All entries for October 2009
October 30, 2009
After the intensive module week with mini-projects, presatations and seminars, this is not the time for a break. Instead, we have tons of work to do.
First of all, since I don't have lessons this week, I went to some in-sessional english courses. I attended several of them and I found some of them are quite interesting. Though I think some of the classes is below my level, I do hope to have more practices and gain more confidence so that my english can actually work especially in daily life.
Then, let's go back to the academic stuff. I haven't started my study skills assignment yet. Surely, I want to do this as a practice for the PMAs and gain feedback from my personal tutor. So, I started to learn writing reference from PLATO and I borrowed some books in the library about doing research through internet today. This is my first time to write a formal academic paper. Unfortunately, I think most of the time it is difficult to get start. I know this is only the warm-up exercise and should be a short one. But I think this warm-up exercise is quite important and I want to do better. I hope I won't spend too much time on this.
And of course, I need to do some revision on what I have learnt last week and start to think about the PMA questions. Making choice for the question is quite difficult. This is because we have to understand about the question first and brainstorm some ideas about them before making decision. I hope I can make my choice as soon as possible because I aim at finishing at least 70% of this PMA before the next module starts.
Last but not least, the most important thing is the project selection! The topics that are given are quite broad. Actually, I have a brief idea about the areas that I am interested in. But I don't know how to narrow the picture to have a more specific topic. As I am new to the business field, it makes me more difficult to understand what exactly I want. I keep thinking about the question that how our dissertation is going to help with my career. What I have in my mind is about my interest but not about my future job. I believe this is because my career goal is not specific enough. What I can do now is to do more research and keep brainstorming the issue. Actually, I haven't met my personal tutor yet and I hope she may help=]
To my surprise, I start to enjoy studying here despite the fact that it is a lot busier than my undergraduate studies. All the problems and difficulties become challenges and so far I feel quite good about all these. One possible reason maybe I can be more concentrate on my study in Warwick because I came alone. I don't have this kind of feeling before and I love this positive attitude. I should keep in mind about this attitude so that I am not afraid of new coming challenges anymore.
After all, I did run out from the classroom and give myself some time to relax. I did some exercises, like playing volleyball, and enjoy cooking new dishes which I haven't tried before. I am so blessed as I can get used to this new place so fast. I enjoy my study and my life here. I believe I have strong adaptability and I really want to make good use of this if I could have similiar chances in my future career path.
October 27, 2009
Finally, I can have the internet access at home=]
Still organizing the things that I have learnt in the CBE module. I'm going to write blogs about that.
I found an interesting phenomenon just now. After the deadline for assessing the blogs, there is no new blog entries for more than 24 hours! Is it a good thing or bad thing?
As what I have told before, I wrote my first online blog 7 years ago and I am quite loyal to blogs. In fact, I don't really support the idea that blogs should be included in our academic assessment. But I can't think of any ways to motivate students to write blogs for their modules.
When I am free, I love to read blogs of my friends. I read several blogs from my colleagues and I learn a lot from them. Sometimes, I can learn from the way they think. Sometimes, I can find the points that I might miss in the seminars. Sometimes, I understand that someone is facing similar difficulty as me and it's like a kind of encouragement.
But how can we make this to be more 'natural'? Blogs which aim at scoring marks for module can always be good, of course. But for me, I don't feel comfortable with that purpose when I am writing. Unfortunately, sometimes I may get lost and do according to the reality.
I just realize that this is similar to the case of audit using ISO9000. At the very beginning, ISO aims for quality improvement. However, now it becomes something like quality assurance. People work hard before the audit period in order to reach the minimum requirements instead of doing their best. Originally, ISO is a good idea. But as time goes by, the nature has changed and it is out of control.
Maybe, that's reality...
