that this module is not like econometrics at all, i.e., it doesn’t have any complex mathematical notations to worry about. The module is assessed by a 100% summer exam and an essay, which is optional. I would recommend you to do the essay if you have time on your hands, otherwise researching for the essay at your own pace, at a later point in time is equally good, as it proves useful for your exam.
4. Markets, Marketing and Strategy- This module is pretty self-explanatory as the name suggests. It is assessed by a 100%, 2000 word essay at the end of the term, so don’t take it lightly and leave it for the last minute. Work on it over your winter break and give it your best.
5. Quantitative Analysis for Management 1: A statistics module, it is assessed by two online class tests, which contribute 10% each and a summer exam, which contributes 80%. It was taught in a flipped classroom style, which means, that lectures were all delivered online, so we could watch it at our own pace and didn’t have to physically go to the lecture hall. However, there were workshops delivered by the lecturer every other week with a small group of students, where the lecturer would revise concepts and go over seminar questions that week.
The modules for term two were as follows: –
1. Management, Organization and Society- This module is rather exciting and creative as it connects psychology with business. It is assessed by a summer exam, which contributes 100% toward the module. Brace yourself cause this module entails a lot of reading–the weekly seminars involve reading page long case studies and answering a few questions on them. My seminar tutor, Lauren, especially was absolutely brilliant—she was not only a good tutor but also went out of her way to make the seminars interesting by exploring beyond our textbooks drawing on examples from pop culture, TV shows, books and literature.
2. Foundations of financial management- The first finance module of the year was quite challenging. To succeed in this module, it is necessary to keep up with the lectures and go over the concepts and make sure to understand everything each week. If you don’t, it’ll be hard to follow through in the next lecture as the content is connected. The lecturer also opens up the floor to MCQ polling questions, which are a good way of testing our knowledge in the class itself. It is assessed through an MCQ class test that takes place in the lecture hall at the end of the term (unlike all other module online tests I have mentioned before) and contributes 20%, so it is important to revise for this thoroughly as it covers the whole module content. The rest of the module is assessed through an 80% summer exam.
3. Operations Management- This module stands apart as it is taught in a unique way. It follows a mix of the ‘flipped classroom style’, as explained earlier and lectures in the lecture hall. It is an interesting module as lectures are not only delivered by the lecturers themselves but also by guest lectures, linking theory to practice and giving us an insight into the working of the real world. The weekly seminars include reading case studies about operations of different companies, from hospitals, to factories and even to Disneyland Paris! The lecturers are very entertaining and will surprise you by playing music at the beginning of every lecture. It is assessed by a group project that contributes towards 40% and a summer exam, which contributes towards 60% of the module mark.
4. Business Planning: Integrative Project- This module aims at honing your entrepreneurial skills and teaching you the important aspects required to start a business. The lecturer is very interesting, and one of my favourites. He shares his own successes and failures of businesses and tries to keep the students as active and interactive as possible by having two-three minute break out sessions, where students have to discuss a problem and try to find a solution with the person sitting beside them. The lecturer is a real movie buff and plays a song in the middle of the lecture and you’re supposed to shout out and guess it, if you know which movie it is from. Moreover, TOP TIP: keep your phone on silent, because if it rings, you have to buy the lecturer a coffee: D. The module is assessed through a 100% group project where you have to come up with a hypothetical business idea (60% counts toward a 2000-3000 essay while 40% counts towards a video, pitching your idea to your investors).
5. Quantitative Analysis of Management 2: Drawing upon the first statistics module, it deals with more complex statistic concepts. Personally, I found this module, more interesting than the first one since it was more practical and applicable to the real world. Topics such as decision trees and project scheduling were especially appealing to me. Unlike the first module, it was not taught in a ‘flipped classroom’ manner. It is assessed through a 100% summer exam.
I hope this has been proved useful to you. I have tried my best to make it as informative as possible. If you have any questions at all (no question is silly) please hit me up.☺
Thanks for reading and have a lovely Easter break x