October 25, 2009
One thing that I really impress a lot about my first module is the seminar. I love the idea that we can first discuss with our group mates and someone should be responsible for presenting the group ideas to the class. Clustering the ideas helps us understand more about the topic because it guides us to link different ideas together. The small presentation is something like impromptu speech. It gives us more practices on our oral English which we cannot prepare a lot. Then, we will discuss the topic in the class. I appreciate the way of thinking of my classmates. I do not have much business background. Sometimes, my mind is actually blank. And sometimes I may not think in the way as others do but I really learn a lot from them. For me, business is something ambiguous and vague. I learn about the models and the theory, but I am not sure about the application. Through discussion in the seminar, I gain more knowledge and different way of thinking which I believe can help me in some way. (I can’t express myself well about this feeling.) If we could have more time, I definitely want more seminars!
I was too busy during the week. I did mark down the things that I have learnt during the seminars. But I think I need more time to organize my thinking.
I still have so many things to express about my first module. But, I have not fixed the internet at home yet. I think I will write more next week as the sky goes dark and it's time to go home for a girl.
Paul said, ‘we always have multiple deadlines.’
This is very true. So, the only solution is to manage our time well.
One-year master programme is really harsh. We need to work very hard, much harder than the time when we have our undergraduate studies. My friends said they haven’t noticed I work that hard before. Yes, I work much harder than before even compared with my A-levels. This is my first time to read soooo much reference journals or books. But I find it very challenging and I enjoy this way of learning so far.
Beside academic studies, I also join the badminton club and volleyball club. I believe I can handle these, as I don’t have much other entertainment except cooking here in the UK. I’ll try out new things, like exploring new towns in the weekends. I understand that the master programme is the reason why I am staying here, but I hope I can enjoy my life in Warwick and make good use of every moment here. So, it is a challenge for my time management skills and I believe in myself. The key thing is we need to choose among all those fascinating choices and make a balance between the important issues and our entertainments. We need to relax under such an intensive learning environment. That’s why I choose sports!
It’s only my 3rd week. So far I can handle things quite well. Many deadlines or PMAs or academic works are coming to challenge me. I know time management is a life long lesson for everyone. My postgraduate programme is a rehearsal for my working life. I hope I can continue enjoy my life here and I am ready for any challenges ahead.
Many thanks to my teammates! Finally, we have finished all our mini-projects! I believe we did a great job, right?!^^
You guys are my first group of friends in the UK. We cooperated with each other in an enjoyable atmosphere. Tobi is a responsible guy and he is very smart. Hamed is funny and he is eager to learn Mandarin. Omm is a sweet girl and I love her smile. Shelly is out-going and brings us laughter. Yu is a quiet girl but she works hard. I enjoy a lot with this group. We did try our very best to do our mini-projects and hopefully this can be reflected in our work. Though we spent too much time on the projects, we could learn from this and manage our time better next time.
Thanks again for all my teammates. Let¡¯s have our small gathering or celebration on Wednesday!=)
Maybe this blog will be something similar that will appear in my reflection on the CBE course in the PMA.
My first module week has done. I experienced a new way of learning in MBE. As what Paul has said, what we are doing is similar to the reality when we start our career. For example, tasks are assigned without many instructions. We may be required to learn something totally new to us by ourselves. There are lots of presentations, too. We have to learn a professional way of presenting and I learned some presentation skills this week. Seminar gives us opportunity to discuss and express our opinions and I really learn a lot from it. Of course, the most important thing is time-management because we usually have multiple tasks and we have to handle them in a nice way.
CBE gives us a brief idea about the MBE modules in the coming year. Before I came here, I only know that the course is about management aiming for business excellence. I don’t know what exactly in the course. CBE gives me a big picture of what I am going to learn. I think this is good because it guides us on how we should face the coming challenges and equip us to do better for the coming modules.
The following task is the PMA. I have set the schedule for my study and I hope I will follow it tightly as time management is the key point for my course.
October 21, 2009
I went to the IMC center at lunch hour yesterday. I saw people queuing for the free hot drinks. Actually, when I first heard about the free drinks in WMG, I appreciated a lot. Since the weather is cold in the UK, it's a good idea for the students to have hot drinks after they arrive at school.
I remember I saw a kettle in the center in the first week. But it disappeared when I went there the next time. Sometimes, I just think that what we need is a cup of hot water. I wish we can have the kettle back.
One important thing I have noticed is that, students love to put the free hot drinks in the empty white cups. This is because it is too hot to hold the cups with their hands. I just hate to see this! This act produces lots of wasted plastic cups. This is definitely not good to our environment! At the beginning, I thought it is the practice of the people here because I am new to this place and do not understand what people think about environmental protection here. I just thought that they do not realise the Earth is actually in risk because they have this very beautiful natual environment here, which is unlike that in Hong Kong. However, when we have the class on monday, I heard Paul say he would like to reuse the exercise sheet. Then, I found people here actually realise the concept of environmental protection. So...
Please, be good to our Earth and don't use the white cups to hold your hot drinks next time!
October 20, 2009
Our first mini-project has done! Paul said all the groups did well and I totally agree with that. Before that, I thought doing presentation on the same topic for 4 teams would be a waste of time. This was because all materials we based on usually found from the library database search engine. I read blogs from others that contain information which I have found the same source on the web. Thus, what I expect for the presentation would be quite similar for every group. To my surprise, there were lots of differences in the outcome. I start looking forward to the other mini-projects.
Apart from learning the exact knowledge about ISO, EFQM, audit and self-assessment, etc., we got feedback from Paul about our presentation skills and things to notice when making our powerpoint.
Actually, I did learn from my teammates. One of my problem in making presentation in front of the class is that I can't do it without notecards. I try to write only the main points in my card and expect myself to elaborate two to three lines more about the topic but I can't do it. What is in my mind is quite striaghtforward, that's why I can't elaborate when doing presentation. I find difficulty in elaborating myself when writing, too. Can the reason be that I don't have enough knowledge about the topic? I read a lot and have much information in fact. But the way my mind works is just too straightforward. I can't explain that and I try to find way to improve. Thus, I am very attentive when others are doing their presentation and I hope I can learn the way they develop their points. Actually, I realize this problem long time ago. Can anyone give me some advice?
Right, my group did spend too much time on the mini-project one. So, gotta start doing the others. See ya=]
Yesterday, the ''official'' CBE module week began. We started by doing a role play. Each of us had a role, that is to be one of the managers of a hotel. In the meeting, we got lots to discuss. This was interesting. I couldn't imagine that we actually escaped from the classroom and felt like in the scenario.
I used to have meetings in my previous university life because I was the committee member of several clubs. I enjoyed having meetings with my friends and our efficiency was high. Thus, I believe that meetings were quite simple for me. Moreover, our teams had meetings for several times last week for the mini-projects. I thought we can communicate quite well and the task would be easy for us. However, yesterday in my group, we did not manage the time well and could not able to finish what we had to do. I started to reflect on this and tried to figure out the reasons.
One of the main reason for that was the role of the chairperson was not clear enough. In meetings, we should agree to have a leader to control, to take to lead to the discussion and to manage the time. Everyone of us got a lot we want to discuss. We all came together at the beginning of the meeting without knowing the things in others' mind. So, a solution to that is to set an agenda and set a time limit for every item.
At the end of the activity, Paul asked as to give feedback to our colleague. He was right, this is a safe environment to learn. We did give contructive comments for our friend. I hope what we gain from the role play can be put into practice, espectially for our mini-projects. Actually, I wish to be the chairperson and hear feedback from my teammates.
October 18, 2009
Being an international student is not easy especially for the first few weeks. But tons of academic work are just coming continuously. Having no internet access in my home is like a disaster for my progress in doing the mini-projects. In daytime, I need to do all kind of stuff, like go to the bank and buy household things, so as to settle my life here. But at night, I can't make a full use of my time to work on my projects without the internet. And I don't have much time to spend to come back to the university and do my research. Maybe I should manage my time better to fulfill all my work.
I read blogs about our mini-projects from other students. I know blogs enable us to share our knowledge and I did learn from them. Thanks very much for that. But I hope my blog is something about my learning process instead of the exact knowledge I learn. I am just wondering if I should write something similar.
I did not write blogs for a couple of days. I would like to mention about the welcome buffet on thursday here.
I love the idea of having a personal tutor for every student in Warwick. I did not see my personal tutor yet because she was not available on that day. I hope I will see her soon.
I'll ''officially'' start my module tomorrow. Looking forward for it. =]